Thursday, August 02, 2007

Does this Crap Play in Peoria?

Poor David Broder. The man grows ever feebler. Today he's mourning -- surprise! -- "A Setback for Civility." In this episode, Broder braces the nation to absorb the impending shock to its comity of the departure from congress of Republican Rep. Roy LaHood, whose heartland Illinois district includes that bastion of real Americaness, Peoria.

Broder's LaHood is good people, "a throwback to an earlier, less strident kind of Republicanism." The real LaHood was elected in Newt Gingrich's Republican revolution of 1994 and voted along with the herd over the intervening 13 years to enable the G.O.P. culture of corruption we're currently suffering through.

Broder's LaHood feels like this about the current political climate: "The tone is very negative and disheartening. The decibel level is the highest I've heard in politics." The real LaHood, as Broder credits him, "preside[d] over the House during the explosive days when it was debating the impeachment of President Bill Clinton."

Broder's LaHood is leaving congress over partisan rancor. But as Broder himself acknowledges mostly between the lines, LaHood -- with "GOP troubles" on his mind -- actually just isn't interested in serving in a minority position. How's that for bipartisan comity?

Which is the bottom line on Broder's bipartisan utopia: the GOP runs it. When Democrats threaten to wrest away any of that control, the GOP is justified to change the rules or to simply pick up its ball and go home. Blaming the Democrats, of course.

Hey, LaHood, thanks for the memories.