70 Ex-US Senators Sign Letter Rebuking Present-Day Senators

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The list of 70 former U.S. senators rebuking the present Senate is impressive for its ideological reach but it makes us yearn for a day when senators cultivated lasting relationship with those of vastly difference view, but a capacity to listen and learn.

It was heartening to see all four living ex-senators from the Northwest—all Republicans—on this list. Dan Evans and Slade Gorton, Bob Packwood and Gordon Smith. Does anyone doubt that Scoop, Maggie and Mark Hatfield would not be there?

The urge to become a senator still lives, but not everyone wants to join the current fracas. Montana probably lost a chance to turn a Republican seat blue when the popular governor, Steve Bullock, declined to run for the Senate. There were others.

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Floyd J. McKay, emeritus professor of journalism at Western Washington University, covered Pacific Northwest politics as a reporter and opinion writer for four decades, primarily in Oregon. He was commentator/news analyst at KGW-TV (King Broadcasting) from 1970 to 1987. Previously a print reporter, he returned to print and online reporting and commentary from 2004 to 2017 with the Seattle Times Op-ed page and Crosscut.com. He is the author of Reporting the Oregon Story: How Activists and Visionaries Transformed a State (Oregon State University Press, 2016). He lives in Bellingham.

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