On The Road To 2008 - Commentary on issues as we countdown to the next opportunity to change the direction of America

Monday, July 16, 2007

You Heard It Here First: Reichert To Flip On Iraq

Congressman Reichert has a tendency to flip. Sometimes he'll simply flop. Often, he'll change his position on an issue during the time it is being considered by the U.S. House.

We saw him flip on stem cell research.

We saw him flop on raising the minimum wage, before finally supporting a Democratic bill that did just that.

We saw him vote for ANWR drilling, while simultaneously stating his was against it.

Sometimes we're not sure what exactly is driving his votes, as he has stated that he often votes how his party tells him to vote.

So I'm here to predict that later this year, Dave Reichert will once again flip, but this time on an issue he has voted with the Bush administration 100% of the time: the Iraq occupation.

The original votes to authorize the use of force in Iraq took place before Dave Reichert became a congressman, so he had the opportunity from the very beginning to observe the situation as it stood in early 2005 and vote against the Iraq mess. Instead, he has voted lock, step and barrel in support of every new Bush "strategy" in Iraq. During the 2006 election debate with challenger Darcy Burner he even went as far as to parrot George Bush's contention that the U.S. had invaded Iraq because "we were attacked on September 11", despite the fact the perpetrators of those attacks were Al Qaeda terrorists, and almost all of them were from Saudi Arabia.

Last I checked, we still haven't invaded the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But I digress.

John McCain has been one of the most vocal supporters of Bush's Iraq policies, and his refusal to budge from an increasingly unpopular position has surely played a significant role in his sharp tumble as a Presidential hopeful. Chances are he will not recover from the resultant fundraising shortfall and the departure of one campaign adviser after another.

Dave Reichert's support of those same Iraq policies has been equally unwavering. In February he voted in support of Bush's "surge", that would result in a 30,000 troop escalation in Iraq mere months after the voting public had sent a strong message to Congress that they wanted troop levels reduced, not increased, by giving the Democrats a majority in both houses of Congress.

One month later Reichert once again voted for more of the same in Iraq, for continued occupation. When Bush vetoed the bill, Reichert again cast his vote with the President and for the "surge".

On Thursday, Reichert once again voted against a bill that sought to reduce the level of troops in Iraq by April next year.

In total, according to Howie Klein at DownWithTyranny, Reichert is 17 for 17 in voting with Bush on Iraq. Like I said, on Iraq, Reichert has sided 100% with Bush. That's not an anti-Reichert campaign theme, or an attempt to bring Bush into the picture when talking about Reichert - it is simply a fact about Dave Reichert.

However, just as Reichert has on other issues, despite his past voting record, I am sure he will change his mind on the Iraq issue.


Because in all of his voting, in all of his positions, one thing that has been consistent is that Dave Reichert doesn't vote on principle, because Dave Reichert doesn't stand for anything. As I've previously said, as he's previously said, he'll vote for or against an issue when his party tells him to. He'll flip and he'll flop his way around an issue. He wants to establish a record that is on both sides of every issue so that come election time he can run ads that state he voted for or against issues, whichever position helps him get re-elected. So that during the debates he'll be able to refer to a vote to try to make an argument or undercut an attack.

Simply put, Reichert has no intention of suffering a McCaining on Iraq at the hands of voters.

I don't know if Reichert himself is smart enough to come up with such a tactic, or whether he's unwittingly stumbling into the strategy, or whether his handlers are telling him how to vote, but the end result will be the same: his vote on Iraq will eventually flip as well.

So if I'm going to predict he'll flip on Iraq, I guess I should also predict when.

I've already stated that he'll do so later this year. I'm going to suggest he'll wait until after General Petraeus makes his report on the progress in Iraq of Bush's "surge", or probable lack thereof. Indications are already coming back that the "surge" has not been effective enough. Petraeus' report will be a convenient point at which Reichert will be able to suggest that his "investigations" have led him to conclude that we're just not making progress, and that it is time to focus on bringing the troops home and turning over the security of Iraq to Iraqis. He will have only been a few years late in coming to a conclusion most Americans have already come to, but then again, given how long it took him to nab the Green River killer (during which time many people died - which always seems to be the case with Reichert "investigations"), that would be par for the course.

As probably the foremost watcher of Dave Reichert (he is my congressman after all), it only seemed appropriate you should read about his flip flop on Iraq here before you did so elsewhere. When it happens we can chalk another one up for his "as the wind blows" voting pattern, while also hoping that he truly believes that his new position is the right one, and that it is what his constituents have wanted him to do for a number of years now - although I'm not going to hold my breath on that.

4 Comment(s):

Comment by: Anonymous David McManus

But yet, this wasn't a problem when Kerry was running? Did you call out Kerry when he consistently went back and forth on issues during the 04 run? Why the double standard? Never mind....I know the answer.

- David

7/18/2007 4:43 PM PT  
Comment by: Blogger Daniel Kirkdorffer

The simple answer is I wasn't blogging during that time.

The more complex answer would probably blow your mind: Reichert isn't Kerry, and the issue you say Kerry "flip flopped" on was mis-characterized as such. He voted to give the President the authorization to use force in Iraq after all other diplomatic approaches had been exhausted. In hindsight, given how Bush abused that power and didn't exhaust all other avenues, he admitted he was wrong to have voted that way. Hardly the same.

7/18/2007 5:05 PM PT  
Comment by: Anonymous David McManus

I call bullshit on that. You WERE blogging at the time and I do not recall anything of the sort on your blog. Just Kerry cheerleading.

7/18/2007 5:11 PM PT  
Comment by: Blogger Daniel Kirkdorffer

Must have been a different blog David. I started this blog in earnest after the 2004 election, which is why it is named what it is named. The postings that pre-date that were derived from letters I wrote to newspapers.

Meanwhile, addressing the issue at hand, I've already answered it.

7/18/2007 5:55 PM PT  

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