At The New Yorker, George Packer writes of Ryan Costello (R-PA), who is leaving Congress.
Costello felt that, no matter what he did, it wasn’t enough for one side or the other—any nuance was taken for phonyness. He didn’t want to be a lonely voice like Jeff Flake, the Arizona senator, who last year published a book bemoaning the moral and intellectual state of the Republican Party, and almost immediately had to announce his retirement. Costello was at the beginning of a promising career in Congress, and he had no desire for political martyrdom. And yet, given the wholesale capitulation to Trump by Party officials in Washington and around the country, he was a popular guest on CNN and MSNBC, which were always in search of a rare independent-minded Republican. Fox News booked him, too. One day, he was invited to appear on Laura Ingraham’s show, and a producer mentioned that he would be asked about Judge Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate candidate accused of making sexual advances toward minors. Costello told the producer that he opposed Moore. The subject didn’t come up on the air, and it was the last time he appeared on the network. (A representative for Fox News said that Costello wasn’t blackballed.)