Yakima is part of Washington's massive 4th Congressional District which stretches from Canada to the Columbia River. Since 2014 the district's elected representative has been Zillah area farmer Republican Dan Newhouse. In November Newhouse was elected to start a fourth term having received 202,108 votes or 66% of the total votes cast.  That's a pretty comfortable cushion by any measure. Just thinking out loud here but I wonder if his vote today on impeachment will change that equation next time?

Fact Check:  In 2014 Dan Newhouse ran against fellow Republican Clint Didier when the margin was much much closer.

U.S. House, Washington District 4 General Election, 2014
PartyCandidateVote %Votes
RepublicanClint Didier49.2%75,307
RepublicanGreen check mark transparent.pngDan Newhouse50.8%77,772
Total Votes153,079
Source: Washington Secretary of State

 

The Congressman released this statement earlier today.

"This is a pivotal and solemn moment in our country’s history. I wholeheartedly believe our nation – and the system of government it was founded upon – may well be in jeopardy if we do not rise to this occasion. This is not a decision I take lightly.“

I imagine not.  Newhouse voted to proceed with the impeachment of President Trump. Surprised? Newhouse was lukewarm on the President from the beginning.  While the Never-Trumpers made their position clear, Newhouse was more guarded, but certainly not enthusiastic.  As Trump's accomplishments started to pile up, the Congressman seemed to come around.  In fact, when the Texas Attorney General pushed a legal case to the Supreme Court asking for a review of election irregularities in a number of swing states, Newhouse was among more than 100 plus members of congress who supported the case.

So...the Congressman felt investigating voting irregularities had merit then....

Newhouse voted for the 900 billion dollar Covid relief stimulus bill because he said there were things in it that would be good for agriculture in Washington.  Does that consideration -at this time- override a measly $600 in relief for folks who really need help now?  You'll have to decide that for yourself.

The Congressman's statement continued:

"Last week, hateful and un-American extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol, attacking both the structural embodiment of our Republic and the values we promote as citizens of this great nation. This violent mob, intent on disturbing the constitutional duties of Congress, resulted in the tragic loss of American lives, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer. The mob was inflamed by the language and misinformation of the President of the United States. Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republic is not an option."

Hateful and un-American extremists...Newhouse is right.  Those are the people who committed the crimes, those people defiled the people's house, those people's actions caused harm and death and those people have been on a slow boil for years before Trump.

I think the Congressman is mistaken to blame the President for the actions of others. I believe the actions and rhetoric by Democrats over the past 12 years led to this terrible extremist boil over.  True, Trump's comments didn't diffuse...but the fuse was lit long before he got into office.  In fact, the frustration and anger of the previous 8 years is what led to a Trump campaign and victory in the first place.

Did we forget that?  Millions of us haven't.

Mr. Newhouse concludes:

"A vote against this impeachment is a vote to validate the unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation’s capital. It is also a vote to condone President Trump’s inaction. He did not strongly condemn the attack nor did he call in reinforcements when our officers were overwhelmed. Our country needed a leader, and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office.  I will vote yes on the articles of impeachment.”

This rush to "judgement" fails to rise to the level of "Treason, Bribery or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors", the standard for impeachment.  No hearings, no witnesses, no presentation of evidence.  Lots of emotion.

As much at the riot was the result of long standing anger boiling over, so to is this impeachment.  As wrong as the attack on the Capitol was, and as much as those who perpetrated it deserve arrest and full prosecution, impeaching the President this way, at this time, with the rational as presented I believe is also wrong.

Democrats, angry for the last four years about Trump's success, style and very existence have boiled over too.  Ten Republicans have decided that the call of their conscience compels them to join.  Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler joined Rep. Newhouse from Washington's delegation in voting for impeachment. (something in the water? I kid)

Will this bring the tension and discord to an end?  Will this promote the "Unity" the Mr. Biden has said he seeks?  Or does this have the makings of a recruitment video for the next wave a far right extremists who are now more angry than ever?

Here is Representative Newhouse's proclamation of intent to join the Democrats and vote for impeachment.

Personally I like Dan Newhouse quite a bit.  He loves Washington and has put in a lot of time and energy on behalf the state by way of his time in the State Legislature, as State Ag Secretary and in Congress. His Dad Irv was a legend in Washington State politics and the State Senate building in Olympia is named the Irving R. Newhouse building. So yah, I like Dan, I just think he got this one seriously wrong.

Townsquare Media