Friday, September 25, 2009

Kirk (D-MA)

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has tapped Paul Kirk, not Michael Dukakis, to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat until a special election can be held on Jan. 19.

Fine (although I would have preferred Dukakis, who deserves some respect for his significant contributions both to the Democratic Party and to Massachusetts, as well as to liberal-progressive public policy, over the years -- wouldn't it have been so fitting for a Sen. Dukakis to cast a vote in support of health-care reform?)

It's not like Kirk lacks credentials, after all. He was even chairman of the DNC once upon a time. And he may very well be a solid pick.

But did Patrick really have to fill Kennedy's seat with a long-time Kennedy friend and aide, a candidate seemingly being pushed by the entire Kennedy clan? It's like the Kennedys think they have some sort of dynastic right to the seat, and that it's in their power to bequeath the seat to whomsoever they annoint.

Sure, it's just a temporary thing, but something about the whole thing irritates me. Not because I'm anti-Kennedy, which I'm not, but because I object to anything that smacks of dynastic control. Let's hope the selection process to name a Democratic candidate for the special election is less of an insider job, that is, that the Kennedys don't control that process. (A Kennedy won't be running, but they could still wield their enormous influence to control the process.)

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  • I hope he can be as honest and loyal to the American people as our previous Senator, Kennedy!!!

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