Intellectual Honesty Among The Not So Intellectual House Democrats

By Michael Barone, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Mickey Kaus endorses writer-and-labor-lawyer Tom Geoghegan for Congress. He's running in the Illinois 5th district special election to succeed Rahm Emanuel. I concur!

[Ed.--You're not supposed to endorse candidates for Congress, are you? Well, if Mickey who doesn't usually do so and can make an exception, why can't I?] I've read Geoghegan's writings over the years (Mickey links to a prescient 1972 New Republic piece) and have met him a couple of times, and he's everything Mickey says he is, intelligent, intellectually honest, idealistic. He's way, way to the left of me on issues, but, hey! it's a heavily Democratic district, and it would be helpful to have an intellectually honest Democrat in the not intellectually very venturesome House Democratic Caucus. And he would be an interesting addition to the line of those who have represented the district over the years: Dan Rostenkowski, who won the seat in 1958 because Mayor Richard J. Daley owed his father a favor (Joe Rostenkowski, 32nd ward Democratic committeeman since 1935, had endorsed Daley over fellow Polish-American Ben Adamowski in the 1955 Democratic primary for mayor) and who's served as an intelligent and constructive House Ways and Means Committee Chairman from 1981 to 1994; Michael Flanagan, the Republican who upset the scandal-tarred Rostenkowski in 1994; Rod Blagojevich, son-in-law of 33rd ward Democratic committeeman Dick Mell, who beat the hapless Flanagan in 1996 and went on to bigger things after he was elected governor in 2002; Rahm Emanuel, who served in the Clinton White House, made a pile of money in some financial business in Chicago and won the seat in 2002. Each exemplary in his own way, as is Geoghegan. What other congressional district has had such an array of congressmen over the last two decades?

Mickey's post has a link to a website where you can contribute to Geoghegan. I'm not going that far.

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By Michael Barone