As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Yes, It's Hypocritical. Politicians Don't Always Care About That

The call to replace Sen. Kennedy with a temporary appointment is intensifying. Among the points I've heard bandied about by Democrats in the state is that Massachusetts cannot afford to be without representation for five months.

Um, pardon me, but wasn't Kennedy basically in a hospital bed for the past 18 months, off and on?

I don't think there's any way for Massachusetts Dems to justify changing a law they altered precisely to keep Mitt Romney from appointing a successor to John Kerry. So they... shouldn't justify it. We have an entire Internet meme called IOKIYAR - It's OK if you're a Republican - based on all of the hypocritical crap they've lodged at the country over the years. One for our side wouldn't really upset that balance.

What matters is getting the policy right. I believe Senate appointments that last for years, as we saw this year in New York and Illinois and Colorado and Delaware, are generally bad for democracy. I think a quick, or relatively quick, special election, within 4-5 months, while appointing a caretaker to represent the state in the interim, is probably a decent enough compromise. I wish all states would adopt such a measure.

What will be far more interesting is to see who runs for the seat. In addition to practically the entire Massachusetts delegation in the House (save Barney Frank, who probably has enough power where he sits already), you have former Rep. Joe Kennedy II, or even Kennedy's widow Vickie. Most of the members of Congress have been hoarding money while waiting for this opportunity, 25 years in the making, for a statewide Senate run. Marty Meehan, who left Congress last year to run Lowell University, has almost $5 million in his campaign account.

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