Ted Kennedy is at it again, said Howie Carr in the Boston Herald. In 2004, Kennedy pushed the Massachusetts Legislature to change the law on replacing senators so a Republican governor, Mitt Romney, wouldn't get to pick Democrat John Kerry's successor if he won the presidential election. Now Kennedy is gravely ill with brain cancer, but there's a Democratic governor, so he sent a plea to state lawmakers to let the governor appoint a temporary stand-in. It's time to say no to these "shenanigans."
"In general, tinkering with these laws, based on specific circumstances, strikes me as a bad idea," said Steve Benen in Washington Monthly, "but the mistake seems to be the 2004 change," not the one Ted Kennedy proposed in his poignant, personal request. Health care was a leading cause of Kennedy's life, so it "seems entirely reasonable" that he doesn't want his seat vacant, awaiting a special election, when health-care reform comes to the Senate floor.
This is "where the rubber hits the road on all that talk about Senate civility and courtliness and respect," said Ezra Klein in The Washington Post. If Kennedy dies or has to relinquish his seat, the Democrats will be left one shy of the 60 votes they need to prevent a filibuster and pass their health-care proposals. If that happens, a Republican should vote as Kennedy would have -- "it is neither decent nor small-d democratic to doom health care because the bill's greatest advocate contracted incurable brain cancer."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
- Even critics of the euro didn't see this coming
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Paul Allen's 'bitter' Bill-Gates-bashing memoir
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 8 ways you're probably overspending without even realizing it
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- Why the West should accept ISIS as a sovereign nation
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
Subscribe to the Week