100 years of Dingells in the House?

posted at 4:11 pm on February 24, 2014 by Allahpundit

Ed mentioned earlier that Dingell’s wife is a top candidate to succeed him but I want to make sure everyone understands just how long this dynasty is. The guy who held Dingell’s seat before he was first elected to the House in 1955 was … John Dingell Sr. And Dingell Sr wasn’t a newcomer: He took his seat on March 3, 1933, the day before FDR was sworn in as president for his first term. The Dingells have been represented in Congress since before the New Deal. And at age 60, Debbie’s got a fair shot at a long run herself. If she can serve 19 years, it’ll be a full century of Dingellmania in the House for Michigan. And if she can’t serve 19 years, no worries. Christopher Dingell, John’s son, was elected to the state senate at the tender age of 30 and now serves as a judge. He’s a few years younger than Debbie and is right in line behind her. Who knows? Maybe we’ll get lucky and have a Dingell-versus-Dingell primary for the old man’s seat. That would be a fittingly grotesque end to having one family dominate its district for more than 80 years.

I’m all for Debbie Dingell running, incidentally. I say this sincerely.

Debbie Dingell, a Democratic power broker and chairwoman of the Wayne State University Board of Governors, is expected to run for Michigan’s 12th Congressional District, now that her husband, U.S. Rep. John Dingell, announced his retirement Monday, political experts said…

John Dingell, in office since 1955, yields tremendous political influence and an endorsement for his wife would carry weight within the party and potentially could ward off a contentious Democratic primary.

“Debbie Dingell has political gravitas. John Dingell has three times more,” Bucholz said. “… No one in Michigan will second guess Congressman Dingell on who should be his replacement. If they do, it wouldn’t be in public.”…

“She would be almost impossible to beat,” said Trupiano, now a Democratic state House candidate. “She certainly has the connections. She has the finesse and the progressive chops to make this her seat.”

I grumble about dynastic politics every time a Clinton, Bush, Kennedy, or Cheney makes noise about running for something but in hindsight I think my approach is all wrong. If you want to build a backlash against dynasties, the goal of which would be a federal term-limits law, you’re going to need more dynasties, not less. Granted, term limits won’t solve the problem completely — the Dingells of tomorrow will simply bounce from the House to the Senate to the governor’s seat rather than staying put for decades — but at least it’ll cure the repulsive spectacle of a man spending 58 years in Congress and the media applauding him for it. You’ll never get a term-limits bill through Congress unless legislators feel they have no choice but to pass it, though, and you’ll never convince them they have no choice but to pass it unless public anger at dynasties gets much hotter than it is now. The only way to make that happen is to force-feed voters more of them until they’re good and nauseated. Clinton versus Bush II in 2016? Fine. Chelsea Clinton and George P. Bush running for the House in a few years? Terrific. Liz Cheney will certainly run for something again. Maybe Michelle Obama could be convinced to run for Senate too; she’s just 50 years old and there’d be plenty of support in Illinois. What we need is a Cloward-Piven strategy here — overload the federal government with so many ruling-class brand names that the public finally vomits from the decadence. Republicans, the party of small(er) government, will have to lead on this, but there’s plenty of support out there to be had. All it takes is politicians who value the health of their democracy more than their own dynastic potential. How many of those do you suppose we can find? Three? Four?

Exit question: Why not a constitutional amendment instead? Get it going in the states and, if/when you’ve got three-quarters of them signing on, dare Congress not to pass it.


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I hope his wife loses…

OmahaConservative on February 24, 2014 at 4:12 PM

In my parlance – a Dingell has a special meaning. Am I alone in that?

jake-the-goose on February 24, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Carl Levin will be replaced by a R woman.

Schadenfreude on February 24, 2014 at 4:13 PM

The leftists are always fascist thuggish royalist thugs.

No more of any of the family runs, or else be Piers-Morganed.

Schadenfreude on February 24, 2014 at 4:14 PM

jake-the-goose on February 24, 2014 at 4:13 PM

What is the meaning, Jake?

OmahaConservative on February 24, 2014 at 4:14 PM

No more from both sides, no more Bushs either.

Schadenfreude on February 24, 2014 at 4:14 PM

“— but at least it’ll cure the repulsive spectacle of a man spending 58 years in Congress and the media applauding him for it.”

We are approaching $18 Trillion in debt…

… and this guy just gets to walk away?

Seven Percent Solution on February 24, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Exit question: Why not a constitutional amendment instead? Get it going in the states and, if/when you’ve got three-quarters of them signing on, dare Congress not to pass it.

Um, that would be a constitutional convention, and it would bypass Congress entirely. If that actually happened their vote would be irrelevant because if 3/4 vote in the affirmative for such a measure 2/3 would surely get together and make it proper.

NotCoach on February 24, 2014 at 4:15 PM

The leftists are always fascist thuggish royalists thugs.

Schadenfreude on February 24, 2014 at 4:15 PM

“— but at least it’ll cure the repulsive spectacle of a man spending 58 years in Congress and the media applauding him for it.”

They are Never liberal or progressive, always tyrannical and deserving.

Schadenfreude on February 24, 2014 at 4:16 PM

This should happen to all the politicians who lied to get into office, and then lived well off the back of the people, or “the folks”, as obama calls them, in a demeaning way.

Schadenfreude on February 24, 2014 at 4:17 PM

A bloated tick eventually falls off its host.

Cicero43 on February 24, 2014 at 4:17 PM

His wife has been in that seat anyway for years — her husband is practically brain dead. Might as well make it official. What dreadful, disgraceful people. Pure sludge from the bottom of someone’s latrine.

Rational Thought on February 24, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Well,..its high-time that the seat is Liberated then!!

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Dy-nasty.

steebo77 on February 24, 2014 at 4:19 PM

In my parlance – a Dingell has a special meaning. Am I alone in that?

jake-the-goose on February 24, 2014 at 4:13 PM

That’s only when accompanied by the additional word berry.

steebo77 on February 24, 2014 at 4:20 PM

In my parlance – a Dingell has a special meaning. Am I alone in that?

jake-the-goose on February 24, 2014 at 4:13 PM

I’m sure it has ‘berry’ much the same meaning as I’m thinking.

Mark Boabaca on February 24, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Dy-nasty.

steebo77 on February 24, 2014 at 4:19 PM

ISWYDT.

Bitter Clinger on February 24, 2014 at 4:23 PM

100 years of Dingells in the House?

That just sounds so wrong on multiple levels.

rbj on February 24, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Republicans, the party of small(er) government…

Let’s try to keep the obvious lies out of Hot Air.

RJL on February 24, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Why not, Killary is running on her last name, this woman might as well run on hers too since apparently these sort of people are incapable of doing anything else with their lives.

The people in Dingleberry’s district elected and reelected the fool 29 times, think about that, TWENTY NINE times; you might think that after about 20 terms they would want some new blood. Oh that’s right, he represents a big chunk of Detroit….huh….I’m guessing he kept all the right peeps happy with a continuous flow of federal cabbage.

Bishop on February 24, 2014 at 4:29 PM

the dingleberries don’t fall far from the sphincter before splashing down.

dmacleo on February 24, 2014 at 4:30 PM

In my parlance – a Dingell has a special meaning. Am I alone in that?

jake-the-goose on February 24, 2014 at 4:13 PM

My first thought on seeing the headline was “I think Congress has been full of dingles for a lot longer than that……..” Then I noticed the spelling.

GWB on February 24, 2014 at 4:38 PM

They don’t call Dingell’s area down dumb river for nothing.

bw222 on February 24, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Tell me “Debbie Dingell” isn’t an opportunist. Who would marry a half dead fossil?

Key West Reader on February 24, 2014 at 4:44 PM

but at least it’ll cure the repulsive spectacle of a man spending 58 years in Congress and the media applauding him for it.

Seems to me that, based on the state of affairs we have today, he wasn’t particularly good or effective at his job, 58 years and this is what he leaves us with?

Paging John McCain. John McCain to the courtesy phone.

Lance Corvette on February 24, 2014 at 4:46 PM

100 years of Dingellberries. Ewwww!

paulsur on February 24, 2014 at 4:46 PM

It’s not the length that matters, it’s the quality of service.

xNavigator on February 24, 2014 at 4:51 PM

*wink wink on above*

Oh, and he fails on both counts, lol.

xNavigator on February 24, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Term Limits, Term Limits, Term Limits…oh yea, did I happen to mention Term Limits?

tencole on February 24, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Seems to me that, based on the state of affairs we have today, he wasn’t particularly good or effective at his job, 58 years and this is what he leaves us with?

Lance Corvette on February 24, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Well look at his performance. 58 years working for the same company and not a single promotion. ;0

Happy Nomad on February 24, 2014 at 4:56 PM

I’m all for Debbie Dingell running, incidentally.

Me too, but only to hear newscasters try to say “Debbie Dingell” without cracking up.

whatcat on February 24, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Where the hell’s our WD grumble thread?

Lanceman on February 24, 2014 at 4:56 PM

“She’s married to a corpseman” — obama

Schadenfreude on February 24, 2014 at 4:57 PM

You’ll never get a term-limits bill through Congress unless legislators feel they have no choice but to pass it, though, and you’ll never convince them they have no choice but to pass it unless public anger at dynasties gets much hotter than it is now. The only way to make that happen is to force-feed voters more of them until they’re good and nauseated.

So… ‘let it burn’, then…

Midas on February 24, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Is that his great granddaughter in the photo?

bluegill on February 24, 2014 at 4:59 PM

She’s a fright…

dpduq on February 24, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Do people realize that his wife was only a year old when he first was appointed to congress?

ConservativePartyNow on February 24, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Do people realize that his wife was only a year old when he first was appointed to congress?

ConservativePartyNow on February 24, 2014 at 5:01 PM

There are two things about her that will matter to the constituency, and that is not one of them.

Midas on February 24, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Let’s not let this one lie fester. Dingell is not from Michigan. He was raised in DC and attended Georgetown Prep and the Congressional Pages school while his daddy held the seat. He graduated from Georgetown and after a few patronage jobs lined up by daddy he landed as the head of the family business. He may have a home in his district but he is a Washingtonian.

And BTW, if you think that his spouse is in the relationship for love or the sex, well then that is absurd. She’s an opportunistic harpy who plans on using the Dingell brand for her own agenda.

Happy Nomad on February 24, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Where the hell’s our WD grumble thread?

Lanceman on February 24, 2014 at 4:56 PM

What’s to grumble about this week? ;0

Happy Nomad on February 24, 2014 at 5:08 PM

There are two things about her that will matter to the constituency, and that is not one of them.

Midas on February 24, 2014 at 5:06 PM

True, a guy who marries a one-year-old would be creepy. A dirty old man who marries 27-year-old….. not so much. Look at Edwin Edwards.

Happy Nomad on February 24, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Would some HotAirians from Michigan please let us know who the Republican candidate(s) is for the Dingell seat?

wren on February 24, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Wow, nice pic of these two Lovebirds…

With a dashing debonair Dingel such as this, I’m amazed that
Wendy Davis didn’t snag him first, instead of this Gold Digger Woman…

..so what are her qualifications again for taking over his seat??

Oh yeah, that’s right, she bought the right Liquor for the
parties they threw…by all means, vote her in.

Absolute Fu*king Dumbsh*ts

ToddPA on February 24, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Well in this case, the good news is that with the current bunch of dingellberries we have in Washington, our republic can’t possibly make it for another 50 years. I’ll be long gone by then, too. Can’t hardly wait!!

Deano1952 on February 24, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Would some HotAirians from Michigan please let us know who the Republican candidate(s) is for the Dingell seat?

wren on February 24, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Given the fact that this is the first time since 1933 the seat has been in play due to retirement…… Given the fact that this was unexpected…………. Maybe the MI GOP could have a few hours before we worry about who they intend to run. ;0

Seriously, I suspect that the GOP calculus changed. Not that it is likely they will win but with the fossil out of the picture it is likely that the GOP candidate will be more than the usual sacrificial lamb.

Happy Nomad on February 24, 2014 at 5:26 PM

“Debbie Dingell has political gravitas.

The same ‘gravitas’ as Sheriff Joe Biden.

GarandFan on February 24, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Beats getting a real job.

rplat on February 24, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Are the people in this district so stupid as to believe that succession is the rule by which they live. What a sad world they live in. This is suppose to be a Representative Republic and not a Monarchy.

savage24 on February 24, 2014 at 5:35 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan's_12th_congressional_district

can anyone name a single business, that has prospered,
in the 12th district in the last 40 years…

much of his district was populated with the Detroit flight
of the late 60s early 70s..

after that even the blacks started leaving Detroit
with the district redrawn in 2003…

the city has less than half the population it once had..
they should demand his retirement check back…in total…

going2mars on February 24, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Given the fact that this is the first time since 1933 the seat has been in play due to retirement…… Given the fact that this was unexpected…………. Maybe the MI GOP could have a few hours before we worry about who they intend to run. ;0

Happy Nomad on February 24, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Thank you for your local perspective, Happy Nomad.

But since John Dingell is 87 years old, his retirement announcement really shouldn’t be much of a surprise to the local Republican Party.

It might be hard to predict the exact timing of his retirement, but even a Dingell can’t stay in Congress forever.

Every Republican Central Committee across the country should have a list of candidates who could be ready to run whenever a retirement or special election opportunity comes up, particulary if their Representative has been qualified for Medicare for more than 20 years.

The Michigan Congressional Primary is scheduled for August 5th. The deadline to get on the Primary ballot is April 22.

Let’s hope the Republican Party can come up with a candidate who will have a fighting chance of finally ending the Dingell Dynasty by defeating Debbie Dingell.

wren on February 24, 2014 at 6:32 PM

“She’s married to a corpseman” — obama

Schadenfreude on February 24, 2014 at 4:57 PM

That is precious!

gracie on February 24, 2014 at 6:41 PM

So he’s been in Congress since Eisenhower was President. Sickening, but it’s not as though voters in his district had no other choice.

cat_owner on February 24, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Every Republican Central Committee across the country should have a list of candidates who could be ready to run whenever a retirement or special election opportunity comes up, particulary if their Representative has been qualified for Medicare for more than 20 years.

The Michigan Congressional Primary is scheduled for August 5th. The deadline to get on the Primary ballot is April 22.

Let’s hope the Republican Party can come up with a candidate who will have a fighting chance of finally ending the Dingell Dynasty by defeating Debbie Dingell.

wren on February 24, 2014 at 6:32 PM

There was a really good conservative who ran against him in 2010. I don’t remember his name, but he’s a doctor. Yet the voters in his district preferred a leftist in his 80s.

cat_owner on February 24, 2014 at 7:16 PM

the district was won by BHO
65-33 in 2008
66-33 in 2012..

after the 2003 redistricting they dropped Troy and other
northern cities to keep the district heavy union/minority…
notice how its north of 8 mile..(just north of Det city limits)
take a goggle maps drive down 8 mile…
start here
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.447867,-83.040377,3a,75y,177.9h,74.65t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sQaaxL4i3e7TtfOsIbUzpiw!2e0?hl=en
where in the almost 60 years of this mans life is the success story..????
drive up any street??…look at the homes..
he should have been fired 20-30 years ago…
but…he’s a solid socialist type…

going2mars on February 24, 2014 at 7:51 PM

There was a really good conservative who ran against him in 2010. I don’t remember his name, but he’s a doctor. Yet the voters in his district preferred a leftist in his 80s.

cat_owner on February 24, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Thank you for a sign of hope in Michigan, cat-owner!

Dr. Rob Steele was the Republican candidate who ran against John Dingell in 2010.

I found one of Dr. Steele’s campaign ads on YouTube:

John Dingell vs. Dr. Rob Steele District 15 2010 Elections

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avXstrw_Qtw

In the 2010 election, John Dingell won with 56.8% of the vote. Dr. Rob Steele got a very respectable 40.1% of the vote.

The Congressional District lines have been redrawn since the 2010 Census. Does anybody know if the new district is more or less liberal/conservative?

wren on February 24, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Debbie Dingell, a Democratic power broker and chairwoman of the Wayne State University Board of Governors, is expected to run for Michigan’s 12th Congressional District, now that her husband, U.S. Rep. John Dingell, announced his retirement Monday, political experts said…

…I think she works for the Wayne County Road Commission right now too

KOOLAID2 on February 24, 2014 at 7:58 PM

I hope the dingleberries are at the end of their political road. For pete’s sake, go do something useful dinglepeople.

Michigan has been edging, albeit slowly, toward the right. The possibility is strong there will be no dingell winning.

I hope.

But of course if that’s the case and Michigan goes more to the right I’ll probably get as screwed by that as I did by the canadian buffoon woman being governor for way too long.

Diluculo on February 24, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Gravitas!

tenore on February 24, 2014 at 9:05 PM

I am reasonably confident there will always be a dingell in his seat. If you catch my drift you may want to pinch your nose.

David in ATL on February 24, 2014 at 9:23 PM

I once lived in Dingleberry’s district. Moved out a few years ago. That is heavy Dem area. Doubtful a Republican has a chance. Dingleberry is a walking corpse and he still won the last time. He had to be wheel chaired into the ObamaCare signing.

Conservative4Ever on February 24, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Q: “What is that in Dingle’s old seat?

A: “A dingleberry.”

earlgrey on February 25, 2014 at 3:11 PM