Rep. Ralph Hall of Rockwall Defeats Super PAC, Tea Party, Old Age and the Sky

All you need to know about U.S. Representative Ralph Hall's decisive win in the 4th Congressional District Tuesday night is that he went skydiving on Memorial Day. He wore a jumpsuit printed with undulating American flags and fell from the plane, plummeting briefly in free-fall, his arms flapping slightly, like wings. His tandem partner pulled the cord, the parachute snatched them from their descent, and the two floated gently to earth, whereupon they made a truly pro landing, to the cheers of bystanders. A veteran of the U.S. Army Airborne pinned a pair of Jump Wings to his chest.

"I want to do it again," said the 16-term congressman, who'd recently turned 89.

One might ask, "How do you defeat such a man?"

You do not. He defeats you. You can put him up against a Tea-Party favorite, a race car driver, a Super PAC run by a construction magnate who spends nearly 200 grand in attack ads to undermine his conservative credentials, a Congress that is about as popular as Lebron James in a watering hole located beneath a bridge in Cleveland, and he still wins with 59 percent of the vote in a three-way race. Oof.

He's dug into the 4th deeper than a tick on a blue heeler's ass. When voters chased the Democrats out of Texas, he simply evolved into a Republican. He's a survivor. Mark my words: When the radioactive ash drifts from the sky like snow, and mankind is mouldering in the cold, cold ground, there will be only Hall, with nothing but the cockroaches and his memories of weightlessness and a brief free-fall to keep him company.

So, congratulations, Congressman Hall. Here's to 16 more.

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Brantley Hargrove