He will be remembered for leading the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, a cause he undertook more out of duty than of zeal (during the controversy, it was revealed that he had had an affair 30 years previously). He thought he had no choice but to champion impeachment given President Clinton's offenses against the rule of law: "It protects the innocent, it punishes the guilty, it defends the powerless, it guards freedom, it summons the noblest instincts of the human spirit."
Right, center or left, we need more representatives who love Congress the way Hyde did -- as a magnificent expression of our experiment in self-government -- and do all that they can to make it an institution worth loving. "When I cross the river for the last time," he told friends not long ago, echoing Gen. MacArthur, "my thoughts will be of the House, the House, the House."
In a speech in the midst of the impeachment fight, he had proclaimed, "We vote for our honor, which is the only thing we get to take with us to the grave." Henry Hyde departs with his honor intact, honed during decades of public service and acknowledged by all. RIP
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