Rep. Thaddeus McCotter Resigns From Congress
We lost one of the good guys yesterday.
Representative Thaddeus McCotter, former presidential candidate and conservative leader in the House, resigned after what he termed a "nightmarish month and a half."
McCotter's statement (via AP):
"Today I have resigned from the office of United States Representative for Michigan's 11th Congressional District.
After nearly 26 years in elected office, this past nightmarish month and a half have, for the first time, severed the necessary harmony between the needs of my constituency and of my family. As this harmony is required to serve, its absence requires I leave.
The recent event's totality of calumnies, indignities and deceits have weighed most heavily upon my family. Thus, acutely aware one cannot rebuild their hearth of home amongst the ruins of their U.S. House office, for the sake of my loved ones I must "strike another match, go start anew" by embracing the promotion back from public servant to sovereign citizen.
I do not leave for an existing job and face diminishing prospects (and am both unwilling and ill-suited to lobby), my priorities are twofold: find gainful employment to help provide for my family; and continue to assist, in any way they see fit, the Michigan Attorney General's earnest and thorough investigation, which I requested, into the 2012 petition filing.
While our family takes this step into the rest of our lives, we do so with the ultimate confidence in our country's future. True, as at other times in the life of our nation, we live in an Age of Extremes that prizes intensity over sanity; rhetoric over reality; and destruction over creation. But this too shall pass, thanks to the infinite, inspired wisdom of the sovereign people who, with God's continued blessings, will again affirm for the generations American Exceptionalism.
Truly, it is a challenging and fortunate time to live in our blessed sanctuary of liberty.
In closing, to The People of Michigan's 11th Congressional District, I can but say this: Thank you for the privilege of having worked for you."
What happened? The Detroit Free Press recounts recent events:
Last summer, the five-term congressman and former state senator launched a hard-to-explain, short-lived bid for the Republican nomination for president.
Just this week, the Detroit News reported that, in the weeks after the failed presidential run, McCotter began writing a TV comedy he intended as a cathartic exercise, with him as the host of "a crude variety show cast with characters bearing the nicknames of his congressional staffers, his brother and a drunk, perverted 'Black Santa.' "
But the biggest blow came several weeks ago, when it was revealed that McCotter had submitted to the Michigan Secretary of State more than 1,000 fraudulent, duplicated or otherwise invalid petition signatures in support of his re-election campaign. At a loss to explain it, McCotter asked to be removed from the Aug. 7 Republican primary ballot.
Shortly thereafter, he abandoned what would have been a difficult write-in campaign as GOP officials fumed over a mistake that congressional historians were unable to find a precedent for in a race involving an incumbent.
The state Attorney General's Office is investigating the case, as McCotter requested.
The Michigan Republican Party is none too pleased with McCotter's decision to resign rather than stick it out until the end of his term. The primary is only a month away and its unclear whether Republican Governor Rick Snyder will now hold a special election to fill out the remaining weeks of McCotter's term in addition to the general election in November.
It's the ultimate disaster. The guy has just made one terrible blunder after another," said Bill Ballenger, publisher of Lansing-based Inside Michigan Politics. "In my view, this is the supreme self-centered act. He's just caused more problems for everybody. At least the guy could have quietly kept his mouth shut and tried to pull everything together and serve out the rest of his term."
The Michigan Attorney General is investigating the petition snafu trying to determine if there was fraud involved. For his part, McCotter claims he will help the AG in "identifying the person or persons who concocted the fraudulent petitions that have cost me so dearly."
McCotter was, at times, a brilliant iconoclast who defied categorization. He was a pro-labor Republican, supported the auto-bailout, and wasn't shy about taking his fellow Republicans to task for what he deemed excessive ideology. “The time has come for the tea party to grow up and the Republican Party to wake up,” he said during the debt limit debate.
But he was also pretty much of an orthodox conservative Republican who was in favor of cutting spending, lowering taxes, while supporting gun rights and opposing same sex marriage and abortion. He could often be seen playing his guitar with his bi-partisan band, "The Second Amendments." He was known to quote Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones on the House floor, as well as conservative and Catholic philosophers.
His eccentricities won him a following among younger conservatives who liked his outside the box thinking and personality quirks. Now, for whatever reason, he will retire and move back into private life.
But somehow, I doubt we've heard the last of Mr. McCotter.