Monday, October 11, 2010

Dingell's Overdue Retirement

It’s just possible that John Dingell may lose the seat that, between him and his father, John Sr., has been a Dingell family heirloom since the elder Dingell first won it in 1932. That means only Democrats, and only a certain flavor of Democrats, have been represented in this district for 78 years. Queen Victoria, arguably a more impressive ruler, reigned for a mere 64.

Dingell has most recently been feted in Washington as the grandfather of Obamacare. That's because he’s spent his life (shoot, he’s spent my life, as he’s been in Congress since I was born), trying to get a national health care plan through Congress. It takes a long time, Dingell explained to Paul W. Smith, to pass legislation “to control the people.”

Compared to some of Michigan’s other Democratic officeholders-for-life, Dingell has been less outspoken, showy, and outrageous. But now that Rob Steele is forcing him to actually run for the office he’s held by ancient Michigan custom for nearly six decades, a nasty side is coming out.

Never mind all that. It’s just wrong for a congressional district to be associated with one name since Prohibition.

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