David Brooks has a pretty good Op-Ed piece about Deborah Pryce in the NYTimes today.

From his interview with Pryce:

?I was appalled by what I had to do,? she said. In close races, the national parties send teams of professionals to take over campaigns, and the candidates who resist their efforts generally lose.

When Pryce spoke about the direct-mail letters that went out under her name, she did so with a look of disgust. She said that her friends kept coming to her to complain about the TV ads she was running against her opponent. Finally, her own mother told her she was ashamed of the ads.

The truth is, Pryce?s opponents did worse. But it was her own ads that she kept dwelling on, and as she spoke, I could see that she?d been fighting the war that the best politicians fight ? the war within herself to preserve her own humanity.

 
  • I.M. Small

    SHE HAD HER PRYCE
    “I was appalled at what I had to do”
    Quoth Deborah Pryce, about her slanderous race
    To win her seat in Congress. Yes, but who
    Required her to put winning in first place,

    Ahead of fairness, honesty? It wasn?t
    Her service of the party, very “purty,”
    Yet by free will she let herself be cousined
    To minions of the devil who fight dirty.

    It wasn?t nice,
    She had her Pryce.

    (One always has the option to fight fairly
    And lose thereby–in a democracy
    ?Tis a requirement, nor need be so rarely
    Engaged in, and may lead to victory!)

    It ought not be a good mark on one?s Bio
    As, disingenuous, to wage a campaign
    Outside civility: even Ohio
    May not good manners utterly disdain.

    It wasn?t nice,
    She had her Pryce.

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