Rep. John D. Dingell, the retiring dean of the House, jokingly reflects on a lifetime of public service and the current state of congressional affairs in his latest holiday greeting.
The Michigan Democrat, who each winter lampoons the year that was, is concluding his tenure on the Hill after nearly 60 years. His wife, newly minted lawmaker Debbie Dingell, is set to succeed him in the 114th Congress. In his latest farewell address (they began trickling out months ago ), the octogenarian pol cracks wise about the 2014 electoral drubbing his party took, his mounting maladies , rising technology and the sinking feeling he occasionally gets from surfing the web.
Luckily, he’ll always have his music .
Take it away, sir:
′Twas just days before Dems lost control of the Senate Handing over the reins to whoever’s left in it. But amidst all the partisan clanking and clatter Thought I’d write you a poem and highlight a few matters Looking back on my career and the year in reflection For I’m hanging it up, after 30 elections. The last two years proved to be both a challenge and treat: Became the longest-serving member! Shared a stage with Meryl Streep! Earned the Medal of Freedom! Even passed legislation! All this in the face of Congressional stagnation. And though Congress moved slow, in its usual fashion My one question remained: what the heck’s a Kardashian? But at 88 years old, balance gets a bit awkward, I hurt my hip in a fall, and ended up at the doctor. On the mend, I’m recovering for at least a few weeks But I’m still working hard, via phone calls and tweets Keeping up with my people, finding ways to say hello I figured out Google Glass. But does anyone still use Ello? From Gruber to Ebola, I’ve survived this year’s banter. Think the Tea Party’s dead? You should ask my friend Cantor. Cruz’s latest ploy backfired, ushering through nominations Like a new Surgeon General, and a head of immigration Made our Cabinet stronger, reaffirmed our world power If Ash Carter doesn’t work, well there’s always Tim Howard And so our nation must make an important decision One that’s certain to split us, and unearth deep division We’ll dissect every word, every small thing they say ‘Til we finally learn: Was it Adnan or Jay? And, oh yeah, there’s that one other decision we face Of who will enter, and win, the 2016 race So the election’s now upon us, and amidst all the hintin’ There’ll be a line of new choices [and a Bush, and a Clinton] As folks “actively explore,” and throw their hats in the ring We must look at their records, and the experience they bring As for me, I’ve never been one to create a big scene So Happy Holidays to all, DINGELL 2016!
(This is an actual bumper sticker a group of supporters of mine made decades ago.)The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.