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Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Empty Senate Seat

On Wednesday, 9 September, The Boston Globe ran an editorial that urged Beacon Hill to change the rules for dealing with a vacant Senate Seat one more time.

It would seem that with Senator Kennedy passing away the United States is in a crisis (read healthcare) or Massachusetts is in a crisis (read constituent services).

As to the first, if the loss of one senator makes a critical difference, then we don't have a concensus and going forward is a questionable idea. For a razor thin majority to ram a major change to life in these United States through the US Congress seems like a bad idea.  The arrogance of saying that the other 49.99% will get over it is a little much.

As for the second crisis, we had a perfectly good solution just a few years ago and the people on Beacon Hill, apparently at the urging of Senator Kennedy, got rid of it.  As Pogo would have said, "Yep son, we have met the enemy and he is us."

Given that this Commonwealth embarrassed itself many years ago with the Gerrymander, the Great and General Court is wise to show some caution. What we don't need is some Walt Kelly like person inventing the term "Teddysenator," to describe someone installed as a seat warmer.

The other thing that struck me about the editorial is that while it recognizes the problem of having super majorities in both Houses, it does not seem to recognize the danger and the need for the People of Massachusetts to do something about it.  This is some superficial analysis, but nothing serious.  Worse, having identified a problem, there is not even the hint of a first step to a solution.  I would call that very poor staff work.

Regards  —  Cliff

  If Senator Kerry and his office did the constituent services only half as well as Senator Kennedy and his office did the job, there would be no crisis.  I think the reason Chancellor Meehan is not in the current race is he is biding his time and waiting to run against Senator Kerry, who might be vulnerable.
  And history being what it is, this would be a second example of a "Teddysenator" in recent Massachusetts history.

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