Dave Reichert is a cynical Trump hack. For twelve years he has been posing as a moderate Republican, willing to cross the party line to promote positions of importance to his constituents. Over the years this approach has degraded into cynical tokenism and hollow symbolic gestures. Reichert’s allegiance is not to the 8th District but to Donald Trump, who Reichert blindly serves.
In 2016, while running against Tony Ventrella, Reichert made a great show of declining to endorse Trump and questioning his values. But then he lauded Trump’s inauguration speech and declined to express an opinion when asked by the Seattle Times about Trump’s initial Muslim ban.
When King 5 News finally tracked him down a few days later, he expressed his disappointment with the executive order but declined to express any support of the Washington Attorney General’s lawsuit against it. His interview was notable for his obvious discomfort with the questions. His blithe and facile manner was gone. Instead his speech consisted of incessant pauses and repeating “ah’ and “uhm” every few words. He obviously was quite uncomfortable accounting for himself.
After the 9th Circuit Court ruled against the ban he came out with a statement saying that it was hurtful and not put together well, thereby giving a meaningless nod to the overwhelming view of his constituents without endangering the enforceability of the order. When the Washington Post surveyed the Republicans in Congress it found 23 who openly opposed the executive order, none from Washington. Dan Newhouse and Jaime Herrera Butler, two of Washington’s representatives, were on the list of Republicans with reservations, each straightforward enough to give an explanation of his or her problems with the executive order. Reichert put his name on this list without giving a statement.
Behind the scenes Reichert is an entirely different beast. Clinton won his district by a margin of 3%, but those voting for Clinton have been entirely abandoned by Reichert who has voted in support of Trump’s agenda items at virtually every opportunity, over 90% of the time.
He has jumped whole hog onto the Trump train, voting against even requiring the Treasury Department to produce Trump’s tax returns for review by the Ways and Means Committee. He did this despite strong public support to require disclosure of records made public by Trump’s predecessors in office.
Count on Reichert to try to appease his constituents by meaningless tokenism and bland public statements (he declines to meet with the people of his district), while serving as Trump’s toady.