9/06 John Dingell, Congressional Chameleon

John Dingell — Congressional Chameleon
Larry Pratt

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) is an example of why politics has a bad name.

As an NRA board member, Dingell voted to ban semi-automatic firearms owned by millions of Americans. Of course, these were guns protected by the Second Amendment as well as the militia clauses of Article I Section 8 of the Constitution. The militia of our Constitution is predicated upon individuals owning their own firearms.

But Dingell joined with the hysteria of the early 1990’s and went with the crowd rather than his oath of office to uphold the Constitution. To add insult to injury, the gun that was allegedly bringing death to our streets was used many times less to kill than were (and are) hands and feet.

Dingell got a free ride as a supporter of the Second Amendment for years as a member of the National Rifle Association board of directors. Happily, there was enough of a furor following his vote (that especially pleased Sarah Brady of Handgun Control, Inc.) that he left the NRA Board.

But Dingell is still clinging to his pro-gun disguise with his membership in the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. This organization gives pro-gun cover to some flaming gun banners. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Rep. Jesse Jackson (D-IL) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) are but a few of the D and F rated members of Congress as scored by Gun Owners of America. These chameleons try to snow gun owners by their membership in the Caucus. The entire membership of the Caucus and their GOA ratings can be found at the bottom of this article.

There are a growing number of votes that reveal Dingell as a firearms chameleon. For example, at a time when Muslim jihadis are trying to destroy airliners, Dingell voted against arming pilots in their cockpits.

Perhaps this vote can be better understood by a recent statement made by Dingell about the Muslim terrorist group, Hezbollah: “I don’t take sides for or against Hezbollah: I don’t take sides for or against Israel.” Does Dingell think that in addition to keeping airline pilots disarmed that Israel should be also? Does he believe in any self-defense?

Perhaps he thinks that the UN will bring peace to the world. Is that why he has opposed congressional measures to bring the UN to account for its corruption and toleration of genocide?

Dingell’s view of the moral equivalence between Hezbollah and Israel suggests that the Representative is in a moral tailspin.

Happily, I am not trying to disseminate my opinion about Dingell on radio or TV within sixty days of a federal election. It would be tempting to do so, but alas, Dingell has blocked that exercise of our First Amendment freedom — he voted to gag criticism of federal officials in the run up to Election Day. This was done in the McCain/Feingold Incumbent Protection Act of 2001.

Dingell had a chance to remove advocacy groups from the pre-election gag law the next year, but he voted to keep the gag in place. At the same time he voted that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right.

So, criticism is muted, and meanwhile the Congressman continues to pretend to be a friend of gun owners with his membership in the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.
GOA Ratings For The Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus

254 House Caucus Members [39 rated D or worse, including 13 F-‘s… a grade reserved for dedicated gun banners who sponsor anti-gun legislation]

63 Senate Caucus Members [22 rated D or worse, a full 35%]


A     Sen. Jeff Sessions     
B     Sen. Richard Shelby

A-    Rep. Robert Aderholt
A     Rep. Spencer Bachus
B-    Rep. Robert Cramer
A     Rep. Terry Everett


B     Sen. Lisa Murkowski

D     Sen. Ted Stevens
B-    Rep. Don Young


C     Sen. Jon Kyl
F-    Sen. John McCain

A     Rep. J.D. Hayworth
C-    Rep. Jim Kolbe
F-    Rep. Ed Pastor
A+    Rep. Rick Renzi
A-    Rep. John Shadegg


F     Sen. Blanche Lincoln
D     Sen. Mark Pryor

C     Rep. Marion Berry
A-    Rep. John Boozman
B-    Rep. Mike Ross
F     Rep. Vic Snyder


B-    Rep. Joe Baca
F     Rep. Brian Bilbray
A-    Rep. Ken Calvert
B-    Rep. Dennis Cardoza
A     Rep. John Doolittle
B-    Rep. David Dreier
A-    Rep. Elton Gallegly
A     Rep. Wally Herger
F-    Rep. Mike Honda
A     Rep. Duncan Hunter
B-    Rep. Jerry Lewis
A-    Rep. Howard McKeon
A-    Rep. Gary Miller
A     Rep. Richard Pombo
B-    Rep. George P. Radanovich
A     Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
F-    Rep. Ed Royce
F-    Rep. Loretta Sanchez
C-    Rep. Mike Thompson


B     Sen. Wayne Allard
B     Sen. Ken Salazar

B-    Rep. Bob Beauprez
A     Rep. Joel Hefley
A     Rep. Marilyn Musgrave
A-    Rep. John Salazar
A     Rep. Thomas Tancredo
F     Rep. Mark Udall


F-    Rep. John Larson
B-    Rep. Rob Simmons


A     Sen. Mel Martinez

A     Rep. Michael Bilirakis
C-    Rep. Allen Boyd
A-    Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite
A-    Rep. Ander Crenshaw
F     Rep. Jim Davis
A     Rep. Tom Feeney
C     Rep. Mark Foley
C     Rep. Katherine Harris
F-    Rep. Alcee Hastings
A     Rep. Ric Keller
B-    Rep. John Mica
A     Rep. Jeff Miller
A-    Rep. Adam Putnam
B-    Rep. Clay Shaw
A     Rep. Cliff Stearns
A-    Rep. Dave Weldon
C-    Rep. C.W. Young


A     Sen. Saxby Chambliss
A     Sen. Johnny Isakson

C-    Rep. Sanford Bishop
A     Rep. Nathan Deal
A-    Rep. Phil Gingrey
A     Rep. Jack Kingston
A-    Rep. John Linder
B-    Rep. Jim Marshall
A     Rep. Charles Norwood
A     Rep. Lynn Westmoreland


F-    Rep. Neil Abercrombie
NR    Rep. Ed Case


A     Sen. Larry E. Craig
B     Sen. Mike Crapo

A     Rep. C.L. Otter
A     Rep. Mike Simpson


A-    Rep. Judy Biggert
B-    Rep. Jerry Costello
C     Rep. Dennis Hastert
C-    Rep. Henry Hyde
F-    Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.
A-    Rep. Ray LaHood
A     Rep. Donald Manzullo
A-    Rep. John Shimkus
C-    Rep. Jerry Weller


A     Rep. Dan Burton
A-    Rep. Stephen Buyer
A-    Rep. Chris Chocola
A+    Rep. John Hostettler
A     Rep. Mike Pence
A-    Rep. Mike Sodrel
B     Rep. Mark Souder


C     Sen. Charles E. Grassley
F     Sen. Tom Harkin

C-    Rep. Leonard Boswell
A+    Rep. Steve King
A-    Rep. Tom Latham
D-    Rep. James Leach
C     Rep. Jim Nussle


B     Sen. Sam Brownback

F     Rep. Dennis Moore
A     Rep. Jerry Moran
A     Rep. Jim Ryun
A-    Rep. Todd Tiahrt


A     Sen. Jim Bunning
C     Sen. Mitch McConnell

A     Rep. Ben Chandler
A     Rep. Geoff Davis
A     Rep. Ron Lewis
A-    Rep. Anne Northup
B-    Rep. Harold Rogers
A-    Rep. Ed Whitfield


F     Sen. Mary Landrieu
A+    Sen. David Vitter

A-    Rep. Rodney Alexander
A-    Rep. Richard Baker
A-    Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr.
F     Rep. William Jefferson
B-    Rep. Jim McCrery
A-    Rep. Charlie Melancon


F     Sen. Susan Collins
F     Sen. Olympia Snowe

F     Rep. Tom Allen
B-    Rep. Michael Michaud

A+    Rep. Roscoe Bartlett
F     Rep. Wayne Gilchrest


F     Sen. Debbie Stabenow

A-    Rep. Dave Camp
C-    Rep. John Dingell
D-    Rep. Vernon Ehlers
B-    Rep. Peter Hoekstra
F     Rep. Dale Kildee
B-    Rep. Joe Knollenberg
A-    Rep. Candice Miller
A-    Rep. Mike Rogers
B     Rep. Joe Schwarz
F-    Rep. Bart Stupak
B-    Rep. Fred Upton


B     Sen. Norm Coleman
F     Sen. Mark Dayton

A-    Rep. Gil Gutknecht
A-    Rep. Mark Kennedy
A-    Rep. John Kline
D     Rep. James L. Oberstar
A-    Rep. Collin Peterson
F     Rep. Jim Ramstad


C     Sen. Thad Cochran
B     Sen. Trent Lott

A-    Rep. Charles Pickering
B     Rep. Gene Taylor
F-    Rep. Bennie Thompson
A-    Rep. Roger Wicker


B     Sen. Christopher Bond
A     Sen. Jim Talent

A-    Rep. Roy Blunt
F     Rep. Russell Carnahan
B     Rep. Jo Ann Emerson
A-    Rep. Sam Graves
A     Rep. Kenny Hulshof
B-    Rep. Ike Skelton


D     Sen. Max Baucus
A     Sen. Conrad Burns

A-    Rep. Dennis Rehberg


C     Sen. Chuck Hagel
F     Sen. Ben Nelson

C     Rep. Tom Osborne
A-    Rep. Lee Terry


A     Sen. John Ensign

B     Rep. Jim Gibbons
A-    Rep. Jon Porter

New Hampshire

C     Sen. Judd Gregg
B     Sen. John Sununu

B-    Rep. Charles Bass
A-    Rep. Jeb Bradley

New Jersey

F-    Rep. Rob Andrews
D-    Rep. Frank LoBiondo
B-    Rep. Jim Saxton
C     Rep. Chris Smith

New Mexico

D     Sen. Pete Domenici

A-    Rep. Steve Pearce
F-    Rep. Tom Udall
B-    Rep. Heather Wilson

New York

F     Rep. Sherwood Boehlert
A-    Rep. Sue Kelly
D-    Rep. Peter King
A-    Rep. Randy Kuhl
C-    Rep. John McHugh
F     Rep. Mike McNulty
A-    Rep. Tom Reynolds
B-    Rep. John Sweeney
C-    Rep. James Walsh

North Carolina

B     Sen. Richard Burr
C     Sen. Elizabeth Dole

A     Rep. Howard Coble
F     Rep. Bob Etheridge
A     Rep. Virginia Foxx
A-    Rep. Robin Hayes
A     Rep. Walter Jones
A     Rep. Patrick McHenry
B-    Rep. Mike McIntyre
B-    Rep. Sue Myrick
A-    Rep. Charles Taylor

North Dakota

F     Sen. Kent Conrad
F     Sen. Byron Dorgan

C     Rep. Earl Pomeroy


F     Sen. Mike DeWine

A-    Rep. John Boehner
A-    Rep. Paul Gillmor
A-    Rep. David Hobson
F     Rep. Marcy Kaptur
B-    Rep. Steve LaTourette
A     Rep. Robert Ney
C     Rep. Michael Oxley
A     Rep. Deborah Pryce
A-    Rep. Tim Ryan
B     Rep. Ted Strickland
A     Rep. Patrick Tiberi


A     Sen. Tom Coburn
A     Sen. James Inhofe

A-    Rep. Daniel Boren
A-    Rep. Tom Cole
A     Rep. Ernest Istook
A-    Rep. Frank Lucas
A-    Rep. John Sullivan


F     Sen. Gordon Smith

C-    Rep. Peter DeFazio
F     Rep. Darlene Hooley
A-    Rep. Greg Walden
D-    Rep. David Wu


C     Sen. Rick Santorum

F     Rep. Mike Doyle
A-    Rep. Phil English
A-    Rep. Melissa Hart
B-    Rep. Tim Holden
B-    Rep. Tim Murphy
B-    Rep. John P. Murtha
A     Rep. John Peterson
B     Rep. Todd Platts
A     Rep. Don Sherwood
A     Rep. Bill Shuster
C-    Rep. Curt Weldon

South Carolina

A     Sen. Lindsey Graham

A     Rep. Gresham Barrett
A-    Rep. Henry Brown
F     Rep. John Spratt

South Dakota

D     Sen. Tim Johnson
B     Sen. John Thune


A     Sen. Lamar Alexander
D     Sen. Bill Frist

A-    Rep. Marsha Blackburn
A-    Rep. Jim Cooper
A-    Rep. Lincoln Davis
A     Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr.
F     Rep. Harold Ford, Jr.
B-    Rep. Bart Gordon
A-    Rep. William Jenkins
B-    Rep. John Tanner
B     Rep. Zach Wamp


A     Sen. John Cornyn
B     Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

A-    Rep. Joe Barton
A-    Rep. Mike Conoway
A     Rep. Henry Cuellar
A-    Rep. Henry Bonilla
A-    Rep. Kevin Brady
A-    Rep. John Carter
D     Rep. Chet Edwards
F-    Rep. Charles Gonzalez
B-    Rep. Kay Granger
F     Rep. Gene Green
A-    Rep. Ralph Hall
A-    Rep. Jeb Hensarling
F-    Rep. Ruben Hinojosa
F-    Rep. Sam Johnson
A-    Rep. Mike McCaul
B-    Rep. Solomon Ortiz
A+    Rep. Ron Paul
C     Rep. Silvestre Reyes
A     Rep. Pete Sessions
A-    Rep. Lamar Smith
B-    Rep. William Thornberry


B     Sen. Robert Bennett
C     Sen. Orrin Hatch

A     Rep. Chris Cannon
B-    Rep. Jim Matheson


F     Sen. Jim Jeffords

F     Rep. Bernard Sanders


A     Sen. George Allen
F     Sen. John Warner

A-    Rep. Rick Boucher
A-    Rep. Eric Cantor
A-    Rep. Thelma Drake
A     Rep. Virgil Goode
A-    Rep. Bob Goodlatte
F     Rep. Frank Wolf


F-    Rep. Norm Dicks
A-    Rep. Richard Hastings

West Virginia

F     Sen. John D. Rockefeller

B-    Rep. Shelley Moore Capito
A-    Rep. Alan Mollohan
A-    Rep. Nick Joe Rahall


B-    Rep. Mark Green
B-    Rep. Ron Kind
B-    Rep. Thomas Petri
A-    Rep. Paul Ryan


A     Sen. Mike Enzi
A     Sen. Craig Thomas

A     Rep. Barbara Cubin