I’m beginning to feel sorry for poor little ole George Nethercutt. His case of Potomac Fever is becoming critical. You remember Mr. Nethercutt of Washington state he’s the fellow who pledged to serve no more than three terms in Congress.
That was three terms ago.
Citizens were so inspired that they defeated 30-year incumbent and House Speaker Tom Foley, sending Nethercutt to Washington in his place. But now Nethercutt is breaking his word to the voters.
Republican officials have generally circled the wagons for their incumbent, but some put principle first. One is former U.S. Senator Bill Armstrong of Colorado. Armstrong honorably served two terms in the Senate and then returned home.
In 1994, Armstrong sent Nethercutt a $1,000 contribution. So this year when Nethercutt broke his pledge, Armstrong was not amused, saying Nethercutt betrayed the very principle that got him elected.
When Rocky Mountain News columnist Peter Blake reported Armstrong’s change of heart, Nethercutt’s political handlers zipped off a quick e-mail berating the columnist: “Check your facts. We have no record of Senator Armstrong ever contributing a dime to this campaign.”
Armstrong forthwith produced the canceled check from 1994. Nethercutt should be embarrassed. But no, his campaign launched another e-mail attack on the columnist. “Flail away . . . no one reads your drivel in Spokane . . . you and your writing will wind up on the ash heap of history.”
The ash heap of history, huh? Perhaps one day Mr. Nethercutt might find a spot there. But then, how would the world ever spin without him?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.