As the liberal led majorities in New Jersey’s State Senate and Assembly brace themselves for operating under the leadership of a newly elected Republican Governor, they are desperately trying to insure that they do not lose anymore elected positions than they expect to in the coming years.
The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman John McKeon, an Essex County Democrat, requires the Governor to temporarily fill U.S. Senate vacancies with a members of the same party as the person whose seat they fill and get rid of the current call for a special election to fill out the full term of any such vacancy.
This type of manipulation of the democratic process is much like that which Ted Kennedy initiated in Massachusetts. While lying on his deathbed, he penned a letter asking the state legislature to change existing laws which called fall vacancies in the United States Senate to be filled by the winner of a special election. In its place, Kennedy wanted the Governor to be able to appoint someone to fill the vacancy. The funny thing is that this was how vacancies use to be filled. But several years back, Massachusetts had a Republican Governor——-Mitt Romney. Back then, in 2004, it was feared that if Massachusetts Senator John Kerrey was elected President, Governor Romney would have appointed his replacement to his senate seat and it probably would not have been with a Democrat. So Kennedy asked the legislature to make sure that such a thing could not happen. He asked that the law be changed so that the vacancy was filled by a special election.
Fast forward 5 years and as Kennedy lay dying, since the new Governor of Massachusetts was a Democrat, like him, he asked that Massachusetts change the law back to what he originally opposed. This enabled liberal Governor Deval Patrick to appoint Kennedy’s replacement rather than risk losing the seat in a special election.
The episode was an example of political insincerity and it hit all time heights of hypocrisy. It was also a despicably low way for Ted Kennedy to end his life and career. But like everything else Ted Kennedy did, it influenced unscrupulous liberals to continue his legacy and go out of their way to manipulate the democratic process.
New Jersey Assemblyman McKeon’s bill is a shameful attempt to do the same that Kennedy did. Such attempts to change the process in New Jersey were not attempted when Governor Jon Corzine appointed Democrat Bob Menendez to fill his own vacated seat in the United States Senate. However, now that a Republican has the opportunity to yield the same power that they once had, they want the rules changed. But beyond that is the absolutely ridiculous, and totally blatant nature of just how partisan Democrats are willing to go. McKeon actually stresses that the seat must be filled by someone of the same party as the person whom they replace. That is unheard of. To actually try to legislate away any hope of nonpartisan politics is a dreadfully obnoxious attempt to block any opportunity for decency to play a role in politics. The proposed legislation actually makes it clear that McKeon and his cohorts believe party is more important than ability.
The push for such an embarrassingly partisan power grab does raise questions though.
Next month, five term liberal Senator Frank Lautenberg will turn 86 years old.
The man is already brain dead. He has been, even before he retired in 2000 and was illegally thrown back on the ballot in 2002 when Democrats were losing Bob Torricelli’s senate seat to Republican Doug Forrester. But since then, Lautenberg has truly been a non-entity. All of his activity takes place on press releases issued by his very large senate staff. Other than that, when Frank was running for reelection last year, he needed to be reminded of who he was and after having the drool wiped from his chin, reminded where he was.
Currently I believe both he and West Virginia’s Robert Byrd are propped up by leaning them against one another in the Senate chambers for appearances. But other than that they are useless. They are simply 2 more numbers helping Harry Reid, the Democrat senate majority leader, to maintain majority status and control.
Now until someone places a mirror under Lautenberg’s nose and confirms my assessment, Lautenberg is suppose to be 91 year’s old when his fifth term expires in 2015. That is unless, of course, it is proven that Lautenberg has actually expired before his term.
Perhaps this is why New Jersey Democrats want to change the rules. Could they themselves be realizing that they might not be able to prop up the comatose Senator for much longer? And could it be they fear that when the gig is up, Republican Governor Chris Christie could replace Lautenberg with a Republican who is actually breathing? My guess is that the answer is yes. But add to that the fact that things are not looking good for Democrats as they begin to lose more than they win. In this past November’s elections, they lost far more than they won. They lost County Executives, Governors, state legislative seats, Attorney Generals and as host of other local county, and statewide elected offices and all indications are that the trend is growing.
So Democrats are scared. They should be. But that is no excuse to manipulate the process. Democrats need to understand that their power should lie in superior leadership and ideas. It should lie in policies that are helping, not hurting people.
Apparently they realize that they and their policies are not superior. In fact, as time progresses, more and more people are once again realizing that Democrats are not good leaders and that their ideas and policies are inferior, not superior. That is why they losing their hold on power.. That is why they are all trying to practice Ted Kennedy’s deathbed policy that puts politics ahead of policy and politicians above the people.
Do they not have any shame?