February 10, 2009, - 2:00 pm

What Would Lincoln Do?: Celebrating Eternal Welfare Queen John Dingell; Anti-Israel Rep. Doesn’t Live Up to the Daddy My Grandpa Knew

By Debbie Schlussel
While auto company jobs continue to get slashed, the big story in the Detroit area is, unfortunately, the long-running career of America’s longest public welfare recipient–John Dingell. The man gets paid $140K a year by American taxpayers, but hasn’t had a real job since his 20s. But, sadly, unlike so many other people in Michigan who actually produced something for a living, his job has yet to get slashed.
Dingell–one of the most anti-Israel and pan-terrorist Congressmen (remember when he said Hezbollah isn’t a terrorist group, despite its murder of over 300 Americans?) has been on the public dole for well over a half-century. As of this week, he’s now the longest serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives in history? Why is this cause to celebrate?
I raised this same question back in 2005, when President Bush hosted a luncheon in honor of Dingell’s 50th year in Congress.


Artwork by David Lunde/Lundesigns

It’s ironic that in this era where everything about Abraham Lincoln is hip again, one of the most important aspects of Lincoln isn’t: term limits. When I worked for Republican Congressman Philip M. Crane, he asked me to research Abraham Lincoln and term limits, and I spent a lot of time on it. In fact, Lincoln believed so strongly in term limits that he self-limited his terms in the legislature.
After serving four terms in the Illinois House, Lincoln declined to be renominated and left of his own accord. After one term in Congress, he also practiced self-term-limiting and declined to be renominated. In those days, even officeholders had some class. They weren’t pigs. They were true citizen legislators who served a few terms and then went back to live under the laws they made.
These days, we celebrate welfare queen John Dingell. No, America’s fattest cat welfare queen is not the mythical stereotype of a Black woman in a Cadillac driving to pick up her welfare check. It’s a fat, bald White guy in his seventies who doesn’t know when to quit.
The celebration of Dingell’s “history”-making is ironic, too. Today’s Detroit Newsistan has a ridiculous, pandering, entire “news” section dedicated to John Dingell. It’s as if the Newsistan became Dingell’s “Glamour Shots” for the day.
My favorite part of the section is the article, “Son Strives to Measure Up to Father’s Public Service” (not linking to it b/c I don’t give traffic to the Newsistan unless absolutely necessary). But John Dingell, Jr. doesn’t even come close to living up to John Dingell, Sr.–who was a friend of my late grandfather, Irving Wolf Schlussel.
Dingell has one of the most anti-Israel and pan-terrorist voting records in the House. His father was the complete opposite. From my 2005 column on Dingell’s father and my grandfather:

[T]he Dingell apple falls far from the tree. Dingell’s father, John Dingell, Sr., who preceded him in Congress, was very pro-Israel. So was the entire Michigan Democratic Party–which today is the domicile of the Islamofascists.
Below is an article from The Detroit Times, from November or December of 1948, not long after Israel became a State. It is about a pro-Israel dinner hosted by my late grandfather, Irving W. Schlussel, a lawyer, Detroit Jewish Community Council President, and President of the Jewish National Fund (which reclaims swamp and rocky land in Israel and plants trees on it). John Dingell, Sr. is one of the honorees, and he is pictured in the photo with my grandfather. Dingell, Sr. was inscribed in the JNF’s “Golden Book” for his support for Israel. His statement (some of which is unfortunately cut off in the only copy in my possession) is very pro-Israel. Today, he is probably turning over in his grave, at the disgusting actions and statements of his terror-apologist son.


Also, below, is another article from The Detroit Times from 1951. It is about a dinner, also hosted by my grandfather, Irving Schlussel.The dinner was in honor of then-Michigan Governor G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams and Lt. Governor (later U.S. Senator) Phil Hart. Although he is not mentioned in the article or pictured in the photo, John Dingell Sr. was in attendance, because, again, he was a strong supporter of Israel, unlike his terror-apologist son, who has been in office 50-years too long. At this dinner, the Williams-Hart Forest in Israel was established.



Celebrating that an out-of-touch, anti-Israel welfare queen who refuses to “take sides” against a terrorist group that murdered hundreds of Marines, is still in office is mind-boggling. That’s not an achievement. It’s a travesty. No-one, except Hezbollah, should be celebrating that this guy served in Congress the longest.
The Detroit Newsistan headline calls John Dingell a “Crusader.” But let’s just call him what he really is: a hack.
John Dingell, Jr.’s retirement is several decades overdue.
**** UPDATE: Braunstein Speaks also writes about Dingell’s “history-making” career of longevity in Congressional ineptitude. He writes aobut the Dingell family dynasty and compares it to the domination of the Kennedys in American politics. Braunstein and I agree: America is not a nation of royalty. Time to end the dynasties. Read Paul Braunstein’s piece on Dingell-ling.

10 Responses

Term limits have made the state legislature of Michigan largely nonfunctional. That alone is enough to oppose them.

stormhit on February 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Whomever elected him should hang their heads in shame

mindy1 on February 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm

I think this guy Dingell is a disgrace with the comment on that picture. But for Libs this is their badge of honor.
As for term limits. Unfortunately as much as I like the concept, they seem to undo their intentions. Sure we like to get rid of “bosses” who have all the connections and sometimes actually dare their constituents to get rid of them. Kind of sounds like this Dingell crony. However what has occured on the Republican side is more RINOs have evolved, especially in California state legislature. Good conservatives are termed out and replaced by moderates and end up caving in to the Dems. I think it is the duty of the electorate to rid itself of scum, however, sometimes the electorate is scum and they get what they deserve. But conversely, seeing Snowe, Spector, and Collins, that seems like an argument for term limits. Hopefully those voters “primary” them out. In the end I would rather have voters purge them out.

californiascreaming on February 10, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Dingell capsulizes just about everything that is wrong with American politics. First off is ego. He lost his committee chairmanship in 1994, and stayed around partly so he could regain it when the Republicans lost control of the House. Of course another thing wrong is the hereditary passing along of political privilege.
Of course the denegeraton of overall political positions from Dingell Sr. to the current Dingell is another problem, Of course we’d be much better off with term limits. The fact that the House members have to run every two years undoubtedly contributed to the Republican rejection of the stimulus (sic) bill in the House, even though, of course, many of the Republican members of Congress really support it. But they had to exercise some restraint because they’re up for election every two years. Maybe we should combine term limits with two-year election cycles in the Senate.
Then, of course is the influence of lobbyists like GM. While, as I’ve said, I don’t like to see job loss, GM will only survive if it produces better vehicles across the board. I’ve seen no evidence of that, and no pressure to do that from anyone.
One good thing about Dingell though; I’m against forced euthanasia, and maybe having a bunch of geriatrics in Congress will help the fight against roced euthanasia. On the other hand though, maybe when people see creeps like Dingell, euthanasia will become more appealing to many.
The newspaper clips were really interesting; reminders of a bygone, and, in many ways, better time.

c f on February 10, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Glad for the pic of Dingell in front of the wreckage with that caption. That is the story of his life in politics, isn’t it? That is a defining picture!

BB on February 11, 2009 at 10:01 am

Deb again right on the money! Do you have a video camera in my living room? Last night when say this on NBC Nat’l news I almost threw up. What has happen to this country we now celebrate a welfare taker who could not get a real job! I don’t think he is has even coherent anymore. I think his staff is telling him what to say and do and they just prop him up like one big stuffed dummy that he is. There should be term limits and mandatory retirement for any elected official that is over the age of 65.

ohboyohboy on February 11, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Thank you for posting those newspaper clippings.
Your Grandfather was obviously a GREAT man and a TRUE Community Leader.
We sure could use him today,but you’re PROUDLY carrying on in his name.
He would be as PROUD of you as you are of HIM.

CHOI on February 11, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Debbie, thank you for posting this very informative article. Hopefully, as more and more people start paying attention, this will be the year Dingell is voted out of office. A very brave Ann Arbor cardiologist and small business owner, Rob Steele M.D. will be running against Dingell and his Detroit machine. Steele is going to need our support!

DagnyTaggert on April 10, 2010 at 1:34 pm

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Irene Franco on June 6, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Every single one of you is an uneducated idiot.

thomas on January 11, 2012 at 10:30 pm

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