Those who are younger than I am probably have never heard of Sen Howard Baker, Republican of Tennessee. He died just two years ago, at the age of 88.
Howard Baker was Senate majority leader, like Mitch McConnell today. But the resemblance ends there. Baker was a principled man who, during the constitutional crisis of Watergate, helped bring an end to the presidency of a man from his own party, and arguably, helped preserve the political institutions of the country. Was he punished for turning on his own party? No-he later became chief of staff under Ronald Reagan and was lauded for the rest of his life as an elder statesman of our country.
People who are wondering why our country is in such a state need only look at the de-evolution from Baker to McConnell for the answer.
I once met Howard Baker. On a visit to Washington with my family, we occupied the same little Senate “zip” train (remember when tourists could do that?) and my dad introduced us. I remember that Baker asked if we were from Tennessee, and then, wished us a very pleasant stay in Washington. Little did I now that the man was a living lesson in civics.