From a 2004 pre-election piece by Alexander Cockburn (New Left Review v. 29 [sub req]):
Congress is an infinitely drearier, more conformist place than it was two or three decades ago. Vivid souls like Wright Patman and Henry Gonzalez of Texas, in whose hearts the coals of populist insurgency still glowed, are long gone, along with men like Gruening, Morse and Harold Hughes of Iowa. Hughes, a former truck driver and reformed alcoholic, was a tremendous fellow, who in 1976 explained to a tv interviewer who had asked him if he was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination: â€˜When I tell you that if, as president, I was informed that the Soviets had launched a surprise nuclear attack and its missiles were speeding towards our shores, I would order No Response, you will understand that I am not a candidate for the nominationâ€™. Probably the most independent soul in the current House is Ron Paul, the libertarian Republican from Texas.