Postman follows up on a PolitickerWA report from the Republican convention, noting Attorney General Rob McKenna’s bold prediction that Dino Rossi is dead in the water if John McCain loses Washinton state by double digits. But I think the more interesting McKenna comments came earlier in the piece.
Speaking at a WA delegation breakfast, McKenna noted the many buttons he’d seen cheering the selection of Justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts to the Supreme Court, calling the buttons “absolutely right”.
“He made two outstanding picks,” McKenna said of the president, “and it makes an enormous difference.”
The difference he referred to was the court’s typical 5-4 split with the alternating ideology of Justice Anthony Kennedy. The attorney general predicted that Justice John Paul Stevens, at age 87, was very likely to leave the court during the next president’s tenure
“You get another Alito-Roberts type in there, that ain’t gonna happen anymore”, he said of Justice Stevens’ typically liberal vote and Justice Kennedy’s swing vote altering the Court’s opinion between liberal and conservative decisions.
“In contrast, think of who Barack Obama is likely to appoint of the Supreme Court,” McKenna proposed, and when the crowd scoffed he answered, “Enough said.”
“Enough said,” indeed.
McKenna is often depicted by our local press as a moderate, even pro-choice Republican, but his comments before friendly crowds indicate that he is anything but. A McCain/Palin victory would install in the White House the most anti-choice administration in the post-Roe era… an administration intent on making abortion illegal, even in the event of rape or incest, and regardless of the health of the mother. And this is exactly what McKenna is promoting when he celebrates the appointments of Roberts and Alito.
This is in fact the platform of the Washington State Republican Party, and it is the position supported by Dino Rossi, Dave Reichert, Cathy-McMorris Rodgers and Doc Hastings. Our state Republican Party and their leaders want to outlaw abortion, under nearly any circumstance, restrict access to birth control, and teach abstinence-only sex education in our schools (which has worked out so well for Bristol Palin). They want to return us to the era of coathangers, knitting needles and back-alley abortions… yet our local press continues to let them slide away by saying “I’m not running on that issue.”
Of course they’re not running on that issue. They’re position is both immoral, and counter to the opinion of the majority of voters in Washington state.
The elevation of of Sarah Palin to the national ticket was a blatant and cynical appeal to the GOP’s right-wing fundamentalist base, and as such it is incumbent on the press to start asking the tough questions of all Republican candidates, up and down the ticket.
McKenna, to has credit, was absolutely honest with the WA delegation in St. Paul: what is at stake here is the composition of the US Supreme Court for decades to come, and whether it will allow our nation’s Christianist minority to interfere with the most personal decisions a family has to make.
Now it is time for McKenna and his fellow Republicans to be just as honest with voters back at home.