John Dingell, D-15th Dist, is the longest serving member of the US House of Representatives. http://www.house.gov/dingell/ He’s been there so long, Governor Granholm proclaimed February 11th, “John Dingell Day,” in 2009. He has served western Detroit (and since the southwestern suburbs) since 1955. A few days ago, he announced his desire to continue to represent his district.http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/22622294/detail.html#
Is John Dingell over the hill? Are his best days behind him? Many people have said this and will continue to say this as he continues his career.
However, such talk is dangerous to Michigan. How so? Let us look to history for guidance.
A few years back there was another not-quite-textbook democrat here in Michigan. His name was David Bonior. He was the Whip of the US House of Representatives. If not forced out by redistricting and the name “Levin,” Bonior would today be the Speaker of the House (of Representatives). This would have been a great boon for the state of Michigan.
We would have never had to know who Nancy Pelosi was (I do not care what party you belong to, her voice is like nails on a chalkboard). We would have had a Democratic Speaker who can garner Republican support.
What makes Dingell “not-quite-textbook”? A few things, most notably is his A+ rating from the NRA (National Rifle Association). http://nra.org. As an avid hunter, he strongly opposes gun control. A significant portion of Michigan’s economy depends upon hunting, so Dingell has multiple reasons for his stance.
Mr. Dingell has power within the House and his removal would hence remove more power from Michigan. He has power across the aisle. Is that not the exact problem right here in Michigan?
The lack of bipartisan agreement (here in Michigan) is crippling the state. Maybe if we had a few more “Johnny Dingell’s” the state might actually get something done.
So to all of you who say, “he’s a democrat” or “he’s old” or any other negative connotation, just remember that you cannot buy character. You cannot buy dedication. You cannot buy a politician who bucks the party commands and does what he or she believes is the right thing.
For these reasons, as well as many unnamed others, John Dingell should run again. He may be past his best years (health wise), but he is not over the hill. For the sake of Michigan, he is on the top of that hill- with the Bill of Rights in one hand and a rifle in the other.