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The Dingell Dynasty

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The PBS show Downton Abbey -- about snooty Brits so snooty their snootiness is almost as snooty as their furniture -- fascinates Americans because English accents make us feel inferior and we love it. We also get a kick out of their dynasties, as in how Downton's entitled family must scramble to have sex with any fertile being to produce sons who can inherit their furniture.

But now we have ourselves a uniquely American dynasty right here in Congress. John Dingell is leaving the Michigan House seat where his genes, combined with his father's before him, have held this Congressional seat for 80 years!

The family doesn't have to let loose its decades-long grip on the Detroit suburbs just because Dingell, who is called "gruff" since family newspapers can't print what they really mean, is leaving Congress. They have a shot at going for a full century.

Dingell's wife Debbie, who is 60 years old and 28 years younger than him, is reportedly "being urged" to seek his seat. In this case, being urged is not as understated as saying Kim Jong-un was merely drafted to take over his father's North Korean dictatorship. But let's just say those who've seen Debbie Dingell in action are not surprised she's in a three-point stance for the sprint to Congress.

If Mrs. Dingell lasts as long as her husband that'll be one House seat in one family's name for over 100 years. Not quite the legacy of Downton Abbey, where the same family has apparently run things since Stonehenge. But that's about the best we inferior Americans can do.

Craig Crawford publishes the news commenting site Trail Mix