It's being speculated that [mc_name name='Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA)' chamber='house' mcid='M000404' ] (D, WA-07) will announce today that he's not running again for Congress. If so, that's a shame. No, seriously: retiring from Congress is a much better way to leave that institution than, say, being impeached from it, then tried for sedition.
McDermott and two other anti-war liberal congressmen traveled to Iraq in September 2002 as the Bush administration tried to persuade Congress to authorize military action against Saddam Hussein. Joining McDermott were Rep. David Bonior (D-Mich.) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.).
Saddam seemed to be on a fishing expedition of sorts, looking for suckers from the U.S. Congress. He knew where to find dupes in, say, the media and Hollywood (remember Sean Penn), but he needed to hook a few from Congress. So, the troika of McDermott, Bonior, and Thompson got a special invite from the Butcher of Baghdad. He wasn’t disappointed.
If you're wondering why the man stayed in office even after going on foreign soil and barking like a trained seal for Saddam Hussein - well, let me put it this way: McDermott's district includes Seattle. Some of his constituents probably feel that Rep. McDermott didn't go far enough. And yes, there's very little that I can write that can match that last sentence in sheer, yet utterly banal, evil.
Alas, we live in a fallen world. Jim McDermott gets to go home, wherever that might be at this point, and eventually die in his bed. Although I should note that that didn't happen to Saddam Hussein. No, what happened there is that we went and liberated Iraq anyway; toppled the murderous, rapist, genocidal regime that ruled over it; shot down Hussein's sons in the street like the rabid dogs that they were; and then eventually captured Saddam Hussein himself. Then we turned Hussein over to the Iraqis, who promptly tried, convicted, and hanged him. And all of this was something that Jim McDermott tried to prevent!
...And failed. This is the only thing that the man will ever be remembered for: he was one of the guys who took Saddam's blood money, and it didn't even work. I mean, shoot: if you're going to prestamp your ticket to Hell like this, can't you at least pick something that was successful?
PS: Note that at no point in the above did I call the representative 'Baghdad Jim,' although I was sorely tempted to.