Local Republicans released their plan for getting out of the political wilderness in 2018. It sounds awfully similar to what hasn’t worked for them in this state in decades.
Just as Democrats are lost in the wilderness nationally, Republicans locally are now out of power across all branches of state government.
So what’s the GOP plan for making a comeback? They revealed it at the preview to the state Legislative session this past week.
It can be summed up in two words: Attack Seattle.
“The ‘Emerald City Curtain’ — Washington’s new dividing line,” a GOP memo heralded.
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“The dividing line we see today in this state seems more to follow the Seattle city limits,” the memo says. “The Emerald City Curtain is more about attitude than geography, fueled by affluence and an overweening sense of enlightenment.”
The memo calls the city itself a “Land of Oz” that “threatens Washington’s economy and way of life,” and blames it for all manner of ills from threatening to “drive the tech industry out of state” to hostility against manufacturers to fomenting ideological extremism.
“More than ever, our colleagues are dominated by an elite Seattle ‘we-know-better’ outlook,” state Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, says in a statement, which he headlined “The challenge for 2018 — pulling back the Emerald City Curtain.”
Metaphor check: If Republicans are the ones pulling back the curtain, that makes them … Toto the dog. Do I have that right?
Anyway, I’ll take this opportunity to channel the Munchkins and say: Ding dong, this whole Seattle-is-a-witch thing is dead. Or it ought to be.
Seriously, GOP: I’m sure Seattle-mocking gets a few laughs over at party headquarters in the distant land of … Bellevue. I see you have an entire section of your party website devoted to chronicling “Distinctly Embarrassing Moments for Seattle” (get it, that spells out DEMS).
But news flash: It doesn’t work.
I can’t recall anyone running against Seattle and winning statewide since former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton in the early 1990s. I guess Tim Eyman does it still, with his initiatives. But he’s hardly on a winning jag, having failed to even qualify any of his last four initiatives for the ballot.
There was that memorable time in 2006 when a GOP Senate candidate, Mike McGavick, kicked off his campaign in Spokane with this joke: “I…