I’ve had some fun at Rep. Dave Reichert’s expense in recent posts, mocking our nation’s 419th most powerful congressman for his lack of influence and his ham-fisted recommendations to replace ousted U.S. Attorney John McKay. But it looks like our state’s juniorest congressman could become a much more formidable force in both Washingtons now that Reichert seems to be following the savvy lead of a crack new political advisor: me.
Just last week I advised Reichert that the whole brouhaha was a rare opportunity to combine good policy with political expedience by nominating the eminently qualified John McKay to replace himself. And today we read in the Seattle Times that he’s kinda, sorta doing sorta, kinda that:
Rep. Dave Reichert has come to the defense of fired U.S. Attorney John McKay, whom he praised for pushing the federal government to work more closely with law enforcement in the Seattle area.
“It doesn’t seem to me that John’s being treated fairly,” Reichert, R-Auburn, said Tuesday.
He suggested the Justice Department reinstate McKay as U.S. attorney while the agency and Congress investigate “why they fired him.”
Sure, it’s a couple months late and more than a few dollars short, but it does at least show that somebody on Reichert’s staff is attune to the political danger — and opportunity — inherent in this growing scandal. Reichert’s newfound public skepticism follows that of Rob McKenna, who last week said that President Bush “made a mistake.” But McKay was fired months ago, and both McKenna and Reichert were actively involved in naming his replacement, thus their sudden willingness to speak out in his defense should be viewed in the context of the prior failure to do so.
Perhaps if Reichert and his staff continue reading my column, they can get out in front of the next inevitable scandal. I’m always eager to help.
Update: That’s swell of Reichert to take Goldy’s advice and ask the Justice Department to reinstate McKay as U.S. attorney. Before doing so, I’m sure Reichert listened to all the complaints against McKay, investigated the facts (as he’s inclined to do), and weighed all of the evidence. In the end, it seems Reichert has rejected Stefan Sharkansky’s theories about election fraud and the suggestion that McKay didn’t properly investigate the 2004 election. I’m just sayin’… [—Darryl]