Friday, December 19, 2008

All Caroline Kennedy Wants For Christmas Is A Senate Seat

"I thought it was a basic tenet of progressive and liberal values that one of the things we're supposed to do before we get stuff is to work for it. We should get stuff because of what we do, not because of who we are," states Ron Kuby (above) of Air America Radio. Kuby was questioning Caroline Kennedy's quest to be appointed by New York Governor David Patterson to fill the Senate seat vacated by incoming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Kuby raises a valid point. Kennedy's aspirations are made possible only through her name, connections and wealth. She has not been a prominent political activist and she's apparently not interested in starting out as, say, a local councilwoman.

Others are taking notice. Democratic city councilman John C. Liu said, "It appears to be another case of central casting by the city’s cognoscenti. It’s amazing how much it’s all about the upper crust."

Columnist Judith Warner writes, "In 2008...I’m not sure we can afford to extend excessive amounts of public generosity to the wealthy and well-connected. It doesn’t strike me as desirable or — for New York Democrats in particular, and even for Caroline herself — very wise. 

"We are living in a moment when all the machinations, the corner-cutting, the inside deals, mutual back-scratching and indifference to the larger world of our nation’s wealthiest and most interconnected have led us straight into the ground."

Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake strikes a similar note: "It doesn't seem to have occurred to her that letting people know where she stands on important issues of the day should matter, or that she should have to subject herself to public questioning. At best it seems like a political afterthought -- because she hasn't troubled herself to do so.

"It appears Ms. Kennedy thinks that US Senate seats are something to lobbied for amongst political elites when one decides one wants them, and that the public should be happy to simply fall in line. The fact that one has a family political machine currently in the process of steamrolling David Paterson and a famous last name should be enough for the little people."

No matter what her political positions turn out to be–and it's telling that we really don't know what they are–and regardless of the fact that she's a Democrat, the fact is that doors are opening for Kennedy due solely to her standing among the rich and powerful. That is indeed contrary to the progressive and liberal values that Ron Kuby cites.


Helena said...

Sadly, she will get it, no doubt about it. Noblesse oblige.

Jeff Tone said...

Helena, have a little hope. Apparently some Democrats don't want to be railroaded. See my subsequent post: