Ed Driscoll

1,000,000 Years D.C.

At Hot Air, Mary Katharine Ham (and congrats to both parties for what seems like a perfect fit between journalist and Website) spots what may well be, as MKH writes in her headline, the “worst newspaper endorsement ever,” as the Detroit Free Press endorses 82 year old Jurassic Democrat John Conyers — with more than a few caveats:

The Free Press endorses Conyers so grudgingly as to demand more adverbial flourish than my vocabulary offers:

[H]is energy has slowed and he is not delivering for his district the way he used to, or the way he should be.

Then there is the matter of his wife, Monica, who’s serving a federal prison sentence for shaking down vendors when she was a member of the Detroit City Council; implausibly, the congressman swears he knew nothing of the conspiracy she pled guilty to taking part in.

But elections are about finite choices, and while all of Conyers’ Democratic opponents are competent, none offers sufficient support for turning out a congressman of his seniority and influence.

JOHN CONYERS gets our endorsement, but it is mostly with the hope that he will soon retire from Congress and the district will produce a more viable alternative…

This may be the last time this newspaper can back him, but for now, Conyers is the best alternative.

The press has generally treated the redistricting Conyers faces with a slightly sad, wistful tone, as if it’s an affront to his years of service to require him to actually engage in the political process. It is not. As a 24-term incumbent, he has plenty of advantages and should be plenty good at running for office by now. I doubt I’d be interested in any of his challengers, either, but they have every right to offer the Detroit area a change of leadership.

In Chinatown, John Huston’s character memorably told Jack Nicholson, “‘Course I’m respectable. I’m old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.” Conyers doesn’t seem to be living up to even that poor standard in the eyes of his local newspaper.