A disillusioned Tom Davis, swept into Congress as part of the 1994 Republican Revolution, is calling it quits. His president is an ass. His colleagues are pompous dopes who have sold the GOP's erstwhile ideals of free markets and small government down the pike while squabbling over utter bullshit. Davis doesn't quite put it like that. He puts it like this:
"If [the Republican Party] were a dog food, they would take us off the shelf."
In this New York Times profile of Davis', the most interesting part comes right upfront.
Then [Davis] asked for a list of the three bills to see if he really did want to vote yes: A nonbinding resolution "recognizing that we are facing a global food crisis." O.K., Davis said puckishly. That's a yes. A second resolution "expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the emergency communications services provided by the American Red Cross are vital resources for military-service members and their families." O.K., another yes. A third resolution "condemning the use of television programming by Hamas to indoctrinate hatred, violence and anti-Semitism toward Israel in Palestinian children." A third yes. ...
Then he shook his head. Three resolutions offering platitudes, none of them carrying the force of law, none of them actually doing anything. Davis asked for a list of all 20 bills on the floor that day — naming post offices, recognizing the anniversary of Bulgaria's independence, honoring an old American war sloop. Davis wanted me to have the list. "Tell them about the important work we’re doing while Rome burns," he said.
All this in the midst of a war and an economic meltdown. Rome's burning all right, and the fiddling is deafening.
I wouldn't even call Davis one of the good guys. No matter how hard the Times writer tries to convince us of how downright sympathetic the departing Congressman is, it becomes clear that Davis was part of the problem more often than he was part of the solution. For instance:
"It was Tom Davis who taught me to vote yes on the amendment and no on the main motion so I could be on both sides of the issue," one Democrat who likes him told me with professional admiration.
A pox on all heir houses.