Norman Lent, Vestage of Bi-Partisanship, Passes Away

The passing of former 11-term New York Congressman Norman Lent reminds us of the true scope of Republican participation in shaping government and policy, until recently.  Pro-choice and a key figure in creating the environmental protections that have cleaned up and protected millions, Lent helped craft and enact legislation truly bi-partisan.  

Both on style (compromise and civil speaking) and substance (believing government has a role in protecting people and communities) Lent seems an odd anachronism, given the slash-and-burn nihilism of today's conservatives.  While New York's Republicans have been known to step up to the plate from time to time, the national crowd is a captive of corporate economics and social reaction.

Remember that it was Richard Nixon who got EPA enacted into law, opened relations with China, and tried wage and price controls.  I promise not to wax poetic about the good old days of Nixon and Agnew, but it's worth reflecting on.