We really need a governor and state legislature that doesn't operate on the primary principle of "screw Philadelphia."
That, of course, was why it was so important to Seattle for Democrat Jay Inslee to defeat Republican Rob McKenna in last year's governor's race. Because just like in my native Pennsylvania, the primary principle of Washington's Republicans is to see our urban Democratic stronghold fail.
Part of it is just good electoral politics. Our Republicans' "screw Seattle" rhetoric is the local equivalent of red-baiting—an effort to distract their own constituents from their own real problems by blaming us lazy, liberal parasites here in the urban hellhole. Part of it is ideological one-upmanship—the more problems we have here, the more they can blame our decadent, jobs-killing liberalism. And part of it is just sheer vindictiveness—for example, the Republican-controlled state senate's adamant refusal to give King County voters the authority to tax ourselves to stave off devastating cuts to Metro bus service. They must just get some sick thrill out of seeing transit commuters here suffer.
Fortunately, Washington's Republicans haven't been able to screw urban Democrats the way Pennsylvania's Republicans have, largely because we haven't surrendered the governor's mansion since 1980. I'm not saying that Gregoire and Locke, for example, were great governors. But regardless of which party controlled which House, they served as a bulwark against the worst political atrocities. That's why, say, the state hasn't been able to seize and then systematically dismantle Seattle's school district the way Pennsylvania has done to Philadelphia.
So I guess we should just consider ourselves fortunate.