After ten years, Saxby Chambliss announces he'll be leaving the Senate. He took the low road to get there, questioning the patriotism of a Vietnam veteran who had lost both legs and an arm in battle.
U.S. Sen Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) is sick of the gridlock. So sick of it, he announced Friday that he won’t seek a third term in 2014. “The debt ceiling debacle of 2011 and the recent fiscal cliff vote showed Congress at its worse,” Chambliss said in a statement. “And sadly, I don’t see the legislative gridlock and partisan posturing improving anytime soon.”
Is Chambliss really in a position to talk about posturing? He’s been a loyal foot soldier in Mitch McConnell’s obstructionist army.
The gentleman from Georgia, who’s spent ten years in the upper chamber, is famous for the low road he took to get to the Senate in the first place. Just a year after 9/11, Chambliss used images of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein next to pictures of his Democratic opponent, Sen. Max Cleland, in one of the scummiest commercials and ugliest campaigns in modern American political history:
Sen. Cleland lost three of his limbs and received the Silver and Bronze Stars during his service in Vietnam. Chicken hawk Chambliss dodged Vietnam using two deferments due to bad knees from a football injury.
At the time, Sen. John McCain, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, condemned the Chambliss commercials:
“I had never seen anything like that ad. Putting pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to the picture of a man who left three limbs on the battlefield, it’s worse than despicable. It’s reprehensible.”
In January 2015 when Saxby Chambliss leaves the Senate and settles into a cushy lobbyist job, this will be his legacy. In the meantime, if he’s really worried about gridlock, maybe he can reach across the aisle now and help Democrats fix the mess that he helped create. That would put at least one accomplishment on his record.
Otherwise, Saxby, what a lousy couple of terms you’ve had.