Friday, January 02, 2009

What Is It with Democrats and "Experience?"

In years past my voice was raised in favor of "voting the bums out." It doesn't really take much to get disgusted with Congress (or even local legislatures), so just about every two years we will hear calls for getting rid of the incumbents and replacing them with people who are somewhat more anatomically correct (you know what I'm talking about). So I freely admit that I have, on occasion, been among those who have felt the need for a complete overhaul of legislative bodies. So to speak.

I'm not so sure the Democrats' solution is the way to do it, though.


The primary reasons Barack Obama won are 1) he isn't George W. Bush, and 2) anyone must be better than George W. Bush, no matter how little actual experience he has. I'm pretty sure there was a race/diversity angle in there somewhere, too, but that has nothing to do with this discussion.

Now it's time to appoint a couple of Senate replacements, both of whom just happen to be Democrats. One would think Joe Biden also needs replacing, but Connecticut is so small that it may well be simply annexed by Massachussets later this year. Anyway, this is where the Democrats get to shine and appoint people to replace President-for-Life-Elect Obama and Secretary-of-State-Consolation-Prize winner Hillary Clinton.

Illinois kicks off the Name That Senator sweeps with an appointee named by Corrupt Governor (I know, I know... it's redundant) Blagojevich. The appointee, a man named Burris, apparently campaigned hard for the posting as soon as it became evident that Obama's term would end abruptly in January of this year. Most unfortunately, he finds himself now permanently guilty by association of being just another cog in the perpetually corrupt Illinois political machine. This forces the ever-ethical United States Senate, led by Harry "Land Deal? What Land Deal?" Reid, to claim that Burris will never be seated in the actual Senate, even if he shows up with his luggage and a note from his Governor.

(This particular example has nothing to do with lack of experience. It does, however, point out to what lengths the Democrats will go to prove they have a sense of humor after all.)

Now we turn our focus to the New York senate seat currently occupied by Hillary Clinton. Governor Paterson has a smallish problem to deal with. He has both a Kennedy and another Clinton on his hands. One could argue that having former president Billy-Bob Clinton be a "caretaker" for the remainder of his wife's term would be an effective way of keeping him out of Paterson's hair involved in local politics. Or not.

The money seems to be on Caroline Kennedy, the so-called "Camelot Princess." Aside from her famous name, she really has little else to recommend her for the position. She's done all the right posturing, apparently, even dropping her married name so that everyone will remember that she used to live in the White House. But aside from that, not much else to really qualify her to occupy what may become a pivotal Senate seat.

The Senate's famous Democratic majority is already tenuous at best. It is not truly veto-proof, nor did they get the anti-fillibuster insurance they so desperately sought in November, even if Franken weasels and cajoles his way through the interminable Minnesota recount. Having another Kennedy in the Senate for no other reason than to have another Kennedy in the Senate just isn't going to win the Democrats anything.

Kennedy's father was a remarkable man. Whether you agreed with him or not, his visions for moving America forward had a galvanizing effect on the country. But it's been forty-five years since John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and modern history is taking a harder look at the Kennedy mystique. Several generations have arisen since his death and have learned not only about his popularity, but also about his foibles and vices. They understand Kennedys of all stripes to be just as human as the rest of us, and that means that the Kennedy name no longer carries with it the historical imperative that it did back in the days of "Camelot."

Governor Paterson did make one comment worthy of note in this farcical Senate Lotto:
Though Kennedy appears to be the front-runner to replace Clinton, Paterson said the next junior Senator from New York will have to win re-election on his or her own.
And that may prove to be a problem for the Princess.

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