Hayworths final Floor speech

hayworth bwFrom the Congressional Record:

Mr. HAYWORTH . Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Indiana for an overly generous introduction and one that I will cherish and agree with wholeheartedly.

I would also be remiss, as I was listening to his statements earlier and as he very generously offered a sports analogy and spoke of the Sultan of Swat, the great bambino, George Herman Ruth, for purposes of full disclosure, at least I have lost the Ruthian dimensions here in my midsection, although I have maintained the skinny legs but, alas, not the ability to hit the long ball besides in a metaphorical fashion here on the floor. Mr. Speaker, despite that generous introduction, for purposes of full disclosure, we should point out that to put it delicately, I was involuntarily retired from this body. One who served here before, a great gentleman, Stan Parris of Virginia, when I first met him, he said, J.D., I retired from the Congress because of ill health.

I said, Oh, really?

He said, Yeah. The voters of my district got sick of me.

So perhaps, again, to be perfectly candid, there was some of that at work as well.

And my friend from Minnesota who preceded me here in the well, along with my friends from Indiana and from Oklahoma, offered varying perspectives, but they are variations on the same theme: What a great honor it is to serve in the peoples House. And many take their leave in different fashion.

History notes that the great Davy Crockett of Tennessee, when informed of his election loss by members of the press, invited those gentlemen from the fourth estate to visit a nether region as he instead would head for Texas, as the gentleman from Texas remembers.

And again to be perfectly candid, Mr. Speaker, we would be less than human, we would be less than honest if at times during this difficult period of transition we were not tempted to offer the recommendations of Mr. Crockett to those, although I hasten to add to my friends from the Lone Star State I shant be following them to Texas. And hopefully should I return to the media, Mr. Speaker, I wont be sent to those other nether regions, come to think of it.

There is a saying, Mr. Speaker, that we laugh to keep from crying, and it is not my intent to launch into an overly maudlin remembrance tonight in this valedictory. And while I appreciated my friend from Oklahoma talk about the principles of self-government, I fear that some will hear these remarks and say, well, you have got the first part right because it turns out being about self. Not entirely, but, again, it should be noted that those of us who come here and serve, Republican, Democrat or independent, from across this country do share one basic characteristic: None of us suffer from a shortage of self-esteem.

And during my time here, Mr. Speaker, I have seen incredible things. Yes, I will talk policy. I will get to that, but given my reputation according to Washingtonian Magazine as only the second biggest windbag in Congress, I am bucking tonight to go a little further afield. Now, in all sincerity, Mr. Speaker, I have seen on this floor and in this institution acts of incredible kindness. I have also seen acts of unspeakable pettiness. I have seen policies embraced with foresight and vision, and I have seen actions taken that have wreaked of the expedience of the nanosecond. I have seen the great and good. I have seen the bad and ugly. In short, Mr. Speaker, I have seen here in the peoples House the full range of the human experience. Mr. Speaker, my colleagues, that again reaffirms the genius of our Founders in naming this institution the House of Representatives, because just as so many have come from so many different walks of life, we have seen representative behavior that has been of incredibly high standards, and to be candid, we have seen other less desirable traits. But stop and think about what our Founders have wrought. Understanding, as my colleague from Oklahoma talked about, what separated this new experiment in this new world from the monarchies of Europe, from other governments instituted among men, the notion that our Creator endowed us with rights and we the people voluntarily conferred power, political power, on the government; that first God, through the freedoms granted us, gave us that ability to voluntarily confer power on this government.

And in this constitutional republic, Article I, Section 1, All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States. And in the initial inception of this particular institution, in the inception of our founders, one constitutional office directly accountable to the people, decided by popular vote, and given the fact that events could change a mechanism through a fairly short term of 2 years so that the body politic could make those changes representative of their change in priorities and their change in outlook. And despite all the flaws and the foibles and the pitfalls and pratfalls of the human experience, it has worked remarkably well. Whether the disappointment voiced by one Davy Crockett and others in other ways finishing second in elections, again, a euphemism for losing elections, we have put aside personal disappointment to give thanks that here we settle questions with balance, not bullets.

And as we reflect on all the talk that we have heard during the course of the campaign that there should be a new bipartisanship, a new nonpartisanship, for purposes of full disclosure, let us understand that many items and many actions pass through this institution through unanimous consent, but on major questions, it is inevitable that free people will have different perspectives. And it is well and it is good and it is proper for a free people to freely debate and discuss and advocate different positions, and here with this marvelous mechanism of representation, the people decide.

My friend from Oklahoma spoke of bringing the kitchen table in. Mr. Speaker, I would offer another room in the house. Mr. Speaker, in essence, this hallowed Chamber is Americas living room. And here we gather to discuss the challenges we face as a people. And we have our arguments and we have our times of agreement, and despite many challenges and many disappointments, somehow we get it done.

Mr. Speaker, one word in closing. I would be remiss if I did not thank my family. My wife, Mary; my kids, Nicole, Hannah, and John Micah; my parents; so many who have given me much such support. My colleagues who join me here in this Congress with the new majority. But most of all, the people of Arizona, who for 12 years gave me the opportunity to represent them in the Congress of the United States.

I do not know what is next, but I do appreciate the words of the Prophet Jeremiah: For I have plans for you, sayeth the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.

Mr. Speaker, my colleagues, public service is not always defined by public office. And for all the American people, let us join in a prayer that the future of our republic will forever remain bright.

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