Friday, November 1, 2013

the good old days in Congress

One of the most poignant speakers at the memorial service for former Speaker of the House Tom Foley was the Republican leader at that time, Bob Michel of Illinois. He noted that he and Foley served when politics was different in the House.

Michel then turned to another lost element of the Washington political scene: how politicians treat one another. When Foley and he could not find common ground on a subject, “we could at least use common courtesy in the way we conducted our politics. That’s not just good manners, it’s good politics,” Michel said.

When recently have you heard members of Congress show concern about how their institutions are viewed by the public and say, as Michel did Tuesday, “The way we argue can be as important in the long run as the decisions we reach.”

Today’s legislators are in perpetual campaigns, but he and Foley, Michel said, “knew there would always be a distinction and separation between campaigning for office and serving in office.”

Waler Pincus has the full story.

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