Thursday, December 18, 2008

The rarest of political posts
Admitting at the start of this post that I have an anti-Kennedy bias might help.

But this isn't even about that. It's like I went to bed eight months ago comfortable that if nothing else, the Clinton machine would not be in charge of my country and John Kerry would be forced to watch policy rather than be in charge of it.

Now, I snap out of my slumber. Barack Obama is to be President. I predicted as much a month before the election, though it hardly required a genius to assume as much. I am comfortable with much of what Obama has done to this point (keeping Robert Gates in the fold was a wonderful decision). What I'm not comfortable with is Hillary Clinton returning to substantial national power and Caroline Kennedy getting her first taste of legeslative strength simply on the basis of her name.

Now, by writing the following line, I no doubt open myself to ridicule for being sexist. Of course, I voted for Sarah Palin's ticket, even though I thought she was something of a thin choice. I liked her though, mainly because she drove my liberal friends crazy.

But I am not threatened by powerful women. I have a deep admiration for Margaret Thatcher, Condi Rice and Geraldine Ferraro. The first two ought to come as no surprise to those who know my politics. I like Ferraro because of her honesty, even when it makes her unpopular.

No, it's not powerful women I fear -- it's powerful names. A senate seat is not an honorary ambassadorship. It should be awarded on merit, not celebrity. Caroline Kennedy would not even be on the radar for the seat in New York if not for her last name. Period.

The Devil's Advocate: Uhh, Zach, you LOVE the Bushes, remember?

Some more than others. But it cuts both ways. If Jeb Bush was named Jeb Thomas (or better, Jeb Goldwater) he'd have been his party's nomination for President. But I think you are implying that George W. Bush wouldn't have so much as bought the Rangers without his name.

DA: That's right.

But he was elected to his positions. Hillary Clinton, for all my distrust of her and her husband, was elected to her position. Hell, Jesse Ventura was elected, and Al Franken might be. That means two things:

1. A lot of people in Minnesota are idiots.
2. Elections solidify the candidate.

Kennedy wants to be appointed. She and her supporters want Gov. David Paterson to make the case that she's the best qualified.

Regardless of what anyone thinks of her or her politics, that's an almost-impossible case to make. If Kennedy wants to seek election when the seat is up for election, that's one thing.

Which brings us back to why I don't like the Kennedys in general: Because so many of them seem to feel they are owed power.

When this country works the way it's supposed to, no one is owed anything.



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