The Kennedy Crowning

16 Dec

Sayeth Atrios:

I find the whole unfolding Caroline Kennedy saga to be rather depressing. Not just that she’s being considered (in the press if not elsewhere), but that she’s running a public campaign which involves reaching out to elites. The whole thing is just weird and feeds into the politics as personality soap opera that the press loves to focus on.

Caroline Kennedy is a person for whom upstate is anything north of 57th Street, and has never subjected herself to a prospective electorate, much less been elected to anything. Now she’s all of a sudden a Senatorial contender, complete with the approval, blessing, or endorsement of Michael Bloomberg, Louise Slaughter, and Hillary Clinton?

She could be the most awesomest Senator New York could ever dream of, but right now all we have to go on is her last name and her background. That might be enough to permit her to win re-election over and over again in perpetuity, but why does she get this plum spot over someone – anyone – who actually worked to become elected to something and represent a constituency? This isn’t an appointment to state government or even to the House of Representatives. This is the Senate – as exclusive a club as you can get. You don’t just appoint the legacy. This should at least have a sheen of meritocracy attached to it.

Furthermore, Paterson’s budget just came ’round the bend and explained to you in excruciating detail just how many times the state will have its grubby paws in your wallet for even the most de minimis purchase – no plan, no rhyme or reason, just taxes on consumption that will cause disproportionate pain to the working and middle classes. You have a State Senate that has taken Albany dysfunction and FAIL to new and dizzying heights – and has now been manhandled and raped by a handful of clumsy and/or corrupt downstate turncoats. You have a state in decline with no end in sight.

Albany has effectively turned its back on upstate and western New York, and the selection of Caroline Kennedy to the U.S. Senate would just further solidify that disrespect. Pick a senator from upstate.

You have a $120 billion budget, plus God only knows how much more off the books being spent and borrowed by the various and sundry public authorities – all a recipe for further and deeper fail, as we tax the living shit out of the middle class in order to maintain a bloated and inefficient state government.

You add 137 new taxes and fees, yet you’re going to cut state spending on public education to the tune of $700 million? Our bloated Cadillac of a Medicaid system gets a spending hike? Talk about your priorities being way out of whack.

Caroline Kennedy isn’t our biggest problem. It’s merely emblematic of how off-track this state has gone, with no end in sight. If you think what Rod Blagojevich did was bad, I’d be willing to bet corruption like that happens every single day in Albany. It’s just that those guys don’t get caught until after they’re out of government and have parlayed their former public service into a lucrative lobbying career.

23 Responses to “The Kennedy Crowning”

  1. STEEL December 16, 2008 at 8:25 pm #

    We should just be honest with ourselves and start a monarchy.

  2. Chris Smith December 16, 2008 at 8:28 pm #

    I’m actually looking back fondly on the quaint days of woeful mediocrity and medium sized FAIL of George Pataki.

  3. Prodigal-Son December 16, 2008 at 8:31 pm #

    Sounds like CHANGE we can beleive in.

  4. Chris Smith December 16, 2008 at 8:31 pm #

    Sadly, this turn of events guarantees that STEEL will never move home…when will the tidal wave of bad news end??!!??!

  5. Bill Altreuter December 16, 2008 at 9:37 pm #

    She would be a dependable vote on the right side, more than could be said for HRC. I really don’t see that the upstate/downstate distiction is useful when we are discussing the US Senate.

  6. Ike December 16, 2008 at 11:45 pm #

    Dynasty Politics has been shown to be so obviously effective over the past 8 years!

  7. Dave A. December 17, 2008 at 12:03 am #

    Frankly, I think she’s as qualified as half the other Senators in DC, if not more. What bothers me is that this has been a complete backroom deal – there’s been no attempt to even sell herself to us. No press conferences, no interviews, no Letterman… It’s one thing to know that this is an appointment; it’s another to be told we’re completely irrelevant.

  8. Chris December 17, 2008 at 12:32 am #

    Can’t we just extend that northern Pennsylvania border a little farther – all the way to, say, Connecticut? That’d be sweet.

  9. pegger December 17, 2008 at 3:05 am #

    I say that we need to pick someone from the Rome/Utica area. Someone who might be able to see Canada from his/her house (weather permitting).

  10. Ben McD December 17, 2008 at 5:47 am #

    Well, she’s no more qualified for the senate than Obama was for the presidency, and he got elected.

  11. Mike Miller December 17, 2008 at 7:01 am #

    She’s as qualified as Hillary was. It’s a scary world out there.

  12. Mike Miller December 17, 2008 at 7:30 am #

    It’s interesting to note too that before the Presidential campaign, Caroline was always referred to Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. I had to Google her just to find out if she is still married! It’s all about the name.

  13. buffaloobserver December 17, 2008 at 9:43 am #

    Why doesn’t she just move to Massachusetts and take over when uncle Teddy passes. What sickens me more is Byron Brown falling down over himself because of a telephone call. What he should have done was tell sweet Caroline to go f*ck herself and to “earn” her way into New York politics like most, with the exception of Hillary of course.

  14. Ethan December 17, 2008 at 9:50 am #

    Patterson can call a special election, right?

    Any pick he makes would be more contentious than, I don’t know, I think they call it “democracy.”

    oh well… Looking forward to Senator Kennedy, the sequel.

  15. Mike Miller December 17, 2008 at 10:10 am #

    Ethan, you mean Senator Schlossberg, right? šŸ™‚

  16. buffalomom December 17, 2008 at 10:20 am #

    Oh look… looks like a “Listening Tour” if you ask me.

  17. Ethan December 17, 2008 at 10:26 am #

    Ha, well, as you point out… I don’t think we’re going to hear a lot about her husband or his insanely Germanic name, starting about: 8 months ago.

    otoh, she’s a Harvard & Columbia grad with an A.B. and a J.D., and she’s rich & famous and from a connected family, so like someone else said above: she’s basically the profile of our sitting senators, anyway. She’s not going to be especially worse, I can’t imagine. Just send her the fuck in and let’s move on, I say.

  18. Bill Altreuter December 17, 2008 at 11:39 am #

    There is nothing inherent in the process of running for office which might qualify anyone to hold office. In fact, the opposite often seems to be true– people who are good at getting elected to things are frequently terrible at actual governance. Direct election of US Senators (the 17th Amendment) is a 20th Century refinement, not something that is written in the stars. This upstate/downstate comparison has some relevance when we are talking about the conduct of business in the state legislature, but is pointless in this context. Wouldn’t you rather have Brian Higgins (Ways & Means) and Louise Slaughter (Rules Chair) working for WNY in the House, instead of leaving that behind for a two year stretch in the Senate? Recall that the last upstate senator (who was appointed to fill the same seat, as it happens) failed of re-election. Does anyone think that Byron Brown would be a better choice than Caroline Kennedy because Byron lives in Buffalo?

  19. Restaino December 17, 2008 at 11:42 am #

    If you believe in differences between Democrats and Republicans then the choice of Kennedy is clear. If you want representation until 2010 and then turn it over to Rep. King in Long Island hope for Higgins or Brown.

  20. hank December 17, 2008 at 2:36 pm #

    Back to the OP.
    Alan laid it out pretty good–the truth with the bark still on.
    And it’s a fucking shame. Because WNY could again be the place that it was 50 years ago. Maybe not the same industry or job base, but with a governor who was worth a shit and a sympathetic Senator, the beginning of the end could take place.

    I don’t think it’s funny that that NFL governor (not for long) Spitzer shit on WNY with the Appalachia remark, and Patterson looks to pinch a loaf with the Senate Appointment as well.

    If it wasn’t for his race, Byron Brown would never gotten anywhere in politics. If you can’t see by now he’s an empty headed empty suit that hasn’t accomplished anything, crank those peepers open.

    Ethan probably put it best in Comments. At least Caroline has a well respected name, an uncle on the same side of the aisle, and an engaging personality. BB can’t find his ass with both hands, a flashlight, road map and a fucking compass. If you doubt this, drive through Buffalo and look for all the changes he’s made.

  21. Don December 17, 2008 at 3:01 pm #

    She can and will raise big $$ for the democrats; she has name recognition and should easily be elected in 2010; she has coattails – Paterson would love to be on the ballot next to her – looks like a no-brainer from here.

  22. Joe Blow December 17, 2008 at 10:21 pm #

    It is now more clear than ever that New York must be divided into two states.

    How do you start the process?

  23. Ben McD December 18, 2008 at 12:41 am #

    I don’t see what the problem is. There is no difference between Kennedy voting for the same Liberal democrat agenda a WNYer would have to. It isn’t like some WNY senator would be pushing a pro-WNY agenda. That person would be given their marching orders by the democratic leadership, through Schumer, and be sent on his or her way. Kennedy, I’m sure, is already willing to tow the line the WNYer would have to anyway, and do it with more clout and presence.

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