Editorial: Larsen earns another term

Q: How is a congressman different from an automobile?

A: The longer you keep it, the more it grows in value.

In this case, the “it” is Congressman Rick Larsen, the Arlington Democrat who is seeking a third term as our U.S. Representative from District 2.

Larsen’s four years in Congress have been the most eventful since World War II. Sept. 11 happened on his watch, Congress was attacked by anthrax, the Patriot Act was adopted, Afghanistan’s rulers were overthrown and then Iraq was invaded.

All were momentous moments, and Larsen handled himself well during trying times. He voted to fund the war on terror, gave the green light to action in Afghanistan, and voted for the Patriot Act. Showing personal courage, he voted against giving the President the power to invade Iraq.

Hindsight shows Larsen was right most of the time. He now regrets certain provisions of the Patriot Act and will work to change them, such as allowing the FBI unfettered access to public library records. But he’s not willing to throw out the entire act, which is needed when we’re hunting terrorists. He was right that evidence did not show that Iraq posed an imminent threat to America — too bad others in Congress didn’t see it the same way. Nevertheless, he voted for funding the war in Iraq, showing support for our troops. And he was right that we had to chase down the terrorists in Afghanistan.

Through the years, Larsen has also diligently attended to the smaller things important to the folks back home. He’s worked tirelessly to give Whidbey Island Naval Air Station the money it needs to modernize, he’s been relentless in helping military retirees receive the full retirement pay and benefits they deserve, and he’s always fighting to bring federal transportation dollars back home.

Larsen has learned a lot in four years in Congress, and his service on the House Armed Services Committee has been of particular value to residents of his district.

It makes no sense to trade in a Congressman who is running well for a newer model with no experience at the federal level. His Republican opponent, Suzanne Sinclair, is a fine person, but we don’t need a change. Seniority is important in Congress, and for that reason alone you don’t change representatives on a whim.

Retain Rick Larsen in Congress and let him keep working for the Second Congresisonal District. His value will continue to grow over time.

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