23 September 2009

The fix is in: Hypocrisy in Massachusetts politics

Back in 2004 when Senator John Kerry was running for President and Republican Mitt Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts legislature passed a law that would have prevented Romney from replacing Kerry (if he had won) with an interim appointment until a new election could be set up. This was pure politics, wanting to prevent a Republican governor from replacing a Democrat with a Republican.

Fast forward to 2009. In the wake of Senator Edward Kennedy's death, now Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (a Democrat) could not replace Kennedy because of the very law the legislature passed in 2004 to deal with Romney. So what do you do when laws don't suit you? Just change them.

Both houses of the Massachusetts legislature passed bills allowing Patrick to appoint an interim Senator; Patrick is expected to sign the bill into law today. On top of that, Massachusetts laws typically don't go into effect for 90 days. So what do you do when procedure doesn't suit you? Just waive the procedure. Yes, Massachusetts is expected to waive the 90 day waiting period, because, well, the Democrats really need that 60th vote in the Senate. Furthermore, Democrats hold an absolutely majority in Massachusetts politics, so Republicans can't really do anything about it.

No doubt both parties play the political game, but this one just seems over the top.
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