Yesterday outside the Bering Sea Fisheries Conference, a young woman approached attorney general and gubernatorial wannabe Rob McKenna to ask him his stance on the Reproductive Parity Act, a bill his fellow Republicans killed in the legislature last year, but on which he has refused to comment.
His response, as recorded in the audio above and transcribed below, was remarkably curt and rude:
Woman: "Mr. Mckenna." McKenna: "Yes." Woman: "What's your stance on the Reproductive Parity Act?" McKenna: "My stance is I'm a lawyer for the State. You can turn that recorder off if you'd like, instead of trying to bushwhack me. It's not really very polite is it? Do you think you're honest?" Woman: "I'm just wondering..." McKenna: "Do you think you're being honest?" Woman: "Huh?" McKenna: "Are you being honest? Or are you just not going to answer my question?" Woman: "I'm a youth worker who's wondering..." McKenna: "You're not being honest. Forget it." Woman: "Okay..." McKenna: "You're just trying to gain a political advantage, sorry. Why don't you go get a job?"
"Get a job"...? Really? Jesus. What an arrogant asshole.
A few observations. First, this is a proposed bill not a legal case, so McKenna's status as AG gives him no excuse not to answer—that's total bullshit, plain and simple. Second, I'm told that this woman was not a Democratic tracker, as McKenna seems to presume in so rudely dismissing her. Third, I'm shocked, shocked to find people "trying to gain a political advantage" in a political campaign! And finally, "get a job"...? I mean, what the fuck?
This is of course the standard conservative Republican approach to everybody with which they disagree politically, that we are somehow all lazy economic parasites sucking the blood from hardworking "producers" like themselves. A young woman asks a politically challenging question about McKenna's stance on a reproductive health bill, and he dismissively responds by telling her to "go get a job."
I could riff on this for days (and possibly will), but the short of it is that if there was ever a window into the ideology and psyche of Rob McKenna, it's this ill-mannered, ill-considered offhand remark. "Go get a job!" That's the Republican prescription for everything, isn't it? If you are unemployed, uninsured, uneducated, unhomed, or unanything, go get a fucking a job instead of looking for handout or a hand up.
As for McKenna, as a politician and elected official, part of his job is to answer questions from constituents. And if he's not up to it, perhaps he should go look for another line of work?