This is what “country over party” looks like

I’m prepared to stand corrected, but as far as I can tell, Congressman Goodlatte has not once in his 25 years in Congress taken a principled position that overrode partisan considerations.

This is in stark contrast to his mentor, the late Republican Congressman Caldwell Butler, who in 1974 bravely supported the impeachment of President Nixon while most of his fellow Republicans were backing Nixon.

Mr. Butler dealt with hate mail and bomb threats, but his stiffest opposition came from his mother, who wrote him that his future “will go down the drain if you do not stand with your party at this critical time.”

“Dear Mother,” he wrote. “You are probably right. However, I feel that my loyalty to the Republican Party does not relieve me of the obligation which I have.”

Although Goodlatte won’t be standing for reelection in 2018, I don’t expect him to break with the habits of the past quarter-century.  But I hope he gets a chance to see this. It’s a Twitter post by Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona.

Flake is also retiring at the end of his term next year. Like Goodlatte, he voted for the misbegotten Republican tax plan. But unlike Goodlatte, he understands that keeping the accused sexual predator Roy Moore out of Congress is more important than whatever temporary legislative advantage the Republicans would get by Moore’s election– even if it means supporting his Democratic opponent.

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