Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Republican Dave Reichert jokes about the death of Hillary Clinton

Not only is Dave Reichert an ineffective congressman, but he has a twisted sense of humor, as the Tacoma News Tribune's Niki Sullivan reports:
Right now, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert is up. He repeated a joke I first heard him tell at the Pierce County Republicans’ Lincoln Day breakfast earlier this year. It involves an airplane that’s going to crash, one fewer parachute than passengers and, ultimately, Hillary Clinton dying.
It sounds, as David Goldstein observes, like an unoriginal, crass schoolyard joke I used to hear all the time from classmates when I was younger and attending elementary school. Here's a rendition of it, as transcribed by David:
A grandfather, a grandson, a wealthy man and [Despised Public Figure] are flying on a plane, when the pilot comes out and announces that the plane is about to crash, but that there are only four parachutes for the five of them.

“I’ve trained for too many years to die like this,” the pilot says, so he straps on the first parachute and jumps out of the plane. Next the wealthy man says, “I’m much too rich to die this young,” so he grabs the second parachute and jumps out of the plane. Then [Despised Public Figure] stands up and says “I’m [Despised Public Figure], and I’m much too important to die,” so he grabs the third parachute and jumps out of the plane.

Finally, the grandfather turns to his grandson and says, “I’m old; I’ve lived a long life. Here, you take the last parachute.” To which the grandson replies, “That’s okay grandpa, there’s a parachute for both of us… [Despised Public Figure] took my backpack!”
Some versions of it use celebrities, others politicians, and still others use athletes (for example, Alex Rodriguez, who was vilified for the contract he signed with the Texas Rangers). It's a fill-in-the-blank joke for kids which pokes fun at adults and doesn't leave much to the imagination. The punch line relies on the assumption that the adult in question is stupid.

Now, Reichert or anybody else can argue that Hillary Clinton is ambitious, or stubborn, or shameless, but she is certainly not dumb.

To her credit, she's exceptionally sharp and calculating in addition to being determined... and that has carried her a very long way.

Joking about the death of one of the two Democrats seeking the presidency, if not inappropriate, is certainly not classy, and is further evidence that Dave Reichert himself does not have good judgment.

Perhaps this is because he isn't truly invested in his job.

He doesn't work hard on Capitol Hill, his campaign is ambling or meandering along at a lazy pace, and he's frequently careless with his choice of words. Last cycle his campaign finished with a condescending, sexist TV ad.

Why is he even running for reelection? Is it because - as he has openly admitted in the past - his good friends told him to?

Darcy Burner campaign spokesman Sandeep Kaushik notes:
When Congressman Reichert goes before nonpartisan audiences he likes to bemoan the loss of civility and lack of bipartisanship in Washington, D.C. Apparently he does not really mean it, because when he gets before his fellow Republicans he takes a very different tone -- this is just the latest unfortunate example of that.
Reichert projects a nice image, but his campaign is almost entirely devoid of substance. He claims to think for himself, but time and again he just votes as instructed to by John Boehner and Roy Blunt.

Thankfully, voters in the 8th will have the opportunity this November to replace Dave Reichert with Darcy Burner, who is ready to provide the candor, openness, and sincerity that the position of United States Representative deserves.


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