Writings and observations

Let’s get our terminology straight here.

New Republican Chair Susan Hutchison, a former TV news figure who ran a while back for the non-partisan office of King County executive, was doing some splashing of cold water at one of her figure public talks since the election. Of her party’s status in Washington, she said:

“What we have now is a one-party system: We don’t get push back.”

Um, no.

If you want to see a one-party state, look across the border to Idaho. There you will find Republicans only, and some years now, in statewide offices, in congressional offices, in more than four-fifths of the legislature, and in nearly all of the courthouses. And very few of the general elections are close.

Washington does have one Republican left among the statewides, though some of the races (such as for governor) often have been close. But it also has four of the 10 U.S. House seats, and enough seats in the legislature that Republicans were able to win functional control this term of the state Senate. And there are plenty of Republicans in local office.

In Washington, Republicans are in the minority, and Democrats are dominant. But if you want see some one-party places, you need to look elsewhere.

She’s right to point out that Republicans have the tougher hand to play in Washington. But is it hopeless? No. Depending, of course, on how the party and its candidate play the cards they do have.

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