|Caldwell Butler on the Watergate Committee.|
He was an energetic partisan when the time was right for party doctrine, but he put partisanship aside when his country was in trouble, as he did with the vote to impeach Republican Richard Nixon. Butler, who died yesterday at 89, was a Republican.
Butler was a man of great humor, of considerable sensitivity to the oppressed and he was a congressman who wanted a balanced budget. He was conservative, quite conservative by all measures of the time. In today's Republican Party, he would be a "sellout liberal" and he would not likely hold a seat in our nation's governing body.
I grieve for Butler's death, though he lived a long and valuable life. Moreso, I grieve for the party he left behind, one in disarray, a party that has lost its purpose save to disrput. This is a shadow of the Republican Party of Caldwell Butler whose kind, unfortunately, is dying. They are being replaced by people who simply want to block, impede and destroy what it has taken nearly 250 years to build.
Butler's passing and the passing of his party are equally sad.