So let’s review what has happened since I started this blog 2 days ago:
1. Brett Favre came out of retirement AGAIN
2. Robert Novak and Don Hewitt (two news GIANTS) passed away
3. Afghanistan is holding elections against a backdrop of terrorist threats
4. The WONDERFUL Barney Frank fired back at those idiots who are trying to disrupt townhall meetings devoted to healthcare discussions. (I might have to write about this later, but for now just check out the video)
5. I found a bar in Boston that has a GREAT beer list and $1 Fenway Franks. Check out “Lower Depths.” You won’t regret it…I promise.
What’s a boy to write about???? Man, I thought this blog thing would be easy. And, I don’t mean to take credit for all these big news stories happening right after I started this thing, but…well the proof is in the pudding as they say.
Actually, as it turns out, I’m not going to write about any of those things. I want to talk about Senator Kennedy. The Boston Globe reported this morning that the Senator, who is battling brain cancer, sent a very personal, wistful letter to Governor Patrick, Senate President Murray and Speaker DeLeo asking them to consider changing the 2004 law and allow the Governor to appoint a new senator should the need arise. This would remove the 5 months between a vacancy and the special election to fill the seat. You can read the letter here.
I have two responses to this:
1. I think Senator Kennedy is correct that it is important for Mass. to be represented by two senators at all times, especially with such critical issues being discussed every day. However, I am a bit nervous about what impact that something like this would have on the fairness of an election. Incumbents win a HUGE percentage of races, and I worry that this would, effectively, guarantee the Governor appointing the next full-term senator by giving the appointee a head start in gaining name recognition and raising money. Also, I wonder why this wasn’t discussed when we had a Republican Governor- it makes me nervous when laws are amended because of the benefits to the party.
2. But, the real issue here is what message this letter sends. Senator Kennedy is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest public servants we have EVER had in this country. His ability to work with folks from both parties (not just talk about it) is admirable and he has been such a strong voice for disenfranchised people everywhere. The things he has been able to accomplish in his time in office has made our country SO much better and I am so grateful to him for that. This letter, coming on the heals of him not attending his sister’s memorial service, really worries me. I know his aides are saying that there has been no material change in his condition, but I just find that hard to believe. I am so nervous that there is something going on that is prompting him to be sending this letter. And at a time when his voice is sorely needed, perhaps more than ever. We are finally on the verge of comprehensive healthcare reform (his dream) and we need geniuses like him to counter the mindless shouting by so many opponents and help people engage in thoughtful and intelligent conversation. Please keep him in your thoughts and let’s all hope and pray that whatever is going on, he will bounce back and we will, sooner rather than later, see him once again on the floor of the senate speaking up for the people who need him.