Nasty anti-Catholic bigotry in Federal Way the ugly side of politics

With the election just around the corner, the hit pieces and attack ads are flying. As distasteful as many find them, they are just a reality of the process. Most pass by without the need for comment.

Some are so over-the-top or vile, though, that they must be called out. The disgusting anti-Catholic attack last week in Federal Way certainly deserves it.

The state Senate race there is being closely watched. Former seven-term Democratic state representative Mark Miloscia switched parties earlier this year, citing the Republican Party’s broader, more inclusive coalition as a reason for the switch.

Miloscia is probably feeling like that was the right call after supporters of his opponent, Shari Song, wrote a disgusting attack website that is an affront to every Catholic in this state, and to people of all faiths.

The website’s attacks included a drawing of Miloscia wearing a papal-style hat (subtle) and clutching rosary beads. The image is adorned with crucifixes and said that Miloscia “has always worn his church on his sleeve” and “best represented the people of the Vatican.”

This type of bigotry crosses partisan lines. Columnist Joel Connelly called it “the nastiest single attack of Washington’s 2014 campaign.” Miloscia’s opponent, Shari Song, called it “a little bit misguided,” which is not exactly strong, condemnatory language. She said of the attack’s authors, “I don’t believe they are anti-Catholic or intended it in that way.”

Using the same playbook that was supposedly tossed out after President Kennedy was elected in 1960, the Song supporters’ attacks trotted out the same tired claims that all Catholics are beholden to the Vatican and will listen to the church before their constituents.

This kind of base attack has no place in the American political scene today. Ms. Song should strongly condemn these tactics, as should the state Democratic Party. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen these types of attacks. Just six years ago the state Democrats released an ad against Dino Rossi that featured the theme song from “The Sopranos.” Another stereotype, another scurrilous, unethical attack.

By virtue of being a Democrat, Gov. Christine Gregoire, another Catholic public official, didn’t have to suffer through suggestions that her motives in public service were suspect because she was Catholic. What does she think about this attack? Perhaps a rebuke from her would wake up her party to the need to stop these kinds of despicable hits.
-Rob McKenna

The following two tabs change content below.
Rob McKenna
Rob served two terms as Washington’s Attorney General, from 2005 to 2013. He successfully argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and negotiated three of the largest consumer financial protection settlements in national history, all involving mortgage lending and servicing. He is a recognized leader in the development of consumer protections on the internet, in data protection and privacy regulation.