Jeff Jacoby in today’s Boston Globe has posted and editorial asking Senator Kennedy to resign. He points out the Senator’s recent efforts to change the law in Massachusetts so that the Governor will appoint his replacement when he leaves office, rather than leave the state with only one Senator until an election can be held. It all sounds very noble until you remember that up until 2004 the law stated that the Governor would appoint a Senator if a Senate seat became vacant for some reason. Senator Kennedy strongly campaigned to change that law in case John Kerry was elected President–he did not want a Republican Governor appointing Senator Kerry’s replacement. Now we have a Democrat Governor so it’s different. Do we have to change the law every time the Governorship changes parties?
Anyway, Mr. Jacoby points out that:
“For well over a year, Massachusetts has not had the “two voices . . . and two votes in the Senate” that Kennedy says its voters are entitled to. Sickness has kept him away from Capitol Hill for most of the last 15 months. He has missed all but a handful of the 270 roll-calls taken in the Senate so far this year. Through no fault of his own, he is unable to carry out the job he was reelected to in 2006. As a matter of integrity, he should bow out and allow his constituents to choose a replacement.”
It is somewhat disingenuous to change the law according to which pollitical party holds the governorship. I really don’t care which way the law is written–both ways of replacing a Senator have problems–look at what Illinois has gone through in the past year! I do wish, however, that once the law is written, it will stay that way, regardless of who is sitting in the governor’s mansion.