An excerpt from the piece, by Times columnist Joe Nocera:
You’d think that Cooper’s tenure would ensure him the privileges of seniority. It doesn’t. A mild-mannered man, you’d think he’d have friends on both sides of the aisle. Not so. He’s loathed by Republicans for being in the wrong party, and scorned by Democrats for his fiscal conservatism. At the least, you’d think that he’d be respected for his institutional memory. Wrong again.
The reason is that Cooper is the House’s conscience, a lonely voice for civility in this ugly era. He remembers when compromise was not a dirty word and politicians put country ahead of party. And he’s not afraid to talk about it. “We’ve gone from Brigadoon to Lord of the Flies,” he likes to say.
Correction: Though the online version is dated yesterday, the op-ed appears in today's print edition of the Times.