James Hohmann at WP:

Several years ago, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) spotted the bust of a man on top of a bookcase in the Capitol. It had no label, and congressional historians were unable to discern the identity of the mystery man, beyond determining that he was a cleric of some kind. Blunt put the statuette in his office to serve as a sobering reminder: that virtually everyone will eventually be forgotten.

Blunt, who announced Monday that he would not seek reelection, would no doubt like to be remembered as a legislator who adeptly and unabashedly played the inside game. But another, more melancholy way to remember Blunt is as a politician who found himself increasingly out of step with a party that demonized that skill set — and who concluded that, even after the end of the Trump presidency, the cost of winning reelection and serving in a transformed Republican Party was simply too steep. “I think the country, in the last decade or so, has sort of fallen off the edge with too many politicians saying, ‘If you vote for me, I’ll never compromise on anything,’” Blunt told reporters in Springfield, Mo., in explaining his departure.

Blunt’s style is cordial conciliation, not combat. As chairman of a powerful appropriations subcommittee, Blunt worked with Democrats to expand the size of the National Institutes of Health budget by nearly 43 percent over the past six years — even when Trump’s budgets called for cuts. He partnered with Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) to expand community mental health and addiction services. As the top Republican on the Rules and Administration Committee, Blunt wrote new sexual harassment rules for Congress with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and the duo maneuvered to get more money for states to administer elections amid the pandemic.