I hate to say I told you so…

… 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.

Or this:

[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.

Or this:

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.

Comments

  1. 1

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Goldy,
    congratulations for breaking the biggest story in Puget Sound politics this year. The ST’s reversal and about face is due, not only to the facts you presented, but the effort you made to get the story in front of people.

    The ST editorial board has earned your scorn, but take a moment for a victory lap. You deserve it.

  2. 2

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    Wow, the Times throwing Reichert (R-Hairspray) under the bus – I didn’t see that coming.

    And calling him out on environmental cynicism. I’m curious though – do they object to his being a typical Republican down deep (and being truly contemptuous of protecting the environment), or that he occasionally throws a symbolic bone to the enviro establishment?

    I wonder how all the good and concerned board members of the WCV are going to react to this? (Uh oh, I hope Bill Pope doesn’t open a can of Whoop-Ass on me for this). Will they be getting together with their Discovery Institute Christianist anti-evolution buddies and throw Dillon a party? You know, in the name of holy Bipartisanship.

  3. 3

    ivan spews:

    Typical, but unsurprising, Goldy, that you miss the point entirely, being so wrapped up in your own shit that you think it’s in any way about YOU.

    DelBene is a “safe,” corporate Democrat. She’s Microsoft’s candidate — outsourcing, H1-B visas and all. She’s considerably to the “right” of where Darcy Burner was on economic, labor, and trade issues.

    Think for a minute instead of just reacting and spewing. The Times has endorsed even the batshit-crazy teabagger Heidi Munson over the eminently qualified, union-backed Luis Moscoso in the First Legislative District, because of its rabid hatred of labor unions and working people. That and the inheritance tax is all Frank and his idiot sons care about. Now they get to say “See? We ARE bipartisan. We ARE independent.”

    The fact that they are at all comfortable with endorsing DelBene says more about her than it does about anything else.

    We should support her, of course, because any D is better than any R. But we should not fool ourselves about what we’re getting. If you think she’ll be a lot different than Reichert on economic issues, I have an alpine ski lodge in the Everglades to sell you.

    I’ll be very happy to be proven wrong about this.

  4. 4

    rhp6033 spews:

    I’m amazed. I never thought they would abandon Reichart, or backtrack on him like this.

    Perhaps they had a deal with him dating back to the days when Ridgeway was arrested? You know, getting some inside information they could publish, in return for a decade of favorable news coverage and editorial support? Perhaps that deal expired?

  5. 5

    spews:

    @3
    DelBene is a “safe,” corporate Democrat. She’s Microsoft’s candidate — outsourcing, H1-B visas and all. She’s considerably to the “right” of where Darcy Burner was on economic, labor, and trade issues.

    As someone who has spoken with Burner about these issues, either I’m not recalling our conversations very well, or this isn’t correct. I don’t think there’s much difference at all between Burner and DelBene on those issues, but maybe someone can point me to some public statements that show otherwise.

  6. 6

    sparky spews:

    His information was what he was told by the officers who actually did the work…but you may have a point.

  7. 7

    don spews:

    So did the Times ever ask Reichert the results of his “investigation” into global warming?

  8. 8

    David spews:

    I’ll just be happy if we don’t have to hear any more of Reichert’s stories about how he got Ridgeway to trust him so when he insulted Ridgeway at the end it would hurt worse.

    I don’t know that the nanny nanny boo boo from Reichert registered as the worst thing to ever happen to Ridgeway but I doubt it. But really, why bother mentioning you insulted a serial killer? It’s what I’d expect anyone in that situation to do.

  9. 9

    The Riddle of Steel spews:

    So does this mean you are withdrawing your application for employment at the Seattle Times?

  10. 10

    SJ spews:

    Biting of His Nose

    Goldy … WTF!

    Why not congratulate the ST on finally seeing the truth? Pissing on Blethen when he actually behaves is a dumbass stupid way to get ‘em to do what you want ‘em to do!

  11. 11

    The Riddle of Steel spews:

    @10

    SJ,
    It doesnt matter what the ST does, goldy will always go after them. He is still bitter that they roundfiled his resume. Some people will always remain bitter, rather than just moving on.

  12. 12

    SJ spews:

    @5 Lee

    I absolutely agree with you.

    I have been very disappointed in Darcy, not just as a candidate but in her current unimpressive role as a liberal activist. Her one, smug appearance on TV (I believe it was with Chris Mathews) in a mounty themed costume was a disaster.

    I think Ivan identifies Darcy with his own views .. a phenomenon called “projection” in Psych 101.

    As for Goldy, I say again WTF! This ought to be celebrated. Reichert has a huge advantage over del Benne because of incumbency. While I am skeptical that many folks care what the Times says, anything that diminishes Reichert’s image as an anointed leader is good.

  13. 13

    rhp6033 spews:

    David @ # 8: Reichart’s face-to-face denounciation of Ridgeway was obviously made with his future political career in mind.

    When I first saw that video, even before Reichart declared his candidacy, I figured that was what was going on. It was obviously a carefully pre-planned speech, not an off-the-cuff expression of moral outrage. Reichart was wearing his dress uniform – to an interrogation? Reichart new it was being videotaped. And what purpose did the denunciation accomplish? Is Ridgeway suddenly supposed to develop a conscience?

    A skilled detective dealing with a serial murderer never cuts off the possibility that he might have to ask some more questions, especially if some more bodies turn up – are they dealing with more victims of the same killer, or is their a new copycat killer out there they need to be looking for?

    It was just wierd. So I wasn’t surprised in the slightest when Reichart declared his candidacy not long thereafter.

  14. 14

    rhp6033 spews:

    I’m wondering if the Seattle Times placed a call to Reichart in advance of publication, warning that he wouldn’t be endorsed. Do they routinely let candidates know shortly before the publication of the endorsements?

    I mean, it’s not like they objected to Reichart on policy issues. Or they didn’t really blame it on the changing times. Instead, they did everything but call him a stupid hypocrite.

  15. 15

    sarge spews:

    As someone who has had a number of conversations with Suzan DelBene and Dave Reichdert about the economy, I can assure you DelBene is much different that Reichert.

    DelBene understands that manufacturing jobs and a middle class are the same thing. In fact, creating high paying manufacturing jobs is what she is focused on above and beyond anything else.

    Her emphasis is on expanding exports rather than barriers to imports, but the goal is the same. Increased manufacturing in the U.S.

    Suzan believes in changing government policy to create investment in clean energy which will create jobs, preserve the environment, and diminish our dependence on foreign oil. It’s a “three-fer”.

    But what’s best about Suzan is you can actually have a conversation with her about this stuff, and ask complex questions without getting a blank stare.

    Suzan has a BA in Biology, an MBA, and has been personally involved, at the highest level, in business that both export and import. Reichert has never drawn a paycheck in the private sector after “struggling” through high school and two years at an obscure bible college.

  16. 16

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    @14
    Indeed. I haven’t read the original, but from Goldy’s quotes above, the ST was pretty harsh on Reichert. (Not that I’m feeling sorry for the twit).

    And I still wonder about what they actually object to – is it the manifest cynicism of throwing the enviro establishment the very occasional bone he doesn’t really believe in, or was it abandoning (however briefly) lock-step Republicanism in throwing such meaningless bones?

    Or something else – this seems pretty harsh, and the posturing by the ST about his being “unstudied” might be a cover for something they really don’t like. Could Reichert have somehow not followed instructions correctly regarding the estate tax? Could he have accidentally said something nice about a union member? Is there some intrigue we aren’t seeing yet?

  17. 17

    SJ spews:

    @16 LS

    I think the underlying issue with Reichert as with McDermott is that neither is neither is very effective as a legislator.

    Fold seem to forget that Reichert only became an R when he decided to run as an R. I suspect he has as much attachment to any ideas as the average guy working for a living. Micky D OTOH is an ideologue.

    What they share is a lousy record of getting things done. In McyD’s case this may be because he plays a role as a provocateur for his POV. McyD’s supporters seem satisfied with that. Reichert, OTOH,m is hardly an impressive spokes perosn for any POV nor is he an effective practical politician.

    Darcy, IMO, made the mistake of running as a McyD. This was esp true in her second campaign, even IF (as Goldy believes) she might have been an excellent pol.

    The Eastside is not very partisan, it is an upper middle to middle class working community that votes with its wallet rather than its heart.

    I hope Susan knows that and NOW takes advantage of the Times!

  18. 20

    Chris Stefan spews:

    Given this endorsement I suspect Goldy may very well be right and the Times will endorse Murray, if not for the primary then for the general.

    On the other hand the Times may be just following the public mood and endorsing challengers rather than incumbents.

  19. 21

    SJ spews:

    @20 Chris

    As if the times had any real thought?

    I will bet you a beer ..

    The times WILL endorse Murry. They are and she is ..the Establishment!

  20. 22

    SJ spews:

    @15

    Sarge ..

    I really like your comments on Del Bene.

    We have a new Blog .. The-Ave.US and are considering whether to have endorsements. Your post would be a great endorsement .. and if not a good contribution on why UW faculaty should votge and work for Suzan.

    If you call me I would like to suggest a way we could post this.

  21. 24

    Matt Loschen spews:

    Goldy, I love your content and your perspective. I really don’t care about the profanity one way or the other…they’re just words between adults. However when you use this much profanity I can’t share your posts with my uptight friends (the PTA folks, my parents, etc). You’re limiting your word’s ability to “go viral”. It’s your call. I don’t want you censored in any way, but I do want lots of people aren’t as easy going to be exposed the political content.

  22. 25

    The Riddle of Steel spews:

    one thing is apparent from goldy’s rant: he still has a boner for ditzy darcy.

    give it up already – she is a two time loser, nutball, and proven liar. Think of the embarassment she would be had she been elected.

  23. 28

    notaboomer spews:

    i may vote for delbene but i’m just not sure i have time to fill out a ballot. i’m feeling kind of delbenish and may just drive my suv to the hair salon instead. voting’s not that important anyway.

  24. 29

    notaboomer spews:

    Suzan has a BA in Biology, an MBA, and has been personally involved, at the highest level, in business that both export and import.

    and she’s fucking rich and married to a rich guy. she gets it!

  25. 30

    notaboomer spews:

    I don’t think there’s much difference at all between Burner and DelBene on those issues, but maybe someone can point me to some public statements that show otherwise.

    statements? how about actions? background? life choices? screw statements. they all lie.

  26. 31

    Chris Stefan spews:

    @30
    Purity troll much? Unless you are a Republican DelBene is going to be 1000 times better than Reichert.

    For that matter she’ll likely be better than McDermott because she’ll actually be able to get something done and move legislation. Will she be better than Inslee or Dicks? Probably not, but those are both very high bars to clear.

  27. 33

    slingshot spews:

    It could just be a long delayed business decision by the Times. Their editorials are geared to a Georgian or Wyoming audience while they are physically situated (as you may know) in Seattle. It could just be a last gasp at regaining subscribers by finally facing the reality that this is one of the Liberal ground zeros in Amurka. Watch for a bankruptcy filing soon.

  28. 34

    spews:

    With the Citizen’s United decision, even bigger money is coming into politics this year. Corporate citizen’s want to change Congress. As long as we keep voting for big money candidates we’ll continue to have our government a taken away for us.

    With 9 missed votes in 4 years Delbene has a tough hurdle to overcome. Seriously, if a candidate doesn’t care enough to vote, and if money is more important, then what chance do we have?

    Recent event’s show that we’re creating a government of the wealthy, for the wealthy, over everyone else, and it’s only getting worse.

    Vote with the big money in the general if you want to, but we have a top-two primary and we should take advantage of it August 17.

  29. 37

    Chris Stefan spews:

    @34
    The stronger a showing DelBene makes on the 17th the better chance she has of sending Reichert home for good in November.

    Unless of course you are one of those who thinks Reichert might as well stay in office until you have a “perfect” candidate to vote for.

  30. 39

    spews:

    @37 No I don’t think leaving in D.R. is a better option. I just think she’s a long shot, and we need to stop sending the signal that we want big money elections. This primary is a good time to signal that change.

    It’s not as much of an issue now as it will be heading into November.