Midday Scan: Attack on marriage equality runs against state history; Santorum rallies troops; Obama to Everett

Joel Connelly cites state's history of preserving rights. Santorum cozies up to Occupy Tacoma's site (but not the movement). The president will visit the Boeing Everett plant.   

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Rick Santorum speaking in Florida (2011).

Joel Connelly cites state's history of preserving rights. Santorum cozies up to Occupy Tacoma's site (but not the movement). The president will visit the Boeing Everett plant.   

Liberty reversals have an uninspired track record. Prohibition flowed from an alliance of progressive suffragists and anti-booze Protestants, but the experiment was a debacle. In Washington over the last several decades, voters have nixed efforts to backpedal social and political rights (consider voter opposition to sandbag the state's domestic-partnership law in 2009.) As the Seattlepi.com's Joel Connelly observes, this history has not discouraged conservative activists from advancing a referendum to reverse marriage equality. "They have until June 6, a political D-Day for collecting and submitting 120,577 valid voter signatures to put marriage equality on the November ballot. The right of same-sex couples to wed would be blocked until voters decide the issue," Connelly writes.

The central question is whether the anti-marriage-equality camp can muster a winning coalition akin to Prohibition. Right now they look to be a confederacy of political outliers. "Sponsors of Referendum 73 include groups at the right end of the political spectrum such as Concerned Women for America and the National Organization for Marriage.  The campaign is being mounted under the banner of a group called Preserve Marriage Washington," Connelly writes. 

Former Sen. Rick Santorum might consider sacking his advance team. His visit to Washington, coinciding with Gov. Chris Gregoire's signing of the marriage-equality bill, hit a bit of a headwind.

"Maybe it wasn’t the best site to host a rally for a Republican presidential candidate, right next to the Occupy Tacoma encampment," the News Tribune's Jordan Schrader writes. "Then again, there may have been no better way to motivate a crowd of hundreds of conservatives whose support in Washington’s March 3 precinct caucuses might help pick the GOP standard bearer against President Barack Obama." In fact, Santorum's capacity to mobilize his core supporters is the key takeaway. Santorum could never win Washington in a general election, but he appears well positioned to triumph in the state's precinct caucuses next month.     

President Obama is coming to God's country (or, more specifically, to God's city.) On Friday, as the Herald's Michele Dunlop reports, "Obama will fly into Paine Field and tour Boeing's widebody jet factory. The White House said Obama will discuss the importance of American manufacturing and exports to the country's economy."

No worries if you are unable to attend the president's Everett address. You can always opt for brunch with Obama at Costco co-founder Jeff Brotmon's home for just $17,900. Lunch in Belleveue is a paltry $1,000 (you may need to pony up for drinks, however.)

Speaking in Everett, the president is likely to highlight the just-announced record order of Boeing planes. Chances are, unless you've traveled to Indonesia recently, you've never heard of the carrier, Lion Air. As the Seattle Times reports, "The Chicago airplane manufacturer said Tuesday that it has finalized an order from Indonesian carrier Lion Air for 230 planes — worth a combined $22.4 billion. The deal is the largest commercial airplane order ever for Boeing Co. by both dollar value and number of airplanes. Lion Air also has the rights to buy 150 more."

The Lion Air order will bolster the president's manufacturing-and-export theme. If only Boeing weren't referred to as "the Chicago airplane manufacturer." There's an indignity to that reminder, like a sweetheart leaving you for the cosmopolitan Midwest. Really? The Midwest?  

Lastly, should school reform really be this cumbersome? The legislature ekes along, with a handful of brave (or foolhardy) lawmakers pushing for teacher evaluations and charter schools. Negotiations continue today, the push-pull of a contemporary Cold War. One (non-promising) sign, as reported by the News Tribune, "Tenure would not be revoked for poor performance, as some of the proposals had called for." Some lawmakers, it seems, are partial to poor performance.

Link Summary

Seattlepi.com, "Foes of same-sex marriage file referendum"

The News Tribune, "Santorum makes the best of protests at Tacoma rally"

The Herald"President Obama to visit Everett Boeing plant Friday"

The Seattle Times, "Boeing locks in biggest plane order with Lion Air"

The News Tribune, "Negotiator: Deal reached on teacher evaluations"


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About the Authors & Contributors

Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson is the former editorial-page editor of the Everett Herald. Follow him on Twitter @phardinjackson