Joe Scarborough is the host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and a Washington Post contributor.

In 1999, Massachusetts congressman Joe Kennedy asked me to join him in drafting legislation renaming the Justice Department headquarters after his father, Robert F. Kennedy. At the time, I was a Republican congressman from Florida, and Joe knew that RFK had been the driving force in my decision to enter politics. My job was to persuade Republican lawmakers such as Tom DeLay and Dick Armey to sign on to our bill and get this tribute to one of the great Democrats of the 20th century passed through a very conservative House of Representatives — no small task.

Our efforts with Republicans were surprisingly successful until California congressman Steve Horn, a former member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and a moderate voice in an increasingly conservative caucus, launched into a verbal assault on the House floor aimed directly at the memory of Bobby Kennedy: “That ruthless SOB did more as attorney general to set back the cause of civil rights than anyone else in Washington. The man fought Martin Luther King and the rest of us every step of the way.”

Read more at WashingtonPost.com – The metamorphosis of the ruthless Bobby Kennedy