One hundred years ago, a man from Spokane had a plan to break up our state. Senator R.A. Hutchinson and some fellow rebs in the Legislature proposed splitting Washington in half, joining the east side with the Idaho Panhandle and forming a new state.
They wanted to call it Lincoln — ironically, the name of the American president who fought at all costs to hold states together.
Gosh, politicians had some zany ideas back in 1915, huh?
Or perhaps they planted a seed that took a full century to bear fruit. As the great philosopher Neil Sedaka once said, breaking up is hard to do.
Introducing House Joint Memorial 4006, filed this week in Olympia by a pair of Eastern Washington pols. It asks President Obama and Congress to allow the creation of a 51st state on the other side of the Cascades because “since statehood, the lifestyles, culture, and economies of eastern and western Washington have been very distinct and dramatically different …”
Can’t say we blame ‘em. They’re not the only ones tired of being bigfooted by King County. Meanwhile, they thanklessly fill the west side’s insatiable need for wine, wheat, weed and Cougar jokes.
All they want is a utopia where public smoking is welcome, same-sex marriage is not, and Dino Rossi can finally be governor.
Let’s stay civil about this: The bloody days of the Louisiana Tigers, the Orphan Brigade and 26th N.C. Regiment have long passed. We Washingtonians prefer to pursue secession using a more civilized force.
The task force.
Introducing House Bill 1818, filed last week by the same band of separatists. It would establish a task force to study how to draw boundary lines, divvy up the state’s assets and liabilities, and answer other thorny questions that are bound to arise.
Like, who gets to keep the marmot as the official state mammal? Would east siders still qualify for resident cruise ship discounts? And would they retain full 12th Man privileges?
The task force would have to report its findings to the Legislature by Sept. 30.
After that, we hope any remaining differences can be resolved peaceably.
A hundred years from now, our great-grandschnozzes shouldn’t have to read in social studies class about The Battle for Snoqualmie Pass.
And their new state name shall be …: Cascadia might be a popular choice.
Northwest Carolina, possibly.
The Other Other Washington, maybe.
Or how about the Welfare State? Because east siders don’t collect enough taxes to pay for all the government services they receive.
Separation anxiety: But seriously, we will miss them if they succeed at seceding.
We’d have to nowhere to store our toxic waste and death row inmates. And without the Zags, Washingtonians wouldn’t have a legitimate NCAA Division 1 basketball team to root for.
There’s no point counting on former drysider Gov. Jay Inslee to patch things up. Folks over there remember that he fled the Yakima Valley in favor of Bainbridge Island years ago.
So each of us wetsiders must do our part by making concessions, starting with Snores Truly.
We hereby pledge to:
• Throw our considerable influence behind WSU’s plans to build a medical school.
• Never tell jokes about WSU’s medical school — such as, that it will specialize in treating prairie dog bites and drunk students who fall off balconies.
• Always refer to Tacoma as a “Washington city about 275 miles west of Spokane.”
• Try to keep a straight face every time Yakima calls itself “the Palm Springs of Washington.”
• Lobby to have sagebrush declared the state flower six months each year.
• Quit calling Yakima “the Federal Way of Central Washington.”
• Change our use of the expression “Coug It.” From now on, it will mean to perform exceptionally well in any field of endeavor.
• Let Spokane claim Bing Crosby once and for all.
It’s gotta be the beard: The sponsors of the independence movement are Reps. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, and David Taylor, R-Moxee.
Taylor certainly looks the part. He rocks the Stonewall Jackson facial hair like someone straight out of central casting.
Peace offerings, part II:
• No more giggling every time we hear Washtucna.
• No more telling children that Soap Lake is actually filled with soap.
• No more referring to your proposed capital city as Spoklahoma, Spokansas, Spocompton or Spokanistan.
• We’ll tell everyone Applets and Cotlets are better than Roca (with fingers crossed behind our back).
• We’ll trade you Roy for Ritzville.