Of course, the headline is a trick question, for it turns out Rep. Dave Reichert is both a liar and an asshole.
A few days back when I first posted on the Issaquah school bus driver who got fired for flipping off President Bush, I focused on the assholish side to Reichert’s personality… the fact that he’s so proud of his role in getting the driver fired that he made the incident a part of his stump speech. I wrote:
Flip off the President, lose your livelihood. That’s justice in Dave Reichert’s America, and shows you what a mean, sanctimonious, vengeful S.O.B. he can really be.
What could be more assholic than bragging about getting some poor bus driver canned for dissing the President? Hmm. How about fabricating your role in the entire incident?
In a bungled attempt at damage control, Reichert has recently attempted to minimize his role in the firing, telling KIRO-TV that he called the Issaquah superintendent a week after the incident happened because it was “bothering him.” But as David Postman reveals this morning, that’s not what Reichert told a crowd in August. Speaking at the King County Republican picnic, Reichert boasted about getting the driver fired:
And as the motorcade went by, the President and I drove by on I-5, the President was having a great time. He was waving at everybody, he waved at the kids. He got the biggest kick out of the kids leaning out the window to say hello to the President of the United States.
The sad part of it is though, we got to the last bus — and I won’t tell you which school district this was — the bus driver flipped the President off.
So the very next day, you know what I did? I called the superintendent of that school district and that bus driver no longer works for that school.
After raucous applause, Reichert told the crowd:
That’s the old sheriff part of me still around.
Really… cheering over somebody losing their job. What a bunch of assholes. (And if that really was “the old sheriff” part of Reichert, you’d think it would’ve taken 18 years for the driver to be fired.)
So Reichert tells a cheering crowd in August that he called the superintendent the “very next day”, but when the story blows up in his face he tells KIRO-TV that he waited a week to call. One way or the other, he’s lying.
And according to Michael in Postman’s comment thread, Reichert actually heard about the incident from a “school district insider,” prompting him to cook up his version as a stump speech
crowd asshole pleaser.
So there you have it. If Dave Reichert really is such an asshole that his phone call led to the driver’s firing, then he lied to KIRO-TV in denying it. But if instead he lied on the stump, boasting about a role in a firing he didn’t really have… well, that just raises his assholosity to a whole new level.
Either way it doesn’t paint Reichert in a positive light. Unless of course, being a lying asshole is exactly the type of job experience you’re looking for in a congressman.