Mercer Island state representative Fred Jarrett's decision to defect to the Democrats as he attempts to move up to the state Senate, is well recounted in Postman on Politics. The story is important as another indication of the abandon-ship signals coming from the state Republican Party, as well as the dramatic shift of Seattle's suburban Eastside from moderate Republican to moderate Democratic. One point not being made is that each loss of a moderate Republican hurts progressive causes, by subtracting those voices from the Republican caucus. Jarrett, for instance, was one of the few staunch Republican friends of the University of Washington's bid to revive generous state funding. Once the caucus loses all of its urban voices, it will find no reason to worry about such issues and the need to protect some of its more progressive members. Then there's the fact of Jarrett's wanting to move from the House to the Senate. This might seem a natural move, but it's intensified by the way Speaker Frank Chopp runs the House with an iron hand. Members of both parties are increasingly chafing under the Speaker's secretive and all-powerful style of controling legislation. Sen. Brian Weinstein, who is vacating the seat Jarrett wants to win, basically quit in frustration over a Homebuyers' Bill of Rights measure he passed through the Senate but couldn't get Chopp to even introduce in the House. The Senate, led by Lisa Brown of Spokane, is far more respectful of process, cutting its members more slack.