Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rodney Tom's Legacy Is Megalomania, Not Successful Bipartisanship

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 5:08 PM


Rodney Tom, the Democratic senator who defected from his party to head up a spirited crusade for bipartisanship in the state legislature, announced yesterday that he won't run for reelection. Saying his decision was driven by his and his father’s health problems, Tom's farewell statement to colleagues read in part: “I really do believe we did an amazing job for the citizens of Washington state these past two years in focusing on jobs and the economy.”

He did do an amazing job—an amazing job basking in the spotlight while getting nothing done.

Of course, plenty of folks are praising his "legacy of bipartisanship" and can't wait to canonize him for his "centrist ideals." I'm genuinely sorry his dad's leg was broken in a car accident and that Tom has kidney stones, but let's not sugar-coat his distasteful career.

As you’ll recall, Senator Tom’s notion of “bipartisanship” amounted to him and Democratic senator Tim Sheldon caucusing with GOP lawmakers starting in 2012. In forming their so-called Majority Coalition Caucus, Tom became the head of it. Tom also became a political celebrity, a kingmaker and keystone, but I’d challenge you to find a valuable accomplishment under his direction. The only thing Tom could do with a Democratically controlled house and Democratic governor was assemble the senate into a roadblock. Tom blocked the Reproductive Parity Act, nixed a vital transportation package, and scotched numerous other bills that were passed in the house.

His budgets were cursory regurgitations of previous flawed budgets, thereby punting critical problems—including a multi-billion-dollar shortfall in basic education funding—onto future legislatures. Tom’s final term and legacy looks like a stunt to get attention, not to do anything.

You won't hear that tune at the Seattle Times.

At 4 pm today, they published a gushing editorial titled "Rodney Tom leaves legacy of bipartisanship in Olympia." It says he had "much to be proud of" after he "emphasized down-the-middle principles and downplayed divisive issues like guns and abortion." His budget accomplishment? He prevented the state from spending money! Never mind the actual tax burden for Washington citizens is lower than average and falling, while we can't pay for education, transit, and other stuff the state needs.

In fact, Tom effectively wasted the millions of dollars required to convene the legislature by ensuring it accomplished nothing. So he also leaves an ironic legacy: Conservatives claim to be crusading against government waste, but in taking over one chamber of the legislature, Tom and his conservative colleagues brought government’s productivity to a crawl without really lowering the costs of government.

That was not a platform that screams "reelect me."

Democratic Party leaders and activists had been determined take out Tom this fall (Kirkland mayor Joan McBride has been raising money and campaigning to defeat him)—so perhaps Tom is just retiring before he get his clock cleaned.

So, yeah. I'm sad Tom’s dad is having health problems, but Washington State voters should rejoice that we can say goodbye to a do-nothing, self-aggrandizing hypocrite who flushed our money down the toilet, and thank him for showing that switching parties under the bullshit banner of "bipartisanship" is a fast-track to retirement.


Comments (24) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
seatackled 1
I'm sorry for his dad's leg, but he's on his own with the kidney stones.
Posted by seatackled on April 15, 2014 at 5:15 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 2
Maybe he shouldn't have main lined so much Everclear
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 15, 2014 at 5:17 PM · Report this
Normally I might feel sorry for King Tom and his family's health issues. After all, nearly nobody wants someone else to suffer for some ephemeral political objective. Oh wait .... that's exactly what Rodney Tom did!

This state has issues which need to be addressed. Rodney Tom did all he could to not address them for his own benefit.

While I don't buy he has a problem with kidney stones and has a problem with what his polls show him, I won't lose any sleep if I find out he's in daily terrible pain as his karma passes through him.
Posted by MikeBoyScout on April 15, 2014 at 5:18 PM · Report this
Evil self-serving prick of the worst kind. He had to get out now because his reputation was going to be totally trashed by a primary run against a real Democrat. Win or lose, he's going to get his reward as a sinecure lobbiest or whatever for betraying his constituents, and his party(twice), and the people of the state. But his value to that rewarding organization would have been less if his reputation was that of a self-serving dishonest prick.

I'm not crying over a broken leg and a couple of kidney stones. His actions have done far worse to thousands of people. Fuck him. If there was a god, there would be a special level in Dante's hell for him.
Posted by cracked on April 15, 2014 at 5:55 PM · Report this
He won't be missed. I do think he knew he was going to get wiped out in the next election- and by a woman, no less - thus he opted to drop out instead.
Posted by StuckInUtah on April 15, 2014 at 5:58 PM · Report this
Ding dong. The witch is dead.
Posted by suburbanish on April 15, 2014 at 6:09 PM · Report this
When I heard Tom's dad was hit by a car, my immediate reaction was: Death needs lasik - he went after the wrong Tom.

Won't miss that turncoat asshole one bit.
Posted by Centrists Rule the World today on April 15, 2014 at 6:11 PM · Report this
auntie jim 9
I'm sorry about his father's accident and I know kidney stones are horrible, but I have no sympathy or illusions about his actions as an elected official. The one time I had a chance to talk to him up close he started in about how we need to "reform entitlements", IMO basically code for robbing the Social Security and Medicaid trust funds.
The Republicans have left us with no transportation plan and even knocked down the new bridge to Portland because it had rail on it, and they could not have done it without Messrs Tom and Sheldon. They don't deserve re election, and in fact there isn't one damn Republican office holder out of Washington State who's worth a darn either. So good riddance to Rodney Tom, and I hope we get rid of the rest of the bad guys in November.
Posted by auntie jim on April 15, 2014 at 6:18 PM · Report this
sperifera 10
I grew up with Rodney Tom. He was a little shit when he was 10 years old.

Can someone please come over and clean up the buckets of vomit that spewed from my mouth when I saw how The Seattle Times viewed his career. It's quite a mess.

Much like Tom's legacy.

Posted by sperifera on April 15, 2014 at 6:56 PM · Report this
MrBaker 11
Does Rodney Tom eat kittens?

Look at the photo, doesn't the look in his eyes say, "I, Rodney Tom, eat kittens"?

Just askin'
Posted by MrBaker on April 15, 2014 at 7:07 PM · Report this
therealtrueauthenticrobmckenna 13
Those who say my good friend Senator Tom lacks accomplishment have never been alone in a room with him.
He is, in fact, very accomplished at fellatio.
Posted by therealtrueauthenticrobmckenna on April 15, 2014 at 7:41 PM · Report this
@12 The right loves selfish disloyal people who will stab their best friend in the back to make a buck. In fact, they especially like people who will stab their friends in the back to make a buck. The only thing the right won't forgive is too much compassion for one's fellow human beings.
Posted by cracked on April 15, 2014 at 7:44 PM · Report this
Abe Frohman 15
He voted against the very same budget he himself authored when he was a Republican. 'Nuff said.
Posted by Abe Frohman on April 15, 2014 at 8:05 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 16
His claim to centrist bipartisanship is utter bullshit.

He might legitimately make that claim if he actually passed any meaningful legislation with bipartisan support, but he has not. He hasn't passed a single piece of meaningful useful legislation in two years. Not one. Cranky crackpot John McCain has a far more legitimate claim to centrism and bipartisanship. I may not agree with a lot of what he says, but he's at least relatively honest about his positions. Rodney Tom is nothing but a self-serving hypocrite.

The Seattle Times editorial, as usual, has no fucking idea what it is talking about.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on April 15, 2014 at 8:13 PM · Report this
Kidney stones can be taken care of relatively speedily and effectively; they are not a lifelong disabling problem. He of course knows that and everyone else should also.

He is relatively young and will run for another office, probably a Congressional seat or Governor. We are not rid of him yet.
Posted by sarah70 on April 15, 2014 at 8:39 PM · Report this
CripKev 18
He will be rewarded with a sweet job in the private sector.
Posted by CripKev on April 15, 2014 at 8:51 PM · Report this
word3 19
Prescient words @17….
Posted by word3 on April 15, 2014 at 8:56 PM · Report this
Lew Siffer 21
I was enjoying a centrist agenda.
Posted by Lew Siffer on April 15, 2014 at 9:19 PM · Report this
MrBaker 22
@17, and 19, yep, that the first thing I thought of, too.
Maybe he will run against Dow and get his ass kicked, too.
Posted by MrBaker on April 15, 2014 at 9:56 PM · Report this
Y'all know he was a republican before he switched to the dems before switching back, right?
Posted by Upchuck on April 15, 2014 at 10:08 PM · Report this
Did you see the quote from his campaign manager, saying that Tom would have won reelection because he was at 31 points over his opponent's 25? Show me one other incumbent who is happy to be at 31 points six months before an election.

He was about to have his own head handed to him on a platter.
Posted by NotYourStrawMan on April 16, 2014 at 9:04 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 26
The only way to get shit done is to put the GOP in a corner, like CA did. Not everyone is happy, but Jerry Brown was able to right the ship because the GOP was made irrelevant by CA voters. The same needs to happen here in WA. Republicans have nothing constructive to contribute.
Posted by Max Solomon on April 16, 2014 at 9:36 AM · Report this
IndicaDogwalk 27
May his kidney stones enlarge and become more painful. Good riddance to this narcissist asshole. He's done twenty times more harm than good. He's spooked that he will get beaten by a woman, a Democrat, so he's wimping out. He's such a megalomaniac that I know we will see him again, running for some office, but at least this worthless, traitor shithead will be out of power for awhile. Rot in hell, Rodney.
Posted by IndicaDogwalk on April 16, 2014 at 11:33 AM · Report this
Want an accomplishment for Tom? How about the first tuition freeze in thirty years? Middle class students and their families won big with the Majority Coalition Caucus, whether it was actually Tom in control or not.
Posted by Harper Evans on April 18, 2014 at 5:38 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Commenting on this item is available only to registered commenters.

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy