Maybe it is the fall season and the race to the World Series that makes me think of Yogi Berra, or maybe it is the actions of my Congressman, Leonard Lance, that reminds me of one of Mr. Berra's great insights, "You can observe a lot by watching.” Over his time in Congress I have been watching and observing the Congressman's statements and actions and I guess I should not have been surprised about his most recent vote to shut down the government. But I was. The reason is that this is not the same person I came to know when he first ran for Congress. Back then, Congressman Lance was what I would describe as a moderate Republican - much like one of my political heroes, Tom Kean Sr. But over the years I have watched the Congressman morph into one of the most conservative legislators in the country. It is almost as if the Tea Party put in a pinch runner for the person his constituents elected to office. When I first got to know the Congressman, he talked of his support of women’s health. But he has consistently voted against women. When the nation was horrified by the Newtown, Connecticut shootings the Congressman grieved with all of us. When he had an opportunity to take a swing and ban assault riffles, weapons that have no purpose other then to kill and maim, Congressman Lance chose to stand with the most conservative elements of his party. This earned him an A rating from the NRA.
In full disclosure, I'm a Democrat by affiliation. I was Mayor of what is considered a Republican town. That experience taught me two things - extremism and lack of compromise are no way to govern, and your constituents are always watching. So Congressmen Lance, don't be surprised during the next election cycle if the voters make a substitution to a player who’s batting average is more consistent with their performance. Congressman, to quote another great sage, my Grandmother, "Your actions are speaking so loudly that I can't hear what you are saying.”