To the Manor Born
Jane Hamsher annoys me sometimes, but she makes sense in today’s post about replacing my junior senator:
Everyone seems to be salivating because Caroline Kennedy called David Patterson [sic] and is apparently interested in the Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton.
It’s a truly terrible idea.
Her leadership could have been really helpful when the rest of us were trying to keep the progressive lights on and getting the stuffing beaten out of us by a very well-financed right wing for the past eight years. But when things were tough, she was nowhere to be found.
But what really resonates with me is this:
There’s an enormous problem in the Senate right now with entitlement, with the sense that its members owe their allegiance to each other and not to the public. Witness Joe Lieberman’s recent confirmation of Homeland Security Chairman, when Democratic Senators circled the wagons and helped him hold on to power — despite the fact that he refused to hold hearings into the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and protected billions of dollars in contractor graft from being investigated. Nobody, including Howard Dean, seemed to think that his performance record as head of the Committee was something that should even be taken into consideration.
The new Senate is going to face incredible challenges in the upcoming session, and we’re lucky this year that it will be infused with some much-needed new blood. It’s not a place for anyone to be wearing political training wheels. If Caroline Kennedy aspires to that lofty perch, let her run for something first — her name recognition, political connections and ability to fund raise should make it a cake walk. It could be a tough year for Democrats in 2010. It would be good to have her in the game.
Caroline in the Senate is a dumb idea. It’s not quite as dumb as giving Newt Gingrich’s daughter a wingnut-welfare-financed platform because she’s Newt Gingrich’s daughter, but it’s close.