I was driving north on Division street today, and I saw a billboard advertising Republican Dino Rossi's current gubernatorial campaign. In huge letters, it said (of course) DINO ROSSI. What it said underneath made me roll my eyes: "Don't let Seattle steal this election."
First of all, this billboard represents the triumph of Karl Rovian innuendo--implying that Seattle stole the last election when current governor Christine Gregoire narrowly defeated Rossi. (On an aside, how a city can steal an election is beyond me. For instance, Florida did not steal the 2000 election--the Supreme Court stole it.) This billboard also plays to the class-based politics Republicans are known for, because, as every redneck Spokanite knows, Seattle is the bastion of the wine-and-cheese set, a place where they do NOT cling to religion and guns...rather, they cling to spirituality and tofu. We patriotic, gun-toting evangelicals in the inland northwest cannot let those effete west-siders boss us around.
Second of all, I had a feeling Rossi was being a little disingenous about his choice of villain. I knew he was not from the east side, but I didn't know where he WAS from. So, I checked his website and found that Rossi:
was born in Seattle
went to high school in Seattle
went to Seattle University (where he is still on the Dean's Advisory Board for the business school)
has worked and lived in or near Seattle his entire life
currently lives 15 miles east of Seattle
So, in sum, Rossi is a Seattle-ite through and through. That means that we should understand his billboard message for what it is: a hypocritical and cynical attempt to exploit east-siders fear of the elite...in other words, Rossi is a true Republican.