I wasn't going to say anything about the misleading and frankly desperate claim that Kim Schrier equated fighting in World War II to running for Congress. The argument seemed disingenuous enough on its face. But now Dino Rossi is trying to raise money on this line without even doing the work of wheeling out a veteran to say he or she was offended by Schrier's comments in the first place. I cannot abide this kind of gutless gasbaggery.
In an e-mail blast with the subject header "Kim Schrier Just Disrespected Veterans," Rossi's communications flack, Andrew Bell, wrote:
What do running for Congress and fighting in WWII have in common? Absolutely nothing.
This question sounds like the beginning of a tasteless joke, but our opponent isn't kidding—Kim Schrier actually compared her running for Congress to fighting Nazis in World War II this week.
"Actually," she didn't. Here's what Schrier said on the Washington State Indivisible Podcast while talking about her response to the rise of Trump and Trumpism:
I think back to the questions we ask our own parents. I asked my own parents: What were you doing during the civil rights movement? I imagine things like what would I have done in World War II? And I would always like to think that I would be on the right side of history, and that I would be bold enough to stand up and do the right thing, and be brave enough. And so, I know my son, Sam, will ask me some day, 'Hey mom, what did you do after Trump got elected?' And this is my answer to him.
A helpful bit of context Dino Rossi is leaving out: Schrier is Jewish. When she's thinking about what she would have done during WWII, she's not necessarily thinking about "fighting Nazis in World War II" as an American soldier. Schrier's spokesperson, Katie Rodihan, says as much.
“As a Jewish American whose grandparents fled an increasingly hostile Europe, Kim is deeply concerned by the rise of white nationalism and hate groups similar to what was seen in Europe in the lead up to World War II," Rodihan said. "Kim made this comment after watching neo-Nazis march through the streets of Charlottesville, VA. When you see injustice and hate in the world, the right thing to do is to stand up against it.”
But it's not enough for Rossi's flack to insult the intelligence of veterans by mischaracterizing Schrier's comments on a podcast. He's gotta get all fake-offended on their behalf. Here's what he writes later on in the e-mail:
Kim Schrier's words show a complete lack of respect for the dedication, risks, courage, and sacrifice that it takes to serve in the armed forces. Veterans in our state want an apology from Kim Schrier, but they deserve more than an apology.
And what does Mr. Bell think those veterans deserve? You guessed it. They deserve to be represented by Trump delegate Dino Rossi.
Rossi respects the troops so much he voted for a draft-dodging coward who insulted a gold star family during his campaign, in part by comparing his "sacrifices" in business to Khizr Khan losing his son in an IED attack. Rossi's so pro-veteran he voted for a man who mocked John McCain for being a prisoner of war. Rossi loves our military so much he supports a guy who signed bills designed to privatize and shutter VAs, a guy who's threatening to remove financial protections for active-duty members of the military, and a guy who—like a god damned child—wants to start a space force despite his own defense secretary's protestations. Veterans are waiting for years to get the health care that they need and deserve. Meanwhile, Rossi's preferred President is more concerned about the top brass at Lockheed Martin scoring a couple more contracts this year. Cool.
Rossi's so fired up about veterans issues he won't even respond to my questions asking if he supports the President on the points I mention above. I'll update this post if I hear back.
Rossi's e-mail comes a two days after the National Republican Congressional Committee sent out an e-mail blast with the same talking point and an even worse joke:
In a recent Washington State Indivisible podcast, Schrier compared her decision to run for office to storming the beaches of Normandy in World War II or participating in a sit-in during the civil rights movement. Delusions of grandeur much?
"Delusions of grandeur much?" Oof. I don't think that phrase works the way you think it works, my dude. No wonder these assholes have to resort to quoting a liberal lowlife like me in their speeches.
In any event, this pathetic grandstanding from Rossi, the NRCC, and Dori Monson probably won't fool any veterans. But just in case pathetic grandstanding works, as the great grandson of a WWII veteran, as the great grandnephew of a Holocaust victim, as the son of a decorated Vietnam War veteran, and as the cousin of an Iraq war veteran who did three tours overseas, I must say I'm deeply offended by these attacks from Republicans. Deliberately trying to deceive veterans for donor dollars dishonors their service. For shame. How dare you. My cup overfloweth with rage. (But seriously, Rossi, it's a pretty shitty thing to do.)
And another thing. You want to talk about service? Kim Schrier has spent her professional life trying to cure sick children. Meanwhile, Rossi has spent his professional life buying and selling commercial real estate.
How is this critique coming from the communications staff of a man who made money off foreclosures in the wake of the housing crisis? How is this a serious line of attack from a candidate who is so rich he won't even release his tax returns for fear of political blowback? Does a commercial realtor with a history of working for fraudsters really think this message is going to resonate coming from him?
Seems like Rossi would rather make a buck trying to confuse veterans rather than earn a vote by running on his record. Great job, Rossi! Keep up the good work.