|Part of the problem|
Dingell Breaks Record After 57 Years in House
Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.) became the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history Friday, and in an interview reflected on major legislative achievements and the changes in Washington over his nearly six decades in the House.The fact that this guy could repeatedly get elected and linger in Washington for 57 years doesn't say much for the intelligence of his constituents and brings into sharp focus why our country can't move in a positive direction.
Mr. Dingell, 86 years old, has held his position for 57 years, five months and 26 days. He broke the record held by the late Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia.
Mr. Dingell has been involved in some of Congress’s most celebrated achievements. “The single most important vote I cast” was for the 1964 Voting Rights Act, he said in an interview Friday.
He has since helped push through Medicare, the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and most recently, President Barack Obama‘s health-care overhaul, the Affordable Care Act. From 1981 to 1994, and then from 2006 to 2008, Mr. Dingell was chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
He faced a stiff primary challenge in 2002, when redistricting had thrown him into a fight with another Democrat incumbent, Rep. Lynn Rivers, a more liberal member.~snip~
Entrenched incumbency by any party is the curse of the new politics in Washington.
Instead of celebrating this "accomplishment" we should be asking ourselves some really hard questions on how we got to this point.