Yet Another House Republican to Retire
by Jonathan Singer, Sat Feb 27, 2010 at 04:02:34 PM EST
Charlie Cook says that it's "very hard to come up with a scenario where Democrats don't lose the House." The Republicans in the House apparently don't agree with him, though, as evidenced by the continuing trend of party incumbents opting to leave the House instead of waiting around for the GOP's supposedly imminent return to power in the chamber. Here's the latest.
Veteran Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.), an early ally of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and an outspoken fiscal conservative, announced Saturday he was retiring.
Linder disclosed his decision at a Republican breakfast in his district and party officials in Washington confirmed the news.
The 18-year congressman represents a heavily Republican seat in the sprawling suburbs east of Atlanta that is likely to stay in GOP hands.
This district isn't competitive, you say, so why does it matter whether one Republican is going to be swapped out for another? It matters a great deal, in fact.
To flesh out what I stated above, and what I've said before, if House Republicans really believed that they were on the verge of retaking the chamber, they wouldn't be retiring. Take the retiring John Linder, for example. Linder is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, and as a ranking member of one of its subcommittees would stand to earn a coveted chairmanship if the Republicans were to retake the House. Yet he's leaving rather than wait less than a year for something that's supposedly a sure thing -- the GOP winning control of the House?
Actions speak louder than words. When Republicans like Congressman Linder -- and a dozen and a half of his compatriots -- decide to leave the House, it says loud and clear that they don't think their party is going to win back the House in November, no matter what Charlie Cook or anyone else has to say.