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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

February 24, 2014 - 7:51 am

The longest-serving representative in the history of Congress will be stepping down at the end of this term.

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), who turns 88 years old in July, has served in the House for 58 years and 29 terms.
“I’m not going to be carried out feet first,” Dingell told the Detroit News. “I don’t want people to say I stayed too long.”

Dingell is expected to announce at a luncheon in his district today that he’ll retire from the seat he’s held since 1955.

“My doctor says I’m OK. And I’m still as smart and capable as anyone on the Hill. But I’m not certain I would have been able to serve out the two-year term,” the congressman told the paper.

“I find serving in the House to be obnoxious. It’s become very hard because of the acrimony and bitterness, both in Congress and in the streets,” he added. “This is not the Congress I know and love,” he says. “It’s hard for me to accept, but it’s time to cash it in.”

In June, Dingell broke the all-time record with 20,997 days served in Congress.

Dingell stoked controversy in 2010 when he said of ObamaCare “the harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.”

But he’s also earned liberals’ ire for years, being called names such as the “NRA’s waterboy” for opposing gun control.

Dingell has voted against gun-control measures such as bills allowing lawsuits against gun manufacturers, earning the NRA’s highest rating.

“John Dingell is a supreme fighter for working men and women who has built a record of accomplishment second to none. I have known no better person in government during my 35 years in Congress,” said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who’s also retiring. “His rare combination of legislative skill, steely determination, hard work and generosity of spirit have helped him play a vital role in almost every major congressional initiative over the last half century, including the civil rights revolution, historic protections for the environment, the establishment of Medicare and passage of landmark health insurance reforms.”

Dingell is just one of two World War II veterans remaining in Congress. The other, 90-year-old Republican Ralph Hall (Texas), is running for another term this fall.

Hall, who once pumped gas for Bonnie and Clyde, says it will be his last campaign.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
"“I don’t want people to say I stayed too long.”

Just because I go out for a pizza right after Thanksgiving dinner I don't want people saying I'm a glutton.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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Term limits are way overdue.


39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
He had stayed too long by 1957.
Who thinks being out of touch with the people you represent for more than HALF A CENTURY is in any way a good system of governance?

Good God, we have to vote all these drooling, decrepit career politicians out of office before it's too late.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Every incumbent should be primary'd. Think of it as evolution in action.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
We will let the drool speak for itself.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...control the people.”
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Beat me to it. That is what he should be remembered for, and nothing else.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
“I don’t want people to say I stayed too long.”

You're about forty years too late, John.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Try 56.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Has anyone heard this man speak for the last several years? He's been barely coherent, and it's obvious he should have retired long ago, say, 57 terms ago.

The post-Watergate/VietNam War Democrat tsunami election is finally passing on. They've left a lot of damage in their wake.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"He's been barely coherent"

So? That's a typical Democrat.

39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"“I don’t want people to say I stayed too long.”

Just because I go out for a pizza right after Thanksgiving dinner I don't want people saying I'm a glutton.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
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