TERRE HAUTE —
A man I had never met before, but had written about, invited me to lunch the other day. The man is Dr. Larry Bucshon, Republican Congressman from the 8th District.
I truly did not know what to expect. I met a very quiet individual, a heart surgeon, and a family man. I found that Larry Bucshon is not the typical back-slapping, hand-shaking, center of attention many politicians strive to be.
Larry Bucshon and his staff are readers of this printed effort, and they learned that I often disagree with the Republicans in Congress. The Congressman didn’t seem to mind that I disagreed with him, but he appreciated the fact that while in disagreement, I try to be fair. He said, “I understand that people are going to disagree with me, and that’s alright. What I wish to avoid is unfair attacks on me personally and my family.” I certainly agree with that.
I’m not going to list all the things with which I could find myself in disagreement with the Congressman. I would rather write about the things we agree on … that a congressman in any district in America works to help all the people in his district. And I think Congressman Bucshon does exactly that. He understands the obstacles in getting things done because a segment of his party (sometimes called by others the “no” caucus, because they say no to everything). There are groups in both parties who are obstinate because of their deep-rooted, one-sided look at all the questions that face Congress today. The ones who get the most attention are the 60 or so hard-right radicals who do not wish to get along with even their own party.
Larry Bucshon was in town to take a ride in a hovercraft hoping to give aid to a local industry that will be new and advantageous to a lot of people. He, in the meantime, took the time to treat me to lunch. I said to him laughingly, “I’m an easy bribe.”
Rumors have been swirling about that Richard Mourdock, who ran for the Senate, would like to challenge Dr. Bucshon, but Bucshon says he doesn’t think that’s going to happen. Maybe the Republicans have learned their lesson after defeating Richard Lugar in his primary for the U.S. Senate.
I asked Congressman Bucshon if he thinks about his former job, which is being a heart surgeon, and all those lives he helped save. He said he thinks about it every day. He has no plans to spend the rest of his life in Congress, and one day he’ll return to being a full-time doctor and heart surgeon. He also brought something up that I am in total agreement with. That is, we should have people of all walks of life, all professions, and all kinds of jobs in Congress. The more we have of this sort of delegation in Congress will bring us more of a common sense approach to the problems of the day.
It was a good lunch, and I, as usual, talked too much and ate too little. But, it was thoroughly enjoyable. Larry Bucshon didn’t try to change my opinions on the subjects of this day, but reminded me only to be fair. I would ask the same of him, and I promise to do that very thing.
Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.