Friday, November 30, 2007
A Giant Falls
The death of former Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois marks the fall of a giant. Hyde was literally and figuratively bigger-than-life. He was a throwback to the days when members of Congress weren't blow-dried and rehearsed. Hyde was authentic. He was real. Whether you agreed with his stand on issues such as abortion or not you had to respect the fact that he staked out positions as a matter of conscience. As Chair of the House Judiciary Committee Hyde led the 1998 Clinton impeachment proceedings. By all accounts Henry Hyde was genuinely liked, even by his opponents who acknowledged his wit, charm and fairness. His passing reminds us just how far Congress has strayed from the path of decency and civility.