Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

A Pretender in the Washington Governor's Office

Today, the joint session of both houses of the state legislature decided by a majority vote to avoid their constitutional duty to decide a contested gubernatorial election in accordance with the law before issuing a certificate of election to Christine Gregoire.

Only one Democrat, Senator Tim Sheldon, voted to postpone the issuance of a certificate of election to Gregoire. He was elected as an “independent,” not as a Democrat; but he considers himself to be a Democrat.

Despite claims that partisanship had nothing to do with it, simply looking at the yeas and nays demonstrates that the outcome was determined by party loyalty.

Perhaps some Democrats were rendered incapable of comprehending the plain language of the constitution by partisan loyalty, so that, when they claimed to be upholding the law, they were stating the truth as they saw it. But, their misunderstanding of the law stems from partisan prejudice.

Rather than wait to see whether the many apparent irregularities in the election can be explained away or shown to be illegalities that rendered the apparent result illegitimate, the Democrats voted to put Gregoire into office as governor.

Gregoire will take office as “governor” tomorrow, but that’s only because we don’t have a provision in our constitution or laws which provides for an accurately descriptive title of the office she will hold until the contested election is decided – “Pretender.”

She will exercise all authority vested in the office of governor, even though the contested election has not been decided by the legislature. The Democrats made clear during the debate that they believe the contested election will be decided later in the courts – but in the meantime they want Gregoire to be in office as the pretender.


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