Rep. Jim McDermott: He’s a worker

Some folks like to knock Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Seattle) for not being like other congressmen, for not being a log-roller or a guy who “brings home the bacon.” The guy is very vocal on Iraq, and does lots of good work on Africa, and pushes a good healthcare plan that will likely never become law, but he doesn’t do things the same way some of his colleagues do them. Some folks (Josh Feit, Joel Connelly and, uh, me) have mused openly about how we’d like to see the guy retire sometime soon in favor of some new blood.

With all of this taken into account, I come across this at Postman:

Congressman Jim McDermott was on his way to an “Open House to Celebrate the People’s House” this morning to celebrate the new Democratic majority and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ascension.

But he also had some business to do. He was looking to corner Pelosi or Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., to lobby to get 2nd District Rep. Rick Larsen a permanent seat on the Agriculture Committee.

Just then Miller walked by on his way into the Cannon Caucus Room. Or tried to. McDermott grabbed him, pulled out some notes, and gave Miller the pitch: Larsen would be the only Northwest representative on the committee and he’s a good guy doing a good job.
Miller said he’d do what he could. And that was good enough for McDermott. “If you want to make sure Nancy hears it, tell George,” he said.

Fuckin’ nice! A liberal guy like McDermott doing what he can to help out a super centrist like Larsen, that’s class. What’s so great about this move? Rep. Rick Larsen represents the only district west of the Cascades that has lots of agricultural business. This means he’s Washington’s only Democrat to represent agriculture in Washington D.C. This will do good things for Larsen as far as keeping the GOP out of the 2nd District, which also happens to be (I heard this somewhere, correct me if I’m wrong) the only Democratic-held district in WA that is actually trending towards the GOP.

If Jim shows he’s playing the game this well in the majority, we’ll just have to postpone that retirement party.

Note: Jim! Come to Drinking Liberally when you’re back in town! We want war stories!


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Republicans think they own the aggie vote but they don’t. Just ask Montana ranchers what they think of Cheney’s energy policy.

  2. 2

    righton spews:

    Uh, but what do you do about his ethical lapses?

    (and by the way, Stalin also worked hard. Big deal)

  3. 3

    ArtFart spews:

    2 Considering how much more fucked up things might have been by now if Gignrich hadn’t been derailed, I don’t mind what McDermott did at all. Not one little bit.

  4. 4

    Mick spews:

    Well Art , then don’t complain when a righties take the law in their own hands . What goes around as they say .

    I would rather have an honest government , and a see through government , republicans in DC got what they deserved . Maybe not the ones who were actually doing the behind the scenes dirty work , but the party . It happens on both sides , I watched some guy ccalled Cunningham get a standing ovation from his fellow Congressmen , how he got re elected is a bit like McDermott . That kind of mentality from either side of the political spectrum will stop good honest folks from particpating in the system .

    I would hope democrats would feel the same … Obviously not you .

  5. 6

    Rujax! spews:

    19 Republican Congressmen in the 109th Congress under DOJ investigation and this dumbass is STILL after McDermott for busting Gingrich.

    Fuck YOU, bitch.

  6. 7

    headless lucy spews:

    re 2: Is reporting the planning stage of Knute Gingrich’s felony a crime in the US? Not under W’s new rules.

  7. 8


    I ran Larsen’s race in ’02. I wouldn’t say WA-2 is trending R but it’s easily one of the most evenly divided in the state and even the country. WA-3, however, is also close and may actually be trending R. Obviously, as seen in WA-8, districts don’t always perform as they should on paper. Larsen, Baird, and (it appears) Reichert are perfect examples of the extreme power of incumbency.

  8. 9

    headless lucy spews:

    re 8: In Reichert’s case: “InDumbency”!

    Reichert’s going to raise taxes on the middle class and poor people.

  9. 10


    @2 righton says:

    Uh, but what do you do about his ethical lapses?

    (and by the way, Stalin also worked hard. Big deal)


    Jim has had fewer ethical lapses than any other congressman as far as I know. Unless of course you only count what he did telling the truth about a lying Republican house majority leader. When Republicans are caught openly lying, like Gingrich was, they are pissed, and use all the muscle their minions can muster to go after whoever let the country know what they were doing behind their backs.

    Attack the messenger, even if it is another Congressman. Make sure all the others that know about their crimes, misdeeds, and hypocracy keep their mouths shut out of fear, while they work their dirty deals.

    At least Jim has enough courage to tell the truth. There has not been a lot of that kind of courage in Washington D.C. lately.

  10. 13

    skagit spews:

    And, Facts (not), you must be lovin’ the new secrecy rules governing visitors to the Peoples’ House.

    If a Republican does it, keep it secret . . . safety in secrecy.

  11. 14

    righton spews:

    great job defending a left winger/socialist

    only in green lake/ cap hill /madrona type places could the likes of Jimmy get elected.

  12. 15

    Mick spews:

    UpTown , Hussein got 100 percent .

    Means nothing , a liberal district deserves a liberal Rep.
    Having MCdermott gives you an unethical liberal / Can’t you at least wish for better ?

  13. 16


    @ 14

    Saying that McDermott is a socialist is an insult to actual, honest-to-God socialists.

    McDermott’s ethical ‘lapse’ was his handing over to the media an illegally recorded cell phone call of GOP bigwigs talking about how to spin an ethics violation (something Newt said he wouldn’t do).

    Newt was out of congress not too long after that. Jim’s legal case is still in the works. Regardless of what I think about Jim, I support the 1st Amendment Right of a newspapers to print information, even if it is illegally obtained (think Pentagon Papers).

  14. 17

    Cougar spews:

    Right on is, as usual, on the wrong side of the issue. You can not explain to a ‘rooster-fish’ like Right on anything that is logical…like a liberal district voting for a liberal. Seems the time is right for R/on to take puddybutt and move to Arkansas.

  15. 18


    You want to know a funny thing about McDermott that will drive the wingnuts batty. When he give a speech, he can tell the truth. I have heard many of his speaches, and have never heard him whisper a totally unfounded talking point, or something that was untrue. Ever. Imagine that.

    It is amazing having a Representative in any district that is not afraid to tell the truth, no matter how much the nutcase right wingers wish it wasn’t so. No matter how much they scream “foul” when they are caught lying, cheating, or stealing.

    Jim doesn’t have to pretend invading Iraq was the right thing to do. Pretend the invasion was because of an “intelligence failure”. Pretend we are safer today with tens of thousands more crazies hating America. Pretend Terry Schaivo is not brain dead. Pretend George Bush is anything but a dishonest incompetent moron.

    Ain’t it great living in a liberal district, where our representatives can tell us the truth without the Talibangelicals getting their panties in a bunch…..

    Tell you what righties. Go ahead and worship Bush, and his cabal of thieves and liars. It only shows how stupid you are, and also how Un-American too.

    The great thing about being a liberal is “All Facts Support My Positions” get it? All facts. I don’t have to rely on Karl (Marx) Rove for talking points to use on my retarded friends to make them think I know something about government.

    Liberal = Me and George Washington….. Jim too….

  16. 19


    WA 2nd CD
    2004 – Larsen 63.907% R 33.577% L 2.5%
    2006 – Larsen 64.162% R 35.838%


    Sorry guys but Larsen is done with his, “I’m leaning as far left as the district will allow me to go.” excuse. Who knows, maybe we’ll get Mark Wilson to challenge him next.

    Chad (The Left) Shue

  17. 20


    Right, Chad…

    Aside from the observation that voting Democratic is not necessarily equivalent to being to Rick Larsen’s left, one notes that Wilson lives in the 23rd LD, which is in Jay Inslee’s WA-01 district. I doubt the good citizens of WA-02 would appreciate a carpetbagger from the Kitsap Peninsula trying to horn in on them, even if said carpetbagger was worthwhile candidate.

    Hey, which party will Mark represent this time? I don’t think he’s tried Natural Law or Prohibition yet.

  18. 21


    Chad @ 19

    When I say a district is trending a direction, I’m refering partisan voter index-type numbers, not the totals from the CD’s margin of victory.

    PVI-type numbers take into account Presidential vote totals, and others, to gauge how “partisan” a district is and by how much. That number for Larsen’s district (from what I remember) was the only one held by a WA Democrat which was trending away from the Dems.

    As for Mark Wilson… yeesh. Wilson supporters didn’t pony up the cash to keep the lights on. I don’t see that happening again.

    N @ 20

    I’m sure WA-2nd, a district made up of decent folks who are not fond of sillyness (Scoop Jackson! Jack Metcalf!) would welcome outsiders. Wilson should instead give WA-7th a shot (just to keep McD on his toes). I swear, Wilson could beat Al Runte’s total if Mark wanted to run for mayor in ’09.

  19. 22


    Found it! At The Cook Political Report, I see that WA-2nd is listed as D+3. I’ll look in to the methodology…

  20. 23


    n @20 and will @ 21

    I should have included a picture showing my tongue firmly implanted in my cheek over the Wilson remark. I was truly spanked over that chapter in my “political life”.

    As to the “trending red” thing, I haven’t seen the raw numbers but I have seen the actual results in the seats of government. Metcalf (R) was an anomoly in the 2nd CD in my lifetime. Preceeded by Democrats Lloyd Meed and Al Swift and followed by Democrat Larsen, Jack Metcalf was only the 2nd republican to serve in that office since Scoop Jackson held the seat starting in 1941 and was simply the beneficiary of the Gingrich revolution when the whole country started “trending red.”

    Even though I was joking about Wilson, I am serious about some folks looking at a genuine Progressive challenge to Larsen in 2008. Aside from his first race for the 2nd CD when it was an open seat and the republicans obviously threw everything they had into holding on to it, Larsen has not had a serious challenge from the right; yet he continues to claim that he has to guard against moving too far left to upset the voters in this “swing district.” After his votes on the so-called Bankruptcy Reform bill and his continuing slide down the “Free Trade” rabbit hole, there was some noise about a Progressive challenge last year. As has been pointed out on many occasions, any successful challenge to a two-year congressional term must start immediately after an election. You can be sure that some serious folks are looking at their chances right now.

    Chad (The Left) Shue

  21. 24

    righton spews:

    will at 16

    so you are in favor of letting anybody tape our phone calls? Ok for GOP then to sniff your wifi and hand that over to Fox news?

    Cool to hear you guys don’t care much for personal privacy.

    You can weasle your way out of the logic by pretending its ok when you nail a gop guy, but the pinciple should survive whomever is in power

  22. 25

    Delbert spews:

    It’s sad that Jim McDivot is so useless in Congress that his best hope is getting someone else a decent committee position.

    And then there’s this from Postman’s recent column:
    “They want the Iraqi constitution rewritten and the former Baath party government, which the U.S. dismantled, brought back to run things.”

    Uh Jim, your buddy Saddam’s dead…

    If I had done what Jim did, with that tape, I’d still be sitting in FEDERAL prison.


  23. 27


    McDerm wastes his position

    Jim has a sinecure, a platform where he could get a lot of real work done. Instead he postures, pontificates and peacocks.

    He may be a nice guy and I must admit to being jealous that someone I do not think of as any more gifted than I am gets paid a nice salary for doing so little, BUT

    imagine any of several other locals in this same job ..

    Ron Sims
    Phil Talmadge
    Norm Rice
    David Goldstein
    Jim Street

    etc. etc.

    BTW, on the local issues that affect his District the guy aint’t there …

    he is invisible on issues affecting the UW
    he is invisible on urban transport
    he is invisible on middle income family housing

    Tike for a grateful District to buy this man a condo.

  24. 28

    skagit spews:

    Chad: After his votes on the so-called Bankruptcy Reform bill and his continuing slide down the “Free Trade” rabbit hole,

    According to Postman’s commentary on his blog, Clinton recently spoke to Dems about continuing to support free trade . . . I’m against it. Sounds like you are as well.

    I’d be interested in your thinking about free trade and progressives. What do you want progressives to do?

  25. 29


    @ 24

    I agree, folks shouldn’t tape cell phone calls. Those folks pled GUILTY. What McD is accussed of is passing the call on to a newspaper. Just like the Pentagon Papers back in the old days, thwe public has a RIGHT TO KNOW that trumps other concerns.

  26. 30

    righton spews:


    So the act was illegal (taping)
    you are saying, “if we think the ends justify the means” we’ll take advantage of a illegally taped call, and toss it to a sympathetic reporter.

    I doubt you’d like that if the politics weren’t the same

  27. 32


    @ 30

    Your beef isn’t with me, it’s with the US Constitution. That’s how it worked with the Pentagon Papers, and it’s how it’s going to be with that tape.

  28. 33

    righton spews:


    US constitution says Zero about Congressional ethics laws with respect to illegally gathered information.
    He gladly passed on politically damaging information. and he knew the information was illegally acquired.

    but i guess you also think it was ok for Clinton to lie under oath; same notion of a lie is ok if it furthers your political goals.


  29. 34

    Helen Cochrane spews:

    Jim McDermott, my Rep, way too cutting edge…to be sorted out in the
    future like the antiwar protests and fledgling environmental movements
    of the 1970’s.