… but I told you so:
DIFFICULT times call for more than a capable caretaker of a political seat. The 8th Congressional District needs a representative with vision, a sharp grasp of the issues and the ability to lead. The task is considerable.
With that in mind, The Seattle Times editorial board takes the unusual step of endorsing two challengers to U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, who is seeking a fourth term in the district spanning eastern King and Pierce counties.
We do not do so lightly. Former Microsoft executive and Democrat Suzan DelBene and Tim Dillon, a Republican and member of the Yarrow Point Town Council, demonstrate a depth of knowledge and have compelling ideas.
On issues ranging from the wars to the economy, three-term Republican incumbent Reichert is unstudied and comes up short. After six years in office, this is unacceptable.
Reichert opposed financial reform, but was unable to explain what he did or did not like about the legislation. The 8th District deserves someone who is faster on their feet.
It is with some satisfaction, and perhaps an even greater degree of bitterness, that I read the Seattle Times’ endorsement in the 8th Congressional District primary, in which they dis Republican incumbent Rep. Dave Reichert as cynical, simplistic, unstudied, unknowledgeable and unacceptable. Well… duh-uh. Yet this is a paper, both news and editorial, that has propped up Reichert against his opponents for years.
As our state’s largest daily, the Times played a crucial role in creating the myth of Sheriff Dave as the man who caught the Green River Killer (he most emphatically did not), and who refused to reexamine this oft-exploited, career-defining claim even after he’d creepily taken to framing nearly every utterance with heroic tales of his encounters with Gary Ridgway. It was the Times who virtually refused to cover Darcy Burner’s inspiring, come-from-nowhere, 2006 campaign until spectacular fundraising and tight polls forced their hand, only to cynically and viciously brand her as a “spinmeister” who would make “Karl Rove proud,” while laughably lauding Reichert for his “conscience-driven independence streak,” even in the face of his own public admission that he voted how the Republican leadership told him to vote.
And it was the Times who, when polls showed Burner with both momentum and the lead heading into the final weeks of the 2008 election, intentionally torpedoed her campaign with a bullshit, front page, above-the-fold expose accusing her of lying about earning a degree in economics from Harvard (she earned a degree in computer science with a concentration in economics, a course load that is equivalent to a double major at some colleges, Harvard’s nonstandard terminology notwithstanding), while willfully ignoring the many years Reichert’s own resume claimed a bachelors degree, when he in fact only earned a two-year associates degree from a Lutheran high-school-cum-barely-junior-college.
And now they bemoan that Reichert is “unstudied” …? Um, no shit, Sherlock!
Indeed it’s the Times, who after years of defending and praising the obviously unqualified Reichert, who now appears unstudied.
Dillon says a turning point for him was Reichert’s “willingness to trade core principles on the environment.” He was referring to Reichert’s appearance before a gathering of Republican precinct committee officers when he explained that while he toes the party line most of the time, a few select environmental votes were “certain moves, chess pieces, strategies” he used to keep environmental groups from trying to defeat him. The moment was revealing. This page’s response then and now is “how cynical.”
Damning audio that was leaked to me, by the way, and first posted here in an HA exclusive, because my source assumed from their record of toadery, that the Times simply wouldn’t be interested in exposing Reichert as the conscienceless dependent he really is. So would it be ungrateful or ungenerous of me, now that the Times cites my reporting (without attribution, of course) as the turning point in their own reassessment of Reichert, to respond with a big, fat “FUCK YOU” …?
I mean, it’s not like Reichert hasn’t been caught on tape before, saying nearly the exact same thing! Only back in 2006, rather than calling Reichert on his cynicism, the Times chose to attack Burner for allowing the DCCC to excerpt TVW’s video without permission.
So yeah, I suppose I should congratulate the Times’ editors for finally coming to their senses, or thank them for putting aside their own pathologies for a moment in the interest of the greater good. But their paper’s reporting and commentary on past 8th CD races has been so galling — so utterly and inexcusably insulting — that it’s just hard to let go. For how do we reconcile the Times’ revisionist take on Reichert with this:
The Auburn Republican deserves re-election. The former King County sheriff has an impressive record of public service and has shown a conscience-driven independent streak that reflects his moderate district.
[Reichert] has matured in the job and his voting on complicated issues reflects that. His experience as a first-responder has been a strength. … Opponent Darcy Burner criticizes him for changing some positions, but Reichert shows a capacity for appreciating nuance and an appetite for seeking answers himself and making up his own mind.
He surprised many recently by saying he’s not convinced about how much global warming is caused by human action. We are convinced it’s a substantial contributing factor.
But Reichert says he’s skeptical, so he’s investigating. That’s a better approach than adopting a ready-made ideology.
I mean, Jesus Fucking Christ… talk about attempting to turn a turd into a tiara. And they accused Darcy of being a Rovian spinmeister? Look in the goddamn mirror, Frank!
Yeah sure, I know the Suzan DelBene campaign would prefer I focus on her qualifications over Reichert’s lack thereof, and she’s certainly smart, thoughtful, well-informed, accomplished and progressive enough to serve the 8th CD well. A helluva an upgrade over Reichert. A Democrat I can proudly support, without reservations. And I damn well know that it doesn’t serve my agenda to reward this editorial gesture by sticking the ed board’s own words in its collective face .
But… well… I have every right to be bitter, so fuck ’em.