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Political Legacy and Entitlement
Posted by: McQ on Friday, December 19, 2008

This Caroline Kennedy thing is like a bad soap opera.

It brings up a seeming trend and problem which I'd like to see nipped in the bud. Legacy and entitlement in the political system.

Just because daddy was a politician, and considered by some to be a good one, doesn't mean daughter has the same abilities. But some usually bright people seem to be dazzled by names instead of abilities. Look at what Ed Koch, former Mayor of NYC, had to say:
"When you look at her, and you know what the Kennedy's are capable of and you know the family she comes from … think of the DNA," Koch said.
Ye gods ... DNA?

That's almost as vapid as her own attempt at outlining her qualifications:
"It's a process so I just hope everybody understands this is not a campaign, but I have lived a life committed to public service, wrote a book on the constitution, the importance of independent participation, raised my family committed to education in New York City," Kennedy said.
She just qualified half of NYC for heaven sake. And she's been such a stalwart supporter of the "process" in the past.

I'm tired of legacy claims and I'm equally tired of the entitlement claims. "Black leaders" in IL apparently have concluded that since Barack Obama won the IL Senate seat he occupied for a short while, it has become a "black" seat, thus they claim that only a "qualified African-American" should be named to the seat.

Nonsense. Obviously they can only make such an appeal because it is left up to the governor to make a temporary appointment until the next election. They know the power of an incumbent and figure if they can get an African-American in the seat, they may be able to keep he or she in there.

There's a simple solution to all these unseemly attempts to circumvent the system of letting the voters decide.

Let the voters decide.

The 17th Amendment, which virtually destroyed state's rights", says:
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of each State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies...
It goes on to say that the state legislature can empower the executive to temporarily appoint a replacement until "the people" fill it.

I say consider amending the amendment to require special elections. You still may not get the best qualified in there, but you have a much better shot than now (look at how Joe Biden is conspiring to put a seat holder in his seat until his son can run).
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I am sick of the Kennedy family, the Bush Family, the Clinton Family, the Cuomo family. Please, can they just go away?!?!?

Written By: jjmurphy
Let the voters decide.
Heh. Right now the public is leaning towards putting in the son of that putz Mario Cuomo, yet another political "dynasty"
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I talked about this whole thing a while back. It seems to be getting worse.
Written By: Billy Hollis
Caroline Kennedy’s DNA?

Her father was a sex addict and a meth-amphetamine addict, among other drugs, including the steroids he needed to keep him functioning with his effectively terminal Addison’s disease.

The family DNA shows a propensity for wrecklessness, accidents and violent death. Her uncle Joe was blown up in an airplane, her aunt Kathleen died in a plane crash, her uncle Ted almost died in a plane crash and killed a woman in a car crash, her brother John died in a plane crash, her father mis-navigated a PT boat so that it was struck by a Japanese ship, her father and her uncle Robert were killed by gunshot, her cousin David by drug overdose, her cousin Michael in a skiing accident, her cousin Joe III (I believe it was Joe) rolled a jeep and caused terrible injuries to passengers. Cousin Bobby Jr. was a heroin addict.

With that sort of DNA she’s got an exciting future, indeed, if it’s the DNA doing the driving.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
With that sort of DNA she’s got an exciting future, indeed, if it’s the DNA doing the driving.

What does accidental deaths in airplane crashes have anything to do with DNA? You must believe that Caroline carries a family curse coded in her DNA.

My wife’s grandfather died in an accidental airplane crash. According to Martin, I should seriously consider driving to Colorado this spring instead of flying as we had planned, lest we be in danger of the upcoming crash that is encoded in my wife’s DNA.
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
What does accidental deaths in airplane crashes have anything to do with DNA?
Haven’t you heard, Balone? Everything is determined by DNA!
According to Martin, I should seriously consider
Dropping dead on the spot.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
What does accidental deaths in airplane crashes have anything to do with DNA?
Nothing. And, neither does political ability or lack thereof (whatever you think of the Kennedy’s).

Written By: Is
URL: http://
You know, I have to agree with Ed Koch on several points. For instance:

"When you look at her, and you know what the Kennedy’s are capable of and you know the family she comes from..."

He’s right! We need to think of the lies JFK told about his health - how he was kept alive by a "Dr. Feelgood" with injections of painkillers because of his bad back and other illnesses which would have - had he not been shot - cut his life short before he was 50; the lies JFK told about sneaking women into the White House, and having affairs with mobbed-up women and women tied to the KGB and former Nazis; the lies Robert Kennedy told about doing the same thing, while he was bugging Martin Luther King’s beds; the lies Ted Kennedy told about drowning Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick in 1969 and getting away with manslaughter; the lies Patrick Kennedy told about his drug use; the lies, the lies, the lies...and that is just the immediate Kennedy family! What about the nephews and cousins (William Kennedy Smith and his predilection for raping women who say no to him; the Skakels who murdered Martha Moxley and then covered it up for nearly 30 years) not having the Kennedy last name? We know what the Kennedys are capable of, and they are capable of pure evil.

And then Koch said the following:

"think of the DNA..."

I can, too. The DNA on Marilyn Monroe’s bed, the DNA on countless women rumored to have resisted the Kennedys who were destroyed financially and politically; the DNA of all of the people who crossed the Kennedy dynasty in Massachusetts and paid a price for not kissing their royal a$$es.

No, Ed Koch has it right - we know what the Kennedys are capable of, and we know it is in their DNA. What I disagree with is that this means Caroline Kennedy is qualified to be a US Senator. She had a famous father and a famous mother, she rarely voted, she raised some money for schools and ballet, and she wrote some books. This means there are plenty of people in the US qualified to be a US Senator, among them me. But, alas, my daddy didn’t lie and steal his way to the Presidency with the aid of his Nazi-loving father who made his fortune running illegal booze in the US during Prohibition while making millions from insider trading deals that he himself sanctioned as FDR’s chairman of the SEC. In New York, and amongst Democrats, this last bit entitles you to a seat. It must have, or else someone in power would laugh when considering that Caroline Kennedy is qualified to hold the seat of a United States Senator.
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://
That depends on the circumstances. Recklessness begets accidents, especially when it comes to airplanes. And there is an argument that recklessness and thrill-seeking are genetically influenced. I’m not saying I buy into that sort of genetic determinism, but the Kennedys could certainly be an argument in favor of it.

For instance, Joe Jr. volunteered (during WWII) to fly some sort of experimental airplane, which blew up in flight. The details are somewhat mysterious, but one could ask the question, was this common heroism or a reckless rush to be heroic? Kathleen Kennedy, if I recall the story correctly, decided to take a flight with her husband in rotten flying conditions. An inordinate lack of fear — i.e., paying attention to safety — is the hallmark of the thrill-seeker. I don’t know the circumstance surrounding Ted’s crash, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the conditions were such that prudence would have dictated more caution. John Jr.’s crash involved him flying into conditions that were not suited to his achieved skill level as a pilot. Two other people died with him.

JFK was known to have a fatalistic attitude toward his own safety and didn’t want to take precautions, riding through Dallas in an open limo. Bobby, who had seen his brother assassinated and just a few months before his own death saw MLK murdered, was arguably reckless by moving vulnerably through thick crowds. Shouldn’t prior events have given him greater concern?

So, it’s not simply a matter of having bad luck. Luck can be the residue of design, or the lack thereof. If you subscribe to genetic determinism to the extent that it’s being pushed (and I don’t), then there is a case for it.

My point is that if you want to talk about Caroline Kennedy’s "DNA," let’s take the more fulsome view, especially since there are plenty of us who are just plainly sick of Kennedys.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
I am rather long in the tooth myself, a Kennedy fan by osmosis to some extent, and a fan of the Bush family as well. CAROLINE Kennedy is a true, honest to GAWD American national treasure. I am very happy for her. Moving right along, may I most humbly suggest that WILLIAM WELD respectfully throw his hat and heart into this important patriotic event. It should not be difficult for the President elect to see the merit in this suggestion.

Written By: Zonefree
URL: http://
CAROLINE Kennedy is a true, honest to GAWD American national treasure.
Well, then, let’s rush her to an honored spot in the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.
Written By: Martin McPhillips

It’s not "nature" it’s "nurture."

I must be the only person who thinks that she’s obviously qualified to be a Senator. I mean, really!

Sure, it would be nice to be rid of Kennedys, but can someone actually argue that she’s *less* qualified (discounting election) than fully half of the members of that august body?
Written By: Synova
Name recognition and the ability to raise funds for the Governor and the democratic party are the reasons she’ll be appointed. It has nothing to do with her DNA, intelligence or qualifications for office.
Written By: Bugspray
URL: http://
I’m not totally convinced that the issue is one of entitlement, or dynasty, or anything of that sort. I suspect that what’s really going on here is the Democrats and their recognition that amongst the Democrat party faithful, star power is of far more import than is actual ability for the office they propose to fill. That, if nothing else, is one of the lessons that was learned by the Democrats in Obama’s election. More than once I and several other people have commented on how thin the resume of Barack Obama is. So, how else did he obtain the office, other than star power?

Speaking of that one wonders how much of Caroline Kennedy being offered the position is recognition of her endorsement of Obama, and her willingly tying him on to the Myth of Camelot. After all, she is the only one left who could legitimately do that.

The whole thing seems rather well planned; all of the strong points are being hit, and all of them were out in the news, within 24 hours of the announcements first being made. One cannot help but wonder if this wasn’t part of the chat that Obama and Hillary Clinton had a short while ago.

However that may be, what we really have here is the political need being dealt with before the nation’s need was.

There does seem something of a pattern to this. Consider a parallel case; Paul White. White was recently named to be Secretary of the Navy. In looking at the lay of the land there is only one conclusion to draw about the appointment; Obama was responding to pressure from the left over the Rick Warren thing, by appointing an openly homosexual man to a cabinet post. Now, one may argue that the appointment was not extraordinarily successful to that end, and I can almost see the argument. Regardless, it seems clear to me that as with Kennedy, the political need trumped White’s ability to perform in the role.

It doesn’t take great genius to know that such politically driven appointments very seldom worked out to the advantage of the role. They do, often as not, however, workout for the benefit of those in power, particularly within a political party. Is this the pattern we’re going to see for the next four years? Sadly, I think the answer is "yes".

Written By: Bithead
I would back my statement with the events at MSNBC, where we see Christ Matthews being taken seriously for the role of Senator from PA...

Written By: Bithead
For instance, Joe Jr. volunteered (during WWII) to fly some sort of experimental airplane, which blew up in flight.
He was piloting an old bomber up to altitude, where he and crew were to bail out. It was fitted with radio controls (which for some reason were no good for take-off, just the intended crash into the target). The bomber was loaded with as much explosives as it could lift off with, about 22,000lbs.

That went off early, a probable problem in the fusing.

No remains were found, if you were wondering.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://

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