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Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist

  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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My cardboard cutout Congresswoman

Posted by James McPherson on August 2, 2011

Along with a small group of other folks, I stopped by the office of my U.S. representative, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, today to complain about the new debt reduction “deal” and the hijacking of the democratic process that Republican Tea Party sypathizers used to force Democrats into deal–while doing their damndest to assure that the economy would suffer further, and that it cannot recover enough to benefit Barack Obama in 2012. (Congressional Dems and Obama have also repeatedly proven themselves to be essentially gutless negotiators, of course.)

The Congresswoman wasn’t in her local office, of course, and we didn’t expect her to be. But we’ve seen plenty of her, and so have you–that’s  her in the photo, with House Speaker John Boehner, the one place where her constitents know they can find her virtually any time Boehner speaks on TV.

McMorris Rodgers never speaks. She just stands there, like a cardboard cutout, perhaps to make it appear as if Republicans care about women. Her “YouTube channel” consists of a single video, in which she is being interviewed by… oh, go ahead, I’ll bet you can guess… Fox News.

Unfortunately McMorris Rodgers also is about as thoughtful as a cardboard cutout. She votes in lockstep with the most conservative Republicans, has willingly forfeited whatever reasoning process she might be tempted to use by signing Grover Norquist’s silly tax pledge, and sometimes co-signs legislation generated by others. But as far as generating ideas of her own? In six years, my Congresswoman has introduced 34 bills, only four of which have made it out of committee–and NONE of which have passed.

In our conversation with the aide, I incorrectly said Cathy had introduced 32 bills, but he helpfully pointed out that she had introduced two more just a couple of days ago. And–perhaps surprisingly, for a Republican–these bills actually call for funding something related to science. The fact that they are related to Down syndrome (admittedly, one of many worthy medical causes) means they are more related to the Congresswoman’s own situation than to that of the vast majority of her constituents.

I don’t know where Cathy was today–probably on call in case Boehner was able to find a camera. But officially she had gone on recess for the next five weeks. And since Congressional Republicans also tried to kill unions in exchange for funding the FAA,  some 4,000 airline employees and thousands of construction workers will be without work. Remember how Republicans kept saying their primary concern was about jobs?

Today some of her constituents asked if Cathy would be having any town hall meetings during the recess, and an aide assured that she “planned to,” but “none have been scheduled yet.” I’ll be pleasantly surprised–hell, I’ll be amazed–if she has the guts to host one in which opponents can question her, even in this deeply red district. After all, she offers only vague, often irrelevant, sometimes condescending responses to emails and letters–responses that we pay for, of course.

The aide was a nice young man, but despite knowing about her two most recent bills he didn’t seem to be all that well informed about his boss–not knowing that she had signed the Norquist pledge, for example. On the other hand, he’s probably as well informed as Cathy, and he doesn’t have Boehner to tell him what to think.

When someone asked why McMorris Rodgers was such a fan of Exxon, the aide replied, “I don’t think we’ve ever had anyone from Exxon in here.” Well, duh–I doubt that oil executives drop by an office in the outer reaches of the country, especially when that office isn’t frequented by the member of Congress. But the fact remains that Exxon-Mobil is one of McMorris Rodgers’ top donors for the 2012 campaign now underway.

Her top donor during her time in Congress? The billionaire Koch brothers-funded, union-gutting, right-wing Club for Growth. I’ll bet she talks to them, even if she won’t speak to her constituents.

Next-day addendum: Not surprisingly, I wasn’t the only one to notice McMorris Rodgers’ hypocrisy. Spokesman-Review columnist Shawn Vestal had a piece about it this morning. I was briefly more excited about another Spokesman headline: “Feds announce turkey recall.” Sadly, the story turned out not to be about the new budget agreement.

9 Responses to “My cardboard cutout Congresswoman”

  1. reuel said

    Oh course I must remind you that of those 6 years she was in the minority party for 4 of them so her “Getting a bill to the floor” for that time was impossible. The only thing that happened the last two years Of President Bush and the Democrats in charge of the house and Senate was a endless investigation of the Bush Administration, which were all a waste of time and only lead to Scooter Libby getting in trouble for perjury. That he deserved and was not pardon by President Bush. But the rest of the investigations ended and nothing was found. Kind of the same as when Governor Palin step down to make some money to pay her 500,000 dollar legal fees for frivolous investigations, they to ended. Amazing how that works. Side bar here. If the Democrats are so good at passing bills and saving the world, Why have they not passed a budget in 850 some days? As for top donors, Barry Obama has a top donor and he last name is Soros. Nothing wrong with taking money from a country and company destroyer that profits from his destruction.

    Your party had the White House the Senate and the House for two years and unemployment numbers went up and stayed up. The only bill they passed that anyone will remember was the “Health-Scare Bill that cost more to just start up than it would of to just give these 35 Million they say are not covered free healthcare. That I would of been OK with, that bill is a job killer along with all the regulations his administration has enacted since 2009. See a bleeding heart Conservative that don’t mind free healthcare for the real deserving. Not a Blank check that no one can trace to it final destination.

  2. James McPherson said

    Surely you don’t think you’re going to get me to support Obama, the Dems, or the health care bill (though the problem is the lack of universal coverage, which would decrease costs)? Though as far as I’m concerned, there was too little–not too much–investigation of the Bushies (though I also think Cheney was far more corrupt, while Bush was far more stupid).

    And I have to chuckle when conservatives now talk about investigating Obama. Thanks to precedents set under Reagan (during Iran-Contra), Clinton and W, it is almost impossible to make a president or his key staffers turn over anything that would be meaningful to an investigation.

    By the way, people with good ideas can get bills to the House floor even when the other party is in control. McMorris Rodgers can’t seem to convince either party that she has any such ideas. Thanks for the comment.

  3. reuel said

    Your probably right, I really never heard of her. Some are leaders and some are lemmings. Sorting them out can get difficult at times. President Bush was not stupid he just didn’t have the experience in Washington as Cheney and the rest of that group over there. He did wise up after he sobered up. But look at what all that supposed brain power in Washington has gotten us. AA+ rating from the S & P and about 17 Trillion Dollars of debt by 2013. That would be almost 7 Trillion in 4 years. Then Our current President preaches anti war and starts another that I told you he could not possibly gain anything from that except embarrassment. Funny the Left Stream Media is not even reporting on that one. So I shall not put full blame for the state of this country on one person as the left love to chant the Bash Bush statements. The left had both houses from 2007 to 2010 and are conspirators to the crime of destroying our children’s future. They really did not use the word compromise until 2010 when they were given a shellacking. Both side could use a good shellacking about right now.

  4. James McPherson said

    “Both side could use a good shellacking about right now.”

    Indeed. Both parties have contributed heavily to the mess for a long time. Neither seems to be very serious about fixing it, at least at the cost of scoring political points or risking a primary challenge.

  5. reuel said

    Honestly I wish someone on the left would step up and challenge Obama. I would prefer to have two choices to pick from next November. As I have said before, if it would of been Hillary vs McCain she would of got my vote. 2008 was to much about President Bush and not enough about how exactly either one of the choices would of fix what they said was wrong. Don’t let our friend get you down I just got her spun up and he/she made a huge fool of it self yesterday. That site is just amusement to me cause I don’t belong to any country club you know and we are to stupid to swap wits with such a Rainman/woman as that. I do believe it is a she.

  6. reuel said

    Iowa debate synopsis;

    Perry won, Palenty, Cain, the x governor of Utah and Santorum should exit stage left. Bachmann held her ground. Newt was the smartest person on the stage, but does not stand a chance with all the baggage. Romney Boring. Ron Paul entertaining but nothing he said is possible in the real world. Palin and Huckabee close by hoping someone trips up or asked to be VP.

    Straw poll guess for tomorrow; Bachmann, Paul, Perry in that order and maybe Huckabee finishing good as a write in. After Iowa who knows how this thing is going to turn.

    Disclosure statement; because someone thinks I am trailer trash now my thought may just be garbage. What a piece of work that one is, I get it now. Totally Mental quite possibly. Have a good weekend.

    Why Perry won? He stayed out of a huge dog fight last night, wise indeed.

  7. James McPherson said

    I’ve been at a conference most of the week, interacting with real (and sane) people, so haven’t been paying much attention to either the news or what goes on over on that other site. But yes, the one who shall go unnamed is clearly nuts–and since his/her ilk seem to have taken over the site, which simply repeats information from elsewhere (so much for the “journalism” in the name) as a way of drawing paying suckers to other sites, there’s even less reason to go there.

    I don’t see any of the above as able to win both the GOP nomination and the general election. The best thing Obama has going for him is the Republicans.

  8. […] since one would think that her supporters would be more likely than her detractors to read it), Cathy McMorris Rodgers apparently will host a town hall meeting Wednesday at 6 […]

  9. […] author Edward Klein is lying. The Washington Times is lying. The Daily Caller is lying. My cardboard cutout Congresswoman, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, is lying. House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority leader Eric Cantor […]

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