Dingell will officially mark 50 years in the House of Representatives on December 13, 2005, making him the third longest serving House member in U.S. history.
THE NOTE: "Retired Gen. Odom has said the longer we stay in Iraq, the worse it gets. As someone who voted against the war, do you agree? And if so, is it time to get out?"
DINGELL: "Well, remember I voted for going into rescue Kuwait from the Iraqis. I voted against going into Iraq. Having said those things: is it time to pull out? It is time for the President to present a plan that will work — clearly his plan is not working at this time: hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent over there. Thousands of Americans are dead. A hundred thousand Iraqis are dead. . . It is becoming a terrorist training ground . . . But I'm not sure that we can get out. . . If we don't come up with a way of addressing this, we're going to destabilize the Middle East and sow the seeds of World War III. And it's going to have a tremendous economic impact. There would be a loss of energy sources upon which we are now dependent."
THE NOTE: "Why do you think that the war in Iraq might lead to World War III?"
DINGELL: "I can't prophesize that. What I can tell you is that World War I started in a little place called Sarajevo. World War II started when the Germans invaded Poland — it was really just a continuation of World War I. . . Some Arab extremist group can take over a country drop a dirty bomb. Terrible trouble."
THE NOTE: "What do the Democrats need to do in 2006 to recapture Congress?"
DINGELL: "Let the people know what George W. Bush is doing to the country . . . George W. Bush has brought us the most intolerable international situation. He's doing nothing to resolve the troubles in the Middle East. He's involved us in a war. This is caused in caused in good part by intellectual laziness. He sold an attack on Iraq on the theory that there were weapons of mass destruction and that there were ties to terrorist organizations, neither of which was true. Show what they are trying to do to Social Security . . . Show that they are hostile to Medicare . . . George W. Bush came in with a $2 trillion surplus. We now have a $7 trillion deficit . . . This is the worst and most incompetent administration since Coolidge."