On Thursday, the Washington Post’s Amy Gardner dropped this piece looking at the tough road that 14-term Congressman Rick Boucher faces as he seeks re-election to yet another two years representing the people of Virginia’s Ninth Congressional District.
While Gardner looks at the race in the larger context of the politics of Appalachia, she only scratches the surface of what is really happening in the Ninth District. Are folks in the Ninth concerned about big government boondoggles like Democratic health care reform and Cap-and-Trade? Sure they are. Are folks in the Ninth skeptical of the Obama administration’s rhetoric on taxes, sending and the economy? Yes, and with good reason. But down here in the Ninth, there is much more to the frustration than just a generic greivance against our political system.
Folks in the Ninth are simply tired of the same old empty promises they continually get from Rick Boucher. They are frustrated by a Congressman who talks about jobs and then votes for legislation that will put thousands more on the unemployment line. They are disenchanted with a representative who is always first in line at the government trough while back home his District falls further and further behind the rest of the Commonwealth. And they are fed up with an elected official who votes more like he’s from Washington State than Washington County.
The Post clearly wishes that Boucher’s struggles have more to do with the President’s skin color or Boucher’s “professorial demeanor” than anything else. Unfortunately for them, the truth is that the voters of the Ninth District are starting to realize that, after 28 years, Rick Boucher is more interested in telling his constituents what Washington thinks is good for them rather than letting his constituents do the talking.
This fall, the voters of the Ninth will have a chance to tell Boucher exactly what they think of his job performance. Based upon what I’ve seen and heard down here, don’t be surprised if the evaluation comes back less than favorable.