The Eye offers sincere apologies for being so late to pick up on this, but right-wing columnist David Reinhard has left The Oregonian.
Reinhard discussed his departure in a farewell column that appeared, fittingly enough, on the Sunday after Election Day. His main reason, he said, was that the other writers on the editorial board pick on him.
"I want to be part of a team that shares a common goal and commitment," he wrote. "I want to work with folks who share my basic values. I no longer want to be the odd man out. I don't want to start my mornings with a running argument about politics that I'll almost invariably lose by virtue of the stacked numbers."
Aw, poor baby.
But after being wrong about practically everything for the past eight years, from Saddam Hussein's non-existent WMDs to the economy, it wasn't only the numbers that were stacked against you, Dave - it was the facts.
As Steven Colbert says, "Reality has a strong liberal bias."
In his swan song, Reinhard said: "I'm not retiring. Far from it. I'll be hip deep in the public affairs of Oregon. But somewhere else, involved in a different way."
His involvement will be as a staff lobbyist for Mark Nelson. Among other things, Nelson has worked for 20 years to defend Oregonians' right to cheap cigarettes by defeating cigarette tax increases.
According to SourceWatch's chronology: "In 1988, Nelson assisted the Tobacco Institute in a campaign to defeat ballot Measure 5, a cigarette tax, using a strategy designed to prevent opponents from gathering enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot. In 1990, Nelson organized 'smokers rights' group meetings in Oregon for R.J. Reynolds. In 1991, Nelson again assisted the industry in defeating a cigarette tax. In 1996, Nelson headed up a front group, 'Fairness Matters to Oregonians,' that was funded by the Tobacco Institute to defeat cigarette taxes in Oregon."
Yes, "hip deep" is a good description.
"And so with Reinhard's departure from the withering gray lady of Oregon's newspaper establishment," Carla Axtman wrote on the BlueOregon blog, "I hereby welcome David to the Jungle of real Oregon politics: the sausage factory called the Oregon legislature. With a supermajority of Dems in the Oregon House and majority Dems in the Oregon Senate, may you find it a much more frustrating experience than The O."