help my political naivete

Robert S. Thau (
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 13:16:30 -0500 (EST)

John M. Klassa writes:
> I'm a bit slow on the uptake when it comes to politics, I admit.
> Nonetheless, perhaps somebody can explain ol' Newtie to me. The people
> of Georgia reelected the man last week. He's since decided that he
> doesn't have the support he needs to be the Speaker of the House. As
> a result, he *quits*. I'm not sure I understand this. If you were a
> voter, in Georgia, and had just elected somebody to Congress, wouldn't
> you be a little pissed...
> What am I missing?

First, the people being polled are mostly not from his own district in
Georgia. The interest that most of the country has in this is seeing
Congress run smoothly, something Newt hasn't been able to help with in
the past (Congress has been roiled in partisan wrangling, while, as
Clinton never hesitates to point out, important laws died on the vine)
--- having failed to see to this while in leadership, it isn't much
likely that he'll be able to improve matters without a leadership
post, lingering in the halls of Congress like Banquo's ghost.

As to the folks in his district, as I've said, I haven't heard them
polled. However, his main service to the district has been the bulk
delivery of pork, and he isn't likely to be much better at that as
back-bencher than his anonymous freshman replacement, who might, at
least, be able to muster some enthusiasm for the job.