You remember freshman orientation, right? Meeting your new roommates and neighbors. The feeling of endless new possibilities. Hoping nobody discovers the significantly less cool person you were only a few months ago. In the case of Congress's Republican freshmen, who are in Washington to learn how to be congressmen this week, orientation means another thing: dealing with the haunting legacy of the GOP wave that came before you, in 1994. Reports Politico:
Interviews with more than a dozen Republican freshmen reveal a group determined to serve as delegates for the discontent that powered their elections but also to avoid the pitfalls of their predecessors.
Pitfalls? What pitfalls? There were pitfalls?
For one, they became seduced by the greedy lobbyist culture of Washington.
It’s one thing to rail against the Beltway in a stump speech, but being chaste is a lot more difficult when one is confronted with all the capital’s vice (the political kind, as well as the genuine article) in person.
“Now, all of a sudden, people want to take you to dinner, want just five minutes of your time, want to give you things,” said journalist Linda Killian, author of the landmark book “The Freshmen: What Happened to the Republican Revolution,” which chronicled the ’94 class. “It’s a very heady thing.”
Also, they seduced lots of people into having sex with them.
There are Mark Souder, Mark Sanford and John Ensign, all adulterers of recent vintage. But what’s remarkable is how many other, less notorious, members of the Class of ’94 also carried on affairs or were caught in sex scandals.
So many sex scandals. But how does one avoid such a fate this time around? How is it even possible for such powerful men to steer clear of temptation?
“I went home to my family every night,” said Rep. George Nethercutt, the giant killer of the ’94 class who defeated Speaker Tom Foley.
Huh ... ok. Hush money could also work, right?