Rob McKenna’s persecution complex

Today at Slog Goldy published this stunning audio exchange between gubernatorial candidate and state AG Rob Mckenna (R) and a youth worker:

Woman: “Mr. Mckenna.”

McKenna: “Yes.”

Woman: “What’s your stance on the Reproductive Parity Act?”

McKenna: “My stance is I’m a lawyer for the State. You can turn that recorder off if you’d like, instead of trying to bushwhack me. It’s not really very polite is it? Do you think you’re honest?”

Woman: “I’m just wondering…”

McKenna: “Do you think you’re being honest?”

Woman: “Huh?”

McKenna: “Are you being honest? Or are you just not going to answer my question?”

Woman: “I’m a youth worker who’s wondering…”

McKenna: “You’re not being honest. Forget it.”

Woman: “Okay…”

McKenna: “You’re just trying to gain a political advantage, sorry. Why don’t you go get a job?”

What. The. Fuck.

As it happens, the youth worker is gainfully employed but what, on earth, would cause such a vile response from someone who want’s to be our next Governor?

Somebody feeling a little persecuted?

This isn’t the first time McKenna has decloaked and revealed this bizarre psychological mindset. Remember The Great Cupcake Escape? Think about the petty black-listing of The Stranger.

How can we understand McKenna propensity to feel persecuted? I think it’s best explained this way.

McKenna may well hold some truly moderate convictions–it’s hard to tell, because he has gotten quite good at weaseling his “answer” into something that is universally non-offensive. Whether moderate or not, what Rob Mckenna most certainly isn’t is non-partisan.

The worst kept secret among Olympia Republicans is that McKenna is a deeply partisan Republican. And, thanks to the weaselly answers, this fact is one of the best kept secrets from most Washingtonians.

For this reason, McKenna perpetually feel like the victim, always in danger of being trapped by the evil majority. And he isn’t going to go down easily.

What we are left with is a skeleton of a man who is caught in a perpetual cycle of self-spin. That Governor’s mansion is within his grasp, but he feels danger, and has a sense that his enemies are plotting against him….

Even when it is just a young woman, concerned about losing her reproductive rights, asking a simple question.


  1. 1

    Pete spews:

    Even when it is just a young woman, concerned about losing her reproductive rights, asking a simple question.

    McKenna wouldn’t see it that way, because it wouldn’t occur to him that women have any rights.

  2. 2

    SeattleMike spews:

    I have a hard time looking at him and not calling him ‘Scooter’. He’ll always be ‘Scooter’ McKenna to me.

  3. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    ‘You’re Fired!’

    Publicly bashing your boss on Facebook usually isn’t a good idea — if you want to keep your job. And if you want to fast-track your termination, just post that you’re not going to follow your boss’s orders.

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: He couldn’t get away with this working for a private company, and he can’t get away with it in the military service, either. For a military man to go around bleating like a carnival barker that he’s not going to follow his commander’s orders … well, that’s asking for it.

  4. 6

    dorky dorkman spews:

    McKenna looks like the sort of skinny, pinched Irishman who became a priest in the old country. I certainly don’t see him downing several pints of Guinness and brawling with the likes of Bono and the Edge.

  5. 7

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 4: I’m a bit of mixed opinions on the issue, depending upon the specific facts. I don’t think a serviceman/woman surrenders their civil liberties, including their first amendment right to free speech, by virtue of being in the service. But there are limitations which apply beyond that of the general public.

    They can question public policy, certainly. But they can’t broadcast a refusal to follow orders, which is at best insubordination, and in some expreme cases might be outright mutiny.

    Where I have difficulty is in the middle, where a politician is in the chain of command and the member of the military wishes to express their views on their competence. A high-ranking military officer can be discharged for insubordination for such conduct. But a low-ranking enlisted man should have a bit more leeway in that department, as his comments are unlikely to affect the performance of others.

    I say this in part because of the experiences in Vietnam, where in the initial years draftees too young to vote were assigned combat roles and threatened with imprisonment for anything less than complete and enthusiastic support for the war effort – especially when Congressmen, Senators, or TV cameras were nearby. In that situation, the country would have been better off if these young men had been allowed to freely express their opinions. By 1968, however, it was pretty clear to all that the draftees were going to say whatever they wanted to say (“What are they going to do – send me to Vietnam?”).

    The accepted and traditional route for an officer to take is to simply resign and THEN voice their opinions. But an enlisted man has to serve out his tour of duty, which unfortunately under Bush II sometimes went on for years beyond his initial voluntary committment.

  6. 8

    rhp6033 spews:

    But note a susbstantial difference here.

    The case of the serviceman being discharged for expressing his intention to disobey orders is being trumpeted by the right wing as one of their own being persecuted by the Obama situation.

    But when experienced generals kept asking the Secretary of Defense on what his plans were for Iraq AFTER the Iraqi army was defeated, his curt response was to shut up and threaten to dismiss the next person who came through that door wich such an inconvenient question.

  7. 9

    rhp6033 spews:

    Getting back to McKenna;

    He knows he can’t keep the right wing in line behind him and campaign as a centrist. So his plan is to keep quiet. He’s got the Seattle Times and some other media people in line with that strategy, they presume he’s a centrist and place the burden on others to prove otherwise.

    So when anyone else asks an inconvenient question (not the link with #8 above, heh?), McKenna becomes agressive. He tries to intimidate young people. He insists that they turn off any recorders because he doesn’t want his answers recorded at all, unless and untill he gets to that point in the campaign where he’s in a carefully scripted environment.

    But calling young people names and implying that they are unemployed if they question him, etc., is just being a jerk.

    Which brings up the question – is he a moderate who occassionally acts like a jerk, or a jerk who manages to conceal himself as a moderate most of the time? I had a colleague at work like that once, and I wasted far too much time trying to answer that question. The short answer is that it doesn’t matter – he acted like a jerk often enough, and unpredictably enough, you had to assume he is a jerk all the time.

  8. 12

    shark tales spews:

    Or perhaps mckenna sniffed out a progressive ambush and shut it down.

    It was a total set-up, by the usual suspects.

  9. 13

    Michael spews:

    Asking a public official about public policy in policy isn’t an ambush or a set up. He could have given a simple, friendly, answer that said nothing much and directed her to his website. Public officials do that sort of thing all the time. But he didn’t. He attacked the woman.

  10. 14

    doggril spews:

    So now the Right Wing defines “ambush” as “asking a question”? Not that we didn’t know that was the case in practice; they just seem to be increasingly comfortable with being all upfront about it.

  11. 15

    shark tales spews:

    One look a the gal and you know she had an agenda.

    And the article in the Stranger confirms it, in more ways than one.

  12. 16


    The wingnuts are circling the wagons..

    When Faux News or tools like Dori Monson ask the “tough questions” – that’s ok..

  13. 17

    Deathfrogg spews:

    So, it’s now been confirmed that McKenna is just another paranoid fascist lunatic?

    Color me surprised.

  14. 18

    biggerbox spews:

    People who don’t like having other people ask them questions on public policy while recorders are running should probably NOT run for governor. It’s kind of included in the basic job description.

  15. 19

    Breadbaker spews:

    So here’s what an “ambush” is: it’s when a politician is asked a legitimate question that doesn’t allow said politician to try to waffle and be all things to all people. The idea that asking someone running for governor about a piece of legislation that would be likely to cross his desk as governor is a setup of anything other than finding out what his intentions would be is bullshit. People might actually want to base their votes on his answer. His refusal to answer means his answer would have been “no” under sodium pentathol and his refusal to answer says that he knows this will lose him votes. So he should lose the exact same votes for not answering, only the Seattle Times will spin this like a gyroscope because, after all, he NEVER SAID HE WOULD VETO IT.

    Which tells you both McKenna and the Times have nothing but contempt for voters.

  16. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 In addition to posting his stated intention to disobey orders, this guy also failed to comply with a directive from his superiors to include a disclaimer in his public rantings that his views were personal and not those of the Marine Corps. It was pretty egregious.

    This guy stonewalled his commanders until they made good on their threat to discharge him. Apparently he didn’t believe they would do it. It appears they did it because nothing else got through to him. He was a loose cannon and the officers who made this decision certainly must have worried about his trustiworthiness in combat.

    Stubborn lack of cooperation will get you in trouble in virtually any organization. This guy is no martyr, nor is he a poster boy for civil liberties. He’s simply an obstinate, immature, headstrong kid who decided to show the world nobody could tell him what to do.

  17. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @15 I don’t see any agenda other than trying to get a straight answer to a simple question. Of course, that’s expecting too much when the person you’re asking is McKenna.

  18. 24

    shark tales spews:

    Shit, if you want a straight answer from someone, try asking Inslee about raising taxes.

    Oh, wait, he can’t answer that one with a consistent answer – and sometimes not at all.

    Guess he is using the current gov’s playbook when talking about taxes at election time.

    Abortion? not much of an issue.
    Taxes? Huge fucking issue.

    Try not to stare at the pretty lights too much fools.

  19. 26

    Mrs. Rabbit Stew spews:

    Since when does a politican, in particular, a right wing politician answer any question in a straight forward honest manner?

    Did McKenna answer honestly? Can he answer any political question honestly in an interview?

    When was the last time you can remember any politician answer any question with honesty??

  20. 27

    shark tales spews:

    When was the last time you can remember any politician answer any question with honesty??

    04/26/2012 AT 9:53 AM

    Pretty much never.

  21. 28

    Chris M spews:

    He doesn’t want to be recorded for fear of being bushwacked? It would be funny if it wasn’t so hypocritical. How many cases has he presided over as AG that has involved secret audio and video recordings?