Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) has been under attack by the right wing of his party lately and has had a tougher than normal primary race — which will take place tomorrow.
Gilchrest was one of only two Republican congressman who voted in favor of a timeline for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
This morning, in 15 degree weather, I met Congressman Gilchrest and a bunch of his supporters waving campaign signs and the American flag at the Kent Island, Maryland park-and-ride stop. I had been dropped off there after spending the weekend in Chestertown, MD on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay and am catching the 6:50 am bus back into DC.
I don’t know Gilchrest well — but I like him. Earlier this year at a speech at the colonial era-founded liberal arts school, Washington College, of which George Washington was a founding member of its Board of Visitors, Gilchrest said with regard to the possibility (then) of President Bush bombing Iran, he would “personally go down to the floor of the House of Representatives and file articles of impeachment himself.”
Gilchrest also encouraged students to read what he considered to be the best new book out on the US-Iran-Israel relationship, Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the United States by Trita Parsi. Parsi’s book, which I also recommend, takes the relationship between these three powers out of the contemporary tit-for-tat posturing and looks at the longer term behavior and strategic calculations of this trio. It’s a sensible, realistic take on Iran and Israel — and it’s great that a moderate Republican like Gilchrest is pushing the kind of book that makes John Bolton blow steam.
In any case, as far as the Republican primary tomorrow, I’m encouraging my friends in Maryland that tilt that direction to vote for Gilchrest — not because he was enthusiastically braving freezing temperatures outside with no shelter at 6 am at a bus stop — but because he is quite sensible on American foreign policy.
I have to say that seeing the happy Republican enjoy the chance to talk to users of mass transit and him encouraging everyone to vote won me over. Unfortunately, our curmudgeonly bus driver wouldn’t let him on the bus to say a good morning to all and encourage them to vote — where it was warm.
The bus did have a sign that said “no solicitation” but still. . .Marylanders, go vote.
— Steve Clemons