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Monday, January 18, 2021

Is it 1861 again?

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And here we are, just days from what was once a powerful symbol of democracy, of American strength - its peaceful inauguration of a new president - looking at rows and rows of uniformed troops, as with Lincoln so long ago, gathered to protect that sacred moment from armed disruption. In this year of 2021.

Madison On Your Side: The Historical Case for Majority Rule

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If you are like me, you grew up amongst people who, when discussing some minor choice like what TV show to watch, would often fall back on the phrase, “Majority rules!” and smugly grab the remote. I heard it a lot, in many different contexts, as I’m sure you did too. Now I ask you, did anyone ever yell out: “Plurality rules!”?

Why Rushing to Impeach Trump Is a Gift to Trumpers

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“To borrow a phrase, Democrats should stand back and stand by; but alas, the idea of a sequel is making the rounds in Washington. In their righteous and proper anger over the Trump Riot and all that led up to it, many Democrats are talking themselves into one more go-round."

Two Washington Republican Congressmembers Answer Higher Calling

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The impeachment vote was a clarion call that goes beyond self-interest or political advantage, and is what Herrera Beutler said on the House floor a “moral imperative.”

A Simpler Way to Ban Trump from Holding Office Again?

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It will be interesting, if Artlcles 3 and 5 come into play, how the literalist court and originalist Republicans will explain away the clear language. It might be an effective fall-back position for the Democrats, in case the impeachment trial falters in the Senate.

Guardrails Down, What to do With Trump’s Militia Legacies?

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It is the status-threatened, outsider and alienated groups where Trump likely has left us with unusually lasting damage. Trump brought them into politics, a place they hadn’t – at least in an organized way – been before. He gave them a role.

Jay Inslee 3.0: Under Pressure to Perform

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A tougher term is upon him. No more feuding with a repellant Trump. A Democratic base that wants taxes, but an electorate that turns down taxes. The citizenry asking, how and when do we get vaccinated? Neighborhood restaurants hanging on, but for how long?

Accountability for Trump — The Historical Options

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Two U.W. political scientists predict that the biggest threats to democracy Trump poses won’t emerge until after he exits the White House – when Biden will have to face the Trump presidency’s most serious challenges.

Four Steps to Healing America after Trump

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Suddenly there are Republican elected officials who seem willing to break with Trump and the base., perhaps even creating a new party.

Politics, COVID-style, Means Radical Transparency for Olympia Lawmakers

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Every legislator now carries an official phone, to be used whenever conducting the public’s business. The logs of said phones are archived and accessible to public enquiry.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski: Is this still the Republican Party for me?

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She has often thought about leaving the Republican reservation, and done so once before. Now she's the first of her Senate party to say Trump must go.

Redrawing Washington: Redistricting is About to Commence

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A decade ago, Democrats put their redistricting cards on the table, but Slade Gorton extracted a high price.

Duck Diver: Spokane Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Trump Enabler

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By her actions, McMorris Rodgers has become an enabler of the mob of Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol beneath whose dome she pursues political power, pandering to the right. .

Brad Raffensperger for President? Bill Ruckelshaus’ Cautionary Tale

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Ruckelshaus, after his Watergate and Environmental Protection Agency heroics, figured he could return to Indiana, where he had a stellar reputation, and run for the Senate or other high office. He learned he was a party pariah.

The Psychology of Losing: Why Republicans Cry Foul Over Election

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Of course, the act of discounting the fairness of a decision process when a decision violates one’s identity is not limited to one political party. For example, after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, Democrats tended to believe that his confirmation hearings were unjust, including the withholding of important evidence.

Mad-Enraged to Mad-Deranged: Sanity and the American President

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What should be clear is that Trump’s frontal attack on American elections and the threat of a bloodless coup must call forth a vigorous response from leaders of both parties. What should be obvious is that Trump’s mental struggles will not cease when he leaves office, nor will his cult-like hold on millions of Americans.

The Big Lie and the Weaponizing of American Politics

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There is an element of truth in recognizing that there is no perfectly fair election. But to argue that all elections are corrupt and stolen because they are unfair is to promulgate a lie, as much a lie as Putin's claim that his nation’s elections are "democratic."

Northwest Voters Love Joe Biden. Will He Return the Affection?

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Biden is set to take office after a campaign that never really had much profile in the Northwest. The former vice president dropped in for quiet, private fundraising events early in the race. He was overshadowed by noisy rallies for Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and the boomlet of support for South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Seattle’s 2020 Pause: U-Turns and Your-Turns

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As it turned out, the arrival of solutions, maps, and new leaders will be delayed and contested and far from certain. It will be a slow build, or maybe a slow fade.

Has Seattle Finally Found a Legal Way to Tax High-Earners?

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Seattle lawmakers took a gamble, hoping that the courts would reconsider the 1933 ruling and allow its proposed high-earner tax to stand. But the appeals court basically said that was above its pay grade, and the supreme court didn’t take the bait.

Pre-Brexit Glimpse of Post-Brexit Chaos Breaks Deal Stalemate

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“The sudden sense of being cut adrift from the bloc – and from the world at large – felt like a bitter taste of what might be to come.” -- A New York Times dispatch from London

Now Is the Time For a Nonpartisan Commission to Come to the Aid of...

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Much is broken. The Electoral College was another concession to slave states, abetted by concerns that some intermediary was needed between the presidency and masses of ordinary (white male) citizens. A thorough examination of the inequalities it shields and a case for repeal can only be done by a bipartisan body.

This Year in Democracy Reform: Progress is Being Made

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Reformers are aware they cannot claim sole credit for 2020’s record voter turnout or the record numbers of early and mail-in votes, since Donald Trump and the COVID pandemic were contributing factors. But reform groups did promote mail voting, defend it against Trump assertions it is rife with fraud, and advise voters not to expect full results on Election Day.

First Take: Handicapping Contenders for Seattle’s Next Mayor

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Past mayors such as Greg Nickels, Ed Murray, and Jenny Durkan have tended to combine three vote- and donor-rich lanes: labor, urbanist greens and developers, and business. The failure of Mayor Durkan to hold that coalition together indicates the need for a new trifecta this time.

Yes, A Doctor in the (White) House

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A "First" for a First Lady as Dr. Jill Biden gets ready to make history

Fascism Rising: America’s Institutions Face the Test

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"Tradition" is elevated to the point of conflicting with the scientific approach of critical thinking. Using a verifiable truth to argue against a traditional but unproven truth is seen as the work of a liberal intelligentsia betraying traditional values.

Taking Names: Reps. McMorris Rodgers and Newhouse Joined Texas Lawsuit

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Newhouse is supposed to be made of better stuff. He beat out Tea Party extremist Clint Didier to win a seat in Congress. With ex-Sen. Slade Gorton as choreographer, mainstream Republicans ran media ads depicting Newhouse as a stand-up guy. He's not a stand-up guy.

Seattle Nice, R.I.P.: Why are we so Awful to our Leaders?

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Mayor Jenny Durkan deserves a thank-you note, at the very least, maybe even a purple heart.

Dept. of Victimology: Trump’s One Last Election Ploy as a Fundraising Strategy Stokes the...

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Trump has shown that he can raise a lot of money  —  as a victim, as he often has portrayed himself since becoming president. Now, he is the victim of a rigged election.

Trumpster Joseph diGenova’s Significant Washington State Legacy

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diGenova is not your average QAnon cultist. He’s a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. In that role he played a part in former Washington Senator Brock Adams' fall from the Senate.