John Dingell (D-MI), longtime Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has done some good things in his time, but overall he's been a net minus. When Henry Waxman (D-CA) toppled him from his perch today my feeling was an uncharitable, Good Riddance. The vote in the Democratic Party caucus was close but not very close: 137 - 122. Dingell has not been representing the people of his District as much as he has been representing the US Automakers. He he got the sobriquet Dirty Air Dingell the old fashioned way: he earned it:
The Energy and Commerce panel is one of the most important House committees, with sweeping jurisdiction over energy, the environment, consumer protection, telecommunications and health care programs such as Medicaid and the popular State Children's Health Insurance Program.
Dingell has been the top Democrat on the panel for 28 years and is an old-school supporter of Detroit's carmakers and other big industries such as electric utilities. His bitter battles with Waxman over clean air issues date to the Reagan administration and were recently revived as Waxman complained that the committee has been too slow to address global warming.
Waxman, 69, has a lengthy congressional resume of aggressive investigations and legislative action.
Dingell's reputation for putting Detroit's auto interests above all else didn't help his campaign to keep his job -- especially as automakers seeking a bailout have been taking a public relations pounding on Capitol Hill. (AP via Yahoo)
Dingell was not just old (82). He was a dinosaur. A good friend whose opinion I value served on his staff some decades ago and respected him, but I was always turned off by his autocratic style and slavish service to automakers and utilities. Waxman is tough, persistent and no nonsense. He's out ahead of many Bush dog Democrats, so it remains to be seen how effective he will be in getting done what desperately needs to be done.
In the meantime I'm glad to see Dingell relegated to the slag heap. His political capital went bankrupt along with his paymasters. I still say, Good Riddance.
More than a little unkind. I'm not arguing yet over whether Waxman will run the Committee better than Dingell. But the tone shows almost as much contempt for a 5-decade career as the rest of the Congress shows for the auto workers Dingell represented.
Frank: No contempt for autoworkers. Just contempt for Dingell, who represented autoworkers at the expense of everyone else, including the interests of autoworkers, as we now see. His protection of the union is not an excuse for five decades of blinders over other issues. His protection of Detroit automakers was eventually counterproductive and in a real sense corrupt. Giving him a pass because he consistently voted in ways that were favorable to the UAW is shortsighted in my view. His career lasted for 5 decades because his campaign coffers were always full.
"Dirty Air Dingell" is also known as "Tailpipe Johnny", which I think has a better ring to it.
It doesnt matter Revere, we are done anyway as economic collapse is upon us. This is just the last herald quake before the big one. I got it as now 69 trillion in funded and unfunded mandates and the value of the toxic assets will be zero next time out because the paper will be worthless.
Do I hear the one world currency and government knocking? Is it planned? Common currency, single government is the true nature of those globalists and of course the UN will control it all and we can all be nice little socialists.
Even the damned Russians can see what I am seeing. I am seeing am move towards secession as a new Dem Congress will spend even MORE money than 8 years of Bush to fund all of their programs and then the bubble pops.