A mere day passed since the death of our state's senior Senator, but rumors, questions and confusion have already been raised about this vacancy. Kennedy's life was plagued with controversies and the same could be said about his death. Problem lies within our laws regarding the Governor's rights as they pertain to vacant senate seats. As of now, our state must hold a special election within 145 to 160 days in order to fill this seat, allowing Republicans and Democrats to throw their proverbial hats into the ring. Democrats are not terribly excited at this prospect as it deprives them of a precious filibuster-proof majority or the 60 votes needed to stop endless debate used to kill bills. Therefore prospect of waiting up to four months to return to their filibuster-proof glory introduces anxiety as can be demonstrated by shouts and calls of "Let's pass this [ObamaCare] for Teddy". Prior to his death, Teddy sent a letter to our governor requesting the following -
"I therefore am writing to urge you to work together to amend the law through the normal legislative process to provide for a temporary gubernatorial appointment until the special election occurs"
Kennedy understood the implication of his potential departure, but what should irk most Bostonians is the double standard approach to politics exhibited by the late senator. In 2004 John Kerry ran for President, Mitt Romney a Republican faced a prospect of hand picking Kerry's successor and this scared Kennedy. He quickly spear-headed legislation to strip the governor of this right and introduce a special election process. However the prospect of Deval Patrick (the original Obama) hand picking a replacement suited him just fine.
While I understand the fascistic desires of maintaining one party rule in Washington, this action alone is precisely the reason why politicians cannot be trusted. Using savvy skills, connections and power they can manipulate the system in ways that benefit them while ignoring the glaring unfairness of their actions. I certainly have no love for Republicans and often wonder if there is any difference between the two parties, but there are enough rank and file Republicans to create equilibrium within the Senate and stifle overwhelming leanings to one idealogical side. Not only is it imperative to maintain integrity for the political process, but if America is presented an opportunity to slow down ObamaCare, we should fight for it. There is no crisis and certainly no reason why a 1,000 page bill written in ancient cryptic tongue should be jammed through Congress without fully exploring the impact on the majority of Americans.
All Massachusetts residents need to consider writing a letter to their local representative and expressing concern over the handling of this seat. We should have a special election and we should be given the privilege of experiencing the feeble attempts of Republicans attempting to win a seat in a state so partisan it makes China look like a democracy. Rumors suggest Mitt Romney (ex-governor and only conservative to implement socialized medicine), former governor Weld and Jeff Beaty (ran against Kerry last year). Deval Patrick already agreed with supporting Kennedy's request and unfortunately, it is up to our legislature acting with impunity and utter disregard toward their people in reaching the right decision. I am not holding my breath, but unless citizens take charge then the fascistic boot of one party rule will continue.
Read analysis of why Mitt Romney would be a death knell for Republicans and will reduce their chances of winning from 1% to 0.