Dingell Out Waxman In

There's a lot of focus on the H.R. Clinton as Sec'y of State story, but there's far more meat in this little bit of government reshuffling: after 30 years as the highest-ranking Dem in charge of energy policy and the environment, John Dingell, representative of the auto industry and no one else, is out, and will no longer be able to block legislation that will actually improve fuel economy, help the environment, and allow the 21st Century to take over from the 20th. Who is replacing him? Henry Waxman, a reliably pro-environment liberal. Elections matter, but not just because of the diplomatic posts and the bully pulpits; elections matter because they enable a change like this, a real change in the halls of law-making. Oh, Henry Waxman isn't perfect, no mere mortal is, but he isn't, at the moment, beholden to an industry that stands to benefit were he so gracious as to fail to do his job -- which is exactly what Dingell was. Hurrah for change!

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