There was a time when bipartisanship was the rule on Capitol Hill. Famously, Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill protected his drinking buddy, Republican Silvio Conte, from redistricting efforts that would turn Massachusetts’s sole Republican district into a Democratic, or at least a competitive, one. To O’Neill, whose autobiography was titled Man of the House, relationships were more important than partisan affiliation.
Since O’Neill and Conte’s deaths, by the way, that district has become solidly Democratic. No longer was O’Neill there to protect his buddy’s political base.