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Yule and YOLO: The 2013 Dingell Jingle

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., released his annual “Dingell Jingle,” a lyrical gift rife with potshots, holiday jeer and even the acronym “YOLO.”

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Parodying the poem “A visit from St. Nicholas,” the longest serving member of Congress penned a rhyming condemnation of the 2013 government shutdown spanning a full eight stanzas.

Here’s one poetic nugget of how the Dean felt about this year: “And so rhetoric flared, rich with words set to rile them/ As the inmates controlled the Congressional asylum.”

Many thanks, congressman.

Here’s the jingle in full:

‘Twas the night before Congress would shut down the country

Yes, all sides screwed up, if I may put it bluntly

The Senate grew tired, as Ted Cruz spoke all night

While the White House was scrambling to build a website

And here in the House, “Let’s repeal it!,” they’d shout

“You can keep your old plan!” said the President, with doubt

And so rhetoric flared, rich with words set to rile them

As the inmates controlled the Congressional asylum


“We will no-way, no-how raise that federal debt ceiling!

Make concessions on revenue? That’s simply unappealing!”

With the shutdown impending, they instead went full YOLO

“It brings economic stability!” said the Sunshine State’s Yoho

But that one thing that they love, more than Koch’s or the rich

My Republican friends chose to scratch that one itch

Their obsession for years. An addiction, in fact;

“Let’s vote forty-six times! Roll the ACA back!”


“We’ll repeal and replace!” …but replace it with what?

Though void of solutions, they’ve not kept their mouths shut;

“But that website, atrocious! Cancellations, how scary!

And all this the fault of that Socialist, Barry!

We have no ideas present, and no help on the way,

We don’t need a solution! Just delay it! Delay!

Bring the Secretary here! We can ask her some questions!

But we won’t bring ideas. And we’ll make no concessions.”


So Sebelius appeared, to the public’s great interest,

and a long line of questions from my dear friend John Shimkus

“I won’t yield to this monkey court!” Frank Pallone exclaimed

Because the GOP plan was just “Shout!” and “Complain!”

Joe Barton brought Powerpoints! And YouTube! And charts!

But deep down they all knew, in the heart of their hearts,

That the website improvements being made by the minute

Would mean thousands enrolling in the plans they found in it


Yes, the website had flaws, marred with errors and glitches.

But costs no longer soared for a wheelchair or stitches.

You’ll get good quality care, at an affordable rate

But please bear with the errors, please endure the wait

There are already benefits that are driving down costs

Like free preventive care, without fees or a loss

Prescription prices down, as the donut hole’s nixed

Got kids? They’ll be covered ‘til age 26.


Caps on coverage for care? Preexisting conditions?

Why, we’ve solved those two, too, though we’re just politicians.

We must see this plan through, stay steadfast on our path,

For we can’t throw the baby away with the bath,

No more fear. No repeal. I will surely vote Nay

Each repeal vote cast costs taxpayers millions per day

We must focus our efforts on more pressing of matters

For we owe our constituents more than partisan spatters They want jobs and opportunity: The American Dream

Do you remember what that is? And recall what it means?

It’s lifting our neighbors up when hard times have them down

It helped build this great country, it’s our bedrock, our ground.

It’s what made our proud nation the best in the world

Protecting unemployed workers, and their boys and their girls Leaving no family hungry, with great burdens to bear

Keeping the promise of seniors’ and veterans’ care I look forward to January, as we start Second Session

My one hope for this season? That we all learn the lesson

Of a Congress so lost and so deep in the ditches

We’ve neglected the public, their best interests, their wishes

So I call on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle End the partisan games, stop that bickering so vile

Our people want results, and we must answer their call

So Happy Holidays friends, and a blessing to all.


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