The sad – and frightening – belittling of Republican members of Congress

Fantastic MLB Playoffs: Two Goalless Games in the 15th RoundThe tenth and 18The tenth Innings, home runs, and a team making a seven-game deficit, the top two spending teams exited early.

I’ve been a baseball fan for decades, but these are so good there’s no nostalgia for the “good old days” of yesteryear.

If only this were the case in politics, especially in Congress.

A reminder of how much better it once was to have a forum around a book, “Congressional Journal of Barber B. Konable, Jr..who served, always in the minority, for 20 years; 17 of them – from 1968 to 1984 – are in this diary.

Conable was a highly intelligent and thoughtful person in upstate New York with a deep belief in the institution of Congress. He believed that his constituents sent him to Washington to be a serious lawmaker, making or amending laws.

The great value of this real-time memoir is to capture the dance of legislative politics: ebb and flow, recurring chaos, human frailty, the assembling of a majority of 435 representatives from different regions and regions, and the difference that resourceful members can make. The book is a must-have for any undergraduate course on Congress or legislative politics.

Conable was a Republican loyalist, a close friend of future presidents Gerald Ford and George HW Bush. He can, at times, be a fierce partisan.

But he took the legislative role very seriously. He will reach across the corridor to try to find common ground. The memoirs reveal his disdain for light weights, protesters, and authoritarians – Republicans and Democrats alike.

He was his closest fellow moderate Republicans—Bill Steiger, Bill Gradison, and Bill Frenzel—but he was greatly admired, and worked with liberal Democrats such as Abner Mikva, Sam Gibbons of Florida, and his New York colleague, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who noticed: “Some men meet the standards, others set them. Barber Konable was one of the others.”

At the forum, Jim Jones, an Oklahoma Democrat who served with Connable on the Ways, Means and Budget committees, recalled the times when they argued, even enthusiastically, over a bill—and then dined with their wives.

Connable, a startling worker, was not a prisoner of vested interests, refusing to accept more than $50 in campaign contributions.

The significance of this trip down memory lane is in contrast to his successors today.

Sure, the old days in the House were far from perfect: There was hateful racial discrimination, few women, and the Banking Committee once looked like a farm club to Allenwood Prison.

However, while Republicans seem poised to take over the House next year, can anyone imagine Kevin McCarthy (California), Elise Stefanik (RNY), or Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) displaying any of Konable’s traits?

It comes on the heels of an intermittent campaign where inflation, which has risen more than 8 percent, was understandably the number one issue. Almost no Democrat or Republican has offered much thoughtful analysis or any real solutions.

Republicans blamed all of this for the Democrats’ big spending. Nancy Pelosi (Dim-Calif) and Joe Biden had nothing to do with higher inflation in countries like the UK, Sweden and Germany with 10 percent Inflation rate. This is a global phenomenon after the pandemic.

The other big issue for the Republican Party is crime, accusing Democrats of wanting to “defund the police,” which they don’t, and that Republicans in Congress will water it down, which they won’t.

What they will do is one investigation after another: Hunter Biden, Merrick Garland (if the attorney general has the nerve to follow the rule of law in dealing with Donald Trump), Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mallorcas, Anthony Fauci…maybe Elvis. The model is the 2015 House Republican Party investigation of Benghazi, where four Americans died while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. The two-year investigation and nearly $8 million yielded nothing – except for House Republican Leader McCarthy splurge In a rare moment of candor, to discredit Clinton as she is running for president.

Stefanik He’s already talking about impeaching Biden. They will find some excuse.

If you think this is overrated, read on Robert Draper’s article on Marjorie Taylor Green in The New York Times (R-Ga.), who – among many other things – suggested Jewish lasers from space It may have caused wildfires in California. The Republican president of Georgia, who has shown no interest in or knowledge of the legislation, boasted that if the Republican Party takes over the House, she is in line to get the assignments of the Supreme Committee, such as judiciary and oversight.

Barber Konable will be having a stroke.

Unlike baseball, Congress was much better — it was so much better — at the time.

El Hunt is the former executive editor of Bloomberg News. Previously, he worked as a reporter, chief of staff, and editor at The Wall Street Journal in Washington. He wrote a column on politics for nearly a quarter of a century in the Wall Street Journal, then the International New York Times and Bloomberg View. host Politics war room With James Carville. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed.

Leave a Comment