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Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Smart Reader

posted by on January 13 at 19:59 PM

While Frizzelle is busy in a post a couple below this one abusing a reader (well deserved, given that the reader was complaining about the excellent Lindy West), I want to take a moment to give props to a reader.

Yesterday, I posted a GOP press release that trashed the Democrats for, the Republicans contended, “showing their true colors” by proposing a gay marriage bill and an income tax bill instead of working on “real priorities” like education and transportation.

The GOP complaint read, in part: “State Republican Chairman Diane Tebelius today said that week one of the Democrats’ agenda is ‘not what the people of Washington want …The Democrats have created their own mandate to impose a state income tax, [and] redefine marriage…’”

I called bullshit on the GOP and Chairman Diane (that’s just weird) by providing a link to a list of 26 education bills that had been filed last week. I also noted a couple of bills the Democrats had on the fast track, like a children’s health care bill and a drug bill for seniors.

However, a Slog reader named Baxter had a much smarter response to the GOP ploy than I did.

For many of the voters who wanted a Democratic majority, gay marriage IS a top issue. Those GOPs sure are sore losers.

Baxter is right. Gay marriage is a top priority for many Democratic voters. (And so is tax reform.) The Democrats won in a landslide. They now control the state house 62-36 and the state senate 32-17. Suck it up Tebelius.

p.s. Because of our regressive sales tax, the poorest 20 percent of Washington residents pay 17 percent of their income in taxes while the richest one percent pays just three percent of their income. So, thank you state Sen. Rosa Franklin (D-29, Tacoma) and Seattle-area state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard, Queen Anne) for proposing an income tax.

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too bad it's gotta go to our state's shitty voters:

"Since 1935, voters have rejected seven separate personal or corporate income tax proposals. The last comprehensive proposal for enacting an income tax in Washington state was put before voters in 1973 (HJR 37)."

Posted by john | January 13, 2007 8:29 PM

I think the issue is that in the past the voters have not been convinced that the Income Tax wouldn't end up being just an ADD-ON to everything that we have now.... On a related question, do the figures cited here reflect who pays the B+O tax?? I've just always wondered how that would break down, although I suspect it might be a lttle difficult to compile?

Posted by GoodGrief | January 13, 2007 8:40 PM

Tangenting here, sorry, but I don't see an easy way of posing this, without the shotgun "" approach.

So why not take these issues to their logical ends? Many of us recognize that so much of what's gone on in recent years (gay rights denied because "they can't procreate, which is the basis for marriage"--paraphrased, but largely accurate), ("An Inconvenient Truth" censored in Federal Way because one parent was offended that there was no opposing viewpoint supporting his views), etc. etc., is patently ridiculous.

Why not press our legislators to run with this, Tim Eyman-style? If it's legitimate, let's put em up for a vote!

Let's propose that any couple who can't procreate cannot be legally married. The state supreme court said that was their basis for denying rights to some, so let's apply the precedent. Hell, let's have a fertility test for gateways to marriage. Let's make sure if a child is not born in what, three years? that the marriage is invalidated. Let's make sure that people who are sterilized from chemotherapy are precluded from marriage rights, just to make sure.

Let's propose that whenever oh let's say... Anne Frank's Diary are presented in an English class, that equal time be presented to "Opposing opinions". Let's make sure the Holocost deniers have a full vetting in English. And History, too.

For Science, whenever evolution is even referred to, we must mention in an equal amount what it says in the Bible. Well, whichever bible happens to be available, or whichever interpretation avails. The earth may be billions of year old, 14,000 years old, 6,000 years old... All require equal representation. So does the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We need to mandate that our teachers spend all of their time making sure everyone is satisfied, not making sure that we teach English, History, Math, or Science. That's all incidental.

We'll all benefit by having everyone's opinion on things that the rest of us accept naively as fact.

That's the neocon's/religious right's strategy, so why not make it ours?

Posted by Joe G. | January 13, 2007 10:26 PM

Well, and of course a state income tax would be an add-on to all the other taxes. The linked bill proposing the income tax says nothing about removing any of the existing regressive taxes. Unless the income tax ballot issue is written so that it simultaneously sets up an income tax and eliminates the sales tax, I wouldn't vote for it and none of the pro-state income tax people I know would vote for it either.

Posted by Joe | January 13, 2007 10:33 PM

I much agree with the comment. Mind I live in Oregon, but I would count my vote well cast if our new state legislature passed a bill allowing gay marriage... and I'm neither gay, nor planning to get married ever. Go figure, democratic voters like our democratic officials to pass progressive laws. Who would have thought? Oh and fuck those GOP losers.

Posted by Silvertail | January 14, 2007 2:11 AM

I am thinking of having a custom T-shirt made that says on the back of it, "Democrats, now with 50% more spine." And a picture of a spinal column on the front.

Posted by Silvertail | January 14, 2007 2:14 AM

Isn't it weird how the foaming at the mouth, wrong wingers still control much of the agenda in the state and the nation?

Democrats spend a hell of a lot of time worrying and freaking out over what Republicans might say about them. They ought to spend that time explaining why they're right and they have the high ground.

It's time to grow up and grow a backbone.

Posted by Original Andrew | January 14, 2007 8:27 AM

"It's time to grow up and grow a backbone."

Hallelujah, O. Andrew!!!

It is true locally as well as nationally.

Why can Bush be so cofident and assertive when he ignores advice and voters, but the Dems hem and haw and hesitate from taking the actions they were elected to take?

Then, when the public expresses dissatisfaction with them and they lose the next election, they blame Ralph Nader and/or same sex couples for their poor showing.

Pathetic. They have yet another chance to act like they deserve to hold office - by cutting off funds to the escalation AND the war.

Will they disappoint again??

Posted by patrick C | January 14, 2007 10:01 AM

Gay marriage may well be a top priority for many Democratic voters, but not necessarily the Democratic Leadership in Olympia.

Republicans Vow To Defeat Wa. Gay Marriage Bill

The Washington state GOP says there will be no gay marriage bill passed this year, even though the party does not have control of either house in the legislature.

And many Democrats agree the time is not right to enact same-sex marriage legislation. But most Democrats feel the time may have come for domestic partner rights.

A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage and other that would support domestic partnership benefits were unveiled Thursday by the LGBT caucus in the legislature. (story).

Republicans say they will vote against both measures.

House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler (D-Hoquiam) said her party is divided on the marriage issue and it is unlikely there is enough support to pass it. Kessler pointed to the divisions in the party over last year's LGBT civil rights bill.

"I think (gay marriage legislation) was a natural outcome of passing civil rights ... I know that's the goal and the ultimate, but I just don't think we have the votes to pass it."

But Kessler believes there may be enough support to pass the benefits bill. Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane has already said she would co-sponsor the domestic partnership bill in the Senate.

Washington has a so-called Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Last July the Washington Supreme Court upheld the law but noted the legislature could overturn the law or amend it to include gay pairs. (story)

Sen. Dan Swecker (R-Rochester) the author of the DOMA said he will introduce a bill this session to being the process to enshrine DOMA in the state constitution.

Even the main sponsor of the marriage bill, Sen. Ed Murray (D-Seattle) who is openly gay believes the measure will not pass this year, but he said that it is a process that has to start sometime, and it may as well be this year.

Reprinted through Fair Use

Posted by Laurence Ballard | January 14, 2007 11:33 AM

Does "Smart Reader" = "Agrees with Dan Savage"?
Just askin....

Posted by StrangerDanger | January 14, 2007 2:11 PM

I just saw that commercial about the car parallel parking itself at the downtown Seattle Public Library.

For most of the state, we need to be strategic - now, I say this as someone who will be proposing tons of Democratic platform planks and resolutions in FAVOR of more equality for LGBT laws in this state.

Remember that the Dividerer in DC and his Red Bushies wants us to fight the fight on THEIR terms. We need to redefine the battlefield, and win.

But ... remember that it will get tougher to pass such things LATER rather than SOONER - if we wait a year, it becomes a way for them to un-elect Dems - we need to be doing things NOW, not THEN.

Just my (straight) opinion.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 14, 2007 5:55 PM

I saw some of the recent news articles that quoted Jamie Pedersen on some of this legislative session's gay rights bills. I know some people were worried he'd just focus on non issues or work with Republicans, so I'm glad he is talking about more than that.

Posted by Jon | January 15, 2007 5:42 AM

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