In radio interviews Wednesday morning, Patrick called the idea "entirely reasonable" and told WBUR-FM that he would sign the bill if it reached his desk.A lot of folks have held forth on this.
"Massachusetts needs two voices" in the Senate, Patrick said.
- Joan Vennochi in The Boston Globe on Sunday.
- Jeff Jacoby in The Boston Globe on Sunday.
- Marie on the Richard Howe Blog.
- Kad Barma, a Lowell Blogger, had this to say on last Thursday.
- Lynne Lupien at Left in Lowell had this to say on the 20th and had this to say on 23 August and had this to say today.♠
- Mr Mill City had an appropriately tacky comment on the 20th. (Appropriate for Mr Mill City.)
- I think The Lowell Shallot took a pass on this issue.
- Greg Page, over at A New Englander commented on the issue and also on Representative David Nangle's comments on it.
- As for myself, I have been waiting for a good time and now that time has come.
This move is strictly about the Health Care (Insurance) Reform effort in the US Congress and may be for naught if Senator Robert Byrd♥ can't make it to the floor. That said, in my life time a Senator has been wheeled in on a stretcher to vote.
But, what do we gain from sending someone down to DC for five months, the Health Care issue aside. I would argue that we gain very little.
Who are we sending down? Someone who is getting a political payoff and is expected to toe the party line. We are not talking a lot of creativity here, are we?
The idea is that this person needs to be there to help us get our fair share of the pork. Will the person develop the contacts needed to do that in the five months he or she is there? I don't think that it is likely that the person will sway votes the way Senator Kennedy did for DDX and the Alternative Jet Engine for the F-35.♦
This interim appointment would be just one more seat warmer and a captive of the office staff on Capital Hill and the Party Interests on Beacon Hill and not able to deliver the bacon, and only maybe an important vote on some issue.
Ask yourself. Which Senator will think he or she can swing a deal with the "seat warmer" when that person is not going to be there a few months down the road when it is crunch time and the whip is counting noses?
There are only two reasons for the Great and General Court to reverse course in this embarrassing way. The first is the Health Care Bill (if you think the Democrats are going to try to ram it through over a Republican filibuster). The second is because the members of the Great and General Court think Senator Teddy Kennedy is in Heaven looking down on them and making comments to St Peter. The third is that it is another cheap way to honor someone who has provided service in the past, but without really doing anything—sort of like naming a building for someone who is still amongst the living.♣
There you have it. I think it is a dumb idea, I think it brings ridicule to our Great Commonwealth, and, I think that in the end it will not "amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world."
Regards — Cliff
♠ I liked this ending line from this Blog Post. How true. "Sigh. It’s not even 24 hours and the politics of this is pushing out front. However, I suppose, it is argued, time is of the essence."
♥ Senator Robert Byrd, who is 92, has been in ill health recently.
♦ That said, I am not sure Senator John Kerry, our new Senior Senator is up to the task either. We may be in trouble for a few months to a few years in terms of Pork Barrel Spending.
♣ An action I find deplorable.