My Heart Says Yes, But My Head Says …

In one priceless moment, right before the election, New York Rep. Pete King (R) was getting a flurry of questions about the GOP's shrinking territorial power hurled at him by Chris Matthews, which led to this priceless exchange:

Matthews: God, it's like the old British Empire — they keep losing outposts.
King: Now you put me in the position of the British Empire, of all things.


I think that is how many Democrats feel about Caroline Kennedy. Sure, we’d love to see her in the Senate — she seems very talented and capable — but defending her selection requires standing in the same corner with some discredited political ideas.

A litany of critics has argued that Kennedy is trying to claim the seat for herself like it was willed to her as part of the family estate. In reality, Kennedy walked into a no-win situation. If she had more aggressively sought the nomination, critics would have said she was trying to muscle her way to the nomination. If she had waited on the sidelines more, others would have argued that she was acting like an entitled noble.

I don’t believe there is anything wrong with Caroline Kennedy wanting the New York Senate seat. If she feels she would be the best representative of the citizens of the Empire State, then she should go for it. Of course, it would be preferable if she had won the seat in an open election, but New York law requires the governor to appoint someone to the seat.

What this episode reveals is that senatorial appointments are an inherently unsavory enterprise. Every one of the open Senate spots involved accusations of nepotism — and, in Illinois’s case, outright corruption. It’s time to fully implement the 17th Amendment and end Senate appointments.





The views expressed in this blog do not represent the views or opinions of Generations United.