Democracy in the House, east and west


January 12, 2023

This is a tale of two Houses: One in Washington, D.C., the other in Olympia.

Let’s start with the frat House. On the evening of Jan. 6, I sat with Mary Young, my 95-year-old mother-in-law, watching Republicans’ 14th effort to appoint a speaker of the U.S. House. Mary and I watched the spectacle on C-SPAN — the news channel for people with library cards — so our own opinions could fill in the silent stretches.

Mary and I have similar political opinions, though hers tend to be wiser and more charitable than mine.

“I’m only concerned about my country,” she said at one point whe...

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