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That state needs an enema

A little birdie tipped me off to this story, about how politics in Massachusetts have gotten severely blocked, and suggested that a second Kerry run for the presidency could serve as a most effective laxative to Bay State Democrats.

As the author notes, Ted Kennedy (the senior senator) has been in office since 1962, and the junior senator (Kerry) since 1984. Neither shows much indication that they plan on retiring soon. (I have the sneaking suspicion that Kennedy simply intends to stay in the Senate as long as he lives -- and considering the preservative powers of alcohol, he's likely pretty much "pickled" already.)

This has created a heck of a logjam in Massachusetts politics. The Bay State currently has ten representatives in Congress. They lost one seat each after the last two censuses, and will likely lose at least one more after the next redistricting.That means that the House seats are turning into a form of "musical chairs," and at least one of them will be out of a job soon. And with Kennedy and Kerry sitting tight, there's no chance to move "up."

In most any other state, the blockage wouldn't be so bad. The candidates would be kept from growing complacent by the fact that they have to constantly on their toes when it comes to re-election, as the rival party would be looking to knock them off.

Unfortunately, that doesn't work in Massachusetts. The Republican party barely exists in the Bay State. Both Houses in the state are almost 90% Democratic. All 12 seats in Congress are held by Democrats. And after 16 years, the Republicans have just lost the governorship, completely and utterly locked out of power. And there are few signs at this point of the Republicans will stage any sort of a comeback.

But back to the point: the author thinks that a second Kerry run for the presidency might shake up a few things, helping out other Democrats in the Bay State. But that story overlooks a few finer details about Kerry himself, the kind of thing that only someone who lives in Massachusetts (or, in my case, just north of Massachusetts) would pick up on.

1) Kerry is utterly disinterested in helping other Democrats. His detractors say that his initials stand for "Just For Kerry." In 1982, he ran for lieutenant governor against Michael Dukakis' hand-chosen running mate -- and won. He's never shown much interest in helping out the party as a whole or other candidates -- it's all about him.

2) Kerry is a notorious flip-flopper, and will find a loophole to benefit himself whenever he can. In this case, it's a matter of the calendar.

Under Massachusetts law, Kerry has until March or so of 2008 to officially file for re-election to the United States Senate. In essence, Kerry can run for president before he doesn't run for president, and then still run for re-election.

(It's worth noting that in 20002002, Kerry had no Republican challenger for his Senate seat.)

Massachusetts, once again, shows just how important having two parties can be -- and how hideous things can get when one party has such an absolute lock on power.

(Kerry's last election date corrected -- thanks, Ken Adams)


Comments (7)

I'm SO looking forward to h... (Below threshold)
Farmer Joe:

I'm SO looking forward to having a Democrat governer again.

I'm confused. If Kerry was... (Below threshold)

I'm confused. If Kerry was up but unopposed in 2000, how does he end up running again in 2008? Did you mean 2002?

Constipation is usually due... (Below threshold)
epador:

Constipation is usually due to a lack of [moral] fiber in the diet. Not much chance of finding much bran, lignin or pectin in the Democratic Party. Its definitely a low residue ration.

Looks like this thread is s... (Below threshold)
epador:

Looks like this thread is stuck grunting on the toilet. Must not have appealed to Lee or Hugh for some reason. Maybe if you had entitled it Britney Spear's Crotch?

When Bob Dole ran for presi... (Below threshold)

When Bob Dole ran for president in 1996, he gave up his Senate seat. It was understood by all that if he lost, he would not be back. At the time, I thought he did this voluntarily, but I don't remember for sure.

(Of course he lost and then proceeded to piss away any credibility he had by making those laughable Viagra commercials, but that's another story...)

At any rate, seeing Kerry back in the Senate after losing his presidential bid in 2004, I thought, here's a man who wants to either (a) hold on to whatever power he has at all costs or (b) remain in the public eye for as long as he can.

The man'e ego must be enormous.

Quick note: <blockqu... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

Quick note:

In most any other state, the blockage wouldn't be so bad. The candidates would be kept from growing complacent by the fact that they have to constantly on their toes when it comes to re-election, as the rival party would be looking to knock them off.

Certain other senators do seem to land in rather safe seats and grow moss. Ted Stevens, Robert Byrd, and Strom Thurmond, for example.

--|PW|--

One track mind. When A-Hol... (Below threshold)
sal manella:

One track mind. When A-Hole Jay has nothing to write about, he trashes Mass. What the hell is wrong with you? This stupidity reveals the extreme narrow mindedness some hicks from the sticks up in NH suffer from. I can say this, because I was born and raised in New Hampshire. I know the mentality. Narrowmindedness. Massachusetts is a fine state. There is a lot of history there. J-Hole is quick to trash Mass, and yet he lives in Crime infested Manchester NH. J-Hole, ever been to western Mass? Its quite a place. The sooner J-Hole goes off to open his new Burger King and collect his $100. bonus the better. J-Hole thinks he's slick, but his posts just show he is a narrow minded little, little man. A real joke. He is probably one of those losers hanging out on Elm Street Saterdaynight trying to score some Meth Whore with his Burger King paycheck burning a hole in his pocket. When he fails, he retires to his multi family apartment and his blow-up doll. Jay, you are a complete idiot. I don't give a rat's ass about Ted Kennedy or John Kerry. I'm no Democrat. I don't let them ruin a perfectly good state for me. If I ever bothered to move to Mass, I would at least get to enjoy Proposition 2.5 and have my property taxes CAPPED. Property taxes in NH are like a runnaway train, hey they got to make up for the lack of sales and income tax somehow. If Jay had ever bothered to live OUTSIDE NH, he would learn that most people think people from NH are no different from the hillbillies from Kentucky. They veiw NH as a joke and its people inbread. Just like Maine. This type of stupidity is no different from Jays brand of ignorance. What a joke. Want fries with that?




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