Being a Congressman has got to be a tough job. There are, I suspect, enormous pressures and responsibilities that can only really be understood by those who've walked in those shoes. I can absolutely understand that there must be stretches when things are overwhelming and difficult. I understand that Congressman Wu has had a very hard year. I have great compassion for the personal issues that he's having to work through.
That said, being a Congressman is also a privilege. It's a job that the people of a district confer upon a individual, allowing them to bear the standard of the people in the halls of Washington D.C. This kind of privilege is a serious trust for constituents. It's unusual and important work
Over the last week, the reports of Congressman David Wu's behavior, the exodus of his long-time major staffers and subsequent explanations have for me, as his constituent, been very disconcerting. I've voted for David Wu each time I've had an opportunity on my ballot. I've done so of late more because he's been the best of the alternatives presented to me, rather than because I felt I was being exceptionally represented. He's certainly a reliable vote for the Democrats. But there's a lot more I want from my representation than someone who shows up to push the button.
All of this taken together has shaken my confidence in Congressman Wu. I've seen the interviews on Good Morning America and with Laural Porter at KGW. I find them deeply unsatisfying and unhelpful toward understanding whether or not the reported events have interfered, or are interfering, with the Congressman's ability to represent his constituents.
David Wu owes me and all of the rest of his constituents an explanation. He owes it to us in person, around the district, with the opportunity to ask questions. We deserve the chance to look him in the eye and assess whether or not he is keeping our trust. Anything less is unacceptable. Congress has been on a constituent work week all this last week. Unfortunately, Wu chose to squander this opportunity to sit down for a face to face discussion with the people that place their trust in him.
The citizens of Oregon's First Congressional District deserve excellent, progressive representation in D.C. It's entirely possible that David Wu could become that kind of Congressman, instead of just the guy that shows up to vote as a good Democrat. Clearly with the leaving of so many key staffers, his job has been affected. To what degree and for how long, we don't really know. We also don't know for sure if it's still being affected.
This isn't a time for TV interviews or even write-ups in the newspaper. It's a time to come to us and keep faith with us, his constituents.