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15 April, 2011

"We Don't Care About the Last Election"

My state's Attorney General (Rob McKenna) supposedly sent out an email today, accusing last week's protesters of ignoring the will of the people, who last fall voted out certain taxes and in a few Republicans. He repeats the phrase "We Don't Care About the Last Election" (supposedly a rallying cry, but I don't remember) to rile up his followership at the arrogance and unreasonableness of the opposition. 
The purported purpose of this epistle was to convince conservatives to attend an anti-tax rally in Bellevue. Even though that's where we concentrate rich people, I would not count on a five-day protest culminating in a 10,000 plus crowd to happen there, as it did in Olympia. [Does Robblehead want crowds like that? No, he wants money, the gold standard of political currency.]
Olympia. People love to blame Olympia for whatever tax or policy or whatever. "Olympia takes your hard earned money and gives it to Mexicans," and similar myths. As well as some truths: regulations do exist, and agencies have offices in the capital. This misses the fact that the capitol fills each new year with a couple of representatives and their staff and entourages from Not-Olympia. There's some basis for blaming the Seattle Megalopolis, because most of the people live there and hence have more seats in the House, but the fact is that rural counties get more back than they pay in taxes and should just keep mum and hope nobody notices. But Olympia? No, given the choice, Olympia would rather listen to music and drink coffee and enjoy itself than try to impose its will even in Lacey, much less Republic. That's like way too fascist for a town with so many Evergreeners. 
But McKenna knew that if he slyly referred the union protesters, most not from Olympia, as Olympia, he'd be pushing buttons that make campaign money spit out.
He's smart enough that accusing union protesters of ignoring the last election comes off as lame, as if Rove is standing by him whispering "Don't engage in debate. Smear and move on." The last election ignored the one before, when the Democrats made a huge gain. Then there have been the times when the GOP ignored current elections and had daddy's supreme court install the president instead of the guy who won.
I'm honest enough to say that no, I don't care about the last election. A fraction of the populace affected by politicians is allowed to vote, a smaller percentage still turn in a ballot, and so every time a politician claims a mandate, it is based on spurious superiority in numbers. Besides which, no vote extinguishes my right to advocate for something other than status quo. Conservatives sure as hell do it, but act like I am impolite and unpatriotic for doing so.
The last election included referenda to cut off some revenue sources and ensured that a 2/3 majority is required to get any new ones. This effectively killed an earlier referendum that mandated limited class size in public schools, and requires that social programs serving our most vulnerable citizens be pared back.
The last election had no effect on the inhabitants of executive suites and corporate boardrooms who looted the economy (about the time of the election before). The people who invented and profited from Wall Street scams not only paid no price, they hold on to the loopholes and special deals that ensure that profits will never be taxed as harshly as labor. They did have to pay for enough ads to defeat the referendum that would have imposed an income tax on the very wealthy, but overall they made out finer than the rest of us.
A lot of whom care about the next election.


  1. April 16 - Googling "we don't care about the last election" gets a single hit, bringing me back here. Cannot remember the last time I got a single hit on anything.

  2. "We don't care about the heatilator" doesn't get a single hit either - but you do come in at the top ...

    Did you know Rob McKenna is a rain god?

    The Pacific Northwest could make some fascinating changes up there if they took a cue from the resorts who pay him not to come around.