Tough deadlines make bad decisions

Washingtonians might be a little uneasy about tomorrow’s legislative special session deadline. They probably should feel better if legislators and the governor just went ahead and announced another session, right now.

That runs counter to most of what you hear: Those legislators should get it done and get out of town! Well, sure, ideally. Problem is that really tight deadlines can impair the decision-making process. It’s a little like torture: You’ll say or do anything, just to get it over with. (Remember the old legal principle, that hard cases make bad case law?)

The problem in Washington has had to do with developing a final budget. The excellent Political Buzz blog (of the Tacoma News Tribune), after noting some of the items which apparently are scheduled to be sliced, and some others that aren’t, reports that as of today, there’s talk that the session might wind up on schedule come Wednesday.

Or not: “A few minutes ago the Senate’s two negotiators on debt, Democrat Derek Kilmer and Republican Linda Evans Parlette, said they were still working on the issue, as they speed-walked into the office shared by House Speaker Frank Chopp and Majority Leader Pat Sullivan.”

Look through the rundown of cuts and no-cuts. Are those the lists you would endorse? Are they the best possible? Are Washingtonians likely to get the best possible from a pressure cooker?

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