Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby called on the ailing Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) to resign from the postion as the senior senator from Massachusetts. Mr. Jacoby eloquently points out Mr. Kennedy’s attempt to reassign gubernatorial power, which he helped strip away from former Massachusetts GOP governor Mitt Romney in 2004 during Senator John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) run for the presidency, to temporariiy fill a Senate vacancy.
Today Kennedy is gravely ill with brain cancer, but his political instincts are as sharp as ever. Given his condition, the letter he sent to Massachusetts political leaders last week could not help but generate a fresh wave of sympathy. “I am now writing to you,’’ it reads, “about an issue that concerns me deeply - the continuity of representation for Massachusetts, should a vacancy occur.’’ As a human being, Kennedy is surely grateful for that sympathy. As a canny political navigator, he reckons it may provide the cover needed to change Massachusetts law to benefit his party.
Kennedy wants the Legislature to upend the succession law it passed in 2004, when - at his urging - it stripped away the governor’s longstanding power to temporarily fill a Senate vacancy. Back then, John Kerry was a presidential candidate and Republican Mitt Romney was governor; Kennedy lobbied state Democrats to change the law so that Romney couldn’t name Kerry’s successor.
Mr. Jacoby points out if Mr. Kennedy’s reasons for wanting to reverse legislation he helped establish are sincere, then the Senator should step down himself.:
Needless to say, Kennedy’s letter says nothing about raw politics. No, it’s all lofty principle and good government. “It is vital for this commonwealth to have two voices speaking for the needs of its citizens and two votes in the Senate during the approximately five months between a vacancy and an election,’’ he writes.
If Kennedy is sincere - if his chief concern is that Massachusetts not be left for months without the services of a full-time senator - then he should do the right thing right now: He should resign.
Mr. Jacoby is able to express some critical points which must be made and could be shoved under the rug given Mr. Kennedy’s unfortunate present medical circumstances. The rest of the article can be accessed at the link below.
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