(CNN) - Michigan Democratic Rep. John Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress, talked about the "poisonous" atmosphere fifty years ago when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was debated on Capitol Hill.
Dingell voted for the bill making it illegal to discriminate based on race, but told CNN his support for desegregation spurred a "nasty" primary challenge for his seat from a fellow Democrat who opposed the legislation.
[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker'][twitter-follow screen_name='deirdrewalshcnn']
Calling President Lyndon Baines Johnson "one of the great all time wheelers and dealers," Dingell recalled times he witnessed the former Senate majority leader literally grabbing members of Congress by their lapels to convince them to back his legislative priorities.
We thank you Rep. Dingell!
The "poisonous atmosphere" and debate is not over. Republican Tea Party efforts to suppress minority votes must not go unchallenged.
I'll bet it was poisonous. The Democrats hated this bill and didn't want it to happen. I'm amazed that 9 Democrats and Zero Republicans voted against it.
It was President Johnson who got a majority of those civil right laws thru during a hostile atmosphere and Reagan Bush Clinton and Obama that undermine those achievements with false accolades to enhance their careers and illegally barter enforcement.
It's time for John Dingell to retire . Isn't there somebody other then his wife to run as a Dem ?