In honor of today being Dan Bongino’s birthday, I was thinking about what the best way to commemorate it would be. This time last year I remember being stuck in a traffic jam after a debate tournament on the way to a gun range where he was having a birthday party. This year, I’m now in the limbo between class and finals known as reading period, and I thought that the best way to commemorate today would be to reshare an article I wrote about Dan before the election. Sure, he didn’t win this time, but he came closer than any political pundits said he would (and I would know, since at least two leading raters of races told me he had no chance), and I don’t think he’s done running just yet. I know that the only thing someone would want for their 40th birthday is for me to write a blog post about them, so without further adieu, here is the original article I had written.
By this point, every political junkie worth their weight in playing cards has seen House of Cards’ second season (or at least has a series of lame excuses explaining why they haven’t). For me, it seems impossible to be thankful for our system of government if someone like Frank Underwood can find himself seated in the Oval Office. Call it House of Cards Syndrome if you will. However, my fears are unfounded, for one main reason.
Prepare to feel horribly sorry for Congressman John Delaney.
After much speculation that he would run for governor, Dan Bongino announced he would run for Congress in Maryland’s 6th district, which has traditionally been Republican, until Annapolis decided to meddle in its affairs.
The only sadness I have ever felt since Bongino’s campaign launched is that I wasn’t there to witness it, since I was in China. I have yet to forgive myself, and look forward to doing everything possible to make sure that this man takes office when the 114th Congress is sworn in.
How can I claim that Dan (never Mr. Bongino, as he has told me) can cure what’s wrong with Washington? How can a mere politician be the solution to our House of Cards syndrome?
Well, that is easy, because no one who knows Dan would ever call him a politician (in fact, I’m pretty sure he would consider it an insult). His decision to leave the Secret Service and run for Senate in 2012 is well documented (perhaps best so in his phenomenal book: Life Inside the Bubble: Why a Top-Ranked Secret Service Agent Walked Away from It All), but the fact that he has since committed himself to fighting for Maryland’s future is what makes him so unique. Who else would create a PAC called “Cede No Ground”?
Dan’s platform revolves on how he is not a politician, down to the fact that he has already term limited himself out of office. I am not a fan of artificial term limits being legislated, believing that the best term limit is the voter, but what politician offers to leave office voluntarily? A terrible one, which is why Dan is not a politician; he is a citizen.
Every time I see Dan interact with his future constituents, I’m shocked by how he remembers not only names, but his history of all interactions with that person, including their family members he may or may not have even met.
Dan’s greatness has earned him some detractors, most notably a random third party candidate in his senate race who only joined after Dan’s threat to Senator Cardin was well know. This time around, he faces a late entry to the race as his previous opponent withdrew and is now running for a House of Delegates seat.
The people Dan threatens are exactly the kind of people who gain power in House of Cards, and Dan is better positioned than anyone I know to show that Frank Underwood doesn’t rule America. You and I do.