I’ve warned Rep. Jay Inslee and his staffers. Our local news media and pundits don’t just love Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna… they’re in love with him. Or at least, in love with the notion of being in love, which in practice, is basically the same thing.
In fact, so enamored are they of the ideal of McKenna as a “different kind of Republican,” and so desperate are they to see a Republican in the governor’s mansion for the first time in 30 years, that I wouldn’t be surprised if Inslee doesn’t get a single daily newspaper endorsement in his 2012 gubernatorial bid against McKenna. Not one.
And as evidence of our media’s weak-kneed, pouty-lipped infatuation with McKenna, I present the headline on today’s Seattle Times editorial: “Seattle’s lawsuit over state attorney general’s authority to sue feds is political.”
Yeah, well, no shit Sherlock, but then, that’s pretty much inevitable considering that McKenna’s decision to sue the feds over health care reform was nakedly political in itself. But the Times doesn’t call out McKenna for his political lawsuit… you know, the one that started all this.
Why? Because they’re in love with him.
The Times editors also ignore the other lawsuit against McKenna that was argued before the State Supreme Court the very same day—the lawsuit that McKenna will surely lose—the one seeking to force him to live up to his statutory duty to provide adequate legal representation Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark.
McKenna’s refusal to represent Goldmark in an appeal of a Superior Court decision, well, that was political as well. Birdies tell me that McKenna nixed the appeal after being personally lobbied by a couple of legislators on behalf of the Okanogan PUD, though everybody was careful to be sure there was no written record available to disclose.
But regardless, it was a ridiculous legal stance that McKenna took—that he and he alone has the discretion to determine whether state officers and agencies get access to the courts—a stance that in itself questions his qualifications to be attorney general, let alone governor.
But the editors won’t write about this, because… well… they’re in love McKenna. And that makes this editorial even more political than any of the lawsuits discussed.