Faced with growing questions over his post-brain-trauma health, and multiple requests to view his medical records, Rep. Dave Reichert has responded by giving the Seattle Times a note from his doctor.

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Dr. Brian P. Monahan, attending physician for Congress, wrote in a letter Tuesday the blood clot that was pressing on Reichert's brain was removed during surgery without any problem and "the surgery did not demonstrate any other abnormality of the brain.

"You have received close follow up and completed an uneventful recovery and your symptoms resolved completely," Monahan wrote

Okay. Good for him. But that doesn't really answer the question.

The symptoms that the surgery resolved were a persistent headache and partial paralysis, and from that he appears fully recovered. I don't doubt that.The question remaining is whether two months of cerebral bleeding culminating in a fist-sized blood clot in his head, might have resulted in any long term or permanent intellectual impairment that he fears could manifest itself during, say, a debate with Democratic challenger Suzan DelBene?

And a note from the attending physician of Congress is just not going to settle this in lieu of releasing his actual medical records and/or agreeing to a public debate. Because honestly, from what little the public has seen of him recently, Reichert has often appeared confused. For example, Reichert now tells the Times that he believes DelBene is behind the speculation:

On Tuesday, Reichert also accused the campaign of his 8th District challenger, political newcomer Suzan DelBene, a Democrat, of orchestrating speculation about his health for political gain. He didn't offer specifics about why he believed her campaign was responsible.

"It's despicable," he said in an interview. "It's grossly malicious."


Whereas just a couple days before, he told Politico the opposite:
Reichert doesn’t suggest that the rumors about his health are coming from his Democratic opponent, former Microsoft executive Suzan DelBene, who has been critical of Reichert’s reluctance to schedule public debates.

Um, which is it Dave? Is DelBene behind these rumors or not? Make up your mind. If you can.

And now I hear he's telling reporters that this whole story was the result of an orchestrated conspiracy between DelBene, Jay Inslee, Blair Butterworth and the state Democratic Party.

But... um... what about me?

Call it "vile" if you want, to speculate that a severe brain trauma might result in permanent injury (I mean, what're the odds?), but this is my story. Nobody fed it to me; I willed it into being.

But if anybody else deserves a share of the credit (or blame, depending on your perspective), it's Reichert himself. These rumors had been circulating for months, and not even I took notice, until Reichert went on KING-5 TV in some bone-headed play for sympathy, and described in lurid detail the full extent of his injury. I'd have to be, well, brain-damaged not to connect the dots.

So, here's a free tip to candidates: Don't want to be asked questions about your brain during the final weeks of the campaign? Don't go on TV and describe how seriously you injured it.

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