Today, I want to take a moment. There’s a lot in the news and it’s just so ugly. We’ll get back to all that but today, I want to mark a man’s passing.
John Dingell, the former Democratic Representative from Michigan and the longest serving member of Congress, passed away yesterday. Over his 59 years in the U.S. House, he was involved with a lot of legislation. He was crucial to the passing of the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, and the Endangered Species Act.
Also, at the start of every single new Congress, he introduced a universal, single-payer health insurance bill–a bill his father wrote when he had been in Congress. When President Obama finally passed the Affordable Care Act, he had Dingell sit by him during the signing.
This is a man who spent his entire life in service to the people of Michigan. He was there for some of the best and worst moments that we’ve seen in government over the last six decades.
I only knew a little bit about him until I started paying a lot of attention to politics and got really active on Twitter a couple of years ago. He was quite prolific on that platform. His Twitter feed was sharp, friendly, and often, very very funny.
So thank you, Mr. Dingell. Thank you for your service to Michigan and to this great nation, which you clearly loved. May you rest in peace.
UPDATE Here is John Dingell’s own farewell letter, which just was published in the Washington Post: My last words for America