For John, BLUF: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Nothing to see here; just move along.
In today's edition of The [Lowell] Sun Mr Peter Lucas weighs in on the value of the Lieutenant Governor here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He thinks the office is unnecessary. I disagree.
I also disagree that we should characterize the person as Acting Governor when the Governor has not just left the State, but has died or moved on to a new vocation.♠ This is a pernicious characterization pushed by The Boston Globe, a while back, when then Lieutenant Governor Jane Swift fleeted up. It isn't like the former Governor is likely to come back from the dead.♥
If Governor Deval Patrick were to be appointed US Secretary of State, who would backfill for his replacement? Hold a special election? Have the person hold two offices? There are no great solutions for this unlikely eventuality.
But, this brings up the concept of the number two as place holder. The Lieutenant Governor needs to be somewhat independent of the Governor, just in case we the People have to replace the Governor via actions in the General Court. In the same way, and even more important, the Vice President of the United States needs to not be the close buddy of the President. I realize that it was a problem that Vice President Harry Truman didn't now about the Manhattan Project, but he quickly absorbed the important information and made the proper decisions and made them correctly. The number 2 is not just about the number 1 being out of State♦ or incapacitated, but it is also about if the number 1 is impeached.♣ The new Number 1 should not be so close to the old Number 1 as to be caught up in the scandal.♣
Regards — Cliff
♠ For example, becoming US Ambassador to Mexico.
♥ It reminds me of a joke, but I am moving on.
♦ Speaking of which, with modern communications why can't the Governor perform his functions perfectly well while visiting Bora Bora?
♣ No, Linda, that is not a Republican call for Impeachment of President Obama. That would be a stupid and embarrassing move on the part of the US House of Representatives. And, as long as the Democrats are in Control of the US Senate, where conviction must take place, impossible, until the President's conduct gets to the point that Senator Harry Reid stops by House Speaker John Boehner's office and asks for a Bill of Impeachment. I think the Democrats are hoping that talk of Impeachment will appeal to those Mr Limbaugh★ refers to as the "low information voters".
★ Today Mr Limbaugh celebrated his 26th Anniversary as host of his own talk show.