Back in 2004, when Teddy was still the “liberal lion” of the U.S. Senate and when his colleague in Massachusetts, John Kerry, looked likely to prevail over incumbent George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election, Kennedy petitioned the Massachusetts state legislature to change the succession rule from gubernatorial appointment to a special election so as to keep the appointment of Kerry’s replacement out of the manicured hands of then Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican.
Then, weeks before his death from cancer and karma, Kennedy petitioned the state legislature to change the succession rules back to gubernatorial appointment, considering that current Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick–a Democrat–was in the State House, and considering that every vote in the U.S. Senate would count in the Democratic Party’s bid to pass health care reform and cap-and-trade. As was written here on August 26 of last year, Kennedy was a politician to the end.
Now, on the eve of the special election to fill the seat currently held by Kennedy confidante and interim Sen. Paul Kirk and as the prospect of a Republican holding the liberal lion’s former seat grows more and more feasible, we’re learning that dirty tricks and partisan politics in Massachusetts and on Capitol Hill sure didn’t die with Kennedy. Dare I say he almost has been serving as fertilizer?
Should Republican Scott Brown win the January 19 special election, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will stall the certification of the election until after Paul Kirk has a chance to cast a crucial vote in favor of health care reform legislation opposed by Brown and by a majority of the American people.
In other words, it’s anything for the vote.
The whole thing is disgusting. And no doubt the brainchild of Reid, who previously made headlines by “purchasing” the vote of Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu with $300 million in aid money, and bribing Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson with a deal that would enjoin Nelson’s state from having to make Medicaid payments.
The whole idea of our system of government is that the people are represented by those they elect, and while senators were originally nominated by the state legislatures, the 17th Amendment changed all that. These people are supposed to answer to us, and when it comes to their brand of health care reform, the American people they’re supposed to represent simply do not want it. Yet not only to they push forth in the face of such opposition, they go out of their way to bend the rules and break the law in order to do so.
Unfortunately, this is nothing new for Massachusetts. In fact, the very same Secretary of State, Bill Galvin, refused to investigate the activities of ACORN in the Bay State in the aftermath of the 2008 presidential election, and overtly ignored federal law and had to be forced to count absentee ballots from military personnel serving overseas.
If there is any good to come of this, it’s knowing that health care reform and the underhanded actions taken in order to force its passage will prove to be the death of the Democratic Party as we know it. As we move into our second full week of 2010, I’m confident that the American people now are not the same American people who either failed to get informed and involved or intentionally stuck their collective heads in the sand so as to avoid reality.
Tricks like these don’t go unnoticed. And while, if this latest possibility of intentionally delaying the swearing-in of Scott Brown becomes reality, it may not be possible to completely put the toothpaste back into the tube, so to speak, health care reform will be the hypothetical dead woman in the hypothetical car at the bottom of the hypothetical creek — impossible to revive, but ever-present for eternity as the albatross around the neck of an entire political party.