Saturday, December 20, 2008

Moose v. Lobster

It was inevitable now that Caroline Kennedy is actively campaigning to replace Hillary Clinton as the junior senator from New York that a parallel would be drawn between her and Sara Palin.

Those on the right complain that simply because she is a Kennedy, Caroline doesn't have to endure the same type of scrutiny that Palin did, particularly regarding qualification for office. This is an utterly predictable complaint, but I am not sure that it makes it any less valid.

The facts in this case tend toward supporting the existence of a double standard and arguments against such a standard made by those on the left are accordingly weaker. Check out this post by BooMan which breezily dismisses Palin's service as mayor and governor while arguing that Kennedy is qualified on the basis of her ability to write a term paper on any public policy issue.

Given this astounding ability, I'm thinking Kennedy is a lock for the Foreign Relations committee. I mean, think about it, if Iranian President Ahmadinejad's kid needs a term paper on Western Imperialism for his senior project at the madrasah Kennedy could crank it out in exchange for concessions on Iranian nuclear weapons.

Forget the comparisons with Palin. Unless touch football at the compound and drinks with Boston's elite make you qualified for the senate, Caroline is not. Of course, this may be how other members of the Kennedy clan entered public life.

I think the real problem here is that a sense of entitlement exists among many in the senate and many aspiring to join that body. This is a strictly bipartisan phenomenon, as it exists among democrats and republicans alike. Every six years they come back home, hold some rallies, whip up the party faithful and return to Washington, again and again and again.

Some republicans have already paid a price for this attitude and no doubt some democrats will suffer the same fate, since some type of legislative overreach is a very real possibility under the Pelosi/Reed regime.

If they were to come back today, I'm not sure the earlier generation of Progressives who fought for direct election of Senators would recognize that body as one serving the interests of the people. The way it is constituted today, I'm not sure that that it can.


OK Palin-haters, and I know you are out there, leave a comment and tell me why I am wrong and Kennedy is perfectly qualified to serve in the Senate and Palin wasn't qualified to serve as VP.


johnny said...

Its my belief that both Gov. Palin and Mrs. Kennedy are not qualified for the offices that they aspire to. However, i think that one must consider potential to affect national policy when assessing qualifications for a political office. Had Sen. McCain won the Nov. 4 election Governor Palin would be only a heartbeat away from the most influential job on the planet. Mrs Kennedy, if she is appointed to complete Sen. Clinton's term would be only a heartbeat away from being the senior senator from New York. Its like the difference in having an unqualified person push you in a wheelchair and having one fly you around in an airplane. The speed and degree to which things can go bad multiply quickly. Besides, the US Senate is full of unqualified people so she'll fit right in.

Steve said...

My problem with Palin is her hair. No, come to think about it, it is her whole soccor-mom demeanor. Carolyn has a royal touch to her demeanor and I think a little royalty a good thing, especially among among a bunch of old lawyers, gentlemen of questionable sexual orientation, and
the general common rabble of congress. She would make a splendid Joan of Arc to lead a revolution of the right, left, or center, whatever.