If you think Washington could not become another Wisconsin, think again. Blue states turn purple. Then they turn red. Our Democrats should be worried about 2016. But first they need to get their heads out of the sand, and get serious about improving our public schools.
At the very time when the voting public in WA ranks education as the number one issue, some Washington Democrats are acting like idiots.
Exhibit A: This anti Common Core resolution passed overwhelmingly on Saturday by the Central Committee of the WA State Democratic Party.
Republican strategists have to be gloating right now. This resolution is an embarrassment, full of inaccuracies and innuendo. It also flies in the face of public opinion. 70 percent of Washingtonians support Common Core, our college and career ready learning standards that are currently being used in schools all across our state.
This is not the time to put people with a tenuous grasp on the facts and limited political acumen in charge of policy positions. The Democratic party looks completely out of touch and we turn off voters.
A November 2014 poll and report by Third Way, a centrist think tank, concludes:
“Democrats have gone from a 25-point lead to single-digit edge on education. They can no longer assume that voters will trust them on education by default. Changing the subject by blaming poverty or a lack of funding won’t cut it. To regain their historic edge on the issue of education, Democratic policymakers and candidates must show they are willing to shake up the status quo in real ways…”
Exhibit B: In last year’s elections, Washington Democrats failed to win any of the contested Senate races and lost four House seats, thereby eviscerating what used to be a sizeable House majority. Three of the four House losers had ties to the Education Committee, which seems to be out touch with what voters want on improving education.
Washington’s Democratic leaders quickly blamed others for the recent electoral losses – an unpopular president, low turnout, allies who did not work hard enough – but where is the self-reflection and for god’s sake where is the adult supervision?
When you stray from your ideals, when you blame others, when you don’t put forth a compelling vision and rally people around it, you turn off voters. And then you lose elections.
Democrats should be leading the education charge, always looking for ways to improve our public schools and help teachers across the state. We need to change methods that are not working and expand the ones that are working so each and every child has access to a great public education.
Staying silent about the things that matter in education is a recipe for more Democratic electoral losses. And that will hurt the other things we care about as Democrats: climate and clean energy, raising the minimum wage, gun safety, choice, marriage equality and more.