Carl Levin, Michigan's Longest Serving US Senator, Dies at 87
First elected to congress in nineteen seventy-eight michigan's longest serving senator chaired the powerful armed services committee. He was very active around civil rights local development and protecting american workers having interviewed senator levin and read his memoir. Getting to the heart of the matter. I have some reflections. I imagined that if senator levin had a role in a television show he'd be fictional president. Jed bartlett's closest ally in the west wing practical and patriotic levin's thirty six years in the upper chamber as a democrat had paradoxes a democrat who investigated spending and financial excess in government as well as wall street a staunch believer as chair of the senate armed services committee. That america has a strong role to play in the world but voted against the second iraq. War levin was consistent with himself. He was a man who spent decades of politics. But i sense. He felt good about his impact when he saw himself in the mirror. Getting the heart of the matter reminds me of the writings of ben franklin. The similarities with the founding father aren't just physical appearance surprising wit and clearly understandable style both levin and franklin shared the belief that the long game mattered that even if it wasn't politically popular in the moment moment to make things happen in a country with a lot of people with differing views. You shouldn't always take everything off the table for your opponent that making is how democracy actually works his memoir is a blueprint without saying it and how we might put the broken engine of american democracy back together again. Levin rhetorically lays the parts on the table. I won't get into all of them. But they include the broken filibuster where he called out his own party for creating it then in order for an electorate and your colleagues to trust you you need to have a consistent northstar and compass and he's right if you look at the popular senior senator from vermont. The reason that he gets photo shopped everywhere sitting on a chair isn't because of any particular political stance it's because whether they agree or not people connect with him because they believe that he is who he says he is.