Joe Kennedy for chairman of the House Democratic Caucus

Joe Kennedy for chairman of the House Democratic Caucus
© Greg Nash

After the stunning election results in the New York primary this week, in which Rep. Joe CrowleyJoseph (Joe) CrowleyOcasio-Cortez endorses challenger to Democrat Lipinski in Illinois race Young insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Ocasio-Cortez chief of staff to leave her office MORE (D-N.Y.) was defeated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrats will have to choose a successor to Crowley as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

Today I propose that Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.) be chosen by House Democrats to be the next chairman. Though there are a number of superb and exciting House Democrats who would fill this post with great skill, Kennedy is my choice because he offers an extraordinary and unique set of attributes and talents that would lift Democrats in the House and nationally. 

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Kennedy is campaigning across the nation to elect a Democratic Congress as a key member of the House Democratic Campaign Committee. From Texas to Pennsylvania and along a wide range of states and congressional districts, Kennedy is backing Democratic candidates with a voice of credibility and conscience. 

 

Kennedy is an important and effective member of Congress who has spoken out on major issues with courage, clarity and compassion. 

When House Republicans, led by Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate Krystal Ball touts Sanders odds in Texas MORE (R-Wis.), were working to repeal and replace ObamaCare — a move that would defeat and destroy healthcare for countless millions of Americans — Kennedy rose in response and offered one of the most profound speeches during the debate.

After Ryan described his attacks against ObamaCare as an “act of mercy,” Kennedy confronted him by saying, “with all due respect to our speaker, he and I must have read different Scripture. The one I read calls on us to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless and to comfort the sick.” Kennedy’s withering response to Ryan lifted the sights and spirit of Democrats and rebutted the Speaker issue by issue, point by point.

When President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE ripped the children of migrant parents away from their mothers and fathers, Kennedy protested against this brutality in Texas on the floor of the House. He spoke with patriotism and passion and called an end to what he labeled “cruelty in its purest form,” and said that no child should ever “sleep alone in cages on American soil.”

When President Trump and his allies in Congress treated the Dreamers with callous contempt, Kennedy rose on the floor of the House and spoke of the better moments in history that brought us together, including the landing at Normandy, and the lesser moments that tore us apart, such as church bombings by racists. He defended the Dreamers and their dreams with a conviction that their good cause must ultimately prevail.

When House Republicans were pushing their tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, Kennedy responded with indignant outrage. He spoke of America as a place where people pay into a common good and reap from a common investment where every taxpayer is treated fairly, and no American profits from the unjust enrichment of tax cuts that benefit some far more than others.

When Kennedy spoke to remember the 50th anniversary of the death of Robert Kennedy, he offered extraordinary words of compassion and decency, describing the legacy of good that is the American idea and the legacy of idealism and purpose that was the dream of RFK.

In all of these speeches and actions, and countless others, Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyMarkey fundraises ahead of Kennedy primary challenge The Hill's Campaign Report: De Blasio drops out | Warren gains support from black voters | Sanders retools campaign team | Warning signs for Tillis in NC Panel: Why is Joe Kennedy running for Senate? MORE embodied the spirit of the Democratic faith, the torch he carries for Kennedys who came before him, the legacy he seeks for others who will follow, and the surest path for Democrats to lead America again.

Readers would enjoy clicking the links that are posted above, listening to his words, sharing his values, being lifted by his visions, and watching him speak eloquently about the dreams and ambitions that Democrats stand for.

Kennedy as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus would remind members and voters that our party offers a fountain of ideas that would make America better and lead Democrats to victory. 

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.