John Dingell (D, Michigan)... retires. Or perhaps 'abdicates' would be a better word?

Sorry, but even I can’t say ‘cuts and runs’ with a straight face. Fifty-eight years in the House is fifty-eight years in the House.

Well, actually seventy-eight: Dingell inherited the seat from his father. And he wants to pass it along like it was a title of freaking nobility:


The question now becomes who will succeed Dingell. He won the seat at age 29 after the death of his father, a Depression-era New Dealer who served the district for 20 years.

An open congressional seat draws lots of interest. It’s no secret the congressman would like to see the Dingell tenure continue. While she won’t announce her candidacy Monday, his wife of 38 years, Debbie, a Democratic National Committee member and former General Motors executive, will almost certainly run.

“We’ve accomplished a lot together,” Dingell says. “I couldn’t have done it without her. She’s been my guide, my counsel, my friend and my closest adviser.”

It’s the entitlement that grates, here. Yes, I’m sure that Mrs. Dingell has been a lovely wife and helpmeet for the Congressman. She’s still also trying to glom her way into being essentially assigned the seat that the Dingell family has controlled for almost eighty years. This is simply not healthy behavior for a democracy. I mean, I understand that reasonable people can differ on just how much to respect incumbency and everything, but surely we can all agree that if the Founders wanted House seats to be hereditary then they would have put it in the Constitution?


Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: A suggestion to whoever is running the Michigan legislature in 2021: there is no longer a compelling political reason to keep this seat intact. Break it up* and use the parts to other politicians’ benefit.

*Note that my advice does not change if the Democrats are running the legislature at that point…


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