How do you a boil a frog? Very slowly. Because if you just toss a frog into boiling water it will jump right back out again. I don’t want to say Congressman Robert Ehrlich is the same as a frog. But the heat IS being turned up very slowly and he DOES seem to like the temperature just fine.
In 1994, when he arrived in the nation’s capital, Ehrlich had already served 8 years as a legislator in Maryland. So he felt right at home. So much at home, in fact, that he never quite got the hang of rebelling against the out-of-control ways of the Congress. You can imagine a self-limiter like Tom Coburn proposing 115 amendments to an appropriations bill to try to curb runaway spending. Not Mr. Ehrlich. “I’m a process kind of guy,” he says. Of course, citizen legislators know how to work with their colleagues. But since they don’t have to fret about a political career, they know when to get ornery, too.
By contrast, Ehrlich tells National Journal that he’s had “more realistic expectations, maybe lower expectations.” He’s wondering now whether to hold on to his House seat or run for governor. Of course, if you have “lowered expectations” about what you can do, you don’t push as hard. You just sort of settle down in that comfortable sauna, getting boiled. “It’s about as good as it gets in the House,” says Ehrlich. “Is it worth giving up this seat?” Ask the frog.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.