Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Howard Metzenbaum, Rest In Peace

Posted by MEC on March 13, 2008

I was saddened by the news that Senator Howard Metzenbaum has died. He was a good man.

The CNN obituary describes his service to his country:

He was a cantankerous firebrand who didn’t need a microphone to hold a full auditorium spellbound while dropping rhetorical bombs on big oil companies, the insurance industry, savings and loans, and the National Rifle Association, to name just a few favorite targets.

Unabashedly liberal, the former labor lawyer and union lobbyist considered himself a champion of workers and was a driving force behind the law requiring 60-day notice of plant closings.

When other liberals shied away from that label, Metzenbaum embraced it, winning re-election in 1988 from Ohio voters who chose Republicans for governor and president, and by wider margins than either George Voinovich or George H.W. Bush.

That victory produced his third, final and most productive term in the Senate. When it was over, in 1995, he started a new career as consumer advocate, heading the Consumer Federation of America.


He headed panels with jurisdiction over labor and antitrust, and took on such issues as pension protection, workplace safety, the right to strike, age discrimination, food labeling, baby formula pricing, retail price-fixing, insurance antitrust and cable television monopolies.

He was the Senate’s prime sponsor of the Brady Act, seeking a waiting period for handgun purchases.

Would that we had the likes of “Senator No” in the Senate today.

2 Responses to “Howard Metzenbaum, Rest In Peace”

  1. Yupper. He was also one of the earliest and best friends of the gay community, and he wasn’t afraid to throw elbows in the service of good. Contrast that with the mealy-mouthed Dems of today, who ape the GOP’s policies but not their smashmouth way of doing things. (Though to be honest, Metzenbaum fought hard, but he also fought fair.)

    Ave atque vale, Howard! Go get ’em!

  2. Charles II said

    Thanks for the obit, MEC. Howie was a firecracker, alright.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: