I was reading the Sun today (hey...Mini-Monster at LeLacheur? I already love it) while obeying my strict diet of Espresso pizza and Coke, when I saw a quote that nearly made me drop my food back onto my plate:
"We just changed the law in 2004 and here we are changing it five years later. I'd have to take a look at it more closely," Nangle said. "I probably would be inclined to support it if that's the the wish of the esteemed senator. Maybe we owe it to the guy." (Bold and italics are mine, and the speaker of course is Rep. David Nangle of Lowell).
For anyone not following the issue, the question is whether Beacon Hill should reverse its action from 2004 (when a certain, uh...Republican was in power) which took away the Governor's power to fill a Senate vacancy. The new law required a special election within 145-160 days of the vacancy creation.
Now that Ted Kennedy may leave the Senate, there are some potential succession issues, and Kennedy is requesting a change to the rules that would allow Gov. Patrick to appoint a Democratic successor without one of those pesky democratic things like an election.
I'll admit that in Nangle's quote, he hedges around the issue pretty deftly, but the last two sentences REALLY don't sit well with me.
Here's why: The democratic political system shouldn't be about a personality cult. I don't care what anyone's last name is, this country doesn't have a monarchy and we don't have royals who can trump laws. We certainly don't owe someone who purports be a public *servant* immediate obeisance and kowtowing to desires that get in the way of written laws.
It doesn't -- and shouldn't -- matter what Ted Kennedy wants. This isn't -- and shouldn't -- be about Ted Kennedy.
If appointments are the right way to go, so be it. And if special elections are the right way to go, so be it. But to nakedly move the goalposts during the game based on whichever side is leading the State seems like a total subversion of everything I thought I learned in Civics 101. And to say that the desires of one man who has profited tremendously in every sense of the word from his many years in the U.S. Senate should trump our entire democratic process is to make an absolute mockery of the entire system.