Abandon ship: Henry Waxman to retire

posted at 12:51 pm on January 30, 2014 by Allahpundit

And so, with news swirling today that Democrats have given up on retaking the House that they lost after the ObamaCare backlash three years ago, one of the law’s architects decides to throw in the towel. Perfection.

When he goes home in January, he’ll have served 40 years in Congress. Before taking his seat in 1975, he served six years as a member of the California state legislature. His entire adult life from the age of 29 has been spent in government. Grotesque.

Since arriving in the Capitol during the Watergate-era, Waxman’s reach has extended nationally. As the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during the George W. Bush administration, he was a pugnacious partisan who sought to hold the White House accountable. When President Barack Obama was elected, Waxman came out on top of a bitter brawl within the Democratic Caucus when he knocked off Michigan Rep. John Dingell to chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he helped craft Obamacare, as well as legislation that sought to drastically slash on carbon emissions…

“I don’t accept the idea that Democrats won’t get the House back,” Waxman said. “I think that the Republicans have nothing to offer. They’re against everything. They’re against everything Obama wanted. They have no alternatives on health care policy. They have nothing to say, they have nothing to offer.”

“I just think it’s time to move on,” Waxman added.

In a separate interview, he blamed the “extremism” of tea partiers for Congress’s paralysis, a fitting farewell from a guy (a) who did more than most to make the tea-party class of 2010 possible and (b) whose idea of bipartisan compromise was ramming through on party lines a health-care boondoggle that the public has disliked since the day it was signed. Here’s a list of the many, many bills he helped write over the years. Scroll through and you’ll see this is no ordinary retirement; this is House Democrats losing one of their policy engines. It’s no ordinary retirement for the leadership, either. Waxman was, famously, one of Pelosi’s right-hand men; so was George Miller, another California Democrat who’s on his way out. Expect the Pelosi Retirement Watch to begin … well, now, actually.

An interesting footnote on Waxman: His district became more conservative after the lines were redrawn as part of the 2010 redistricting. Evidently California’s Democratic legislature decided to stick him with a few more Republican voters on the assumption that, as a state institution and perennial winner, he could handle it with no sweat. It didn’t play out that way in 2012. He won by just eight points over an independent, a scent of blood in the water that attracted newbie candidates this year. A guy who’s spent his 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and half of his 70s winning elections isn’t going to risk leaving Congress by being ignominiously hauled out by voters, a fate that his California colleague Pete Stark — who also served 40 years in the House — suffered in 2012. You can’t fire Henry. He quits.

Exit question: When does Nancy announce that she’s riding off into the sunset too? Having her retire in despair of recapturing the House before the midterms would be a crushing blow to Democratic morale. I’m thinking she’ll lie low, win reelection, and then step down during the lame-duck session. Tick tock.

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I hope you’re right about Princess Pelosi. Oh, what a glorious day that would be!!

Conservchik on January 30, 2014 at 6:46 PM

40 years this disgusting rat has been screwing the country up. Ugh.

Jack_Burton on January 30, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Before you all hurt yourselves doing the “happy dance” that Waxman is retiring, think about this: This is a SAFE Democrat district in California.

Waxman’s replacement will be as bad or worse.

CrazyGene on January 30, 2014 at 1:12 PM

This is true, like my future ex-Congressscumbag, Jim Misogynist Moran.
But at least the new guy loses all seniority.

22044 on January 30, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Given the makeup of that district, it’s possible that they might elect such a clown that it would be impossible for them to ever get much in the way of real power.

trigon on January 30, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Sandra Fluke considering running for Waxman’s seat


wakey74 on January 30, 2014 at 5:54 PM

You know, I checked, and you can get condoms for about 50 cents apiece online. Since she claimed she spent about 3K a year on contraception, that adds up to around 6,000 condoms a year. Call it 15-20 per day. As disgusting as that is, she’s nowhere near the record according to a couple stories my Dad could tell from his time as a navy corpsman in WWII.

I’m not sure she has the drive to succeed in politics. lol.

trigon on January 30, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Good riddance, you no good pos.

BallisticBob on January 30, 2014 at 8:55 PM

We are +$17 Trillion dollars in debt thanks to him…

Seven Percent Solution on January 30, 2014 at 3:01 PM

When he was sworn in to the House of Representatives, the total national debt was about $500 Billion.

Now it’s $17.3 TRILLION.

ITguy on January 30, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Pig Nose will be doing commercials for pork products by next November.

Jaibones on January 30, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Say what you will about Waxman, he certainly had a nose for politics.

virgo on January 31, 2014 at 11:32 AM

The same thing was said of Queen Nancy after the 2010 elections. The sooner the better, but she’ll quit when she’s dam good ‘n ready, not a good-for-everybody-everything-all-around second sooner.

Hell, she’s like 197 years old (but doesn’t look but half that, bless her heart…) and one of the richest members of the House. She doesn’t need the aggravation. She’s still there because she likes it-

NeoCon_1 on January 31, 2014 at 2:07 PM