The President of the United States asked him to do it. So did a number of elected officials and Republican Party leaders.
For the good of the party, for the good of the country, for all they hold dear, they wanted Representative Bob Schaffer of Colorado to do just one little thing. Break his word.
But Bob Schaffer refused. Refused to break his word to the voters by continuing to serve in Congress. Said no to the usual Washington two-step of saying what voters want to hear to get elected, then doing the opposite once in office. Schaffer said that he didn’t want to follow the path of politicians who “find a way to weasel out of a promise.”
No doubt the congressman was tempted to break his word. He had grown to enjoy serving in the congress. And his district is safely Republican. He likely could have survived thumbing his nose at his constituents. All the more reason that good people need a self-imposed time limit: so they won’t succumb to the sirens of power.
But Schaffer did the right thing by keeping his three-term pledge. At his press conference to announce his decision, he offered words that must sting the power-brokers in Washington like holy water splashed on vampires.
“The biggest issue for me,” said Schaffer, “is maintaining commitments and keeping my word.” Ouch. Gee whiz, a lawmaker who really, truly believes in walking the walk. It may be common sense to you and me, but it sure is mighty uncommon for all too many in Washington.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.