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Speaker Sam Rayburn swears in John Dingell Jr. in 1955 to fill out the term of his father, who died that year after 22 years in the House.
The end of an era
Truly the end of an era:
Rep. John Dingell is leaving the Congress he’s served for longer than anyone else in United States history.

At a luncheon Monday in his beloved Downriver, the Dearborn representative says he will announce he won’t seek re-election this fall to the seat he’s held since 1955.

“I’m not going to be carried out feet first,” says Dingell, who will be 88 in July. “I don’t want people to say I stayed too long.”

7:00 AM PT: Keeping it in the family?

Debbie Dingell, a Democratic power broker and chairwoman of the Wayne State University Board of Governors, is expected to run for Michigan’s 12th Congressional District, now that her husband, U.S. Rep. John Dingell, announced his retirement Monday, political experts said.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just heard the news----seems like we will have a (6+ / 0-)

    serious challenge to try to take back the House; let alone maintaining what we have.  So many Dems leaving.

  •  My goodness. (6+ / 0-)

    The last of the Mohicans is now departing. What a true legend and gentleman. His distinguished service to his country will live on long after his departure from the halls of congress.

    20, Male, MD-8. Fan of University of Virginia athletics.

    by Danny Ricci on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:46:19 AM PST

  •  59 years in congress, wow! (3+ / 0-)

    ...that's longer than Robert Byrd's combined service in Congress (51 years in US Senate + 6 years in House) or Sam Rayburn (48 years in House).

  •  Job well done, Sir Dingell! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill, la58
  •  Wow! Truly big news. (3+ / 0-)

    Rep. Dingell (my rep) has some major accomplishments to his credit, primarily health care, but also some big failures (weak CAFE standards for Am auto mfrs). I am not sorry to see him leave, though I am very interested about the subsequent Dem nominee for his seat. I do NOT want it to be Debbie Dingell, his wife.
    This just made our GOTV efforts here more difficult and more important.

    Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:51:31 AM PST

  •  1st Ted Kennedy, now this, darn it to heck!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

    by Churchill on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:51:33 AM PST

  •  don't blame him, Stalemate is Stallingrad-esque (0+ / 0-)

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

    by Churchill on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:52:07 AM PST

  •  A tip o' the hat to Rep. Dingell (0+ / 0-)

    He's had a good run.

  •  Dingell was a dinosaur... (5+ / 0-)

    Like Waxman, Dingell came from an era of legislative achievement and a commitment to public service. I guess he finally got the memo that the House is now a banana republic, and serious people interested in stuff like governing should apply elsewhere.

    Thank you, Congressman Dingell, for a lifetime of excellent work on behalf of the American people.

  •  Personal trivia (0+ / 0-)

    At 54, I have lived my entire life with either Dingell or (briefly) John Conyers as my representative. They are the two longest-serving members. Rep. Conyers is less than a decade behind Dingell for the longevity record, but I doubt that he will stick around that long. Conyers is in his mid-eighties.

  •  the job of Representative was never meant to be a (0+ / 0-)

    lifetime gig, as it was for Dingell. While his record of longevity is obviously impressive, there really should be a required retirement age for members on Congress. i'd fix the age at 80, to be frank. how effective was Strom Thurmond his last 4 -5 terms in office?

    •  We already have term limits for (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k88dad, ellefarr, Caoimhin Laochdha

      members of the House.  They are called elections and they happen every two years.  Why not leave it up to the people?

      With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

      by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 07:25:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because of the practice of Gerrymandering (0+ / 0-)

        , which means most seats are drawn to protect the incumbent.  This also means that its nearly impossible to unseat an incumbent, absent a scandal and/or a skilled challenger, and no further proof of this is required than the current House. The Democrats would likely hold the House if not for gerrymandering.

        •  The solution to gerrymandering is nonpartisan (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Caoimhin Laochdha

          drawing of districts. Few states have gone that route, but it is superior to both term limits and mandatory retirement.

        •  The problem of gerrymandering (3+ / 0-)

          is not that it protects a particular incumbent.  It is that it protects the party ID of a candidate, whether they are an incumbent or a challenger.   Those voters will simply vote for an R or a D, regardless of incumbency.
          The way to deal with gerrymandering is to deal with gerrymandering -- not to try and put artificial limits on the choices of the voters.  For example, non-partisan redistricting -- which has been utilized in Iowa for year and is now the law in CA -- deals with that issue.  

          With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

          by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 07:49:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  60 years, won't it be? (0+ / 0-)

    If he was sworn in in (presumably) January 1955, and serves through the end of 2014, that's 60 years.

  •  Good riddance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mogolori, RuralLiberal

    No one should be in Congress that long. The lack of turnover in Congress is a serious part of the problem.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

    by dankester on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 07:29:17 AM PST

    •  I completely disagree (6+ / 0-)

      In fact, I'd say that Congress has taken a turn for the worst precisely because of the massive influx of fresh faces. New congressmen, especially from the GOP, come from an era of hyperpartisan, ideologically-driven media. They show up and break things, not make things, because their idea of good politics is foaming at the mouth.

      The elder statesmen tend to be more mature and statesmanlike. I'm very sad when folks like Dingell and Waxman leave or even old-school Republicans like John Warner or Dick Lugar. They bring an element of emotional sobriety that's become all too rare on the Hill these days.

      As long as a member is not corrupt (ex: not Charlie Rangel) or in sound mental health (ex: not Robert Byrd), they shouldn't be judged because of their length of tenure.

      GOP stands for Grand Old Problem.

      by LennyLiberal on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:32:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My dear Lenny, your comment here (0+ / 0-)

        is pretty much what I feel is true.

        I get so sick and tired
        of the old mantra,
        "Throw the bums out!"

        I'm more of a Communist
        than a Democrat,
        but I agree with the goal of this website,
        let's at least get more Democrats elected,
        and keep every one we have now,
        if possible.

        Throw all the Republican bums out,
        I say.

        I used to watch C-SPAN a lot,
        and from what I saw
        in sub-committee hearings,
        I do agree
        that if we must have Republicans,
        Dick Lugar,
        at least,
        seemed like a reasonable man,
        trying to make things work.

        Thanks again for your comment.

        Famine in America by 2050: the post-peak oil American apocalypse.

        by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 09:27:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  In DC longer than I have lived.and I'm gettin' old (0+ / 0-)

    I look at this post and the glaring message for me is "does someone serving 5 plus decades in the U.S. Congress serve the people best?". I believe that representative Dingell was probably an excellent person for his constituents and the Democratic party.........but I think our country might be better served with statesmen serving 2 to 8 years of public office and getting out. Let's get people into our government that want to serve our country and then move on. Being a career politicians should be discouraged so that the office does not corrupt.

  •  It's blue (2+ / 0-)

    I live in Ypsilanti out towards the Ann Arbor area in Dingell's district and it's pretty blue. Mix of white and blue collar type of people.

    I would also have to say that, that policy's like the republicans push will have a hard time getting traction with most people, but you never know.

    Recently, in Ypsilanti Township there was a petition to separate out or secede the southern part of the township and rename it "Ford Lake Heights" as the tax payers in this area are more affluent than the rest of Ypsilanti township. They just did not want to be part of the other part of the township because that part of town is poorer and the property tax those people pay is 1000 dollars less a year than the southern part of the township. This way the petition advocator's property values would go up. Needless to say this petition went nowhere.

    Again, it's pretty blue here, not super liberal downtown Ann Arbor blue, but working class blue. If Ypsilanti Township supervisor Brenda Stumbo ran for the seat, she would get some traction.

    Just my two cents on this.

  •  I think it's cool that if you google... (0+ / 0-)

    Dingell + pollution, you get a bunch of links from all over about his connivance with polluters, and a couple of links about his defense of the environment...which are from his own congressional website!

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:09:06 AM PST

  •  He looks old enough to retire when he started.... (0+ / 0-)

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:25:08 AM PST

    •  He's the guy on the left (0+ / 0-)

      not the right. I thank (my) Rep. Dingell for what he has done for the people of Michigan, I hope who ever is my Rep. works as hard as he has.

      •  This is the email I just got from Rep. Dingell (0+ / 0-)

        Dear friend,

        Today I announced that I will not seek reelection to the United States Congress.  As one of my strongest supporters, and as a dear friend, I want to thank you for your help, trust, and friendship over the years.

        The people of Southeast Michigan have given me their votes to serve them in Washington for many years.  This honor is one I have never taken lightly.  There is no greater privilege than a life spent in service, and I have worked to do my best for the people who live here – you, my neighbors, friends, and members of my community.  We’ve won more battles than we’ve lost, and we’ve taken our lumps, but we’ve emerged battered, bruised, but never defeated.

        We’ve stood up for the average men and women of Michigan – the people who work hard, play by the rules, and do their best for their families.  We’ve worked for cleaner air and water, to preserve our natural wildlife refuges, to bring jobs and new technologies and the job training needed to work in those jobs to the people who live here.  We’ve worked to protect consumers, to hold the big banks and corporations accountable, to expand our nation’s energy supply.  We’ve stood up to every attempt – every attempt – to cut social security and medicare.  And above all, we have worked to make sure that every person in the United States has access to affordable health care.

        I owe so much to you, the people who have supported me here in Michigan.  Your loyalty, your decency, and your friendship have given me the strength I needed to fight your fights.  I know how fortunate I am to have represented such good, kind and wonderful people.  I know I am a rich man when it comes to friends.

        Deborah and I look forward to thanking each of you individually over the next several months.  Today, I just want to start by expressing my thanks and gratitude.  I have tried to do my best, and I hope it was good enough.


        John D. Dingell

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