"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." (Mark Twain)
I look at Caroline Kennedy and I see a far left liberal who's maybe not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, but a basically nice lady, despite being a lawyer. OK, it's settled. She should be a Senator.
Article 1, section 3 of the Constitution lists the qualifications for the office of US Senate, which as Madison or Hamilton notes in Federalist 62, are only slightly harder than those required for the House of Representatives. To get into the so-called "upper chamber," one must be at least 30 years old, be a citizen for at least nine years, and be and be an "inhabitant" of the state for which "he" (You gotta love those chauvinistic founding fathers!) is chosen. Again, hire the woman. To say she isn't qualified to be a US Senator is to say that you should be a CPA with an MBA to be a toll collector on the interstate highway.
Oh yeah, and another thing, she's a Kennedy. We all know what that clan likes to drink, but how they all get it to come out as champagne still mystifies me. Hamilton or Madison didn't cite the need to maintain a dynasty in the colonies, but years later, Herbert Hoover did promise a chicken in every pot. That phrase somehow later got twisted to mean a Kennedy in every chamber. I have heard it said that Caroline is regular folk, and prefers riding the subway in New York every day, which in my book is an act of heroism in itself. Then again, given the legacy of driving established by her cousin and uncle, her riding the subway should also gratefully be considered an act of public service. Give her the job already!
I love all the talk about qualifications. Caroline speaks the same language as the woman she will be replacing in the Senate, and the incoming President she endorsed, "uh, um, you know.." It is said that the famous Greek orator, Demosthenes, overcame a speech impediment in his youth by speaking with stones in his mouth. For our modern day legislators, we simply shut off the teleprompter and watch the festivities begin. (Except for George W. Bush, who any Democrat would happily tell you is simply an idiot.)
Legislators are not executives like mayors, governors and presidents. They don't run anything, and they usually know even less, barring the few who come in with some specific area of expertise from their previous occupation. They don't "run," they represent. Even I could do that, and I often do, for you my readers. (Well, at least those of you who are fellow "vast right wing conspirators," as First Lady, uh, um, you know... Hillary Rodham Demosthenes would say.) OK, so Caroline also can't put two sentences together without a TV screen. Who cares? Let's face it, after February 17th, she'll be stuttering and mumbling in High-Def. She's a Kennedy who doesn't drive. What else do you want from her?
I don't know why we even vote for our senators. Oh yeah, the 17th Amendment. OK, before that, I don't know why even state legislatures voted for senators. They don't need to know anything. There is indeed much to learn upon entering the Senate. First, if you're from Illinois, you have to be the highest bidder, or else just be a persistent minority with a good lawyer. Exit Mr. Smith, as Mr. Burris now goes to Washington, courtesy of a recently impeached governor, soon to become about as influential as a speck of dust in the Blagosphere. Once in the door however, there is much to learn about senate history, protocol and procedures, from just about everything involved in the process, be it crafting legislation, addressing the Senate, working on committees, or getting shmoozed by the collaborating cash cows of K Street. If you acquire some seniority, your party wins the next election, and you don't excessively tap your foot in public rest rooms, or bank your bribe money in your freezer between the fish sticks, you just might actually become a committee chairman at some point. And then you have a bigger staff. And then they run everything.
Whoever elects these people, why are their names even on the ballot? As I have written on a few past occasions, one of my biggest political pet peeves is the Office of First Lady, even if she's no lady, like the incoming one, or, the "BIMBIC" ("Big Mouthed Broad In Charge"). First Ladies (even when they really are ladies) aren't elected to anything, don't have to be qualified for anything, and yet are given powers and even staffs on our dime. That and her um, uh, you know, speech impediment are why Hillary has been so doubly qualified to be officially not doing anything in her past two jobs. James Buchanan (just a little before Pat) was our only bachelor President. Somehow the country still survived without an official First Lady. Then again, there was that whole, nasty Civil War thing right after he left!
Our President-Elect will be running something, our country (right into the ground), and his whopping resume highlights a couple or so terms in the Illinois State Senate (where even less experience is required), and four years as a US Senator, two of which he spent campaigning, obviously a fruit of that yet to be defined "community organizer" street cred. Sarah Palin, the nemesis of the left, at least was a mayor and a governor, and highly effective and respected as both. But she's from Alaska, and they all eat moose up there. (Of course, all the polar bears are dying from global warming!) William Howard Taft got stuck in a White House bathtub (apparently before the idea of the "Oval Office" was born, if not the inspiration for it!), and he was President! He ran stuff! OK, so the latest Kennedy du' jour can't talk off camera, and maybe because those front choppers are pointing elsewhere but south, she's not going to run anything! Give her the job! If nothing else, she's thin. She could still easily slip out of a bathtub and into the chamber before roll call faster than Uncle Teddy could slip out of a sunken Oldsmobile and into a neck brace before the 6:00 news.
This isn't a Senate race. It's a popularity contest. Her qualification is she's a Kennedy, period. The Clintons and Bushes are done. It's the Kennedy clan's turn to be back up at bat. It's a green thing. Just think recycling, but with many more and larger bottles involved. Remember high school? Let's face it; the President of the Student Council got elected from simply being popular, with both the student body and the school administration, an admirable feat. In Nixon's day, that was called triangulation. Now it's Bipartisanship 101, an elective for Democrats and a core requirement for Republicans who prefer being liked instead of elected. Look on the bright side, Caroline has outgrown her zits!
US Senator is also like Town Clerk, or Tax Collector at the local level and Secretary of State and Attorney General at the state level. Why do we elect these people, whose jobs are more task-oriented than they are even remotely relative to formulating policy? On what issues can we possibly agree or disagree? If they do a good job, they should be rewarded with another term, if they screw up, they should join that Donald Trump wannabe with the equally hideous haircut in the Blagosphere that I appropriately named after him. Then of course, are US Senators, who rarely if ever do any actual tasks, and do formulate policy, but they still don't run anything. They just spew ideas. Hell, I'm doing that now and none of you people elected me! Again, hire the woman. She stutters but she's cute. If this election year really is about hope and change, then I hope the Senate changes. It can start by replacing all those old, tired wrinkles on those drooling old curmudgeons with some brand new dimples on a fresh, pretty face. Yeah, I know, she can't do much. That's OK. She gets a staff, too. As Uncle Ted would say on his boat, "Bring her on board!" If nothing else, she seems like a nice person. We all know that Uncle Teddy floated to the top of the water once. Had he done that a couple centuries earlier, and in Salem instead of at Chappaquiddick, he would have been burned as a witch. If we kept Teddy, we can certainly put up with Caroline, the prospective "Liberal Lioness."
Our first senators were typically aristocrats. (Like I said, she's qualified!) In the ironically dubbed, "lower chamber," however, members of the House of Representatives were often of the common people, farmers, tradesmen, merchants, but mostly lobbyists. (I just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention!) They didn't need any qualifications. Neither does Caroline. So far so good. They saw serving in Congress as a service to the country, and meant to be for two or three terms, and never as an entrenched career. Oops, I suddenly sense a slight bump in the road up ahead! Darn! And as Uncle Teddy might say, "Things were going so swimmingly!"
Of course, barring those newcomers with lots of money and a big name (like "Kennedy"), most of our modern day elected politicians are groomed, well, except maybe for cousin Pat when he stumbles out of a night club, still cursing and swearing at 3am! Typically, they start out at the local level, first on boards and commissions, then to various low level and often tedious elected positions, and on up the ladder. Once the fish outgrows the pond, he starts swimming upstream toward the State capitol, and if he's really lucky (or utterly deranged), to the Beltway of Big Time, where the hookers aren't pimped, but perks, and the rates change from hourly to fixed, and with good reason. Having gotten used to this unofficial, but now widely accepted process, we not only prefer our politicians experienced, but we expect it. Now if we could only raise the bar another notch up to "honesty"! Detractors of Lady Car accuse her of being inexperienced, while the lying loony left spins her to be the next "Master of the Senate," to quote author and historian, Robert Caro, who was referring to Lyndon Johnson, back in the early days when LBJ was newly important and still only somewhat obnoxious. The fact is however, that in the beginning, our country did just fine from having the common folk do the work of the common folk. Experience need not apply. Honesty and patriotism did. Now we have experts in serving themselves, and honesty and patriotism have gone by the wayside about as fast as a blueprint of a Cape Cod windmill. Maybe this experience stuff isn't all it's cracked up to be after all.
Maybe there is a place on Capitol Hill for the next personified Kennedy saga sequel. Despite her own speech challenges, Caroline could help Uncle Teddy, the great stutterer himself, distinguish the annunciated difference between "Obama" and "Osama," (Remember, George W. Bush is an idiot!) even when Uncle T is sober. And she could also help cousin Pat focus a little more astutely on reality when he's not. (Hint, barricades are not parking stalls, and the House doesn't convene for voting until well after dawn!)
But nursing dysfunctional aristocrats, even if they are family members, isn't suitable for any aspiring US Senator from New York. She just needs to be a woman, or at least according to Majority Leader Harry Reid. (Or was that only for Illinois before Burris got uppity?) Let's face it; Caroline will be trying to fill the grand shoes of greatness from her similarly unqualified predecessor. It's just a shame Caroline doesn't have a pantsuit to match those Triple Wide Size K (Street) shoes.
At this writing, the ball is in the court of New York Governor David Paterson. I don't envy him. Tammany Hall is now ancient history, and Blago screwed up the bidding process. Paterson may have to decide the old fashioned way... by getting an offer he can't refuse Hyannisport. No, that doesn't seem fair. It almost seems downright corrupt. Where, oh where, is the Empire State's renowned corruption crusader, Eliot Spitzer when they need him most? (Oops, oh yeah, that's right... never mind!)
Yup. Looks like Caroline. That inevitability is about as certain as the outcome of a Cook County recount. She's not even remotely qualified, and yet she's the right person for the right job. Over 200 years later, we have come back to full circle, with kings and queens practically being coronated by the inner circle of aristocracy. And at the end of the day, why, for a US Senate seat? Then again, like the Kennedy clan, the Democrats are now again up at bat. The Republicans struck out, so it's the Dems' turn, and it's now their game, at least for, as our brainy President-Elect once famously predicted of his term in office, "...at least 8 to 10 years." Only, of course, if he wins re-election in most of the "57 states." Presumably, an equally qualified Caroline can't count either. (PS-George W. Bush is still an idiot!)
"I'm not a member of any organized party, I'm a Democrat!" (Will Rogers)
Editor's Note: Remember when we used to hold the Soviet Union up as an example of how not to run a government, and laugh at the elections that were held in certain 3rd World countries? Well folks, we're there. Minnesota is about to be represented by Stuart Little, although it would be wrong to say that he was elected since they've basically been manufacturing ballots as he needs them during the recount. "We need ten more votes? Well golly, I just found eleven more ballots, all for Franken..." Anyhow, with Barack Obama as our president, how can anyone say that Caroline Kennedy doesn't have enough experience to be Senator. She's a member of our ruling class - what more experience do you need? -- Ken Anderson