I know that there has been a lot of news about Rep. John Dingell’s (D-MI) distinction as the longest-serving congressman in the history of the United States. However, I would counter that it is just a number. He said it best himself: “It ain’t how long it is how well…My time just means I’ve collected a check from the government, but the question is what I’ve done with that time.” (The Atlantic).
However, I wonder how many other people might have been better. Because of the power of incumbency, many people might have been scared off to run against. Those people might have introduced some defining legislation, become a leader in a new movement, or added that bit of gusto that is sorely needed in the House.
I’m not saying that he was either a bad or good representative. But I wonder who missed their chance to make a difference because we were more comfortable with the status quo?
- Michigan Democrat Dingell surpasses record for longest tenure in Congress (newsobserver.com)
- John Dingell Officially Becomes Longest-Serving Lawmaker in Washington [VIDEO] (hngn.com)
- Dingell Breaks Record After 57 Years in House (blogs.wsj.com)
- Dingell Now Longest-Serving Congressman (drudge.com)
- A look back at U.S. Rep John Dingell’s career as he becomes longest serving member in Congress (with photo gallery) (mlive.com)
- Term Limit Group 12 is Enough Targets Congressman John Dingell in New Web Ad (prweb.com)
- A Dissent on John Dingell, the Queen Elizabeth of Congress – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Congratulations, John Dingell (speaker.gov)