Let's start with this comment, posted on my story about Dino Rossi's recent refusal to support an extension of federal unemployment benefits unless it's paid for with cuts to other federal programs:
Ask Dino if he supports cutting the defense budget in Afghanistan and Iraq to help offset the extension of the unemployment benefits. Its time to take care of our U.S. citizens first!
The contradiction this commenter gets at—Republicans being fully supportive of funding two wars without offsets, while refusing to support a much less expensive program to help the unemployed unless it comes with offsets—is exactly why I've been trying to get Rossi to answer a simple question:
Would you have voted for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and would you have voted to support their continued funding since 2001?
He won't answer the question.
And here's my theory as to why: If Rossi says he would have voted for, and voted to fund, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, then he'd be saying he supports our country's more than $1 trillion in federal "emergency" spending on foreign wars over the last decade—spending that by definition comes without offsets to make that spending deficit neutral.
Put that hypothetical Rossi position up against the fact that Rossi has been arguing—very loudly—that the federal government can't afford a comparatively small $33 billion to help out unemployed Americans, and you see the glaring contradiction.
It's a trap Rossi has set for himself, and if he ever answers the question on funding for Iraq and Afghanistan, the trap will have been sprung. As the comment above suggests, he'll suddenly be in the awkward position of having to explain why he's not willing to put America first.
Team Rossi no doubt knows this, which is why we now—amazingly—have a Republican running for U.S. Senate in this state who won't (or, for political reasons, can't) say whether he'd have voted to launch and fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.