Itâ€™s been about three months since we got together lastâ€¦and as much as I missed yâ€™all â€“ well, letâ€™s just say a long break is truly soothing for the soul.
When I came back, I figured weâ€™d be able to talk about how my Congressman, Dave Reichert (R- Politically Vulnerable And Utterly Ineffectual) was on the political ropes, with a Democrat or two already taking advantage of the fact that, in this cycle, there are a lot of voters who are sick of Republicans â€“ and that a lot of them are located in Washingtonâ€™s 8th District.
But so far, the only thing campaign-y thatâ€™s come to my door was what Reichert calls â€œA Common Sense Jobs Planâ€ (me, I call it either an unimpressive load of hooey or impressively ironic, on several levels), and it makes you wonder if the Democrats might once again fail to make the effort needed, right now, to finally get this guy retired.
And all that suggests that it might be time for some third party to step up and give Reichert the challenge he truly deserves â€“ and in this â€œmost interesting timeâ€ my friend Rosemary might be just the candidate we need.
â€œIn America, even a poor boy can grow up to win the support of powerful special interest groupsâ€
–From a cartoon in John Callahanâ€™s book â€œDo What He Says, Heâ€™s Crazyâ€
So letâ€™s start with the basics: Reichert got himself elected by virtue of the fact that when he was King County Sheriff he led the hunt for the Green River Killer (took a couple decades, but they did eventually get a conviction after he left office).
He also watched more or less helplessly as King County became, in the â€˜80s, Americaâ€™s first indoor marijuana growing capital, and then, later, a major meth manufacturing and auto theft â€œmagnetâ€ community. (You can say this, though: since the Green River Killer preyed on female street prostitutes, the Sheriffâ€™s Office spent a huge amount of effort getting prostitutes off the streets, and these days itâ€™s quite unusual to see street prostitution in the County.)
As a Congressman heâ€™s been equally â€œsuccessfulâ€; as of today heâ€™s on a multi-term run as one of the most ineffectual Members hanging around the place â€“ and thatâ€™s not just my opinion: heâ€™s actually been ranked in the bottom 10% of all CongressCritters, more than once, on a â€œCongressional Ineffectuality Indexâ€ of sorts that used to be maintained by the Congress.org website up until the â€™08 cycle..
WA-08 is one of those Districts that surprises outside observers: itâ€™s right in the heart of Western Washington, which most would assume is deep-blue territory; in fact, itâ€™s quite â€œpurpleâ€, and Republicans have been elected for roughly the past two decades (the quite effectual Republican Jennifer Dunn won several terms here; after her death Reichert took the job).
Strangely enough, Democrats, who have recognized that â€œIneffectual Daveâ€ has a bit of a tenuous hold on the seat, have never really made the effort required to get him out. Theyâ€™ve run candidates (most notably the twice-defeated Darcy Burner, then Susan DelBene), and even sent support from â€œThe National Partyâ€ but the campaigns only seem to get started after Labor Day, and the candidates never really go after Reichert with the fervor needed to do the job.
I found myself sitting next to Darcy Burner at an event last summer, and asked her how she managed to lose â€“ twice â€“ to a guy who, just between you and me, is neither a compelling speaker, a genius at electoral organizing, nor a fireball of political actionâ€¦and she didnâ€™t really have an answer; instead she just looked at me and made a sound reminiscent of the Yiddish word oy.
Sure enough, Burner is running for Congress again this cycle â€“ but not in the 8th; instead, sheâ€™s going to run in Jay Insleeâ€™s nice, safe 1st District, which heâ€™s leaving because heâ€™s today running for Governor of Washington.
(There was a rumor that Dennis Kucinich might be moving to Washington to run in the 1st, so as to avoid having to run against fellow decent human being Nancy Kaptor following Ohioâ€™s recent redistricting; at the same political event last summer I asked him why he didnâ€™t consider running in the 8th against Reichert, and he also had no coherent answer.)
So who are the Democrats running against Reichert this time?
I have no idea â€“ so I conducted my own entirely unscientific survey: so far I havenâ€™t found anyone who even knows who the Democrats might be running, much less anyone who has an opinion about their candidates.
And that one fact in itself may mean, sadly, that we better get used to the idea of another term for Ineffectual Dave.
Michael Moore made a short film about the effort in 2000 to run a ficus plant as a write-in candidate against New Jerseyâ€™s Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen â€“ and about what happened on Election Day when it began to appear that Ficus might actually be winning in certain precinctsâ€¦and it got me thinking: if the Democrats canâ€™t get Ineffectual Dave out of there, canâ€™t we at least get a candidate in the race whoâ€™s willing to make the effort to portray him as he really is?
And thatâ€™s why, today, weâ€™re talking about my friend Rosemary.
Rosemary was born in Seattle, but she put down roots in the 8th about a year ago, and since then sheâ€™s grown to almost two feet tall.
Sheâ€™s filling in, too: all those branches that have been growing out her front have stretched out, and now theyâ€™re sending shoots vertically â€“ and if you put those two facts together, sheâ€™s actually accomplished more in a year than Ineffectual Dave has in at least a couple of terms back in The Other Washington.
There are a lot of other reasons why Rosemary would better represent the 8th than Ineffectual Dave; here are a few:
–Reichert claims heâ€™s a pro-environment Republican, but there is no way heâ€™s ever going to be more pro-environmental than a candidate who can absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, both at the same time.
–Rosemary is far more interested in feeding people than she is in blowing them up, and thatâ€™s a position that would get you sautÃ©ed if you were a Republican, which is why Ineffectual Dave wants the defense budget to grow and Rosemary doesnâ€™t.
–Reichert, a former Sheriff, is obviously against freedom for our friend the cannabis plant; Rosemary, on the other hand, supports all plants in their struggles to be fully accepted in their natural environments.
–As an individual born of cloning, Rosemary is far more sensitive than Reichert could ever be regarding issues related to the stereotyping of other plants â€“ or other people.
–I mentioned above that Iâ€™ve seen the postcard announcing Reichertâ€™s jobs plan (but good luck finding any news about his plans to create jobs on his official website), and, to be blunt, the man does not know his ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to the economy. Rosemaryâ€™s ass, on the other hand, is a hole in the ground. (Full Disclosure: I blatantly stole that line from one of the Ficus for Congress ads, but itâ€™s just too good not to use right here as well.)
So hereâ€™s where weâ€™re at: Iâ€™ve never really asked the reader community for money or assistance in any big way before, and Iâ€™m wondering, before we get started, if there are folks out there who would basically like to send a big olâ€™ raspberry to both the Democrats and the Republican in this race: to the Democrats for not making the effort, once again, and to Ineffectual Dave for beingâ€¦well, for just being Ineffectual Dave, basically?
Let me know right here, or, if you prefer, at Rosemaryâ€™s new email address RosemaryforCongress@msn.com (you can also follow her Tweets @ElectRosemary or visit her blog at WriteInRosemary.blogspot.com), and letâ€™s see if we can make a change in WA-08 for the better â€“ and not just for the plants, but for the people, too.