Democratic State Sens. Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon announced they would create a majority power-sharing coalition with Senate Republicans, throwing control of the chamber into question.
While the new coalition pledged to start preparing for next month’s session, Democratic leaders who now hold a slim majority signaled they will fight the proposal.
One wonders how, given that the existing plan has been signed off on by the entire incoming GOP state Senate Caucus. The way the deal goes: Tom and Sheldon get to be in charge. The Republicans get to control crucial committees like Ways and Means, Commerce and Labor, Health Care* – and, here’s the fun one: they get to pick the majority floor leader. That’s the person who decides which bill goes to which committee, which is another way of saying “the person who can kill or save bills.” The Democrats get… to play with the parks and beaches, of which I understand Washington state has some very nice examples.
So, basically, nobody you care about is getting hammered on this one.
Michael Barone (via Hot Air) has more, but it’s mostly his equivalent to a belly laugh at how the Democrats managed to allow their margin in the state Senate to decay to the point where two ambitious Democrats (who apparently have worked with the GOP in the past; one of them is actually a former Republican) could go Hey, the Other Side will let us be in charge and have that be a meaningful strategy. Presumably the Democrats will attempt to offer a better bribe… although this deal looks like the Republicans – excuse me: ‘Majority Caucus’ – thought really, really hard about how to keep their new caucus members from being tempted. It should be fascinating to see how it plays out, really.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Arlen Specter. Remember him? You should: he’s the reason why Obamacare passed. So spare me the pious tut-tutting, ye lurkers. Put another way: karma. It’s what’s for dinner.
*Why, no, Washington state has not yet finalized its Obamacare exchange system yet. I guess that means that any bill that would formally finalize the deal would have to actually pass muster with the state Republican party.
…Huh. Isn’t that interesting?