Tuesday, April 01, 2008

 

It sucks to be Jim McDermott

Not a great week for Congressman Jim McDermott. First we learn his “fact-finding” trip to Baghdad as part of his campaign to keep the US out of Iraq was in fact underwritten by the guy who had the most to gain by keeping the US out of Iraq: Saddam Hussein.

“A spokesman for Mr. McDermott, Michael DeCesare, yesterday said the trip had been billed as an opportunity to "see the plight of the Iraqi children." He said Mr. McDermott was invited by a Seattle church group and was unaware of any other funding.” Charity official held in Iraq trip

…in other words, he went into Iraq based on faulty intelligence.

And now we learn that Rep. McDermott is a loser in a civil suit brought on by another congressman, House Minority Leader John Boehner….and it is an expensive loss: approx. one million dollars (Ed. Note: Can anyone say “one million dollars” nowadays without hearing and picturing this?) This goes back to an instance where Congressman McDermott leaked a tape recording of a conversation that included Congressman Boehner (and other Republican congressmen, including Newt Gingrich).

This was a noble fight though:

“"This has been a long and costly battle but, in the final analysis, the judgment handed down today in the U.S. District Court is a small price to pay in defense of so fundamental a principle, and freedom, as the First Amendment," McDermott said, later adding: "While the amount of damages assessed in this case is significant, I submit that defending the First Amendment is beyond measure and worth every penny." McDermott Owes Boehner $1 Million for Legal Fees - Capitol Briefing

Yeah, the congressman has been a real stalwart on this from the beginning:

“One question that still dogs McDermott has to do with how he behaved at the beginning of the tape imbroglio. The Martins held a press conference shortly after the story broke and named McDermott as the recipient of their tape, but McDermott himself waited five years before admitting his role. In the meantime, he evaded questions and, in one case, lied. "I've never understood why he didn't tell the truth from the beginning," wrote Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat in 2004, shortly after one of McDermott's legal setbacks in the case.” The War on Jim McDermott

And his commitment to free speech is absolute…unless, of course, you want to mention a federal candidate within 60 days of an election. Vote on Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (2002)

Most importantly, his courageous defense of Linda Tripp’s right to record her own conversations was made without any consideration of the politics involved….(Yes – of course that last was an April Fool’s comment)

Comments:
Steve Beren, GOP challenger against Jim McDermott, April 1, 2008:

Today is April Fools Day, and it is time for Jim McDermott to stop fooling around. It is time for a new exit strategy, one that removes McDermott from office. Jim McDermott should cut a check, pay the fine, and resign now! The time has come for McDermott to go. When you look at the record of this case, you have to conclude that McDermott has placed himself above the law. A member of congress ought to be a citizen representative, with the highest ethics and deepest patriotism. McDermott's unethical behavior, unworthy of any citizen, is absolutely unworthy of a member of congress. His flagrant disregard of his legal and ethical responsibilities disqualify him from office. Of course, this is the same McDermott who opposes our troops and opposes a victory strategy in the war against Islamic terrorism. So when McDermott puts himself above the law, it's hardly surprising.
 
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