Letters of the Day (Feb. 27): Congressional longevity

  • Updated: February 26, 2014 - 6:28 PM

On one hand, decades of accomplishment for Rep. John Dingell. On the other, dynasty.

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Rep. John Dingell, D.-Mich., is retiring.

Photo: Doug Mills • New York Times,

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Amazing! In this day of politicos coming and going and wrapped in scandals and big money, U.S. Rep. John Dingell of Michigan is retiring after serving 59 years in Congress, the longest ever. The 87-year-old Dingell was elected, putting this in perspective, during the first term of President Dwight Eisenhower and has subsequently served 10 more presidents. He will leave a great legacy: He played a key role in the creation of Medicare in 1965, and he wrote the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act and the 1973 Endangered Species Act. This is almost an unparalleled record of achievement.

You and I may never have met or even heard of this quiet man, but what he has given to this country for generations to come has been immeasurable. He certainly deserves the Medal of Honor. May God grant him a peaceful retirement and the knowledge that our country is a little better because of him. Others in Congress, regardless of party, would do well to reflect on what it means to serve the people of this country as honestly as has Rep. Dingell.

PETER CLARK, Roseville

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The founders envisioned a citizen legislature, not a job for life. Dingell has been in the House of Representatives since 1955, winning his father’s seat, and now likely this seat will be “bequeathed” to his wife. I wonder what “pork” he brought to his district? This is not a milestone to be celebrated. Shameful.

DARYL WILLIAMSON, Eden Prairie

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