Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Triangulating Dino Rossi

Publicola editor Josh Feit has predicted:
Didier is going to make Rossi look good (moderate) to the mainstream public. Instead of alienating the GOP base, Rossi’s scrap with Didier is going to attract moderate Democrats and Independents who want change, but not Krazy change.

Didier will make those important moderate voters feel comfortable with Rossi in time for the general.

The latest attack on Rossi by the Washington Life Coalition would seem to prove the theory out.  For years, Rossi has been attacked from the left by NARAL, NOW and Planned Parenthood as a caveman who wants to keep women barefoot and pregnant.  Now a far right organization joins in, slamming Rossi in a new video for not unconditionally opposing abortion, even in the case of rape or incest.

It's curious that Washington Life Coalition would go after Rossi on this issue.  In 2000, only 1% of induced abortions in the U.S. were due to rape or incest.  The pro-life movement in fact frequently downplays the number of rape and incest related abortions to argue that abortion is used more as a form of birth control. Would pro-lifers prefer a candidate who is 99% anti-abortion to Patty Murray who is 100% pro-abortion on the taxpayer's dime?   But maybe not so curious after all, as some members of the Washington Life Coalition are supporters of Rossi's Republican opponent Clint Didier.  So we're back to Feit's prediction.

There's no question that Dino Rosi is pro-life.  In fact, when asked by RealClearPolitics, "You are pro-life. When was the last time Washington voters elected a pro-life senator?," Dino didn't deny the label, he simply responded, "I'm not really sure about that. You'd have to go research that yourself."  But he's not running a campaign based on abortion.  He's running a campaign based on shrinking government and restoring fiscal sanity.

Abortion in the case of rape or incest is hardly a burning issue for most voters, particularly with the current dismal economic and jobs prospects.  Washington voters want real, sensible solutions, not ideological quibbling.   So these zealots on the left and the right are doing Rossi an inestimable favor by triangulating him in the eyes of voters.  Rossi will finally be free to run as himself.  This could be his year.   As Rossi told the National Journal's Hotline OnCall, "This is the first time I've actually run in a non-presidential year.  I never have before. I've always had to wear everybody's else's baggage."


Anonymous said...

Rossi has got the politician side step dance down. Lead the people on, so he can go any way the wind blows. Might as well keep Murray, as we know that's how Murray got where she is today.

Pete said...

Murray does not go the way the wind blows,she does as the democrats tell her.She can not think for her self or the people of Washington.