What A Week…

What a week this has been for Olympia.  With the well reported take over in the Senate by Republicans early last Saturday morning, and the consequent fall out during the last few days, Olympia has been a different place.  I’ve held off on posting some of this because of the still fluid budget negotiations, but now that we’re done with – at least – the regular session, I thought I’d offer a few thoughts.

Publicola has an insightful comment quoted by Sen. Parlette that should not be overlooked.

According to state senate Republican caucus chair, Sen. Linda Evans Parlette (R-12, Wenatchee) there’s not going to be a budget deal until the senate Democrats make it through the five stages of grief after last week’s GOP budget coup.

“I’m not sure if they’re in denial right now, but they definitely haven’t gotten to acceptance yet.”

The famous pop psychology list goes like this: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.

Now, I’m not just re-posting this because it’s pithy.  If you weren’t walking the halls this last week, you would have a hard time understanding the visceral anger of Senate Democrats.  In fact, one member I’ve known for years as a soft spoken, thoughtful leader got worked up, saying to me “You don’t understand how angry I am at those guys (meaning Sens. Kastama, Sheldon and Tom).”

That said, House Democrats all week saw this as “just another bump in the road.”  One member explained to me:

“Frank (Chopp) is going to roll those traitors.  Our problem has always been the Senate Democrats, but now, our interests are totally aligned with them:  punishing those three (Kastama, Tom, and Sheldon) and getting a deal done.

Some in leadership would even go so far as to give me a name of a Senator or two they felt confident they could pick off from the Senate Republican ranks.

So, today’s action by the House to send a new, revised budget back to the Senate – one informed very clearly by the Senate version adopted Saturday – appears to have laid the groundwork for a final resolution – or at least getting us closer to it.



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