Voice From the Republican Past

Two days after his 90th birthday, Edward Brooke was at the Capitol yesterday to receive the Congressional Gold Medal from President Obama and scold Mitch McConnell for his failure to be bipartisan.

Brooke, the first African-American ever elected to the Senate in 1966 as a Republican from Massachusetts, took the occasion to tell his party’s leader:

“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. We’ve got to get together…It’s time for politics to be put aside on the back burner. You have awesome responsibilities.”

In today’s polarized climate, Sen. Brooke would be almost unrecognizable as a Republican, championing civil rights and fair housing, voting against two mediocre Nixon choices for the Supreme Court and speaking out as the first in his party to tell him to resign over Watergate.

As a nonagenarian, he may be a distant figure to today’s generations, but Barbara Walters brought him back into the spotlight last year by revealing in her memoirs that they had had a passionate affair in the 1970s but ended it out of fear of ruining their careers.

Nowadays, that might have just led to guest shots on The View and a joint coming-out interview on Sixty Minutes.

Cross-posted from my blog.

Auf Stumbleupon zeigen
Auf tumblr zeigen

Author: ROBERT STEIN

  • DLS

    “Me, too” Republicanism is a relic, like 60s-70s liberal excess.

    I'm surprised, though, that his quote about foreign policy wasn't amplified (ahem) as well as redirected toward the GOP, since it's almost gospel for advocates of Token, Complicit “Opposition” to the Dems:

    “We must lead by example and not by force … We’ve got to use our diplomacy more and more and more. We’ve got to avoid these perils before they come before us and then it takes too long. We can’t keep fighting wars.”

    Though it's more accurate to apply that to lib Dem overreach and Dem “bi-partisanship” [sic], the superficial attraction is of course to apply it to the GOP instead.