A-frikkin'-men, is all I have to say, whatever the reasons:
WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 — Deborah Pryce said she was fed up with ugly politics and being separated from her 5-year-old daughter. David L. Hobson is reaching the end of his time at the top of a powerful subcommittee. Ralph Regula will turn 83 in December, and he said he wanted to pass on his political wisdom to students and drive the flashy Thunderbird he had just bought.Yeeeeeeeeeeah! But it's not about being in the minority, no sir...
None of these senior Republicans from Ohio, all of whom have announced plans not to seek another term in the House next year, cite their reduced status in the minority as a major factor in deciding to join the exodus of their party members from Congress. Nor do they mention the bleak prospect that running for re-election could mean spending millions of dollars and toughing out a difficult campaign, only to lose anyway.
Yet those factors are there, just beneath the surface, and make it easier to give up a job that they acknowledge is exceedingly hard to quit despite the travel, constituent complaints, constant demands of fund-raising and the all-but-permanent campaign to remain in office.
“Obviously, I would rather be in the majority,” said Mr. Regula, who has spent almost 50 years in public service, considering his state and federal offices. “But it is just time.”
14 House Republicans have announced their retirement, including most recently Presidential candidate Tom "I'm not nuts, I'm right! I really am!" Tancredo.
Among the Republican Senators retiring are Wayne Allard (CO), Larry Craig (ID), Chuck Hagel (NE), Pete Domenici (NM), and John Warner (VA). Democrats stand excellent chances in three of those races, and I wouldn't count out Larry Craig's seat changing hands, either, since people in his state may be completely frustrated with the lack of moral fibre in the Republican party and will punish them the only way they can.
Ted Stevens (AK) hasn't announced that he'll retire, but he will be under enormous pressure to as the FBI ramps up an investigation that involves him.
Three Democratic Senators have announced their retirement as well, according to The Times' article, and the Cook Political Report mentions an additional 13 possible Republican retirements, including Senators Inhofe (OK), Cochran (MS), and Congresscritter Shays (CT).
The curious bit about all this was how the Republicans mentioned here were all tired of the "ugly politics," as if they were innocent bystanders.
In point of fact, if you are one of 200+ people who are committed to a platform that includes division and rancor, you have to look to yourself first and foremost as the main cause of the problem. For Pryce in particular to whinge about ugly politics is ironic, since she's prominently featured in one of Ohio's worst politic scandals, the Bob Ney controversy.
Of course, when a party features such facilitators (*snark*) as Tom DeLay, Karl Rove, and Newt Gingrich, all of whom have carefully crafted a political atmosphere poisoned with hatred and oppression, it shouldn't surprise us to find out that even Republicans got their fair share of venom and spite hurled at them.
The sense you get in 2007, a year out, is that Republicans have realized they'd better fold up tents and regroup now, that Karl Rove's dream of a Republican hegemony to run concurrent to the American empire in the Middle East, was flawed and lethal to the party's chances. A new strategy is needed.
I'm only sad at the damage the country has had to suffer while these cowboys and yahoos have had to work out their anger management issues in public.