Rob McKenna goes "Gangnam Style"
In this installment of the Daily Weekly feature "Taking Sides," Dan Person and Matt Driscoll weigh in on Rob McKenna's dance moves.
Rob McKenna goes "Gangnam Style"
Dan Person Argues McKenna's Dancing Highlights His Deficiencies
I could forgive Rob McKenna's tortured interpretation of the Gangnam Style dance but for one thing: It shows how truly out of touch he is with the East Side.
*See Also: Taking Sides: SPD's New 'Tweets-By-Beat' Program
It doesn't take a MFA in dance to see that the Gangnam Style dance moves are largely derived from motifs familiar on that side of the Cascades: Riding horses, throwing lassos, and what appears to be honky-tonk line dancing.
Nor does it take a critical eye to see that McKenna is uncomfortable with the motions, leaving a big opening for his opponent, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, to paint the attorney general as out of touch with rural Washington.
Inslee already is using his eastside connections - he represented Yakima and the surrounding area in the U.S. House before losing that seat and moving to Bainbridge Island - as a selling point in his campaign.
More to the point, Inslee is trumpeting his rural know-how as he makes his away across the state.
From our friends at the venerable Spokesman-Review:
"Every race needs one candidate who knows how to buck hay," Inslee joked over coffee at Chairs Coffee house in North Spokane, explaining that he grew hay on part of his property while living and working in the Yakima area for nearly 20 years.
It's both a figurative and literal description of what Inslee is bringing to a tough race pitting him against Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican with two successful statewide campaigns under his belt.
"I have an understanding of Eastern Washington's economy," Inslee said, adding that he's also toured the region's growing aviation industry and its alternative energy companies.
To boot, while McKenna has been working hard to make inroads with the Hispanic immigrant population by speaking Spanish at debates and searching for some middle ground on polorizing issues like drivers licenses for undocumented workers (to mixed reviews), he now risks alienatiting a major immigrant population: Koreans.
If Inslee is smart, he'll capitalize on McKenna's botched Korean/Old West dance moves and paint McKenna as out of touch. If McKenna's smart, he'll leave the dancing to that weird little kid at the beginning of the video.
Find Matt Driscoll's rebuttal on the following page ...
Matt Driscoll Argues in Defense of Rob McKenna's Dance Moves
Thing is, defending Rob McKenna - in even the most whimsical scenario - is not an enviable position. It makes me uncomfortable, like arguing Taco Bell constitutes real Mexican food, or that the Seahawks deserved to beat the Packers. There's just not much solid ground to stand on.
That said, I will always - ALWAYS - defend a person's right to enthusiastically dance like a jackass. If you take that away from us, America, what do we really have left?
That's not a world I want to live in.
The right to dance like a jackass is an inalienable right. I'm sure our founding fathers recognized it, and I know it's as important today as it ever was. People deserve the right to cut loose without fear of repercussion or severe image damage, even Rob McKenna.
Sure, seeing Rob McKenna bust out poorly construed lasso moves and ass-slapping horse riding gyrations is a little unsettling - like watching your mom have a few too many glasses of house red and then karaoke to Jimmy Buffet's "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw" - but the thing about it is, McKenna wasn't half-assing it. That's why he gets this endorsement. McKenna was all in, jogging man boobs and all. And as much as I might like to fault the Republican for the silliness of his moves or the whiteness of his soul, I simply can't.
Why? Because everyone - even freakin' Rob McKenna - deserves the right to enthusiastically dance like a jackass.
Fault McKenna for his politics, but not his dancing. At least he had the cajones (or lack of self awareness) to go full bore "Gangnam Style" with the cameras rolling.
We all deserve the freedom to do that.