Full disclosure…I’m a lifelong Eagles fan, who grew up right outside the city, and whose family has held season tickets since the Vet’s turf was known as the “Field of Seams.”
I started rooting for John Runyan when he joined the team as an unrestricted free agent in 2000. He earned every cent of his record contract, anchoring the most prolific offense in franchise history. His durability was legendary…he started a unprecedented 190 consecutive games at offensive tackle. Like Ben, I was thrilled to learn that he had political aspirations and planned to run as a Republican, after a microfracture in his right knee ended his playing career.
What an incredible disappointment.
With all due respect to Ben—and I totally agree that Washington D.C. is rife with problems—John Runyan clearly wasn’t part of the solution. In fact, I struggle to think of a worse vote for small government, constitutional conservatism than #69.
Off the top of my head…and I’m absolutely forgetting dozens of his bad votes because there are just so many…he jumped at any chance to increase the debt limit, offered unconditional support of the welfare-laden Farm Bill, enthusiastically endorsed NSA snooping on everyone, voted to fund ObamaCare, voted against the RSC budget, stomached the PATRIOT ACT, and voted for the New Year’s Eve fiscal cliff deal that raised taxes on 77 percent of Americans.
So I must politely disagree with Ben…this city didn’t just get John Runyan to quit. It shoved him around. It forced him to fold nearly every time he had the opportunity to do his job, and preserve some semblance of fiscal discipline and civil liberty in this country. There’s no point in celebrating the guy for his failures simply because we cherish fond memories spent between the lines. I don’t know him personally…so I can’t speak to his character as a “good man.” Perhaps he is. All I know is he was a horrific vote. I guess nine years playing in Philly can wear a guy out.
To be fair, Runyan got it right when he said “Politics shouldn’t be a career, and I never intended to make it one.” So, adios, John. I sure hope this means my memories of your disappointing stint in office fade faster than recollections of your heroics on the field.