Mathias was the last of his kind

The death of Mac Mathias is a sad day for Maryland and the nation ("Md. senator was GOP 'maverick,'" Nov. 26). His passing marks the end of an era in Republican national politics, an era in which one could still be branded a Republican and sane in the same sentence. It marks the end of an era where you could be a Republican U.S. Senator and you could propose worthwhile legislation while logically arguing against legislation which you opposed for practical or political reasons, in between arguing with a president of your own party who was an unindicted co-conspirator in the greatest national scandal since Teapot Dome.

With apologies to Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and to former Sen. Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island, the passing of Mac Mathias also marks the end of an era where you could be a Republican member of either house of Congress and espouse more than the political version of Nancy Reagan's old maxim, "Just say no."

Edward B. "Woody" Ryder IV, Greenlawn, N.Y.

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