Life's Like High School, Only With Money

Kudos to NY Governor David Paterson for appointing Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate. Not because I agree with her politics or I think Paterson's process was particularly refined. Kudos only because he picked a person who's actually been, um, elected to something by New Yorkers.

Replacing a Senator is, per the 17th Amendment, the domain of each state's legislature, which can assign their Governor appointment power or hold elections. Knowing what we now know about Rod Delusionojevich, no governor should hold that sort of power. Inescapably Governors will embed, in fact elevate, their interests into the appointment, which are irrelevant compared to those of the voters.

Politics is part popularity contest and part contact sport. Politicians are, on average, no smarter or mature than any other random slice of our population. Actually, they're probably below average on brains. Remember the really popular kids from high school? Were they also in the Physics Club or the Debate Club?

And what's another inevitable part of high school? Gossip and self importance. Here are a few comments from a few politically active New Yorkers who view Gillibrand strictly by her interest in their interests (and, preferably, her ability to fund them):
Gloria Cruz, Bronx president of the Million Mom March:
"When I heard Gillibrand was his pick, I thought it was a joke. This is an insult to the families of gun violence victims across the state. Shame on Gov. Paterson."

Alan Van Capelle, head of the Empire State Pride Agenda:
"After talking to Kirsten Gillibrand, I am very happy to say that New York is poised to have its first U.S. Senator who supports marriage equality for same-sex couples."

Kelli Conlin, NARAL Pro-Choice New York president:
"Like her predecessor Hillary Clinton, Rep. Gillibrand has shown herself to be an ally and advocate for New York and for women across the country, co-sponsoring legislation to ensure access to and funding for contraception."

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY):
Gillibrand is "an NRA poster girl."

Jay Jacobs, Democratic leader in Nassau County:
"I'm hopeful as our new senator begins to recognize she now represents the entire state of New York rather than a small Republican congressional district, that she will modify and moderate her views."

Edgar King, Northumberland dairy farmer:
“The dairy industry is facing an economic crisis. We’re looking at a 30 percent revenue decline. There are provisions in the Farm Bill that she championed that will provide for an increase in MILC (compensation) payments to farmers. What she’s delivered goes far beyond what you’d expect from a freshman congresswoman.”
Slowly, quietly, a fourth qualification for the U.S. Senate has emerged somewhere between 1787 and today: "advocate to make legal (illegal) the stuff I like (dislike) and have someone else pay for it, or I'll publicly call you an a**hole." Didn't a well known Democrat just this week say "the time has come to set aside childish things"?

That only took a couple of days to forget.

No comments: