Tuesday’s election was a big one for Washington state. Voters extended its 32-year streak of not electing a Republican governor, but whatever: The real action came from citizens’ initiatives, as we became the first and only state to simultaneously legalize same-sex marriage and recreational marijuana. Which led led The Stranger‘s Eli Sanders to tell anyone who’d listen that Washington is “not only the most progressive in the nation, but even more so than Canada and Amsterdam.” (The Stranger itself deployed its usual sense of nuance in its analysis of the result, as shown above.)
This is the sort of logic that only works if you only care about social issues. And it papers over the fundamental problems the state is still having thanks to the initiative process, which remains one of the worst ideas the progressive movement ever had.