...like the governor of Minnesota, who refuses to sell out health care and the social safety net to appease fundamentalist conservatives?

Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, campaigned for office last year promising to raise taxes on high earners, so it was no surprise when he proposed a tax increase on families making more than $150,000 a year to help close a $5 billion budget gap. In negotiations with the Republican majority in the Legislature, he compromised and reduced the increase to those making $1 million or more, but Republicans are refusing to consider any income tax increase. ...

The Legislature also wanted new abortion restrictions and a voter ID law that Mr. Dayton had already vetoed. When he said no, lawmakers allowed the fiscal year to end without a budget, and state government officially shut on July 1. ... As painful as the closure may become, the governor is right not to yield to the extremist ideology the Republicans are pursuing in St. Paul, Washington and across the country.

What's it like to have a Democratic governor like the one in New Mexico, who was willing to challenge anachronistic federal law on medical marijuana? Or in New York, where the Democratic governor went to the mat for marriage equality?

Must be nice to have a Democratic governor like that—one who gets called out as a hero in the New York Times. One who doesn't kowtow to the right, mince their words, or throw their base under the bus. To have a governor who's willing to lose seats in the legislature to secure a long-term victory. But not here. In Washington, Governor Chris Gregoire (and House Speaker Frank Chopp) want to listen to the middle and enable their enemies, for what again? To save the Disability Lifeline that's whittled down to almost nothing anyway? To prevent federal pot busts that will happen anyway? To find hope for the state budget that's in terminal decline anyway? To keep the governor's seat we may lose anyway?