The more one thinks about Congressman Thaddeus McCotter’s sudden resignation from office, the more outrageous the move becomes.
You may recall that McCotter hung it up last Friday after a disastrous year in politics. His run for the presidency went up in flames. An apparently easy bid for re-election went embarrassingly, dramatically and maybe even illegally south after his campaign failed to file enough nominating signatures. The state of Michigan is investigating McCotter’s campaign petitions for possible fraud. And The Detroit News found a copy of a juvenile TV pilot script that McCotter had written. The newspaper noted a number of fart jokes, which pretty much flies in the face of McCotter’s avuncular, smart-guy image.
So he quit.
Think about this: The people of the 11th District have no vote in Congress — none, until somebody new comes in early next year. So, to the folks in Livonia: your voice on the floor of the U.S. House goes silent until next year.
But it gets even worse. McCotter says the Clerk of the House will run his field offices. That part is even more problematic. A congressional office is the usual point of contact for constituents having problems with the federal government. That would include people fencing with Social Security, the Passport office, the Veterans Administration, and countless other agencies in need of a push from somebody with clout. Even simple things, such as a tour of the U.S. Capitol, become easier when your local member of Congress helps out.
That’s a very big job, requiring personal attention from an elected official. If anybody wonders how Congressman John Dingell (D-Dearborn) has stayed in office since 1955, look no further than Dingell’s constituent services.
But instead of just serving out his term, McCotter cut and run.
The timing is curious: He lets loose the announcement on Facebook Friday afternoon – two days after the Fourth of July—a time when many people have left town.
He refuses to answer any questions until the Michigan’s Attorney General concludes an investigation into the botched re-election campaign.
Great. He doesn’t want to talk about his failed campaign. But what about answering specific questions about why he’s leaving? What is he telling his neighbors?
Perhaps there are extenuating circumstances. A depression problem, perhaps? If so, it’s not the first time that has happened in the history of the Republic. There are ways of discreetly handling such difficulties. Say what you will about the 534 other members of Congress, but most consider their sacred oath of office as virtually sacred.
Instead, McCotter pressed the “send” button on his Facebook page and bailed.
Is there a “dislike” button on Facebook?