First question - why is this news. An 87 year old man, clutching to 'his chair', not the People's seat mind you, decides to retire. This is breaking news, for some reason.
From the New York Times "Breaking News" report: Representative John D. Dingell Jr., Democrat of Michigan, the longest serving member of Congress in history, on Monday was expected to announce that he will not seek re-election in 2014, and will leave Congress in 2015.
Mr. Dingell, 87, has served in the House for more than 58 years, under 11 presidents.
He made his first appearance on the House floor at the age of 6, when his father was elected in 1933; he went on to become a Congressional page; and after his father died in 1955 he successfully ran for his seat at the age of 29.
Mr. Dingell, a former Democratic powerhouse, asserted jurisdiction over vast expanses of federal policy as the intimidating chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. In 2008 his fellow Democrats ousted him from the committee chairmanship, where he had reigned as the top Democrat for nearly 30 years.
His wife of more than three decades, Deborah, is a power in her own right in Washington as an auto industry executive and a close adviser to her husband. She recently considered, but ultimately decided against, a Senate bid.
There is speculation that his wife still might run for her husband’s seat.
If I lived in Dingell's district - which I don't, anymore - I'd be outraged that my representative hasn't been in touch with what's going on in my district for over 58 years. Or, at least, what it meant to not live in DC. Maybe he came back every weekend. But he hadn't worked or lived or had been part of the community that he represented in all that time. I wonder, how well could he have known what his constituents really wanted or reflected.
Since 1955. Let's get some perspective. He will have been a representative for more than a quarter of the time that the United States has existed. Since this is Blasphemes, let me put it in OUR perspective - 1955 is when Marty McFly went back in time... so this guy's career spans the entire Back to the Future time-space trilogy.
No. I'm not for term limits. I'm for the voters doing that. If you are apathetic about politics, or just care that 'your guy brings home the bacon' you will continue to have The House of Lords instead of the House of Representatives. This guy retired before death could knock him out of "His" chair. The people should have done that for him. Long ago.