Dino Rossi is having problems confronting the facts, again.
Last week Rossi's campaign posted a "fact check" on Facebook regarding his work on the state budget in 2003. As everyone has known for well over a decade now, Rossi's initial budget proposed cutting 46,000 kids off Medicaid. But now he's out with a misleading video and a misleading webpage saying he wrote a budget that "increased the projected number of children covered by state health insurance by 25,000." Gloria Hatcher-Mays, the fire commissioner for Maple Hills, rightly took issue with Rossi's claim and posted a link to a Politifact that fact checked his "fact check." Rather than engage in an earnest conversation with someone posing a legitimate, factually accurate rebuttal, Rossi (or someone who runs his page) hid the post.
If you're a Facebook friend of Hatcher-Mays, this is what you see when you look at Rossi's post:
But if you're anyone else on Facebook, this is what you see:
In an e-mail, Hatcher-Mays says she believes "at least two" of her other posts on Rossi's wall have been blocked, but its hard to tell. Facebook friends can see "hidden" comments posted by their friends, but others cannot. So someone from outside her Facebook friend group has to tell her when Rossi shuts down her speech on his platform.
"This is an issue we thought we had dealt with during the primary," Hatcher-Mays wrote. "I feel as a candidate to represent me in Congress, that Dino Rossi needs to be open to feedback, and responsive to it. We have put up with Dave Reichert ignoring us for years, and this year we hope to hire someone who will treat us differently. He hasn't been an honest broker, and that really concerns me."
Rossi's campaign didn't respond to request for comment by deadline.
Rossi demonstrated a pattern of hiding Facebook likes from potential constituents earlier this year. Back in March, he defended the practice in the Issaquah Reporter, saying he only hides comments when "comment threads degenerate into pure abuse and name-calling." But that's clearly not true in Hatcher-Mays's case.
Like any good Trumpian worth his Koch money, Rossi is wearing himself out trying to create an alternative reality. Though he says he's willing to "reach across the aisle" and work with people who disagree with him, he doesn't even respond to legitimate challenges on his Facebook page in that way. Though he says he didn't propose a budget that would have kicked 46,000 kids off Medicaid, Politifact and contemporary reporting in The Seattle Times show otherwise.
Though this routine is getting boring, Rossi's going to continue to avoid confronting the facts on this issue. Why? Because he's a robot. He repeats the same thing over and over and over again until your eyes glaze over and your mind goes cloudy and you start looking into his eyes for evidence of little gears and other machinery. This political strategy—obsessively restating a misleading claim—may have been cute when he ran and lost his three statewide races, but it's deeply troubling in a world with two increasingly distinct realities—the one Trump and the Republicans need to create in order for people to vote for them, and the one based on facts and reason.