Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Reichert among least influential in Congress

Darryl at HA catches this Alicia Mundy piece concerning how low Dave Reichert has dropped in relevance. From The Seattle Times:
The annual power rankings from have dropped Reichert, now a sophomore Republican, from 168th among 439 members to 419th. That puts him lower than emissaries from the District of Columbia (100), Guam (177) and Puerto Rico (377), none of whom represent a state or have actual voting rights in the House.

It's one of the miseries of suddenly waking up in the minority party.
There's an interesting bit Mundy has near the end of her article:
A longtime Democratic staffer with the delegation, who begged for anonymity, said Reichert's in a tough spot.

GOP House leaders are keeping their members on a tighter leash than they did last Congress. Republicans who cross over get press, but they face retaliation inside their own party.

And it won't gain them Democratic allies unless they have a "safe seat" in their district. Reichert barely won re-election; Democrats want his spot and have no reason to help him succeed in Congress.
Just imagine, people play politics in Washington, D.C. Stunning. Note to "longtime Democratic staffers with the delegation:" don't beg, it's unseemly.

Reichert may be in a tough spot, but that's little reason to feel sorry for him and those who editorialized in favor of his election. Reichert chose to remain a a rubber stamp representative on the occupation in Iraq and many other issues, so now he gets his reward. Tough.

The citizens of the WA-08 could be enjoying the benefits of having Darcy Burner as their representative, but hey, there's an election next year.

The question editorial writers might want to start asking themselves is how on earth Reichert is going to do much of anything for the 8th District while being a member of a minority party that simply won't allow true independence. People need Congress-critters to represent their interests, not the interests of Karl Rove and John Boehner. It's hard to envision Reichert growing into the sort of pragmatic politician that could successfully buck the top-down nature of the GOP, which has been more intent on punishing those it perceives as enemies than on doing the people's work.

As it stands now there are 418 districts (and territories!) with more influence than WA-08, which is pretty sad for the home district of that big software company up there.

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