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John Dingell, Professional Politician, Retires

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 11, 2014

John Dingell, United States Congressman from Michigan, announced his retirement last month after serving nearly 60 years in the US House of Representatives.  Dingell is currently the longest-serving House member holding a seat that he first was elected to Congress when Dwight D Eisenhower was president.

The longevity of John Dingell helps demonstrate one of the problems with the political elite in Washington.  Unlike the citizen representatives pictured by the Founding Fathers, once elected, these folks often become professional politicians who have few experiences of everyday life and enrich themselves while supposedly serving the People.  Making Dingell’s incestuous relationship even more problematic, Debbie Dingell announced plans to and run for her husband’s Congressional seat.

After announcing his retirement, John Dingell indicated that he is retiring because Congress has become “obnoxious”, i.e. nonproductive due to partisanship.  Dingell went on to state: “There is going to be a lot of blaming and finger-pointing back and forth, but all of us are at fault.  The enormous expense of money made by people in the course of the campaign has not been well spent in the interest of the public, of the Congress of the country.”

Tom DingleThe fact that Dingell is 87 years old, spent 60 years in Congress, took his father’s seat in Congress, and is now having his wife take on the spoils, shows just how disingenuous Dingell is.  The attached photograph taken nearly six years ago tells a more realistic tale.

Besides serving beyond his productive years, Dingell is leaving Congress because of his lack of power.  With the Democrats being the minority party and likely to continue in that position for at least the next two years, Dingell joins fellow Democratic representatives Henry Waxman and George Miller from California in leaving Congress.  Waxman and Miller are relative newcomers, holding their seats for only 40 years.

The problems facing the Country are significant, varied and complex.  Politicians often look for complex solutions.  The very complexity of the issues guarantees unintended consequences to that exasperate the problems.  The issue of professional politicians serving too long and enriching themselves can only be resolved with simple solutions that include term limits and forcing the Congress to balance the Country’s budget.  The fact that neither political party runs on such a straightforward platform tells much about their true intentions.


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