Thursday, March 16, 2006


Rich Miller has a post up this morning about Congressman Lane Evans declining health and how it may be affecting is ability to represent his district effectively (he’s missed many House votes of late due to his Parkinson’s disease).

My first thought is not to pass judgment on his fitness for the job; the voter’s in his district can do that. Rather, I wonder about the psychology of wanting to stay with the job given how uncomfortable it must be for him. Is it pride? Stubbornness? Courage, misguided or otherwise? Does Evans think his illness doesn’t impact his effectiveness? Does he feel “irreplaceable” (i.e. best man for the job)? Is he afraid to retire because it would be admitting he’s losing the battle with the disease? I can imagine all of these factors potentially playing a role.

Again, I’m not passing judgment, just curious about the motivation. I think if it were me, and I’m speaking only for me, it would be the not conceding to the disease that would motivate me the most. And that, admittedly, would not necessarily be in the best interest of my constituents.

1 comment:

AmericanPatriotLegion said...

I had the privlage of working with Congressman Lane Evans on his 2002 campaign. Even then a lot of people, especially his opponent, were questioning his ability to do the job effectivly because of the Parkinsons. As a matter of fact I don't think a single election has gone by since he was diagnosed that somebody hasn't questioned him in regards to it.

As for the reason that he keeps going, from my time spent talking to him, I beleive that it is because he truly beleives that he can still do the job, and understands the need for Senior Democrats in the House right now. He understands that when the Democrats do take over again their will be a lot of young Congressman who will need guidance and who better to give that guidance than a 24 year Congressman.

I understand the concern that many have, and I understand that he missed a few votes recently (although this is not uncommen even for the healthy) but overall he is still a damn fine congressman and I truly beleive that at this time he is needed in the House. Maybe by the next election (following this one) when the Democrats have a little stronger base in the House and we aren't at such a crucial moment in our countries history it will be best for him to retire, and I think he knows that, but he's not there yet.