1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks EW. There’s only one Dingle – someone who embodies a rare combination of practicality (hard dogged work over decades) and humanity. Here’s hoping, with you, that he gets a chance to be called ’Mr Chairman’ again.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh, BTW, Mr. Dingell would take issue with your claim that there’s only one Dingell, especially in politics. There’s â€the lovely Deborah†as he invariably refers to her, as well as his son Chris, who was a state senator for many years before being term-limited, and is now a circuit court judge in Wayne County.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dingell’s attack on Nobel Prize winner David Baltimore has always been a gripe for me. I still think empywheel is great though!

  4. Anonymous says:

    there are no hero politicians. there are a lot of different institutional reasons for that.

    Dingell has charm. He is a pol.

    But there are no hero politicians.

    That is not the end of the world. Plenty to try, and plenty to do without the need for heroics.

    But keep your expectations in check, so that you always see what is there, and not what you hope to find.

    Anyway, that is my two cents worth.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think there are hero politicians, so long as you don’t expect them to be anything other than what they are or can be. Of course there are no pure heros in politics – or life, for that matter. I don’t like absolutely everything about Dingell (and that includes things in addition to the Baltimore case), but on balance, I’d say he is indeed a hero of sorts.

  6. Anonymous says:

    As a fellow Washtenaw co. resident, I faced the same dilemma in in Dingell’s primary against Lynn Rivers (forced because of redistricting, remember) as you did. I ended up voting for Dingell, though it rather broke my heart, because of the political heft his experience gives him. I don’t regret it and join you in saluting him today. But Lynn Rivers will be back in office at some point, maybe when John finally steps down in another 20 years or so… Meanwhile, Lynn is alive and well on our local public radio station, WEMU (http://www.wemu.org/).

  7. Anonymous says:

    John Dingell is the epitome of what is wrong with House Democrats. He has loads of money from being there so long and shilling for GM etc, and doesn’t share with Dems in tough seats/races. He also ran a nasty primary campaign to keep his seat which he doesn’t need anymore from a more liberal member of Congress. He also is one of the main reasons our car’s are so inefficient and Toyota is killing Ford, GM etc for not having good hydrids.

    He is fun to listen to as an grumpy old man, but get him out of Congress.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think John Dingell is a force for good, but wow, I’d have a really tough time voting against Lynn Rivers for anything.

  9. Anonymous says:

    These reflections of yours EW, and the neighbors in the Ann Arbor vicinity, are significant. I, too, in our locale, have marveled at how slow the House of Representatives is to change even though terms are two years rather than the Senate’s six year term length. The reelection of the same person to consecutive terms sometimes augments experience and effectiveness, however, by a parallel effect it renders the electee susceptible to increments of influence. I am unfamiliar with the BabyBell tale, but have noticed the desultory helpful position Representative Dingell has taken.
    In an effort to learn more, I visited his website today. I wish our northern CA representative had budgeted for a website as ample as Representative Dingell’s site. After some reconoitering, I clicked the button entitled â€VIEW CONGRESSMAN DINGELL’S FLOOR STATEMENTS†â€109th Congressional Record (2005-2006)â€. This brings a prefabricated set of search results onscreen which turns out to be a chartroll of all recent floor speeches in which the name Dingell occurs, but the heading of the list is missing: it only tells you the government archive is the source of the search, not what the search criteria were; unless you peek at the page’s source code to find out why the results look so un-Dingell-ish, for example, I was nonplussed to be invited to click one of these ’FLOOR STATEMENTS’ entitled â€ALITO CORRECT ON CONSTITUTIONâ€. Being game, I thought I would peruse his ratiocination, being preconvinced myself that no way could Dingell convince me Alito is mainstream about constitutionalism; Alito is a nationally known holder of one of the most conservative, as in reactionary, outposts in interpreting the constitution. Well, my instantaneous impression was appropriate: instead of this item from the Dingell website being about Dingell’s position on Alito’s candidacy as a nominee to the Supreme Court, rather it is AZ’s representative ranting from his typical anti-ERA vantage; at the outset of his antifeminist stemwinder the AZ representative paused to acknowledge the Dingell milestone, then plunged into the dialectic favoring Alito’s incrementalist vitiating of personal rights.

    Far away was a recollection of a few articles you wrote about using search criteria to find or miss finding items, such as email; though that is a topic separate from the praise of Representative Dingell’s fiftieth anniversary serving in the US House of Representatives.

    I hope his web attendant adds a template to indicate the â€VIEW CONGRESSMAN DINGELL’S FLOOR STATEMENTS, 109th Congressional Record (2005-2006)†are actually all mentions of representative Dingell, not exclusively his own floor statements at all.

    As for your admission about the primary vote, I share that perspective; that is the very place for individual initiative, making a statement that the challenger has great merit. I encourage new politicians to use websites to become acquainted with their constituency early.

  10. Anonymous says:

    DaveB, sorry for being so blunt, but man, you couldn’t be more wrong-headed than you showed with that comment. You want to talk about dirty campaign? EMILY’s list ran ads against Dingell for being bad on the environment. Yeah, John Dingell, the author of the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammals Act, the legislation that created the EPA…he’s bad for the environment. And what did they base their claims on? Because he voted agasint raising CAFE standards on the auto companies. There are two reasons why that’s a ludicrous line of attack. First, he’s from Michigan. With the exception of safe Repub Vern Ehlers (who’s also a physicist), every member of Congress from Michigan voted against the CAFE standards. Moreover, LYNN RIVERS VOTED THE SAME WAY!. There were also gay-baiting phone calls made into the rural parts of that district in the final weekend before the primary.

    So don’t tell me John Dingell ran a dirty primary. That’s bullshit.

    Plus, I know for a fact that Dingell helps Dems out at every level. emptywheel, working in the party structure in his district, surely knows the same. So where you’re coming up with this stuff is beyond me.

    Your comment is exactly the type of dilletante’s holier-than-thou liberalism that is one of the reasons we have such a hard time unifying our party.