Let’s celebrate longevity. But should we specifically cheer one solitary person holding a seat of power for 60 years? Or rejoice over a single family maintaining a vise grip on a political position for a whopping 81 cycles around the Sun?
And . . . should that federal office continue to be filled by hereditary succession via the advantages of incumbency?
For 100 years? More?
Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), 87, just announced his retirement after occupying a congressional perch for 59 years, the longest in history. He won a special election back in 1955, when the seat’s previous occupant, his father, passed away.
This “master legislator,” as an always-objective Washington Post news story called him, stated he was leaving because Congress had become “obnoxious.”
Trust me, we feel your pain, Mr. Dingell.
The Natural Resources Defense Council’s David Goldston told the New York Times that the “truly distressing thing” about Dingell and several multi-decade career politicians departing Congress “is that they’re the ones who know how to negotiate, know how to legislate, know how to get things done.”
Really? Then, why didn’t he help prevent the nation from sinking 5,600 percent deeper into debt, from $318 billion to almost $18 trillion during those last six decades?
Deadline Detroit notes that in response to praise from “fellow politicians, friends and media outlets . . . online commentators are having a field day ripping Dingell, his legacy, and even his wife, Debbie, who is widely expected to replace him.”
Can America survive a century of rule by Dingells?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.