(11/15/17) Where’s our representative, Cathy McMorris Rogers?

Here we are with the Republicans in Congress lining up in front of media microphones to denounce an alleged sexual predator, Judge Roy Moore, who thinks he should be their guy in the Senate from Alabama.  Gadsden, Alabama’s pride and joy has the GOP leadership apoplectic at the prospect of having to eject an elected senator like Moore who has a history of prowling malls and high school civics classes in his 30s looking for dates.

Admittedly, this depraved (retired?) predator Roy Moore plans to infect the Senate, not the House of Representatives. But you have to wonder, wouldn’t a powerful woman like Cathy McMorris Rodgers in GOP leader in the House have something to say about the victimization of young girls by a politically powerful man?  Apparently not. Silence.

Cathy McMorris Rogers purports to be the fourth most powerful person in Congress. Yet Wikipedia officially lists the Republican leadership as: Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Then it moves on to describe the Democratic Party leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Stenny Hoyer.  Oops! They missed McMorris Rodgers, the fourth most influential legislator in the House of Representatives.  All that clout, and yet no mention of Cathy. Hmmmm…

Not to worry.  If you want to find the fourth most powerful Congressperson, you need only adjust your glance during any of the seemingly endless appearances of other Republican leaders on your TV screen.  Just look to the left or right and behind any of these brighter lights of the GOP.  There McMorris is!

That’s’ our Cathy, standing a row or two back, sometimes obscured by a flagpole or potted plant, always with good posture. There’s our McMorris Rodgers with the same forced grimace-cum-smile.  There’s CMR, head nodding approval at just the right moments, politely applauding on cue.

Occasionally we may even see our Congresswoman McMorris Rogers in a solo appearance as she leaves the podium at the beginning of a presser, just before someone the media actually wants to hear from takes to the dais.  Apparently, Cathy is useful for microphone checks.

Often, Cathy McMorris Rodgers is the only distaff member of her caucus in the crowded video frame at media opportunities.  She serves to prove the GOP leadership is not composed entirely of cranky old Southern men with names like Buddy or Trey or Jefferson Beauregard or smug X-Gen refugees from a Nordstrom catalog. McMorris Rodgers sidelined position in this bold new Congressional leadership team is somehow supposed to reflect her power, accumulated via six re-elections, in the Congressional 5th District, a seat the Democratic Party has pretty much written off as unwinnable…until this year.

For the first time in a long while, the Democratic National Committee and the Congressional Campaign Committee are committing resources to taking back the 5th Congressional District, part of a larger effort to recapture the House of Representatives, https://www.rollcall.com/politics/dccc-target-list-gop.

That may account for the recent uptick in canned email updates I have been getting from the our Representative McMorris Rodgers lately.  Often these emails will include a Rogers interview copied from some obscure conservative radio broadcast or podcast or a blurry video from the basement of some Bannon wannabe.

Since McMorris Rodgers painfully boring response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address 2014, (See it here, if you are having trouble sleeping through Donald Trump’s tweet storms:  https://youtu.be/QKWc_mMal1A).

This presentation should make it clear why Congresswoman Rogers has been pretty much the potted plant at GOP media events. As she said in that snoozer, “Who’d have believed a young girl working the drive through at the McDonald’s in Colville….”

She makes a good point. I’ve been to that Colville McDonald lots of times and I can tell you that I don’t remember a single face from that drive-through window, not even CMR’s.

Clearly, voters in Eastern Washington can do better – much better, as it turns out this cycle. This election cycle, voters in Eastern Washington don’t have to pick one tribe or the other. Yes, CMR’s opponent will be running under the Democratic party banner.

Lisa Brown, will be running mostly under her own flag, a bright, inspiring banner of legislative and economic development achievements that helped Eastern Washington survive the Bush-Cheney recession as Majority Leader of the Washington State Senate.

Then she came home to lead the development of a full-on, uniquely conceived medical school for Washington State University.  While in the state senate, Brown pressured, cajoles, smoozed and persuaded her peers to support establishing WSU’s first medical school right here in Spokane.  And due to her leadership as Chancellor of the WSU Spokane campus that developed a truly unique focus on developing general practitioners who will stay in Eastern Washington to practice in the critical, but vanishing, role of family doctor.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers can continue to hide from the white male bullies like Judge Roy Moore.  She is an expert at fading into the background when the political heat rises.

But Lisa Brown didn’t deliver these very real benefits of North Side freeway funding, Kendall Yard development incentives or Spokane’s first complete medical school by hiding behind her male counterparts, smiling complacently in row two or three of every photo op.

At long last it should be abundantly clear to the Eastern Washington voter that we can do better…a lot better by voting for her. She’s the one in the front row, at the microphone, leading, not the potted plant in the background behind that collection of cranky old men.

By Jim Wavada