Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Yet Another House Republican To Retire

The beat goes on as yet another veteran House Republican announced plans to retire late today. This time it was Rep. Jim McCrery of Louisiana, a ten-term member and fixture on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.

Close to 20 GOP incumbents have now taken themselves out of the 2008 House campaign and in many cases have put their seats in jeopardy of a Democratic pickup. That is not the case in McCrery's solidly Republican Northwest Louisiana 4th District, where President Bush won reelection in 2004 with 57 percent of the vote and where GOP Governor-elect Bobby Jindal recently won.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), chairman of the House Republican campaign committee, said in a statement that McCrery has distinguished himself in Congress as a key player in the debate of some of the most pressing national issues. "He has been a champion for the American taxpayer and his work on issues like retirement security and health care has also earned him a great deal of respect from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle," Cole said.

Cole added that the Republican campaign committee will be meeting with potential candidates for that seat over the next several weeks "and we are confident the voters will again send a Republican representative to Congress in 2008."


Here is the statement issued by McCrery's office tonight:

U.S. Rep. Jim McCrery announced today that he will not seek an 11th full term in 2008.

First elected to the House of Representatives in April 1988, McCrery's tenure as the congressman from Northwest Louisiana is the longest since Overton Brooks.

"Twenty years is a long time to serve in Congress," McCrery said. "I believe it is time for me to step aside and let someone with fresh enthusiasm and new ideas step in to represent the 4th District."

Poised to become chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, McCrery was denied that position when Democrats took control of Congress in the 2006 elections. That disappointment, along with the amount of time congressional work took him away from his family, has taken its toll, he said.

"The chairmanship would have allowed me to play a leading role in addressing some of the biggest long-term problems facing our country," he said. "I have tried hard this year as the Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee to be a major influence on important issues. Chairman (Charles) Rangel (D-New York) and I have developed a very good working relationship and we have had some success in developing bipartisan solutions, specifically in the area of trade. But on tax reform, Medicare and health care reform, and Social Security Reform, our best efforts have come to naught.

"So, given that disappointment and my desire to more fully enjoy the last few years my boys will be at home, I will not seek re-election to the Congress in 2008."

Since winning his first full term in the fall of 1988, McCrery enjoyed reelection wins by an average margin of nearly 40 percentage points, not including the two elections in which he was unopposed.

On the national front, McCrery is known as a lawmaker with an almost innate understanding of complex issues. He helped write and pass the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 and President Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.

Although clearly in the Republican camp - he raised millions of dollars for the campaigns of GOP congressional incumbents and contenders - McCrery continues to work with members on either side of the aisle.

On the home front, McCrery was instrumental in securing federal funding for key projects such as the Interstate 49 North extension from Shreveport to the Arkansas state line, the swath of I-69 designed to cut across Northwest Louisiana and the widening of LA 28 in Vernon and Rapides parishes. McCrery's involvement was crucial to the development of the Port of Caddo-Bossier. In 1997, McCrery secured $28 million for projects along the Red River, and in 2000, McCrery's efforts paid off with the creation of the Red River National Wildlife Refuge.

McCrery, 58, currently ranks 57th in seniority in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives. In the current Louisiana Congressional Delegation, only U.S. Rep. Richard Baker, R-Baton Rouge, has served longer.


By Eric Pianin  |  December 7, 2007; 10:58 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Edwards' Internal Poll Shows Three-Way Tie
Next: FixCam Week in Preview: It All Comes Down to This

Comments

Blarg writes
"If you believe that torture is morally reprehensible, you should oppose it whether or not it would be effective."


Making both arguments is not admission of the weakness of one or the other. Instead, it typically goes something like:

"Torture is wrong."

"Security trumps morality"

"Torture doesn't work."

"Would you torture in order to save NYC from a nuke?"


result: nobody's mind is changed.

.

Posted by: bsimon | December 10, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Blarg -- I agree with both prongs of the argument against torture, just in case that wasn't clear. Your point, however, is well taken. And one, I believe, that Mark also underscored.

Posted by: _Colin | December 10, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The consensus among the military and intelligence community is that torture doesn't yield reliable information. That's often cited as a reason that we shouldn't torture.

This is often combined with the moral argument: "Torture is wrong, and also it doesn't work." But those are two very different arguments. By arguing that torture is ineffective, you imply that it would be okay if it were effective. That's a legitimate position, but it's unrelated to the moral argument. If you believe that torture is morally reprehensible, you should oppose it whether or not it would be effective.

Posted by: Blarg | December 10, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Drindl, I freely admitted I have my days as a partisan but I also have my days where I am more than willing to give the other side's point of view and to see how much merit it mat have. You seem to be a rabid partisan everyday. Take a Break and just consider for once the merits of others arguments before your mind shuts it out.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 10, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"Pre-knowledge and the ability to verify give coercion more legs than you allow."

On TV the detectives always get their info after they 'tune up' the perps a little bit. False confessions beaten out of the wrong guy rarely make it into the plot.

Do not pre-knowledge & the ability to verify moot the need for torture?

Posted by: bsimon | December 10, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for asking, drindl. We get snow once a decade, but ice storms at least once every two years. They break trees, make everybody with any sense stay home until noon, and then melt away.

It is only 51F right now - cooold. It may not reach 60F today, but will be back into the high 70s tomorrow. I get to wear a sweater today.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 10, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

anybody here been affected by the ice storms? they seemed to have afflicted at least 4 states. how about you, mark? i heard part of texas was hit.

i've only been trhough one of thosse things -- terrifying. couldn't even get down my front steps [there's 25 of them] -- and the power of course was out, because huge trees limbs were breaking off and power lines were down in the street all over.

Posted by: drindl | December 10, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

'waste' of time...

Posted by: drindl | December 10, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes, nice try SFB, but we're talking about the 20 hacks leaving now, not some guys who left years ago. Please try to keep up with the discussion.

BTW, Watts left because he realized the white members of the GOP caucus -- in other words, every other member -- wouldn't let him rise any higher. nice legacy -- thanks for the memories!

Posted by: Spectator2 | December 10, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

it's not just losing our way, mark -- if you looked at what i posted, it's also a colossal way of time and resources that are diverted from actually accompilshing anything that might make us safer.

Posted by: drindl | December 10, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

My cop friends tell me that a little force goes a long way in interrogations if you first know that the detained knows the answer and second you have a method of verifying it.

I liken it to the time in 1952 when I lent my 36" too big for me to swing Joe DiMaggio Louisville Slugger to a smaller lid my age who[m] I trusted. I had to help my dad that afternoon. Another kid in our class, Carl, stole my bat from Bobby. So I biked the 1 1/2 mi to his farm and when his sis answered the door and would not let Carl come out to meet me I told her that she could tell Carl I was going to whip him everyday until I got my bat back. I beat him up on the playground the next day and got my bat back the day after that.

Pre-knowledge and the ability to verify give coercion more legs than you allow.

But torture must always be illegal and against public policy or we lose our way.
Mike has earlier agreed with that premise, I think.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 10, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

bsimon--I don't think borrowers shuld be punished when some of these loans were FRADULENT. The institution that made them should be punished instead.

As far as torture...

'Which brings us back to the unbalanced Abu Zubaydah. "I said he was important," Bush reportedly told Tenet at one of their daily meetings. "You're not going to let me lose face on this, are you?" "No sir, Mr. President," Tenet replied. Bush "was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth," Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, "Do some of these harsh methods really work?"

Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety -- against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, "thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each...target." And so, Suskind writes, "the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered."

So here's what the tapes would have shown: not just that we had brutally tortured an al-Qaeda operative, but that we had brutally tortured an al-Qaeda operative who was (a) unimportant and low-ranking, (b) mentally unstable, (c) had no useful information, and (d) eventually spewed out an endless series of worthless, fantastical "confessions" under duress. This was all prompted by the president of the United States, implemented by the director of the CIA, and the end result was thousands of wasted man hours by intelligence and and law enforcement personnel.'

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2007_12/012662.php

Posted by: drindl | December 10, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Colin says, "I would, however, support ramped up disclosure requirements to help prevent truly predatory lending."

Hey Colin, we agree, all around! I'll alert the media.

Posted by: JD | December 10, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

JD writes
"I'd argue with [Mallaby] about his concept, mentioned in the article, of 'market failure'. All the sub-prime lending and the subsequent foreclsoures aren't failures per se; they are the market working as it's supposed to."

Depends on how you define 'market failure' doesn't it? I'd agree that the market failed - in that the mortgage industry failed to police itself & ensure that loans were being sold to people who could credibly pay them back; it also failed to appropriately rank the CDOs that bundled these mortgages (mortgage tranches) for bond investors (though this is a failure in the bond market more than mortgage industry).

I'm inclined to agree that the gov't shouldn't mandate a solution, and should largely let borrowers and lenders suffer for their poor decision making. However, if the gov't does feel inclined to get involved, it should merely nudge the market to develop its own solutions, rather than mandating a solution.

Posted by: bsimon | December 10, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

'The Wall Street Journal leads its world-wide newsbox with the Iraqi government urging the United States to take more proactive steps to talk directly with Iran in order to improve security in the region. '

Posted by: drindl | December 10, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

_Colin writes
"The consensus in the intelligence community is that torture does not provide actionable information. You know...because people will say anything when they're being tortured."


Raise your hand if an older brother has ever made you say "uncle". Or "My Brother is the greatest brother in the world."

Truth freed by 'enhanced interrogation' or evidence of saying anything to make the pain stop?

Posted by: bsimon | December 10, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

'Oh that's right, you libs are all aethist, so your shopping is simply for hedoism and self indulgence. '

excuse me bhoomes, who is it again that's rabildly partisan?

'Democrats aren't guided by moral compasses. '

here's another blanket moronic statement. that's right, Mike, half of your country has no moral compass. maybe you just ought to move somewhere else, where everyone is as pious, judgemental and moralizing as you are. maybe go someplace where they still burn witches and stone adulterers.

mark -- Rudy does business with governments that harbor terrorists, pure and simple. Just the fact that he has contracts with the US gov't in Iraq and the ME, during a time of conflict is a massive conflict of interest--he as a financial incentive for the conflict to continue. He's a war profiteer. That alone should disqualify him.

But beyond that, his hubris is profound. This weeked he was asked, by Tim Russert, I beleive, if while he was president he had a misstress, would US taxpayers be forced to pay for her security?

Well, what do you think any sane candidate would have said? "Tim, I'm happily married, the question is moot." right?

But Rudy just said, "Of course, Tim."

That speaks volumes and volumes.

Posted by: drindl | December 10, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

JD, during the Depression, the S&Ls that survived the Dust Bowl were the ones that extended mortgages and lowered payments, not the ones who went into forclosure mode. That "market" result seemed to me, at first, to be what Paulson was urging - what Mallaby calls "elegant" but "fringe".

Mallaby then recognizes that these homebuyers do not rank special treatment and these lenders do not deserve a bailout. Where "I become you" is when they start talking about forcing all loans to be restructured to avoid any market repercussion at all. That is not either softening or self adjusting, that is upside down land. For the Ds it seems driven by
pandering for votes and for the Rs it seems like fear of credit collapse.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 10, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

JD -- this may surprise you, but I'm sympathetic to your view on the mortgage situation. Rewarding investors who took irrational riks really doesn't promote prudent decision-making going forward. And at times, a shallow recession really can be a good thing. I would, however, support ramped up disclosure requirements to help prevent truly predatory lending.

Besides, Bush's proposed plan does little to help most of the folks who are going to lose their homes. If you're going to intervene, b/c of concern for those homeowners, the plan should be a lot larger. After all, if you're going to sin sin boldly.

Posted by: _Colin | December 10, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Mike said: "The fact is, these people didn't think it was wrong. They probably still don't. They understand what is necessary to protect this country."

I'll take that to mean you support torture? VERY interesting position for a committed catholic. I tend to think the church would disagree with you on this one. Vehemently in fact. Also, the implication that torture actually helps keep the country safe is also in error. The consensus in the intelligence community is that torture does not provide actionable information. You know...because people will say anything when they're being tortured.

Oh, and you asked whether I was against torture in 2002? Yeah, I've always been against torture. That shouldn't be a hard one my friend.

Posted by: _Colin | December 10, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for recommending the column, Mark. In general, I don't find Mallaby a very compelling writer, in the class of, say George Will or Richard Cohen. But much of what he says is valid.

I'd argue with him about his concept, mentioned in the article, of 'market failure'. All the sub-prime lending and the subsequent foreclsoures aren't failures per se; they are the market working as it's supposed to. Now that the excessive exuberence is behind us, it's government's job (in Mallaby's view) to soften the blows of the pendulum swinging back; to repeal the business cycle.

A narrow vision, but hey, it takes all kinds.

Posted by: JD | December 10, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

I think Mallaby makes good use of JD's points on the mortgage bail-out at

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/09/AR2007120900909.html

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 10, 2007 7:43 AM | Report abuse

For Loudoudiot: Frisk, Nichols and Watts are left WHILE their party was still in power. Trying reading the newspapers once in a while as I have no desire to communicate to people who are devoid of basic knowledge.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 10, 2007 6:30 AM | Report abuse

This does NOT look good for the republicans at this stage...if it wasn't for congresses low approval ratings it would be even more significant... http://www.enewsreference.wordpress.com

Posted by: nquotes | December 10, 2007 5:14 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 9, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

"PLEASE PROVIDE SAMPLES FROM DEMS WHO LEFT AT THE HEIGHT OF THEIR POWER."

vbhoomes, put down the crack pipe. step away from the crack pipe. These hacks are not leaving at the "height" of their power, they are leaving at the depths of their impotence. The House minority has virtually no power. They know the GOP will be the minority party for years to come. They are sore losers.

So spare us your ignorant blather.

Posted by: Spectator2 | December 9, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Hi - Did any of you think RG's appearance on MTP raised more questions than answers? I do not think it to be unusual to maintain one's active businesses while running for office.

He will have time to dispose of his interests into blind trusts if he is elected Prez.

But his business interests are different in kind from those of any other candidate in my lifetime, I think. He cannot, as a matter of good business, talk about his firm's security and legal clients. But we
as prospective voters may legitimately want
to know all about the security clients, at least. If we want to know firmly enough,
it may force RG to "blind trust" his interests early, or otherwise drop out of the race.
This, because he decently cannot reveal what he knows about them, not and remain a security consultant or a lawyer with clients.
-----------------------------------------
I am watching Tom Brokaw's "1968" on "The History Channel" and reliving the assassination of Robert Kennedy. I was not an RFK supporter, but I was listening on the radio that night, and I was so shocked that I just did not listen to the radio for the next two years. A strange reaction, I know, but this is bringing back that feeling.

The next time I actually listened to the radio I learned that I had missed the entire lifespan of Creedence.


Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 9, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

"Mike -- Does the fact that Pelosi apparently didn't stand up for what's right mean you and I shouldn't be concerned about the United States engaging in torture? Or that it's now acceptable for the CIA to destroy interobation tapes that they had been explicitly told to preserve? Whether democrats did the right thing in 2002 or not, this BS is still wrong. And that has nothing to do with politics. This administration is a disgrace."

I just question when something suddenly becomes "morally wrong" at the same time it becomes a political issue.

The fact is, these people didn't think it was wrong. They probably still don't. They understand what is necessary to protect this country.

If you think it's wrong, good on you. But were you banging the drums back in 2002, or did you suddenly have a change of heart?

Democrats aren't guided by moral compasses. Abortion will never become morally "right" to a R, because it is founded in moral grounding.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 9, 2007 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Mark,

I don't disagree with you. I was going to put a "*gasp*" afterward to drive home the point that, of course Obama doesn't compare to Biden (or Dodd) in experience.

I dont' follow bb as much as football, but I have been definitely watching the Aggies over the past 3 years.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 9, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

colin, Did Mukasey ask for the tapes before they were destroyed? You see his predicament as AG if he did...

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 9, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Mike -- Does the fact that Pelosi apparently didn't stand up for what's right mean you and I shouldn't be concerned about the United States engaging in torture? Or that it's now acceptable for the CIA to destroy interobation tapes that they had been explicitly told to preserve? Whether democrats did the right thing in 2002 or not, this BS is still wrong. And that has nothing to do with politics. This administration is a disgrace.

Posted by: _Colin | December 9, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Being a History buff, I think Obama makes a good case that judgement is far more important than experience(which Hillary also has little of) We can quickly think of the President who had very little experience but had such good judgement from the very start. Resupplied Ft. Sumter thereby making the South the agressor and on and on that one could conclude that without Lincoln, the South would haved prevailed. Plus Obama has good character,something Hillary is missing.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 9, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

On the "Wag" thread I had referred incorrectly to the Aggies strange loss at USC - TX was about to play volleyball with USC at the time - and I meant the strange loss to AZ.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 9, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Mike, he is not in the league with McCain, Biden, and Dodd on that and should not have "surged" as a function of experience. So yeah, that was the implication.

There was no way to make Gravel's experience not count in the game.

Are you a bb fan? The Aggies look real good to me, despite the thing with AZ.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 9, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Mark - are you implying that Obama lacks experience?

I'm surprised HRC moves down. After all those WH tea parties.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 9, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse


I have played the various "candidate match games" on line.

They have often confirmed what I knew - that Biden, Dodd, and McCain all score well for me. The somewhat peculiar WaPo game gives me Obama, McCain, and Dodd. Biden is not included in the WaPo game.

The new Des Moines Register game gives me Biden, Dodd, and Obama, then HRC, Edwards, and McCain.

The DMR game lets one adjust for factors like experience. Adjusting for experience to the max, it moves Gravel up to fourth and McCain up to fifth, dropping HRC and Edwards, BUT IT MOVES OBAMA UP
EQUALLY WITH BIDEN AND DODD and Thompson more than McCain, although he began further behind.

Intentionally flawed? Like the BCS computers, I guess.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 9, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON -- Four top members of Congress, including now-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, got a close look at CIA overseas detention sites and interrogation techniques in September 2002 and offered no challenge to their legitimacy, according to a news article out Sunday.

On the contrary, at least two lawmakers involved in the briefing that day questioned whether the CIA was pushing hard enough, even after hearing the details of the now widely criticized technique known as waterboarding, two U.S. officials told The Washington Post.'

And now those same Dems flip-flop.

No concern for America. Only for politics - the relentless pursuit of power.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 9, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey Drindl, I was wondering where you were at this weekend. As the Historian Henry Adams correctly noted we all of at least two personalities, if not a dozen. Some days, I have my Rodney King "Can't we all get along" personality. Some days I have a rabid partisan personality. Kinda like you.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 9, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

'The Club For Growth has a new ad up attacking Mike Huckabee's record on taxes when he was governor of Arkansas:

The ad will run in Iowa and South Carolina, as well as nationwide on Fox News. It's a sign that the economic conservatives are taking Huckabee's populist threat very seriously, and as such are ready to do everything they can to convince conservative voters that he isn't an acceptable option.'

Looks like the fracture between the Social Cons and WallStreeters might get prietty bitter.

Posted by: drindl | December 9, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

'Oh that's right, you libs are all aethist, so your shopping is simply for hedoism and self indulgence. Also, Why did Hillary exclued her brother from the family campaign yesterday?'

what a defensive lilttle as*shole you're becoming bhoomes. You 'cons' are all sheep -- know that? And pious little hypocrites. I'm fed up with all of you shoving your public piety and private immorality down the public's throat. How many of your reps have gotten outed for buisness with prostitutes this year? How many are serial adulterers? How many have dumped their wives and kids for new models? Hedonism and self indulgence? Ask Rudy Guiliani about that. And Newt. And Larry Craig. The list is simply too long to repeat.

As for Clinton's brother, what kind of crack are you smoking. I've never seen Mitts or Hucks or Rudy's brother on the trial -- what on earth is wrong with your mind? I guess you'e just going a little crazy because you know you party is going to get it's as* kicked really good - again.

Posted by: drindl | December 9, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Con_Crusher: Where are all of your liberal friends this weekend? Surely in such a miserable economy beset by high unemployment, where people have to choose between healthcare or eating dog food, nobody can afford to be out shopping for Xmas. Oh that's right, you libs are all aethist, so your shopping is simply for hedoism and self indulgence. Also, Why did Hillary exclued her brother from the family campaign yesterday?

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 9, 2007 6:38 AM | Report abuse

response: (Posted by: jbentley4 | December 9, 2007 12:59 AM)

I agree. I'm reminded of that saying about absolute power. One could argue that the GOP controlled all three branches of the federal government. They certainly had a chance to create a legacy that could have lasted decades. Tom DeLay's alleged shouting "I AM the federal government!" to a blue collar worker, speaks volumes.

Posted by: con_crusher | December 9, 2007 6:21 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 8, 2007 11:30 AM

I'll humor you. One could argue that any Democratic Senator or Congressman who won an election, subsequently had high approval ratings, and then decided not to run again - decided to get out of politics when they were peaking. I'd give you a list but it would be a very long list here. Are we on the same page now?

Posted by: con_crusher | December 9, 2007 6:14 AM | Report abuse

response to: (vbhoomes | December 8, 2007 09:47 AM)

My point was that if you're going to make blanket comments about trends in either party, you have the burden of proof to back up your assertions. I like facts and figures, and speaking in absolutes can be problematic.

I'm not sure what Strom Thurmond's being a Democrat at one point has to do with anything - he retired as a Republican. Reagan was an FDR Democrat and Guliani was a lifelong Dem as well. And what about Bob Dole and Ted Stevens? They were lifetime Republicans.

Also, to the best of my knowledge, many of the Republicans going into retirement are old as the hills. It would be hard to argue that they're all "peaking."

In any case, America is a representative democracy. There's definitely too much money in the system, but it usually works. If you think some politicians should get out after they've peaked, then you should probably be talking about term limits - not whining because certain Democrats keep winning elections. As I said before - if they don't do their job, the primaries usually solve that problem.

The bottom line is that like the economy, politics runs in cycles. Dems in Congress had a long run from WW2 to the 90s, then the Repubs ran things for a while. As a whole the party became crooked as a barrel of snakes, so the system put the Dems back in power. As I mentioned before, there are a myriad of reasons for politicians to retire. But this cycle, there are certainly a disproportionate number of Repubs retiring. It's like an aging football team that needs a few years to rebuild. That's all. It's like gambling - if you're in the middle of a winning streak, it would be fairly asinine to quit suddenly.

Posted by: con_crusher | December 9, 2007 6:08 AM | Report abuse

With the likes of Tom Delay, Dennis Hastert and Dick Armey (not to mention Trent Lott, Pete Domenici etc. etc.) long gone, every one of these retirements is gravy for the Democrats, especially since the Dems are finally winning the (unfortunately) all-important battle for money. After the past dozen years, I felt I knew what it was like for the Republicans for forty years, when they were shut out. Thank God, the GOP won't have a 40 year run themselves.

Posted by: jbentley4 | December 9, 2007 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Yawn. When do we see the headline "Entire Republican House Membership Decides To Retire?" This drawn-out political theater is a death of a thousand cuts.

Posted by: judgeccrater | December 8, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll

http://www.votenic.com

The Only Poll That Matters.
Results Posted Every Tuesday Evening.

Posted by: votenic | December 8, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

ohlsen_e: frankly, I'd bet you'd kill to have Watts back in leadership over Tom Cole.

Obviously you don't know a thing about tom cole. Before he was a congressman political consulting was what he did, his current position is right up his alley. With the current state of the GOP i cant think of another congressman to hold the post he currently has. In other words this is what Tom Cole knows.

Posted by: walken101 | December 8, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

On a different subject, why doesn/t Hillary get her brother out on the campaign trail today along with her mother. If his sister gets elected, then he will back in business selling pardons to the highest bidder.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 8, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

FOR OLSEN & CRUSHER: No I don't think they are bad by Hanging on to their seats until death but it is not true to the wishing of our Founding Fathers for their to be careerist in DC: What they had mind is exactly what more republicans do: Come from outside of Govt., do couple of terms and then leave.(farmers,Businessmen,ec) Seeing you couldn't provide me of any Democrats who recently gave up Power at their Prime, I take it you will concede this argrument to me.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 8, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes, you have to be kidding me. Strom Thurmond served as a Democrat for ten years (1954-1964), and as a Republican after that (1964-2003).

Continuing to serve in Washington is not a fault. The institutional knowledge of senior Senators and Representatives should be valued, not disdained. Oklahoma would be better served having Nichols and Watts there than the members who replaced them--frankly, I'd bet you'd kill to have Watts back in leadership over Tom Cole.

Not only that, but it does seem that more Democrats are willing to serve in Washington rather than jump ship for the latest million-dollar lobbying opportunity on K Street. Do you seriously consider the Dems who stick around the bad guys?

Posted by: ohlsen_e | December 8, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Con_Crusher: I knew somebody would throw in old Strom Thurmond(He spent most of years in Washington as a democrat) but close scrutiny of the record will show dems trend to holding on to their seats longer. Where have dems at their prime of politcal importance willing left office. We have Nichols from OK,also Watts from OK. both had leadership positions. And then of course our last MAJORITY LEADER from TN who left office. We are talking about people at the heigth of politcal power. PLEASE PROVIDE SAMPLES FROM DEMS WHO LEFT AT THE HEIGHT OF THEIR POWER.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 8, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

response to: (vbhoomes | December 8, 2007 07:36 AM)

In regards to your mentioning Byrd and Kennedy specifically...It's no secret that West Virginia and Massachusettes are about as solidly Democratic as Idaho and Mississipi are solidly Republican. Also, defeating an incumbant Senator can be hard as nails. That said, there's something called a primary. To the best of my knowledge, Kennedy and Byrd have done a lot of good for their states. If that weren't the case, the Dem. powers-that-be would throw their support to another Dem. candidate. I'd even argue that as Dems, the expectations for Byrd and Kennedy are even higher, in Dem.-leaning states. So, contrary to your little bit of populist rhetoric there, there's no coronation for Byrd and Kennedy every six years.

Posted by: con_crusher | December 8, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"He has been a champion for the American taxpayer and his work on issues like retirement security and health care has also earned him a great deal of respect from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle," Cole said.

But..? and the deficit of Bush, And the Debt to pay the future generations!
these guys lies themselves..

Posted by: iece | December 8, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

More good news for Republicans...fresh faces...fresh ideas...spin, rinse, repeat.

Posted by: fultonda | December 8, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse

response to: (vbhoomes | December 8, 2007 07:36 AM)

Before you make such sweeping, unfounded statements, try not to sound like a dumba$$. Republican Strom Thurmond served about five decades in Congress. Republican Ted Stevens has served about 40 years. Republican Bob Dole served almost 30 years.

So it looks like you have a huge misunderstanding there. In fact, after the GOP suffered a huge defeat in '06, they may have realized collectively and individually that they'll continue to lose elections if they continue to keep putting up tired, old men and ideas during election cycles. Congressmen retire for several reasons, but it's fairly obvious that the GOP is in a rebuilding stage right now. So it's not surprising that several Republicans have decided to cut and run. It's a little bit funny that Craig is about the only Republican who flipflopped and decided not to retire.

I read an interesting article on yahoo, I believe, which revealed that Latino voters are supporting the Democratic Party by pre-2000 election margins. The RNC's response was essentially that Latinos will simply choose "conservative" Republicans over "liberal" Democrats next year. The Republican party is fresh out of fresh ideas and they simply don't get it. Bush Jr.'s rhetoric worked for a while, but voters eventually realized that there was no substance to it. Talking a good game doesn't make the country any better.

Posted by: con_crusher | December 8, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, bhoomer, they like to go back into the private sector to "work" the companies for whom they delivered the great appropriations or tax breaks while they were here. They like to go back into the "private sector" a la K Street, where soon to be former Senator Lott will shortly be lobbying his former colleagues from.

Not pretending that the Dems don't do it either, but please spare us all your sanctimonious blather.

Posted by: elroy1 | December 8, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

That's a little bit funny that they want to replace him with a Reduhblican who has "fresh ideas." They haven't really had any for decades.

Posted by: con_crusher | December 8, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

That's one very good thing about Republicans is that unlike democrats, they do not want to spend their whole life in Washington. Most of them come from the Private sector where real people live and work and then go back to the private sector after a couple of terms. We will never be like the Kenndeys,Bryds,etc, who want do die in office and then bequeth their seat to a chosen heir.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 8, 2007 7:36 AM | Report abuse

It sure seems that the political calculus is that the Republicans are going to be the minority party for many years in the future. Ask the Dems how much fun that was. After many years of failed Republican mis-leadership, they have only themselves to blame. Sanctimonious hypocrites!

Posted by: thebobbob | December 8, 2007 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Interesting

McCrery many years ago was the subject of a major expose by The Advocate (a national gay news magazine) which claimed he had lived as an openly gay man in Dallas before returning to Louisiana and being elected to Congress. They produced fairly compelling evidence (photos, testimonials from acquaintances) but McCrery denied it and it never really took root in his district (which probably wouldn't be very friendly to the idea of a being representated by a gay man). I've always been somewhat amazed that he managed to weather that storm.

I'll assume that his retirement really is the result of wanting to "spend more time with his family" and not a precursor to some kind of "outing" event.

And yes, this district is likely to stay Republican, but a Democratic victory wouldn't be entirely inconceivable. The district has a 30% African-American population, and 57% for Bush in a southern district with strong Democratic roots is not an overwhelming margin -- if 2008 turns out to be a strong Democratic year the Dems recruit a strong local candidate, it could be competitive.

Posted by: terje2 | December 7, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

McCrerey, from what I have seen, has been a good Congressman, and it is unlikely that whoever replaces him will be anywhere near as effective for many years to come, if ever.
--------------------------------------
proud, did you get a McCain Campaign strategy audio email from Rick Davis? If you did, I would be curious about your take.

To me, it pinned McCain's hopes on his running strongly in NH, MI, and SC, while MH beat MR in IA. It claims the best shot for McC is to win NH amd MI, of course, but
I was unclear whether it was suggesting McC would win SC or MH would win SC. But then
it seemed to concede that McC cannot afford to campaign widely in FL.

If not proud, perhaps JimD is still on McC's list.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 7, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company