Patterico's Pontifications

8/26/2009

Ted Kennedy: Tributes and Politics

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 11:47 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Sen. Robert Byrd wants to rename the health care legislation in honor of the late Ted Kennedy:

“In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American,” Byrd said.”

In addition, President Obama ordered flags at all government buildings to be flown at half-staff until Sunday in Kennedy’s honor, and Sen. Orrin Hatch has written a tribute song in Kennedy’s honor entitled “Headed Home.”

But we still have some politics. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced he would agree to a new law that would allow him to appoint Kennedy’s successor instead of the special election required by current law. A prior law that authorized Massachusetts’ Governor to appoint a successor was changed in 2004 during John Kerry’s Presidential run when Republican Mitt Romney was Governor.

— DRJ

46 Responses to “Ted Kennedy: Tributes and Politics”

  1. This is one of those legislative thingers that seems like it shouldn’t be allowed to apply retroactively. That seems very sketch to me. Has anyone said anything about this sort of machination being possibly vulnerable to a court challenge?

    What’s wrong with having an election like people do in the democracies?

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  2. happyfeet, it’s just plain disgusting to change the law in an ad hoc fashion to favor democrats.

    Ted Kennedy knew, when he changed the law to take this power away, that it would affect the future, when a democrat would be in power. It’s amazing that they think they can just appoint someone anyway. just change the laws after the fact. When a Republican takes the governor’s office, they will just change the law back again.

    They might as well just have a law saying that republicans can’t have any of the powers a democrat governor has. and they should just name the senate seat Kennedy instead of the health care bill.

    I don’t think Ted Kennedy is a sympathetic martyr for the cause. He’s ugly in ways I don’t want to go into so close to his death, but I don’t think linking him to this bill will make it easier to pass.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  3. Oh, there is no doubt that the Dems will try to use his death as a cudgel in the healthcare debate going forward. Feministe had a post up about it this morning, and Sen. Kleagle (D-KKK) signals their intention quite clearly above.

    Pointing out the history of a deceased politician will be hate-fueled violence. Using the death of a politician to cram socialized medicine down the throats of a public that has shown their lack of desire for same with be doing the work of the angels.

    JD (8f807c)

  4. If only the Senator could have gotten the kind of health care he worked so hard to give to us.

    So… does anybody think that the Dems will pay a price if they DO pass a revision and appoint another lib? I’m betting they won’t.

    Gesundheit (254807)

  5. “Orrin Hatch has written a tribute song…”

    A tribute song for…? Wow. They are r-e-a-l-l-y making it hard for people to keep these comments polite. That’s just begging for treatment from The Onion.

    Gesundheit (254807)

  6. Election laws are written in pencil so the Dems can make them up as they go along. See – Torricelli.

    JD (8f807c)

  7. Hey, what’s the exact proposal, “Kennedy for Lifeguard Healthcare Bill?”

    That has a certain justice to it. Poetically speaking.

    Dan S (c77713)

  8. The dems are weaker today than they were yesterday. Their incantations of a flawed hero will fail, they have nothing left. Even when in power, they want to govern as if they weren’t. They have no leaders. They will be yet even weaker tomorrow.

    Ray (3c46ca)

  9. I heard on the radio this morning that he will be buried at Arlington Cemetery. I’m outraged that hallowed ground will be polluted with the likes of him. He should be cremated and his ashes thrown into Chappaquidick Bay.

    jwarner (0a2a75)

  10. I think the only worthwhile eulogy for Ted is in this copy of Latitude 38 and which concerns his sailing. That is the only thing I agreed with him about but it was the cause of his trouble at Chappaquiddick. That was the Block Island Race Week and it was a post race party.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  11. I think it’s entirely inappropriate to politicize death. First of all, it is disrespectful to the deceased. Second, it overshadows the actual person themselves and stirs irrational passions in the hearts of the masses. Most of all, it’s a cheap political trick used to cut-off all discussion of the political issue itself by creating a fear among opponents of being perceived as “insensitive.”

    Federal Farmer (6ebb0c)

  12. So… does anybody think that the Dems will pay a price if they DO pass a revision and appoint another lib? I’m betting they won’t.

    Comment by Gesundheit — 8/26/2009

    I grew up in Mass. and lived there for over thirty years. The answer is an emphatic NO! Both Democrats and trade unions pretty much get to do whatever they want with almost zero accountability.

    Think Illinois with an ocean view.

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  13. Yeah, Mass is nothing more than a territory controlled by the democratic mafia. You can not do a thing without “getting approval”, and by that I mean buying approval. Going to be adding some jobs and expanding your business? To get permission from whatever agency/office/politician for permits first you have to hire his cousin/brother-in-law/friend for the inspections/contract work/supplies. Otherwise, you just won’t get your permits, and they could care less.

    Ray (3c46ca)

  14. I believe your post is in error. If I am correct, Gov. Deval said he would support a change in the law for him to appoint a successor until a special election is held, not in place of one.

    Paul (231c33)

  15. Paul, the law’s not written yet, so who knows what they’ll come up with.

    But whoever is picked will probably win the election. That’s lame, and that’s how it works.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  16. Again, it is a naked partisan move. The Democrats don’t want to lose their 60 in the near term.

    I don’t like Governors appointing Senators anyway. It should up to voters.

    Keep in mind that the Democrats didn’t simply argue a bit about the law. They pushed through the special election business. Romney vetoed, and they overrode his veto.

    This is because they were afraid that Romney would appoint a Republican to fill a vacancy.

    But NOW it is different, because a Democrat is Governor. And that is what is wrong with this power grab.

    I have written this before, and I will write it again: when pushing for laws, you have to imagine that law used by your bitterest enemy. That is the only way good and fair laws will be in place.

    This is just partisan crap. And the press would not tolerate it, if Republicans were doing it.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  17. We simply must change the law right now! It is a crisis, a Constitutional crisis that keeps the people of MA without representation! A faithful Dem must immediately be annointed by the Governor!

    JD (3ab713)

  18. If the world were a just place, Massachusetts (and most of the rest of New England) would be Quebec’s Devil’s Island.

    Brooks (08cee3)

  19. JD, when Sen. Kennedy first floated the idea I was offended; if the needs of the people to be represented twere paramount, he should have resigned several months ago.

    I don’t support the change; appointed Senators tend to be of lower than average quality, and have an edge going into the subsequent election.

    The ‘right’ thing in this case is to let the seat lie vacant until the special election, even if it hurts the Democrats in the Senate.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  20. The last remaining Republican in the Massachusetts Legislature should introduce the bill allowing for a replacement, and it should read as follows:

    1. If the Governor is a Democrat, an immediate successor will be appointed and will serve until the next election cycle.

    2. If the Governor is a Republican, an election will be held within however number of days and the person who wins the election will serve until the next cycle.

    After all, that is really what Massachusetts Democrats want, isn’t it? A Republican should sponsor that language just to make clear what exactly is going on among the sleazy Bay State Democrats.

    JVW (d1215a)

  21. Thank you for that comment, aphrael. The shoe can easily move to the other foot, and it shouldn’t be about “who is in power” as much as what the voters want.

    Even when I don’t agree with voters.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  22. The last remaining Republican in the Massachusetts Legislature should introduce the bill

    The hypocrisy or two-faced nature of previous legislation in Massachusetts is so absurdly blatant that, yes, it would be altogether fitting for another revision in state law to make no bones about the phoniness and superficiality of its supposed democratic principles.

    Mark (411533)

  23. They are burying that murderer in Arlington? Veterans everywhere should be outraged.

    Name the health care bill after a murdered. That’s a great idea and is so typical of our Congress. They are so out of touch with reality it would be funny if they weren’t costing us trillions.

    Carol (2506e7)

  24. Eric, right.

    In California, the rule is the Governor appoints someone who serves until the next regular election. The last time this happened, it was because a Senator resigned to become Governor; the hack he appointed to replace himself didn’t survive the following election cycle.

    I’d support amending our constitution to have us be unrepresented until a special election could be called – this is what happens for Congressmen, for example. I’d also support a federal amendment requiring the same thing.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  25. “But we still have politics. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced he would agree to a new law that would allow him to appoint Kennedy’s successor instead of the special election required by current law. A prior law that authorized Massachusetts’ Governor to appoint a successor was changed in 2004 during John Kerry’s Presidential run when Republican Mitt Romney was Governor.”

    No reason for the wishes of Massacussets to go unfulfilled. It wouldn’t surprise us if the opposition took advantage of the death of a democrat. Might as well erase that opportunity.

    imdw (803b85)

  26. I see imdw is back to its lying asshattery again. SHOCKA

    JD (a5b324)

  27. No reason for the wishes of Massacussets to go unfulfilled.

    The state is entirely Democrats? No Republicans or third parties?

    Funny how the push against the ‘tyranny of the majority’ is only invoked to attack things that the current Democrats in power don’t like.

    I say that because imdw is also ignorant of the rights of Democrats.

    imdw supports authoritarians over democracy, even at the expense of ‘fellow’ Democrats.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  28. “The state is entirely Democrats? No Republicans or third parties?”

    They’re represented by a legislature and a governor, no?

    “imdw supports authoritarians over democracy, even at the expense of ‘fellow’ Democrats.”

    Authoritarians? What? I’m interested in there being a representative from Massachussets in the Senate during a very important session. This is so that their opponents do not gain from an empty seat. This is ‘authoritarian’ ?

    imdw (542824)

  29. They’re represented by a legislature and a governor, no?

    And up until Romney, they were quite happy with letting the Governor appoint a Senator’s replacement.

    They changed the law (ironically, a change that was suggested by the Late Senator Kennedy), and so they can either spend the time changing the law (I don’t think they can move fast enough, since it seems the leader of the Legislature hates the Gov’s guts), or ignore it to their detriment.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  30. I’m interested in there being a representative from Massachussets in the Senate during a very important session.

    I am equally interested in them having two senators.

    They can feel free to use the system put in place at the request of Senator Kennedy.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  31. Authoritarians? What? I’m interested in there being a representative from Massachussets in the Senate during a very important session. This is so that their opponents do not gain from an empty seat. This is ‘authoritarian’ ?

    I’ll spell it out for you.

    Yes, you support authoritarian rule.

    You either didn’t understand my last comment, or ignored it, because again you conflated the State of Massachusetts with the current Democrats in power when you say “a representative from Massachusetts” and “so their opponents do not gain from an empty seat.”

    Whose opponents? Opponents of Massachusetts? Opponents of Democrats? (but that can’t be, because you would have specified a Democrat representative if that’s what you really meant.)

    Your very thought process is in deference to authoritarianism, because you seem to accept at face value that:

    1) All citizens of Massachusetts are Democrats.

    2) All of these Democrats agree on who they would like to represent them.

    3) It is, therefore, perfectly reasonable for those already in power to decide to fill what is now legally required to be an elected position.

    Your submission to authority is absolute, because even with the close split in the Democratic nomination for the Presidency, you can’t fathom that your fellow Democrats would want a say in who is making decisions at this ‘very important session’.

    The ‘importance’ of the session requires voter participation. It doesn’t nullify it.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  32. “Whose opponents? ”

    Opponents of the representative chosen by the people of MA — Ted Kennedy.

    “Your very thought process is in deference to authoritarianism, because you seem to accept at face value that:”

    I accept that citizens elected Ted Kennedy, their legislature, and their governor. And that the decisions these people make are legitimate. Authority? This is how our republican form of government works — we have representatives.

    “The ‘importance’ of the session requires voter participation. It doesn’t nullify it.”

    The session starts in a few weeks. How do you want the voter participation that is “required” to take place?

    imdw (017d51)

  33. To my knowledge I’ve never met a person from Massachusetts, but if I ever do they are going to be slapped so hard that the dead Kennedys will spring up from the grave to say “ouch that was a smack”.
    You disgusting vapid servile authoritarian worshipping …
    Wait. I’m from California.
    I’ll just kick the shit out of someone from Marin.

    Nevermind.

    papertiger (3cf898)

  34. How do you want the voter participation that is “required” to take place?

    You really are quite insane…

    I accept that citizens elected Ted Kennedy, their legislature, and their governor. And that the decisions these people make are legitimate. Authority? This is how our republican form of government works — we have representatives.

    Indeed we do. And we have laws that set forth how we choose those who represent us. The current law in MA states that to replace a Senator who has vacated their office before their term has ended, there must be a special election.

    Are you suggesting that the legislature, chosen by the people of MA, should ignore a law they put into place? A law they put in place, I will again remind you, at the request and behest of the late Senator?

    What aren’t you getting here? The Dems tried to pull a fast one back in 2004 (the law is there because they didn’t want Romney picking Kerry’s replacement should he have won), and it has come to bite their party in the ass.

    A new Senator can not be named without a special election, unless the MA Legislature changes the law, and by all appearances they don’t appear to want to do that.

    The Dems have control of the Legislature in MA, so if they want to change it, they can.

    So who is opposing what, now?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  35. You remember the Shootist with John Wayne and Harry Morgan. One of my favorite lines was delivered by Morgan playing Carson City Marshall Thibido.

    Marshal Thibido: The day they lay you away, what I’ll do on your grave won’t pass for flowers.

    That has nothing to do with Kennedy or even politics. I just wanted to share my favorite movie quote with the Patterico gang.

    It’s a good one isn’t it?

    papertiger (3cf898)

  36. Hey, folks, this fellow isn’t an authoritarian or anything so complex.

    He is an alphabetist. All he cares about is a “D.” Thus, it is fine to say that Governors cannot fill vacancies in the Senate when the Governor is a Republican, but can when the Governor is a Democrat.

    Simple, isn’t it? D is gooooood. R is baaaaaad.

    That’s it. Your debating with him just “frightens and confuses” him like that great Phil Hartman routine from SNL.

    Eric Blair (a88004)

  37. A new Senator can not be named without a special election, unless the MA Legislature changes the law, and by all appearances they don’t appear to want to do that.

    I don’t know, Scott. This article makes it sound like there is only one honest Massachusetts Senate President standing between the appoint someone now crowd and a change to the current law. No doubt the entire weight of the Democrat establishment in Massachusetts and Washington, DC will come down on her and push her to accept the new bill just as the Dems want it. If I had to bet, I would say we have a new Senator from Massachusetts by October 1.

    JVW (d1215a)

  38. “Are you suggesting that the legislature, chosen by the people of MA, should ignore a law they put into place?”

    So far I have only heard talk of changing the law, not ignoring it.

    “A new Senator can not be named without a special election, unless the MA Legislature changes the law, and by all appearances they don’t appear to want to do that.”

    If they don’t want to do that, then they wont. But if they want to do it, then they will.

    imdw (06d366)

  39. Democratic Party machines in various cities and states have used such tactics for decades. It’s really nothing new. A new Bill will be introduced into the Massachusetts legislature and passed and signed by the Governor and no one will question it.

    The party triumphs over all in the East. And, quite frankly, it was that way in the South until about two decades ago.

    It is sad to see the founding states of the Northeast to abandon the freedom and rights that their ancestors fought for in blood and spirit.

    Nonetheless, the temptation to bury the citizenry under the weight of “what is best for all” remains too strong to expect temperance from the enlightened.

    Ag80 (248b73)

  40. Opponents of the representative chosen by the people of MA — Ted Kennedy.

    Exactly, and again you fall to your default position of authoritarianism.

    You put trust in the Governor to select someone to essentially duplicate Ted Kennedy, merely because it has to be done quickly. One problem is that this appointment, according to the specifics from Kennedy himself before he died, can’t run in the next election.

    This serves to appear fair, so as not to be an insta-incumbent. The flip side, however, is that the appointment doesn’t have to answer to any constituents, and any Republicans or Democrats that disagree with this new replacement Kennedy on this particular piece of legislation are out of luck. This person can give any speeches, sponsor any legislation, and screw things up for the rest of the country and face no consequences, as they can’t run in the next election anyway.

    A non-accountable hit representative, appointed by one person in a hurry – and you say your not for authoritarian rule?

    By the way, you didn’t pay much attention to the Illinois fiasco that saw Blago kicked out, did you? Your supposition that Governor Patrick has absolutely no interests in the appointment shows your default position of trust in elected officials despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.

    I can guarantee that you wouldn’t be in favor of the appointment process if Romney was still Governor, although it would be the best gift the Democrats could ever get. I could imagine Patrick appointing GWB, just so that the Democrats could save their hides by blaming the GOP for scuttling health care.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  41. How about this…..If EMK were sooooo worried that the good folks of the Commonwealth be well represented in this crucial time, and he knew his prospects were grave, he could have resigned and worked to make an election of his successor happen.

    The RULE OF LAW, right? The needs of the people trump those of any one man, right?

    Ed from SFV (a8b34c)

  42. “You put trust in the Governor to select someone to essentially duplicate Ted Kennedy, merely because it has to be done quickly.”

    I think the governor will select someone that will help move along the policy goals that people chose when they chose Kennedy. This will at least advance the goals more than having a vacancy which opponents of these goals are likely not to ignore.

    I mean, I’d like to imagine that opponents of health reform would have someone abstain so that a 59 vote would still pass a filibuster — knowing that Kennedy would have been 60. But I don’t think they’d be that kind to the death of Kennedy.

    “One problem is that this appointment, according to the specifics from Kennedy himself before he died, can’t run in the next election.”

    That sounds rather unauthoritarian, unproblematic, and also like something that can be changed if the legislature wants to.

    “The flip side, however, is that the appointment doesn’t have to answer to any constituents, and any Republicans or Democrats that disagree with this new replacement Kennedy on this particular piece of legislation are out of luck.”

    If people don’t like this term-limiting, they can change it. I don’t care whether they put this in or not. Do it they way MA wants it. How authoritarian, huh?

    “I could imagine Patrick appointing GWB, just so that the Democrats could save their hides by blaming the GOP for scuttling health care.”

    Well, I have a hard time imagining that you or patrick would be this stupid.

    [note: fished from spam filter]

    imdw (aaadd5)

  43. In all fairness, it is up to the Mass legislature. If they want to keep changing the law to benefit democrats, they can do that.

    It is unseemly, and shows how shamelessly democrats are willing to pass laws to obtain and maintain power at all costs – which should give those leftists like IMDW who supposedly fear tyranny (or at least claimed they did when Bush was pres) pause.

    But really, this is not much different from gerrymandering – a practice that both parties shamelessly engage in.

    If Mass keeps electing these idiots, that is their right. It’s too bad for their own state and the country, but this is the state that elected the murderer, drunk, sexual harasser, cheat, and socialist Ted kennedy to the Senate for 50 years.

    Monkeytoe (e66874)

  44. (The first lines of “Headed Home:”)

    Through the darkness
    We can find a pathway
    That will take us half way
    To the stars.

    (How about …)

    Through the darkness
    He missed the pathway
    That took Mary Jo all the way
    To the depths.

    clark smith (995043)

  45. If people don’t like this term-limiting, they can change it.

    When, after the health care vote?

    Just precious.

    Democrats and their eager ‘fellow travelers’ like yourself are blatantly enthusiastic about pushing legislation that is extremely unpopular onto the people. If it’s so important, then of course it can be postponed until the ramifications are studied, which of course leaves time for elections.

    But no, a Democrat scam has to be pushed through quickly, especially since people are catching on.

    Whatever the Democrats do to maintain power is ok with you, even partisan laws passed and removed the functions of which are tailored to the Dem party only.

    Which is absolutely why the Democrats can’t be trusted one bit with health care. There’s no reason to discuss it, actually, as you’re just fine with Democrat power scams. You can’t trust anything Democrats say – they’ll just lie and change the rules to suit them later.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)


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