Dem. Rep. Obey to Retire: There Must be ‘More to Life’
May 6, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-Rep. David Obey (D-WI) is tired, “bone tired,” he says. This latest go-around with insane obstructionist Republicans and their death panels has left the 71-year-old powerful Democratic leader to wonder in Peggy Lee retro style: “Is that all there is my friend?” Obey, who has been in the House since 1969 has decided he would rather go fishing or watch reruns of Gossip Girl; anything except trying to explain the Senate’s arcane rules to a bunch of angry teabaggers.
Obey has served in House for nearly half a century, climbing to the top to capture the chairmanship of the powerful House Appropriations committee. Obey is the third-longest serving member in the House, behind John Dingell and John Conyers. In his retirement statement posted on his official webpage, he notes two of his House colleagues have recently passed away at the tender age of 76, forcing Obey to confront his own mortality:
“In the last months, two colleagues, Charlie Wilson and Jack Murtha, have died. Both were 76. For me, that is only four years away. At the end of this term I will have served in the House longer than all but 18 of the 10,637 men and women who have ever served there. The wear and tear is beginning to take its toll. Given that fact, I have to ask myself how I want to spend the time I have left.”
And this past session, since Barack Obama’s election, has not been easy. Republican lawmakers, angry over being out of power, have publicly stated they want Obama to fail and have engaged in an unprecedented scorched earth policy, to become the Party of No, leaving angry constituents jamming lawmakers’ phone lines from both parties. House members have watched in frustration, as their bills languish in the Senate due to Republicans whom would filibuster a motion to debate a debate in a nanosecond:
“Frankly, I do not know what I will do next. All I do know is that there has to be more to life than explaining the ridiculous, accountability destroying rules of the Senate to confused, angry, and frustrated constituents.”
Obey’s shoes will be hard to fill. And in a Wisconsin district barely leaning Democratic, they might just be filled with a Republican former Realty TV star, named Sean Duffy.