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
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.”
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.