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Friday, May 30, 2008

Weren’t We Just Hearing a Lot About the Impropriety of Seeming to Hope for a Political Foe’s Death?

posted by on May 30 at 13:40 PM

Today, Republican Congressman Dave Reichert reportedly told a joke at the Republican state convention that involved, as its punch-line, Hillary Clinton’s death.

Via the Tacoma News Tribune:

Right now, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert is up. He repeated a joke I first heard him tell at the Pierce County Republicans’ Lincoln Day breakfast earlier this year. It involves an airplane that’s going to crash, one fewer parachute than passengers and, ultimately, Hillary Clinton dying.

The campaign of Reichert’s challenger, Democrat Darcy Burner, is out with this response:

“Congressman Reichert’s so-called “joke” today at the state Republican convention involving Senator Clinton falling to her death from a disabled airplane is offensive, tasteless and completely inappropriate. At a minimum, he owes the Senator an immediate public apology for personally disparaging her, especially since this is not a momentary lapse of judgment but rather something he has repeated publicly on at least two occasions before Republican audiences,” Burner campaign spokesman Sandeep Kaushik said.

“When Congressman Reichert goes before non-partisan audiences he likes to bemoan the loss of civility and lack of bipartisanship in Washington, D.C. Apparently he does not really mean it, because when he gets before his fellow Republicans he takes a very different tone — this is just the latest unfortunate example of that.”

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Reichert should be flamed because that parachute joke (and its variants) is unfunny, banal, stale and therefore offensive to anyone with a good sense of comedy. The Hillary death reference is beside the point.

Posted by Joe M | May 30, 2008 1:51 PM

In the original version of this joke, the part of Hillary was played by John D. Rockefeller. You'll be pleased to know that the priest, the rabbi and the plane's pilot all parachuted to safety.

Posted by flamingbanjo | May 30, 2008 1:51 PM

And Hillary took the plane down to DNC convention taking the entire party including "the one" down with her.

Posted by Odrama | May 30, 2008 2:12 PM

What is with all the thin-skinned wimps in politics? Take a joke and move on. Laugh, it's good for you.

Sandeep, I don't think Hillary needs you to defend her. She has well paid staff members to do that. Anymore of this "gotcha" politics and I'll have to vote for Reichert again.

Posted by PacNW Obamacan | May 30, 2008 2:20 PM

Sigh. Odrama, are you going to be the Clintonista version of the obsessive Dan-Supported-the-War Spammer?

Anyways, between Huckabee, Fox News, and this, what's with all the joking about assassinating presidential candidates this year? Do we need to send out a department-wide memo on this or something?

Posted by tsm | May 30, 2008 2:21 PM

Isn't there some law against wishing a sitting US Senator dead?

Time for a trip to GITMO for Reichert and some 24/7 waterboarding ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 30, 2008 2:27 PM

"Anymore of this "gotcha" politics and I'll have to vote for Reichert again."

So THAT'S what they mean by "cutting off your nose to spite your face."

Posted by Bison | May 30, 2008 3:05 PM

@7, not really, because Darcy sucks worse than Reichert. Unlike Obama, Darcy has no experience or community service that qualifies her for national office. Making a lot of money at Microsoft is not a valid qualification.

Plus, Reichert can beat her up.

Posted by PacNW Obamacan | May 30, 2008 3:13 PM

This ancient joke is sort of a badge of recognition with the sort of country-club asswipes Reichert hangs out with. They've been telling it so long, in just the same way, with just the same chuckles, just different names and combinations, that you could probably insert a few iterations of "y'know, Bush is the Antichrist" in there and they wouldn't even hear you.

Posted by Fnarf | May 30, 2008 3:19 PM

Can someone repeat the "joke" in its entirety and exact wording?

Posted by Daniel K | May 30, 2008 4:01 PM


So you'd prefer the half-bright guy whose accomplishments include not catching the Green River Killer and doing as he's told by his Republican overlords? Good for you; that's your right.

Kind of reveals your threat to be empty, though, considering that you prefer Reichert regardless of whether "gotcha politics" are being played or not.

Posted by Bison | May 30, 2008 4:02 PM

@11 - not to mention Reichert bankrupted the county by insisting on a death penalty murder trial instead of a life sentence murder trial - and then "gave" the GRK a life sentence anyway.

Think how many rapists they had to let go due to just that mistake - and how many other crimes were not followed up as a result.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 30, 2008 4:15 PM

@2 - I thought the original joke involved a Priest, a hippie and Dr. Henry Kissenger.

Punchline: "That's cool, padre. The smartest man in the world just jumped out of the plane with my knapsack."

Same joke?

Posted by Father Henry Hippie | May 30, 2008 4:18 PM

This is a disgusting commentary by Congressman Reichert. I do not live in his district, but am aware of him. This is an outrage. I hope Darcy Burner kicks Riechert's rear end in November.

By the way, I'm, a raving Obama fan, not a Clintonite.

Posted by Don W. | May 30, 2008 5:28 PM

I was there. It is the same joke that everyone has probably heard in some form but the names and jobs of the people on the plane change to suit current events...

I thought it was mildly funny, but I have also had some conversation with Dave Reichert, followed his career since he was much younger and read his book. I studied criminal investigations at UW some time ago and the Green River case was one my group tore apart. I have not found much of a mean bone in his body; he is pleasant and kind to everyone I have seen him with. Now, I'm not saying he can't come unglued once in a while, as most of us can in certain circumstances, but it's not his regular persona, and certainly not one he would display at a political convention in front of 2,000 people. My point being, it is pretty clear to me, and to most in the way he told it, that he is not at all serious about wanting Clinton dead.

That said, while I am a pretty partisan Republican, I did not find Clinton's comment to be worthy of the press it got either. It may have been a gaffe in the sense that someone could twist it into a suggestion of Obama not making it to the convention or not living long enough to get the nomination, I think that listening to her whole comment made it pretty clear to anyone who wasn't absolutely searching for something that she was looking back in history and giving examples of how long it has taken in other years for the democratic nominee to be known. Nothing more, and nothing less. The difference here with the Reichert joke is that there are people out there that could see Clinton wanting Obama out...isn't that what this delegate fight in MI and FL was really about? I don't like the woman, but to insist she meant much more than to review history is just, I think, desperate.

Posted by faithfultofreedom | May 31, 2008 11:17 PM

Ha ha ha..that one was funny, Now I got one too, a hilarious one. Bush the Chimp in command walks out the last day of office at the white house and...Bam. Two secret service guys rush up and looks down at the dead body,
"right in the forehead!" says one.
"Dayum! Would love to give congrats to whomever did THIS, great sharp shot!" Says two.
"watch out, here comes that hidden gay smiling s.o.b Dave Reichert!" says one

Reichert when reaching the dead body of the lame duck..."Oh Gawd! Not him, not Bush..why gawd why? Take meeehee, take...Bam! Bam!

Secret service man one..."Did you freaking see THAT?"
Secret service man two "IF I did! Shouldn't we report that he is gone at last?"

"Which one?"

"well..both I guess"

"You go ahead and report to main gate, I got to snap of shot of those two entry holes above each gayish eye of the white haired sucker, whos laughing now you dead sexist bastard huh?"

"Ok! Main gate? This is -rear walk- one and two, seems like "potato head" AND the "he-she" are goners! What you said? yep! Believe it, some one got both rats within minutes. What? Who? The vice ain't around no..aha! ha ha ha, well, if he still out there. No search party and wait with the alarm. got it! Rear walk one and two out!"

"What did Main gate say?"

"Their'e hoping that who ever did this will stay a couple of seconds, they're sending Cheney over to this corner"

"You got to be kidding..and we?"

"Lets..take a stroll?"


"Can you beliee the luck, three rats out on the same day."

"Tell me about it, they went in like hawks, but at least they went out like them chicken they were"


Now what about that for humor peeps, liking it?

ROFL!!! Now that is not only a joke, but a wisful thinking.

Posted by FallenAngelGabriel | June 3, 2008 11:24 AM

I'm sure this version will be appreciated for its' political bent:

An airplane was about to crash; there were 5 passengers on board but
only 4 parachutes.

The first passenger said, " I'm Kobe Bryant, the best NBA basketball

player, the Lakers need me, I can't afford to die....So he took the first pack

and left the plane.

The second passenger, Hillary Clinton, said, "I am the wife of the

former president of the United States, I am also the most ambitious woman in the

world and I am a New York Senator and a potential future president."

She just took the second parachute and jumped out of the plane.

The third passenger, George W. Bush, said: "I'm President of the

United States of America, I have a great responsibility being the leader of a

superpower nation. And above all I'm the cleverest President in

American history, so America's people won't let me die." So he put on the pack

next to him and jumped out of the plane.

The fourth passenger, the Pope, says to the fifth passenger, a 10

year-old school boy, "I am old and frail and I don't have many years left, as a

Catholic I will sacrifice my life and let you have the last parachute.

The boy said, "It's OK, there's a parachute left for you. America's cleverest President has taken my schoolbag."

Posted by Michael Timmons | June 3, 2008 8:10 PM

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