Brother, can you spare a Senate seat?

So Caroline Kennedy wants to take Hillary’s place as the junior senator from New York. Best known as the only surviving child of John Kennedy and presenter of the annual “Profiles in (Liberal) Courage Awards”, Mrs. Kennedy rose to a new level of prominence during the 2008 Presidential Election as a member of Barack Obama’s Vice Presidential selection committee.

Unless she was the only member of the committee horrified at the notion of elevating Joe Biden to second-in-command, that decision alone should disqualify her from serving even as a dog catcher.

She also had some forceful words in support of then-candidate Barack Obama – the only presidential candidate she has endorsed other than Uncle Teddy:

“I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.”

Funny thing, a lot of people felt the same way about Ronald Reagan. Not Mrs. Kennedy, I’m sure, despite the fact Reagan had a lot more in common with her father than Barack Obama. Virulently anti-communist, in favor of lower taxes, and believed the United States had an obligation to protect the world from tyranny and oppression. JFK would undoubtedly be repulsed by Obama’s brand of “Ask not what it will cost, here’s what your country will do for you” governance.

JFK would probably be derided as a right-wing wacko by the DKos and DU crowd today. Our modern Democratic Party has drifted so far to the left he would likely not even recognize it as his own. Unlike the Harvard and Columbia educated Manhattanite Caroline. I get the feeling she looks at Uncle Teddy and worries he’s not as “progressive” as he could be.

Like Hillary, but for her last name Caroline Kennedy would never be considered for the Senate. I was born after the Kennedy assassinations and the myth of Camelot is lost on me. There must be broad segments of the population in New England that hold the Kennedys in high esteem. I don’t know a single person who thinks of the Kennedys for anything other than comedic value or with a profound sense of irony. With the Kennedy surname and a (D) next to her on the ballot we can assume New Yorkers will dutifully return her to the Senate well past her 100th birthday.

After all, there’s no better place to mask incompetence than the United States Senate. She’s had the prototypical family role model to reinforce that notion her entire adult life.

Caroline Kennedy may go on to be a perfectly competent senator. But as a member of the loyal opposition, I would like to see Democrats drawn to candidates based on merit rather than warm, fuzzy feelings.

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