Posts

Saxby Chambliss and the rural-Republican arc

When Saxby Chambliss was elected to Congress in 1994, he was the first Republican to represent a rural Deep South district since Reconstruction, which made him stand out in the big freshman GOP class that came to Washington that tumultuous year.

He could have been described then as a pioneer, which is hardly the way he seemed last week when Chambliss announced he’d decided not to seek a third U.S. Senate term next year. The two-decade arc of that Washington career spans much of the story of what’s happened in American politics since the year when the Democrats lost control of Congress for the first time in decades, and Newt Gingrich declared Year One of the new Republican Era.