Arizona's First Political Blog
E-mail Anonymous Mike at zonitics4-at-yahoo.com
By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Way back in 2000, then Senator John Ashcroft lost his bid for re-election to the deceased Mel Carnahan. Rather than fight his loss on the solid legal basis that you cannot have a corpse win an election, Ashcroft conceded the race based on the principle that you cannot legitimately hold an office if you get less votes than a corpse.
This is well-known in my family as the Political Law of Corpse Legitimacy with my brother later adding the famous "Cook County Exception."
So what to make of this in the tightening senatorial race in Massachusetts?
The first is simple, if controversial: Get it through between the time the polls close and the new senator is sworn in.
Sen. Paul Kirk, currently in the seat, told reporters today he would vote for a health care bill even if Massachusetts voters elect Brown.
“Absolutely,” Kirk said, according to the State House News Service, when asked if he’d vote for the bill even if Brown captures the seat. “It would be my responsibility as United States senator, representing the people and understanding Sen. Kennedy’s agenda and the rest of it."
There are three things that you need to know about using the words "senator" and "Paul Kirk" in the same sentence.
1) Paul Kirk was appointed to fill Kennedy's seat after the Senator's death last year.
2) Kirk was appointed because he was a long-time Kennedy aide who would act as basically Kennedy's zombie surrogate
3) Kirk was only able to be appointed because the Massachusetts legislature suddenly changed the law in order to fill the tactical needs of the Democrats regarding health care legislation, inserting an appointee instead of keeping the seat open for a popularly elected official.
In short Kirk is a place-holder with no political legitimacy of his own, in fact he is in Roland Burris' class when it come to legitimacy given that he holds his seat based on discredited political shenanigans. Ted Kennedy might have been a giant of Massachusetts politics but the mojo died with the man.... we know Ted Kennedy, we followed Ted Kennedy, and Paul Kirk is no Ted Kennedy.
I think it's a pretty fair assumption that if the Republican nominee wins the Massachusetts Senate seat in the next 2 weeks, it will be because of opposition to the health care overhaul bill. So where does Kirk get off believing he has the legitimacy to vote for that same bill in between the time of the election and the Republican being sworn in? Because he happened to hold the seat at the time based on a corrupt deal?
Corrupt deal? Yep... because otherwise why wouldn't the Democrats wait until the special election was held and a properly elected senator with a fresh mandate was elected to fill Kennedy's seat before a final vote on the bill? Because at the time the Massachusetts law was changed, the Democrats were hell-bent on ramming through on partisan lines the biggest piece legislation in decades and they felt it was safer to rely on a political appointee rather than chance the electorate.
So an appointee acting as a surrogate for a corpse, holding office based on a corrupt deal, just said that he would contradict the will of the voters before his duly-elected successor could take office. If the Republican Scott Brown does win in Massachusetts, I would get him down to Washington the very next day with an eviction notice for Paul Kirk and if I were the Republicans I would use Zombie Kennedy as the symbol of the corrupt Democrats for the 2010 mid-term elections.