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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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November 16, 2005

Let Him Eat Cake

A reader responds to the entry on splitting up the state of Washington:

I think that the letter writer had a valid point. Many folks on the east side of the state surely must regard urban Puget Sound as a tyranny of the majority. After reading his letter, I was hoping for a reasoned reply. The most substance that you were able to offer was:

"I think you're out of luck. I don't know anyone in Olympia who would take your idea seriously, and if you found someone who did, no one else would take him seriously."

Don't you think the gentleman deserves a somewhat more thoughtful response explaining why not a single person in Olympia (apparently) would take his idea seriously?

My response:

I did give a thoughtful response. It was not a respectful response, because I wanted to communicate that I did not so much disagree with this man's proposal as rule it beyond the pale--not worth expending any effort on.

I'm sure folks on the east side of the state regard the rule of Puget Sound as tyranny of the majority. On many issues it is exactly that. But any proposal to shift political boundaries is a proposal for groups that have power to lose it, and for groups that don't have power to gain it. And the groups that have it won't agree to lose it. Further, the decision to split Washington would have to be accepted by Congress, and that would open the door to splitting Oregon, California, Illinois and (especially) New York, creating a gaggle of new senators and shifting the balance of power in the Senate away from all the states that didn't split up. Ain't going to happen. (For the same reason, abolishing the Electoral College isn't going to happen. The Delawares and Montanas would veto it.)

If the letter writer wants to live in a red state, let him move to Idaho. I know that is a dismissive statement, I know it sounds like "let him eat cake," but really it is the best possible answer. A few hundred miles from his house is the land of cake. Let him go there.

Respond to Bruce.

 
Posted by Bruce Ramsey at November 16, 2005 11:22 AM



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November 2005

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