(Page 2 of 2)
Maureen Dowd wrote a dippy — even by her standards — fantasy in which a ghostly Prescott Bush dressed down his grandson for being a “bully” to Jeffords.
Republicans who pointed out that Jeffords had, in fact, betrayed them for a chairmanship were dismissed as sore losers.
For a guy like Jeffords who rarely got noticed in Washington, it had to be intoxicating. But if he had paid more attention he’d had noticed that his new admirers didn’t really love him. Rather, they loved what he did: give Bush and the GOP an embarrassing black eye.
Once the excitement died down, it turned out that Jeffords’s power in Washington had actually diminished. The new 51-seat Democratic majority couldn’t do much for him and the Republicans weren’t about to forget his betrayal.
Unlike Senators John McCain or Chuck Hagel, he had lost the power to wring concessions from Republican leaders on tight votes. By switching parties, Jeffords had no trump card left to play.
His two biggest concerns, funding a 1975 education bill he wrote and a maintaining a price-fixing cartel for New England dairy farmers, quickly fell by the wayside.
By December of 2001, the New Republic reported that Jeffords was despondent over his situation and venting to the Democratic leadership.
“For an afternoon, a few senators actually wondered if he could possibly do the unthinkable — switch back,” TNR’s Michael Crowley reported.
He must have been even more depressed the following year when the GOP returned to the majority and Jeffords lost his chairmanship and what remaining clout he had. Instead he had to watch as McCain and Hagel became powerbrokers.
After 9/11, Jeffords’s switch became a faint memory. The biggest issue surrounding his departure is whether it’ll enable Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders to become the Senate’s first (avowed) socialist.
And so the great irony of Jeffords’s career is that the one time he showed genuine political savvy, even cunning, it actually turned out to be the biggest miscalculation he ever made.
He made his mark all right. But it was as an example of what not to do.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online