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November 15, 2006

Reichert in the Minority

Dave Reichert has some decisions to make.  Being in Congress when you are in the majority and have the leaders watching out for your interests and protecting your back for your next election is quite different than being in the minority. He will be stripped of his sub-committee chairmanship and is likely to lose two staff members.  His patron, Dennis Hastert, is out as Speaker of the House, and many say that Hastert is likely to leave the House altogether, given his huge loss of status and possible pending legal action over his role in the Mark Foley scandal.  Unless Dave Reichert is prepared to carve out a new role for himself, a role where he cooperates with the Democrats to further the interests of his constituents, he will be useless.

Our wonderful Democratic Congresscritters should know, having had that experience for the last 14 years.  In an article by Jonathan Martin in the Seattle Times today, Jim McDermott says:

It will be kind of a rude shock for him. He was in the majority and had a subcommittee chair. Now he loses about 90 percent of his power.

Part of what we'll go through with Dave is whether he wants to follow his leadership and play 'Let's defeat the Democrats' or to come across the line and work with us.

Jay Inslee said that the Democrats won't need Reichert's vote to pass their agenda but that the state delegation tends to work cooperatively on issues of priority to the region.  If Reichert chose to do so, he could act as liaison to the Bush Administration on issues such as renewable energy.  He added, "I'm going to take off my love-in hat and say Dave has not been terribly active on energy issues to date. If he gets up to speed on energy, that'd be great."

Reichert's chief of staff, Mike Shields, responded by saying that Reichert would not change his approach. 

What Reichert, and all Congresscritters, don't seem to get is that we - the netroots - will be documenting what he does this time around.  We helped a lot nationally and in this state in making this tremendous shift happen.  We're not going away.  We will watch our Democratic electeds' backs - when they deserve it - and that includes letting folks know how the Republicans respond when the Democrats begin to do what the voters asked for in this election.

Posted by Lynn Allen on November 15, 2006 at 07:46 AM in Candidate Races | Permalink

Comments

Besides the Iraq incompetence that Mr. Reichert has continued to support (voting against audits and such) he also voted against protecting medical marijuana patients. His district overwhelming supports the rights of the sick and dying to use whatever medication works for them, but Mr. Reicher, since he did so well in medical school was quoted as saying that marijuana is not a medicine and gave a big FU to his constituents on this important issue during the last congress.

Posted by: Rob Killian | Nov 15, 2006 11:28:01 AM

The REAL bonus about having the majority in Congress will be our ability to force GOP moderates (like Dave-o) to take uncomfortable votes over and over again, which will provide Darcy some ammo for '08.

Posted by: Will | Nov 15, 2006 10:53:40 PM

Oh c'mon, Lynn, didn't you point us to the Martin article because it includes a picture of Darcy hugging you? :-)

URL: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2006/11/14/2003431043.jpg

Even the back of your head is more photogenic than Dan or me.

Posted by: Neal Traven | Nov 17, 2006 2:36:45 PM

Neal,

Caught me out, did you? I actually pointed that out as an update in another post the same day - about Darcy's thank you and concession. I agree it's a nice photo and at least two people figured out it was me. Not so easy if you weren't there.

Posted by: Lynn | Nov 17, 2006 9:35:24 PM

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