Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The will of the people

I adore John Cole, but sometimes I don't understand why he gets worked up. He was unhappy that the MA state legislature passed a law allowing Deval to quickly appoint Kennedy's successor, after they had passed one in 04 preventing Romney from doing the same. He says:
There is no excuse for this kind of nonsense. I fully understand there are times for partisanship, but not when dealing with the law. This kind of gamesmanship, jiggering the law to put ideological allies in office, destroys confidence in the system, pisses away the moral high ground, and gives people the right to make arguments about “the Democrats are no better,” because in this case, they aren’t. If you can explain how this is any different from the Republicans and the right-wing blogosphere, after eight years of Bush, suddenly discovering the importance of oversight and minority party rights, I’m all ears.
I left this comment:
My thought is we're all going to bitch about what the other party does, no matter what the instant political considerations are. So John Cole, with due respect, so what if both parties do it? Meaning it's a problem but why single out this incident? This stuff goes on everywhere and I've seen worse, with gerrymandering of districts at the local level.

I'm in the camp that thinks these situations come up frequently enough that there should one national standard for replacing federal representatives. Let the states dick around with the state and local standards but DC is where the big money and the big issues are decided and no state should be short a Rep no matter what's going on.

The governor should be required to appoint a successor from the same party as held the seat within say 30 days or less and a special election should be scheduled within a reasonable time frame so no state would have an unelected Rep for more than a year. I see no reason why the appointee shouldn't be allowed to run for the seat.

In any event, in the instant case, it's clear the intent of the people is to have two Democratic Senators. That's what they voted for at election time. So I'm not getting what's so bad about this vote. The hypocrisy? As far I can see, in both cases it preserved the intent of the electorate.
You should read the whole thread though. Aimai's comments were awesome and the Juicers regs were in fine form. I was surprised at how much disagreement there was about it.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger Ruth said...

This was a difficult action for me to take a stand on, after deploring TX wingers' breaking all the rules to redraw districts to pack the legislature with wingers so recently. But in this case, I have to agree that MA has the right to be represented.

11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Nothing pisses me off more than gerrymandering Ruth, but I don't see this as being the same. I don't know why there's not a national standard for a national office really.

2:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

True, Libby, it's about a right to representation, and MN has just gone through an inconscionable length of time being deprived of that, too. It's time to make uniform standards, I agree.

5:07:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I've been discussing this with various people. I'm told it really would need a constitutional amendment. I'm not one to advocate changing the constitution lightly, but in this case I think it would be worth it. It would take all the political madness out of the process. Well, at least some.

8:25:00 AM  

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