August 26, 2009

I can't wait for the polling numbers

The death of Senator Kennedy highlights a special example of political manipulation the Massachusetts legislature engaged in prior to the 2004 election.  Before 2004, US Senate vacancies were filled by gubernatorial appointment.  In light of the combination of an impending Kerry presidency and a Republican governor Romney, the legislature voted to take that power from the governor and force a special election about five months after a seat becomes vacant.  Kerry lost the presidential election, Romney was replaced by Democratic governor Deval Patrick.

Apparently Senator Kennedy in his infinite wisdom recognized early last July that there was going to be a sticky wicket in the case of his death.  He composed a letter to several members of Massachusetts government suggesting that a legal push be made to change the law back to its pre-2004 gubernatorial appointment ways.  Also in Kennedy's infinite wisdom, he didn't bother mailing off the letters until a week ago.  The Massachusetts legislature recessed August 4, and so no law was proposed or passed.

So besides Senator Kennedy's untimely death destroying the filibuster-proof Congress, it's possible that Massachusetts Democrats could lose a Senate seat due to their manipulations in 2004.  Surprisingly, a very recent Gallup poll shows only 29% of Massholes considered themselves liberal or very liberal, while 30% considered themselves conservative or very conservative. In light of the recent centrist dissatisfaction with government spending, and assuming the Skittle-shitting unicorns aren't going to be delivered in the next five months, I think it's quite likely that the next junior Senator from Massachusetts will be a Republican. The question remains whether the Massachusetts legislature will try an end run around their previous shenanigans and attempt to give the appointment power back to Governor Patrick.

So in light of all this, I think we should say a special thanks to Senator Kennedy for holding on to those letters for a few extra weeks, and we should be sure to thank him again when the GOP gains a Senate seat.

Posted by: Alice H at 12:09 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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