The Senate: Entitlement and Legacy

This Caroline Kennedy thing is like a bad soap opera.

It brings up a seeming trend and problem which I’d like to see nipped in the bud. Legacy and entitlement in the political system.

Just because daddy was a politician, and considered by some to be a good one, doesn’t mean daughter has the same abilities. But some usually bright people seem to be dazzled by names instead of abilities. Look at what Ed Koch, former Mayor of NYC, had to say:

“When you look at her, and you know what the Kennedy’s are capable of and you know the family she comes from … think of the DNA,” Koch said.

Ye gods … DNA?

That’s almost as vapid as her own attempt at outlining her qualifications:

“It’s a process so I just hope everybody understands this is not a campaign, but I have lived a life committed to public service, wrote a book on the constitution, the importance of independent participation, raised my family committed to education in New York City,” Kennedy said.

She just qualified half of NYC for heaven sake. And she’s been such a stalwart supporter of the “process” in the past.

I’m tired of legacy claims and I’m equally tired of the entitlement claims. “Black leaders” in IL apparently have concluded that since Barack Obama won the IL Senate seat he occupied for a short while, it has become a “black” seat, thus they claim that only a “qualified African-American” should be named to the seat.

Nonsense. Obviously they can only make such an appeal because it is left up to the governor to make a temporary appointment until the next election. They know the power of an incumbent and figure if they can get an African-American in the seat, they may be able to keep he or she in there.

There’s a simple solution to all these unseemly attempts to circumvent the system of letting the voters decide.

Let the voters decide.

The 17th Amendment, which virtually destroyed state’s rights”, says:

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of each State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies…

It goes on to say that the state legislature can empower the executive to temporarily appoint a replacement until “the people” fill it.

I say consider amending the amendment to require special elections. You still may not get the best qualified in there, but you have a much better shot than now (look at how Joe Biden is conspiring to put a seat holder in his seat until his son can run).

[Crossposted at QandO]

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