The poet William Butler Yeats wrote in his epic poem The Second Coming:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

Kind of like what is happening in Congress today. 

Hastert, LaHood and Pryce all have level heads on their shoulders.

They are admired by their colleagues for their good sense, their Midwestern pragmatism, their candor.

But the fight has left them. And they have chosen to leave the fight to another generation.

It is not fun in the minority, to be sure, but in this era of blog politics, it is not fun to be in politics period, especially for those who don’t get into the name-calling and personal attacks.

Intense partisanship is all part of the game, but at some point in time, the partisanship has to give way to statesmanship, or the consequences could be severe.

People like Hastert, LaHood and Pryce are the glue that holds the Congress together.

They are the workhorses who worked the floor, talked to colleagues from all parts of the Congress, hammered out deals and got things done for the American people.

When the partisanship ebbs, they are the statesmen (and -women) who pick up the pieces and put the puzzle back together again.

I count all three to be personal friends, mentors and folks I really admired.

I am sorry that they are leaving Congress.