Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why I Like Jim McDermott

Image credit: Deborah Lawrence.

Updated below

When he first ran for Congress, I got to vote for Jim McDermott. I say "got to" rather than "had to" for many reasons, but this is one of them:

Laura Bush asked members of Congress to pick local painters to decorate ornaments for this year's 20-foot Fraser fir in the Blue Room. The globes (to be unveiled by the first lady tomorrow) are supposed to showcase something special about each congressional district. Washington state's Rep. Jim McDermott contacted a local arts organization, which asked [Deborah] Lawrence, a collage artist, to create the local entry.

"I was at first nauseated, then realized it was an opportunity," said Lawrence, 55, who frequently combines politics and satire in her work and saw this as the perfect way "to highlight Jim McDermott because he's a hero of mine."

Christmas Colors for the White House: Red, White and Impeach

She decorated the tree ornament with text celebrating McDermott's support of a resolution to impeach President Bush. Sadly, the White House has declined to hang this particular ornament. I'm sure McDermott and his staff must have realized that would happen.

In contrast to my largely worthless congresscritter, who to this day sees no reason to impeach Bush, McDermott has been a breath of fresh air for most of his stay in the Capitol. I like his friends, too.

(h/t Taylor Marsh)

UPDATE: According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, this isn't a case of Jim McDermott deliberately tweaking the President. Instead, it appears to be a case of too much delegation:

Lawrence was chosen after McDermott asked Jim Kelly, executive director of the King County arts commission, known as 4Culture, to pick an artist. Kelly asked his staff. Heather Dwyer, 4Culture program manager, suggested Lawrence.

Mike DeCesare, McDermott's communications director, said his boss had nothing to do with Lawrence's political message.

"We didn't have a role in this," said DeCesare. "We saw the ornament for the first time Tuesday morning. We agree with the first lady's decision to remove it. The holiday is meant for peace and understanding. We support artistic freedom, but we wake up in the morning like anybody else and say, 'Not today.' "

Seattle ornament banned from White House Christmas tree

I still like McDermott's taste in friends.


Bustednuckles said...

I like the fact that it actually happened.


Cujo359 said...

As do I. I wish there was a more effective way for us to protest, though.