After Shannon Hader criticized Kim Schrier for being wishy-washy on vaccine policy, Schrier is now criticizing Hader for criticizing her for being wishy-washy on vaccine policy. In a new mailer, Schrier accuses Hader of lying "about Dr. Schrier's work as a local pediatrician" and divisively slams Hader for being divisive.
As anyone can see, this mailer drama is the sort of stuff that will tear the Democratic party apart. It's what's going to keep the party from ever winning again. In fact, these mailers will provide the very tinder Dino Rossi and the Republicans use to burn the entire party to the ground, taking every last thinking person with it.
JK! Dino and an army of Independent Expenditures will accuse whichever Democrat emerges from the primaries this Tuesday (!!!) of inviting MS-13 gang members to kidnap every blonde daughter in Pierce County. This little vaccine kerfuffle is barely going to register on their radar. I mean—have you seen the shit Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers is putting out in the 5th Congressional District? In her current mailer, she's accusing her Democratic challenger, Lisa Brown, of literally releasing sex criminals into the community (which is so far from true it should be illegal to print). Look:
ANYWAY: The Hader/Schrier mailers actually bring up a semi-interesting argument that deserves some clearing up here on the Slog. Let's start from the beginning.
In Hader's first mailer, she claimed that "Kim Schrier Publicly Came Out Against Requiring Vaccinations For Children" at a candidate forum in Sammamish. She doubled, tripled, and quadrupled down on the same claim in different mailers.
While it's true that Schrier publicly came out against the government mandating vaccinations for children, she's since walked back her answer, saying she answered the way she did because she thought the wording of the question at the forum was punitive. She said she regrets not clarifying her statement at the time, and then the next day she posted to her website a full statement of her position on vaccines.
Within that statement, however, Schrier says "vaccinations should be required to attend preschool and elementary school, in line with our policy here in Washington State."
But as I—and now Hader—have pointed out, the policy in Washington state is bad. Washington is one of 18 states that allow non-medical exemptions for vaccines, which means parents don't have to vaccinate their children if it goes against some personal belief. Hader argues that Schrier's wording here allows her to maintain a soft position on vaccine policy. If Schrier really were against non-medical exemptions, she would say as much, and not print this vague bullshit on her new "clarifying" mailer about "supporting vaccination requirements."
Sometime after Hader published an op-ed in the Stranger outlining Washington's policy, Schrier changed the wording on her website, removing the line "in line with Washington state."
To clear everything up, today I asked Schrier if she'd advocate for barring non-medical exemptions for vaccines, which would NOT be in line with Washington state policy.
"She would absolutely advocate for that," Schrier's spokesperson said, adding, "Kim's statement has always said 'every child should be vaccinated.' To us, that includes mandatory vaccinations with only medical exemptions."
In the mailer, Schrier also attacks Hader for telling a lie "about Dr. Schrier's work as a local pediatrician." But Hader's spokesperson maintains the campaign hasn't ever once mentioned Schrier's actual practice as a pediatrician and would never.
When asked what Hader was lying about, Schrier's spokesperson said, "The lie is implying that Schrier is against vaccinations." But Hader never said Schrier doesn't support vaccinations, only that she "publicly came out against requiring vaccinations for children," which she did. So that part of Schrier's mailer participates in the divisive Dem-on-Dem fighting that Schrier is decrying in the mailer itself.
But as far as vaccination policy is concerned, Schrier has finally articulated a position she says she's been articulating all along but without explicitly articulating it. She would, in fact, advocate for barring non-medical exemptions for vaccines. Hader would, too. Everyone agrees. Happy Friday, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers is bad.