The encomiums poured in following the announcement by John Dingell (D-Mich.) last week that he wouldn’t be seeking a 30th term in the House. Tweeted Gary Peters (D-Mich.): “Today we honor the service and legacy of Michigan’s greatest Congressman. His accomplishments will never be forgotten.” Such praise would reasonably be expected from a hard-left progressive like Peters who is running to replace Michigan’s equally hard-left Democratic Senator Carl Levin, who is retiring.
But praise from others who should know better was surprising. Republican House member Lee Terry from Nebraska tweeted: “His leadership and skills will be missed in E & C [the House Energy and Commerce Committee where Dingell served for years].” Most surprising of all was this sweet sendoff by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.): “Despite our differences, Congressman Dingell has always been kind and gracious – and I will miss our elevator rides. Congrats on retirement.”
Really. When count is made of the damage done to the republic by Dingell and his father, John D. Dingell, Sr., dating all the way back to 1933, only the hardiest of die-hard socialists could express such sentiments. Starting in 1933, John Dingell, Sr., a “stalwart New Dealer” (according to author John T. Flynn) began promoting socialized medicine. Dingell, Sr. had no interest in Constitutional limitations, even writing a letter to President Roosevelt on August 18, 1941, months before the so-called surprise attack took place at Pearl Harbor, suggesting that the president round up and jail 10,000 Hawaiian Japanese Americans and hold them as hostages to ensure the Japanese government’s “good behavior.” Following the attack, Dingell, Sr. was among the very first to launch a campaign to impugn the integrity of Admiral Kimmel and General Short for their negligence and dereliction of duty at Pearl, long before the real back story behind the attack became well known.
When Dingle, Sr. developed tuberculosis and moved to Colorado Springs for treatment, he fathered John, Jr. Following senior’s death in 1955, junior won a special election in Michigan (where they had moved) to complete his father’s term. The very first thing junior did was to present a bill to create national health insurance. At the start of every legislative year, junior offered a bill for national health insurance – every year until it was finally passed in 2010. At one point, Dingell rejoiced over the impact he and his father had in pushing the country into socialism: