There's been a lot of talk in recent weeks about some of Dino Rossi's more boneheaded flubs.
Like demonstrating to the Seattle Times editorial board his near total ignorance of "net neutrality," an issue they've editorialized in favor of on numerous occasions. Or maintaining his fierce opposition to Obama's stimulus package while touring a Whidbey Island shipyard that had added dozens of jobs thanks $840,000 in federal stimulus money. Or inexplicably insisting that WTO findings of illegal Airbus subsidies should not be taken into account in awarding a $40 billion Air Force refueling tanker contract that could bring thousands of jobs to the Puget Sound region.
Some have chalked off Rossi's curious statements to strategy, others to a doctrinaire conservative ideology. But I have an alternate theory that I find at least as plausible: perhaps Dino Rossi just doesn't care?
If Rossi has been consistent at anything during this afterthought of a U.S. Senate race, it's in coming off as indecisive, disinterested and uninformed. So perhaps Rossi couldn't explain what net neutrality is, because he never bothered to bone up on it or other issues of interest the the Times' editors? Perhaps Rossi didn't even know that that the Nichols Bros. Shipyard had benefited from stimulus money because it never occurred to him to even ask? And perhaps he still can't formulate a coherent answer to the Airbus subsidy question because... well... Rossi just doesn't really give a shit?
For those of us who remember Rossi spitting nails during his 2008 rematch with Gov. Chris Gregoire, there was no doubt that he really, really, really wanted to kick her ass. But Patty Murray's U.S. Senate seat? Rossi appears to be treating it like a consolation prize, and running accordingly.
Of course, it's just a theory, but I haven't seen such lackluster electioneering since George Nethercutt's bizarrely pointless kibitzing-with-his-wife ads during the dying days of his 2004 campaign against Murray. And as theories go, it sure does explain a lot.