John Dingell, a liberal Michigan Democrat who has not so much served in Congress as taken root there, has announced his retirement after 58 freakin’ years.
This living fossil – elected in 1955, the year I was born - has been a staunch ally of the Obama administration, and his departure from a Congress that he now finds “obnoxious” (i.e., no longer the unchallenged preserve of bipartisan statists) deprives the president of one of his most reliable Mamelukes. However, it looks as if his wife of 38 years may have a go at the job, which would keep this rotten borough safely in the family (Dingell pretty much inherited the job from his father, a –surprise! – New Deal Democrat).
Happy trails, John, and may you live long enough to become hopelessly entangled in the coils of the Affordable Care Act which you so strongly supported (although I imagine that after 58 years of political “service”, and the opportunities for the acquisition of booty deriving therefrom, plus marriage to a wealthy former auto industry executive, you will be spared the inconvenience you foisted on so many of your unfortunate fellow citizens).
It’s probably due to the jaded crabbiness that sometimes comes with age, but increasingly I find myself thinking wistfully how pleasant it would be if more of these high-profile departures of the gravediggers of American liberty featured handcuffs and leg irons, and perhaps –just every now and then – a rope and a trap-door.