Reichert and Burner: Role Reversal

An interesting moment at yesterday’s debate between Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8) and his Democratic challenger, Darcy Burner, came when panelist C.R. Douglas, reflecting on the projected $500 billion federal deficit (not including the $700 billion Wall Street bailout), asked both candidates what they would cut. 

Sounding like Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi (and just about every other Republican I’ve ever heard when asked a similar question), Burner did not specify what she would cut. Instead, she sounded a stern note about fiscal responsibility and “economic discipline.” She talked about “performance audits” and “pay-as-you-go” rules.

“If you increase the amount you’re spending,” she said, “you have to identify where you’re going to find the money. I you decrease the amount you’re bringing in, you have to identify what you’re going to cut.” 

And she ended with this line: “I demand that our Congress live up to the basic standards that every household in this country has to.”

Certainly, the fact that Burner sounds like she’s reading from the Republican playbook has a lot to do with the failed Bush years.  “Fiscal conservative” George Bush has actually saddled the country with the largest debt in U.S. history, between $500 and $600 billion.    

For his part, Reichert sounded more like a traditional Democrat. First, like Democrats always do when hit with vague GOP economic tough talk, he criticized Burner for skimping on specifics. 

He began: “I think what you didn’t hear from my opponent is what she would cut…”  

But then, rather than answering the question himself—and saying what he would cut—he started sounding like Barack Obama (or Al Gore).

“When you talk about what we need to do and what we might cut,” he said (without talking about what we might cut), “what we really need to do is infuse money into new energy. We need to excite our economy by investing money into the newest technology to provide us with the future of energy source that will fuel our economy…” 

As his time ran out, he did start drifting back to more traditional GOP talking points, saying sternly that we needed to look at how we were going to pay for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Another issue where Burner sounded like a Republican was on gun control. Audience member (and former Kirkland GOP state Rep.) Toby Nixon asked the candidates if they agreed with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in D.C. v. Heller . Heller upheld the 2nd Amendment.

Burner was emphatic. “I had a stalker when I was in college who threatened to kill me,” she said. She then told the story of how when she went to the police to get a restraining order, they encouraged her to get a gun and “learn how to use it” because “they wouldn’t be able to protect me.”

She concluded: “People who face real threats have the right to defend ourselves. The 2nd Amendment guarantees us that right to defend ourselves, and I agree with the S.C. decision as it applies even in Washington, DC.” 

Her last caveat, “even as it applies in Washington, DC” separated her even further from the Democratic line. Many Democrats recognize that gun control in general is a losing issue, but stick to advocating targeted gun control in urban areas. 

Reichert, who answered the question first, said simply: “Yes.”


  1. 1

    Paul in Ballard spews:

    How can you argue with that logic?

    The issues we are now facing have created a politics as unusual scenario. Hopefully some sense of reality is going to start hitting people.

    Living within your means, accountability, etc…

    There are very hard lessons about to be learned by all of us.

  2. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The Difference Between Republicans And Democrats

    Republicans want to know how we’re going to pay for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

    Democrats want to know how we’re going to pay for the GOP’s recreational wars.

    It’s all a matter of priorities, folks.

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 “There are very hard lessons about to be learned by all of us.”

    Not really. Clinton balanced the budget and even had a surplus that could have been used to pay down the national debt. It’s only the Republicans who still need to learn these lessons.

  4. 4

    rhp6033 spews:

    For all the focus about cutting specific programs, there is still the main issue of responsible administration.

    You need someone in charge who is planning for the future, not using a hatchet to cut costs temporarily while making new problems for the future.

    You need a leader who makes sure government money is disbursed fairly and with the proper oversight, not one who tries to gut an agency with budget cuts only to have to throw huge soms of money at the problem later.

    We’ve seen the results of poor management over the last eight years in Washington D.C.

    * We’ve seen FEMA being gutted, only to have billions thrown ineffectively to dispell the PR consequences of FEMA being unable to respond to the crisis in a professional manner.

    * We saw the nation being led into a war without ANY realistic planning for the consequences of that action, and then we saw billions wasted in no-bid out-sourced contracts while they tried to tread water afterwards.

    * We’ve seen billions wasted in no-bid contracts with firms that had favorable political ties, rather than paying much smaller amounts to professional government workers who knew how to do the job right.

    Republicans have been fond of saying, for most of my lifetime, that there is plenty of the fat in government that they could cut taxes and spending without cutting any programs. At the time it was said the statement was false, as proven when Reagan took office and found that Carter’s budget had already cut federal spending to the core (he even made guests at White House breakfasts and lunches pay for their meals!).

    But that assumes that there is at least a reasonable effort, from the top, to manage the nation’s business in a responsible manner. George W. Bush has proven that the Republicans can’t be trusted to do that. They have wasted hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars – both current funds and future income for the next two generations – often for partison political benefit.

    Simply putting the adults back in charge in Washington D.C. will go a long way towards putting the budget back where it belongs. After that, we can talk about future cuts or increases in specific programs.

  5. 5

    rhp6033 spews:

    At about noon PDT, the DJIA blew through another milestone, passing below 9,000 on the way down. With an hour still to go in the market for today, it’s down 261.08 points, to 8,997.02.

  6. 6

    Mark1 spews:

    ‘I had a stalker when I was in college…..’ says ditzy, I mean Marcy Darcy.

    Then she should be used to little worms like Goldy following her around with their tongues on the floor.

  7. 8


    Republicans like to portray Burner as too liberal for her district.

    The fact of the matter, as Josh’s post points out, she holds views that are centrist and right of center, and she’s a fiscal conservative.

    Furthermore, she deviates from the Democratic party on many issues, including the bailout bill, FISA and the Iraq war.

    Unfortunately for wingnuts that doesn’t fit the mold of the typical Democratic opponent they want everyone to believe Burner is.

    Burner’s political persuasion, and her position on the issues are far more centrist than Reichert’s ads suggest she is, and not so easily pigeonholed.

  8. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @5 The Dow is now down 350 points and is testing the 8,900 level (it’s at 8910). It seems unstoppable. Without a doubt, this is a run on Wall Street just like the Depression-era bank runs. Investment accounts — like bank deposits then — aren’t insured and people are taking their money out to the point where it’s feeding on itself. The “bear market” is now morphing into a full-blown stock market panic.

  9. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 “you guys ‘got nuthin’.”

    We’ve got the governor’s office and we’re about to get the 8th CD House seat.

  10. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Private accounts are dead. The young people watching their parents’ investment savings get decimated will never entrust their retirement security to Wall Street for the rest of their lives.

  11. 12

    rhp6033 spews:

    Wow. 15 minutes to go in the trading day. The market is down 643.79 to 8,614.31. Volume is increasing, it may be twenty minutes or so after closing before the ticker catches up to give us a final figure for the day.

  12. 14

    rhp6033 spews:

    I’m guessing this is the final number for the day. As of 1:13 p.m. PDT, the dow lost 678.91 points, ending the day at 8,579.19.

    That makes the DJIA performance during the eight years of the Bush administration at -18.34%.

    It’s fitting to remember that the Wall Street Crash of 1929 .”(79 years ago this month). It actually took place over several days, beginning Thursday Oct. 24, 1929 and continuing (after a brief rally) through Tuesday, Oct. 29, 1929. But the market didn’t reach it’s lowest point until 1932, and then it didn’t recover to it’s pre-crash values until 1954. Richard M. Salsman said: “Anyone who bought stocks in mid-1929 and held onto them saw most of his or her adult life pass by before getting back to even.”

  13. 15

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    “If you increase the amount you’re spending,” she said, “you have to identify where you’re going to find the money. I you decrease the amount you’re bringing in, you have to identify what you’re going to cut.”

    And she ended with this line: “I demand that our Congress live up to the basic standards that every household in this country has to.”

    Much as I admire and support Darcy, the above is absolute economic flapdoddle.

  14. 16

    Steve spews:

    Fox News is pulling out all the stops – all Ayers, all the time. Greta has even given up her search for missing white women.

  15. 20


    Josh wrote:

    ”Fiscal conservative” George Bush has actually saddled the country with the largest debt in U.S. history, between $500 and $600 billion.

    You are FAR too charitable to Mr. Bush, Josh. According to the Bureau of the Public Debt (see, the national debt on January 20, 2001, when George Bush took office, was $5,727,776,738,304.64. Today, it is $10,245,247,740,307.58. That’s an increase of $4,517,471,002,002.94 (four point five trillion dollars), not “between $500 and $600 billion”.

  16. 21

    The Real Puddybud spews:

    Toby: When Donkey took over Congress

    January 2007 8,680,224,000,000
    Now $10,245,247,740,307.58 – $8,680,224,000,000

    $1,565,023,740,307.58 in 20 months of Donkey running Congress. That’s 78,251,187,015.38 a month run rate.

    $8,680,224,000,000 – $5,727,776,738,304.64

    $2,952,447,261,695.36 in the first 72 month Republicans ran Congress. That’s 41,006,211,967.99 a month run rate.

    So it seems to me the Donkey have more than halved again the debt load since they are running “The Money Store”. Or just compare the monthly run rate with Donkey leading “The Money Store”.

    Kind of reminds me when Donkey get there like the Post Office scandal of the early 90s which Tom Foley tried to cover up.

    Missed by Moonbat!s is the $3,847,881,323,767.86 and climbing due to Foreign Oil purchases.

  17. 23

    correctnotright spews:

    Another stupid comment – how many times do I have to explain how government works? I have seen these pathetically ignorant comments on a chain e-mail. this kind of stupidity is only for people who don’t realize that the president sets the agenda, that it takes 60 votes to overcome a filibuster threat in the senate and that it takes 67 votes in the senate to overcome a veto. Bottom line – anyone who claims the bad economy is the fault of the democrats is either stupid or deliberately lying. Besides, it usually takes years for economic policy to have an effect. the only realistic way to judge is to look at the record of a president for two terms or eight years. Anything less is silly – and blaming congress is downright ignorant and the last refuge of failing republicans.

    Again, what stupid troll knows what party has made deregulation a central campaign platform for the last 20 years?

  18. 24

    The Real Puddybud spews:

    incorrectnottobright, chain email huh?

    What a moron!

    Congress writes the budget from the President’s suggestions. Then the Senate adds their earmarks.

    So you scream deregulation, where was “your party”.

    I seem to remember Bill Clinton castigating his own party as blocking “regulation”

  19. 25

    correctnotright spews:

    the president signs the bill – or have you forgotten that too?

    If the democrats could not get a withdrawal past the obstructionist republicans in the senate – how are they supposed to vcontrol the budget – especially since your hero Bush wrote the largest deficits IN the budget.

    Lie, deny and whine but the republican president with a republican congress (for 6 years) has created the largest deficits in history

  20. 27

    correctnotright spews:

    Oh – and MORON the president PROPOSES the budget – like you don’t know….
    and we can thank the unnecessary war in Iraq for a big part of the huge deficit.

  21. 28

    The Real Puddybud spews:

    Yes, incorrectnottobright

    March 2003-December 2006 Republicans have the House and Senate. Iraq War

    January 2007-Now Democrats have the House and Senate. Iraq War.

    Just like Republicans couldn’t get a Fannie/Freddie bill past obstructionist Donkey who called it racism to get rid of Franklin Raines.

    This proves incorrectnottobright doesn’t read. I wrote above:”Congress writes the budget from the President’s suggestions. Then the Senate adds their earmarks.

    incorrectnottobright later wrote: “Oh – and MORON the president PROPOSES the budget – like you don’t know….”

    Since it seems reading isn’t fundamental to you who’s the moron again incorrectnottobright?

  22. 29

    correctnotright spews:

    Dear Puddy:
    Like you don’t know that the presidential proposals on the budget are where the debate starts?
    Like you don’t know that the Bush republican proposals were not even close to balanced and that the republicans and bush tried to hide the cost of the war and not even include it in the budget.

    Like you don’t know that the so-called reform measure was NOT a reform measure and was voted on in 1999 – under republcian control. Like you don’t know that republicansd controlled the house in 2000.

    Lot’s of excuses for the wasteful spending and deregulation party – looks like the repuboican bedrock policies of tax breaks for the rich, spending to oblivion on unnecessary wars, free market triumphs over all and special favors for the corporations has backfired – and brought us this economic crisis.

    The real problem was the banking “reform” act written by Phil Gramm- republican economics guru and “American whiners, the economy is just fine” prognosticator. You guys have been wrong so often your only excuse is to blame democrats and make stuff up.

    Anyone who tries to blame the housing crisis on fair lending laws is a total idiot – care to qualify for that?

  23. 30

    Steve spews:

    @26 That’s a false choice. Pudz is an incredibly stupid and deliberate liar who contends that the only question that should be on the minds American citizens during these trying times is whether or not Obama is a Muslim terrorist.

  24. 31

    rhp6033 spews:

    Puddy @ 21: You thought we would forget that the last Republican Congress procrastinated on voting on the federal budget, putting it off long enough so that the incoming Democratic congress had to do so, didn’t you? That little hat trick put two year’s budgets into the national debt figures for what would usually be one year.

    I didn’t forget. I saw it as a cheap political stunt when it happened. And I knew they were counting on wingnuts like you to try to use the figures in a misleading way against the Democrats, accusing them of doubling spending.

    You used to be able to get away with that stuff, but not anymore. The internet has made such details far too easily accessible.