Use of Kennedy’s death for political advantage sinks to new lows

It’s not exactly surprising that the left would use the death of a prominent Democrat political figure in cheap attempts at gaining a political advantage. After all, we saw it with the Paul Wellstone memorial service and the Coretta Scott King funeral. In fact, the left has shown that they will not just use the deaths of liberals to score political points, but they’ll use the deaths of conservatives to do so as well, as long as they perceive that conservative to have been standing shoulder to shoulder with them on any number of big issues they deem important (see the death of Ford, Gerald for more).

This week, as many predicted in the aftermath of Ted Kennedy’s death, the uses of his demise for political gain (Let’s pass healthcare reform for Teddy! Let’s pass immigration reform for Teddy!) have been both swift and constant, as a few minutes can’t pass by without some bleeding heart liberal or mainstream media commentator (but I repeat myself) imploring us all to do what we can “for Teddy!”

Yesterday, I linked up to a WSJ report on how Democrats in Massachusetts are now trying to change a law they pushed for and enacted in 2004 on the issue of Senate vacancies, and the reason they want to change it is in order to swiftly put a liberal replacement in the Senate for Ted Kennedy until the special election can be held in January. The whole reason the left pushed for the change in the law back in 2004 was so Republican Governor Mitt Romney wouldn’t have a chance to appoint a Republican replacement for Kerry, should he have been elected President. Now, since Kennedy has passed on, they want the law changed again in order to give a Democrat governor (Deval Patrick) the power they took away from that position in 2004, to appoint an interim replacement in the Senate … so whoever that Democrat is can vote in favor of ObamaCare – “for Teddy!” of course.

Little did we know how far some on the left would go in order to rationalize getting the laws changed on the books in MA in order to quickly replace Senator Kennedy. Bill Jacobson has documented two instances of prominent liberal bloggers – Matt Yglesias from the Think Progress blog and the WaPo’s healthcare blogger Ezra Klein – giving reasons that would be met with howls of outrage had they been suggested by a conservative so soon after the death of a Republican Senator and so soon after state laws had already been changed to address the issue of Senate vacancies. Yglesias argues that the reason the state law should be changed again is because, hey, does anyone really believe that Massachusetts citizens would pick a Republican to fill that seat anyway?

This is being described in some quarters as “hypocritical,” which really strikes me as silly. The underlying principle here is that the outcome of senatorial vacancies should reflect the underlying preferences of the people of Massachusetts. You could imagine a different state in which the parties are much more competitive in which this bobbing and weaving really was nothing more than a transient majority in the state legislature entrenching its power. But does anyone seriously dispute that the Massachusetts electorate prefers (a) to be represented in the U.S. Senate and (b) congressional Democrats? It’s been over ten years since the Bay State sent a Republican to Congress, and the last Republican Senator lost in 1978.

Bbbut, as MA resident Jules Crittenden explains, it’s not quite that simple:

The lefty lad explains that because Massachusetts politics are dominated by Democrats, it’s OK for Democrats to dominate Massachusetts politics. His explanation fails to acount for the 16 consecutive years that a succession of Republicans held the governor’s office .. which is elected statewide, as it happens … and the fact that both Kennedy and Kerry generally have lost about one-third of the votes in this bluest of states.


Now, on to Ezra Klein’s argument, which is even more preposterous than Yglesias’:

It’s weird to give governors any autonomous role in this process. If I were writing these laws, every senator would have a “living will” of sorts that names an interim replacement in the event of their incapacitation, and those interim senators would not be able to compete in the subsequent election. And that’s what Massachusetts should do. Let Patrick pick the interim senator this year, as Kennedy can’t do it, but write the legislation such that it won’t need to be changed every few cycles.

LOL. It wouldn’t “need to be changed every few cycles” if the Democrats in MA wouldn’t keep trying to change the role the Governor played in the selection process depending on his party affiliation. Duh.

To Klein’s suggestion, Jacobson responds:

The fact is that good arguments can be made for allowing a temporary appointment, or a quick special election, or some combination. There is no right or wrong.

What is wrong, however, is to change the rules mid-game so as to ensure one party’s predominance. It is hypocrisy plain and simple. The fact that two leading liberal proponents of KennedyCare refuse to call it as such demonstrates why we cannot trust our most intimate health care decisions to the government in general, to politicians in particular, and most of all, to the liberal intelligentsia.

You may be promised now that you can “keep your doctor” or “keep your health insurance,” but who is to prevent the rules from being changed for political purposes after the fact? People who would change the law in 2004 to benefit the Democrats, then propose changing it again in 2008 to benefit the Democrats, cannot be trusted.

Bang on.

Last but not least, in the truly “sinking to new low” department, check out this video of Ted Kennedy’s young grandson being used by his relatives in order to promote healthcare reform … at Kennedy’s funeral (via Gateway Pundit):

No.shame.whatsoever. I hold no bad feelings towards this little boy but I’m angry he was used by his family to promote healthcare reform at a funeral during the “prayers of the faithful” segment.

It’s the Absolute Moral Authority Card and the kiddie human shield tactic all rolled into one. Like Patterico, words simply fail me.

The final word goes to AllahPundit:

Incidentally, after linking this on Twitter, I’ve been informed by liberal amateur theologians that it’s perfectly kosher to pray for universal health care — on TV, in the middle of a national debate, at a funeral service ostensibly devoted to grieving over someone, by exploiting an innocent child — because, um, Jesus would have supported it. I’m happy to discover that the left’s decades of righteous outrage at Christian conservatives for mixing religion with politics was, as so much else is, simple partisan posturing, but I’m unfamiliar with the sermon where Jesus called for Caesar to create a public fund to heal the sick. Can any Bible aficionados help? Exit question: Anyone have any young’uns at home they’d be willing to volunteer to lead prayers at the next big GOP funeral? We might as well make use of the camera time while we have it. “Dear god, please grant us the strength to privatize social security and construct a robust missile defense shield. We pray to the Lord.”

Dare I ask “Can you imagine the outrage?”? Nah – because every one of you knows how both the hypocritical left and their pals in the MSM would react if anything close to that happened. In short, their heads would explode.

I repeat again: shameless. And all “for Teddy!” How fitting.

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