Former Rep. Tom Railsback (R-IL) was the House member who brought together Republicans and Democrats for the “fragile bipartisan coalition” who intended to impeach former President Richard Nixon.
Just eight days ago, Railsback passed away, and while his daughter Kathryn works through her grief, she authored an editorial in the Washington Post calling on Republicans to listen to their better angels.
“As a young Republican representative from Illinois, Dad took his responsibilities as a legislator and a lawyer seriously. He believed in fairness and in upholding the rule of law,” she remembered.
During the Nixon impeachment, she noted that her father used his skills to “review the facts and evidence carefully.”
“He worked collaboratively with members of both parties for the good of the country and refused to be pressured by partisan leaders,” she continued. “In a nutshell, he did his job as a legislator. Although he suffered some political repercussions, he remained proud of his actions in support of impeachment until the end of his life.”
She noted that even today her family is proud of his courage and loyalty to the country, which she said he put over personal and partisan concerns.
“In fulfilling his constitutional duty as a member of the legislative branch, he left us and our country with a lasting legacy of which we can be proud. He did what he believed was right to uphold our carefully crafted system of checks and balances,” she wrote.
She begged Republican senators today, to do the same.
“I know from my father’s experience that the decisions senators make in the coming days — and the ways in which they make them — may well determine how they are remembered throughout the rest of their lives,” Ms. Railsback wrote. “I beseech them to be thoughtful, serious and independent, to uphold the rule of law, and to be ever mindful of their critical role in protecting our country’s precious system of checks and balances.”
Ms. Railsback explained that she and the country is counting on Republican senators to use “independent judgment” and not cave into political pressure.
“Similarly, lawmakers and ordinary individuals from around the world who treasure freedom and the rule of law look to the U.S. Congress for leadership and guidance,” she wrote. One of Dad’s good friends, former congressman and transportation secretary Ray LaHood, recently described Dad’s passing as the end of an era. Though I love and respect Ray, I think he’s wrong on this. I believe there remain lawmakers of good will, good intellect and good courage in both parties who will, as my Dad did, rise to the occasion in these difficult times for the good of the country.”