The #Unexpectedly Chronicles: Rest in Peace Bob Who?

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The #Unexpectedly Chronicles: Rest in Peace Bob Who?

For­mer Con­gress­man Bob Michel died last month just shy of his 94th birthday.

Michel was elected in 1956 and rep­re­sented his dis­trict in Illi­nois until his retire­ment in 1995 he became a mem­ber of the GOP lead­er­ship in 1975 and became house minor­ity leader in 1981 until his retire­ment so for 20 years he was either the GOP leader or the #2 man in the house for the Repub­li­can party .

Given that he was in con­gress for the pas­sage of some of the most con­se­quen­tial laws on the books (such as the var­i­ous civil rights act) dur­ing Viet­nam and Water­gate, and was in the lead­er­ship dur­ing the Rea­gan and Bush years you might think that Con­gress­man Michel’s death might have got­ten a lit­tle more attention.

You would be wrong.

You see even though he served under GOP pres­i­dents for more than half of that time you almost never saw hide nor hair of Mr. Michel on the evening news, or on the cable shows or get­ting much press in the paper. In fact the one mem­ory I have of him was a ref­er­ence in Tip O’Neil’s auto­bi­og­ra­phy where he gives a quip about how Michel has “his eyes on the speaker’s chair” and that it’s all he’s going to have and I was an absolute news junkie in my youth.

Why, is this the case? Well that’s because dur­ing his entire 38 years in the con­gress he was in the minor­ity and no mat­ter what his opin­ion on leg­is­la­tion bar­ring a huge divide among Democ­rats on an issue nei­ther his party’s opin­ion in gen­eral nor his own opin­ion in par­tic­u­lar mat­tered one jot (although the National Review would dis­agree). If a Demo­c­rat was in office they weren’t needed and if the GOP was in office it was all about secur­ing enough democ­rats to pass the president’s priorities

But DaT­e­chGuy?” You ask, “That’s ridicu­lous, after all Nancy Pelosi has spent the last 6 years in the minor­ity, she has lit­tle or no chance of get­ting back the major­ity before 2022 and the next round of redis­trict­ing and thus prac­ti­cally zero chance of influ­enc­ing any leg­is­la­tion, yet every sin­gle day you have the media quot­ing her, the News­pa­pers mak­ing head­lines of her dec­la­ra­tions and the Sun­day shows dis­cussing her moves. And not only her a day doesn’t pass when a Demo­c­rat con­gress­man is not on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC CBS, PBS etc talk­ing about their pri­or­i­ties.” In fact Nancy Pelosi was on Jake Tapper’s show this week!

And my answer is, Exactly.

Bob Michel was a repub­li­can, a con­ser­v­a­tive, maybe not as con­ser­v­a­tive as some but a con­ser­v­a­tive nonetheless.

That means as far as the MSM was con­cerned. He was a non-​entity, a minor per­son­age, a per­son whose opin­ion was not sought, whose com­ment was not impor­tant enough to be worth the time of a media whose only objec­tive is to advance the desires and the objec­tives of the Demo­c­rat party.

So the next time some­one tells you that the idea of the MSM being “Democ­rats with bylines” or “out to get Trump”, or the “oppo­si­tion party” is non­sense, par­tic­u­larly some­one my age. ask them who Bob Michel is and what they remem­ber from his time in congress.

Their silence and igno­rance will speak volumes.

Former Congressman Bob Michel died last month just shy of his 94th birthday.

Michel was elected in 1956 and represented his district in Illinois until his retirement in 1995 he became a member of the GOP leadership in 1975 and became house minority leader in 1981 until his retirement so for 20 years he was either the GOP leader or the #2 man in the house for the Republican party .

Given that he was in congress for the passage of some of the most consequential laws on the books (such as the various civil rights act) during Vietnam and Watergate, and was in the leadership during the Reagan and Bush years you might think that Congressman Michel’s death might have gotten a little more attention.

You would be wrong.

You see even though he served under GOP presidents for more than half of that time you almost never saw hide nor hair of Mr. Michel on the evening news, or on the cable shows or getting much press in the paper. In fact the one memory I have of him was a reference in Tip O’Neil’s autobiography where he gives a quip about how Michel has “his eyes on the speaker’s chair” and that it’s all he’s going to have and I was an absolute news junkie in my youth.

Why, is this the case? Well that’s because during his entire 38 years in the congress he was in the minority and no matter what his opinion on legislation barring a huge divide among Democrats on an issue neither his party’s opinion in general nor his own opinion in particular mattered one jot (although the National Review would disagree). If a Democrat was in office they weren’t needed and if the GOP was in office it was all about securing enough democrats to pass the president’s priorities

“But DaTechGuy?” You ask, “That’s ridiculous, after all Nancy Pelosi has spent the last 6 years in the minority, she has little or no chance of getting back the majority before 2022 and the next round of redistricting and thus practically zero chance of influencing any legislation, yet every single day you have the media quoting her, the Newspapers making headlines of her declarations and the Sunday shows discussing her moves. And not only her a day doesn’t pass when a Democrat congressman is not on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC CBS, PBS etc talking about their priorities.” In fact Nancy Pelosi was on Jake Tapper’s show this week!

And my answer is, Exactly.

Bob Michel was a republican, a conservative, maybe not as conservative as some but a conservative nonetheless.

That means as far as the MSM was concerned. He was a non-entity, a minor personage, a person whose opinion was not sought, whose comment was not important enough to be worth the time of a media whose only objective is to advance the desires and the objectives of the Democrat party.

So the next time someone tells you that the idea of the MSM being “Democrats with bylines” or “out to get Trump”, or the “opposition party” is nonsense, particularly someone my age. ask them who Bob Michel is and what they remember from his time in congress.

Their silence and ignorance will speak volumes.