Day: December 29, 2008

Caroline Kennedy and the Senate

The original appeal of Caroline Kennedy becoming a US Senator by appointment in New York has lost its glamor as it becomes obvious that Ms.  Kennedy has proved to be quite inept in public since her interest in the position became known a few weeks ago.

Ms. Kennedy has stumbled in making her views known, has seen uncomfortable in her few public appearances and interviews with the print media, and has demonstrated her basic shyness.  Her use of the term "you know" has become comedic and one has to wonder if she could uphold her seat in a primary or election coming up in 2010 and again in 2012, despite her ability to raise money and the fame of her last name.

While Ms. Kennedy is obviously very bright and intelligent, one has to wonder if she really is the best candidate for the Senate for the future of New York.  I have to think that Andrew Cuomo, son of the former governor, Attorney General of the state, and former cabinet member under Bill Clinton, might indeed be the better choice of Governor David Paterson.  Also, there are several Congresswomen interested in the seat who have more background in public life than Ms. Kennedy.

Under the circumstances, Governor Paterson should carefully reconsider the tendency, at least in public discourse by others, to imply that Caroline Kennedy is the best choice.  The seat should not be awarded based on emotion and history but on true qualifications.

“Barack the Magic Negro” and the Republican Party future

Rush Limbaugh, and some GOP leaders, including the person applying for GOP Chairman who released it, demonstrated extremely bad taste when they decided to release a parody of "Puff the Magic Dragon" in the name of "Barack the Magic Negro".

At a time when the Republican party has reached its low point since the mid 1970s, it is not helpful for them to decide to use humor regarding race and utilizing the old word "Negro", which has been out of use to refer to African Americans since the late 1960s.  It shows, at the least, insensitivity, and the most, open racism. 

The only way the Republican party can recover in the short and long run is by opening itself to new groups it has long ignored.  Right now, the GOP seems to represent only white, older, evangelical, southern and Appalachian voters.  It tends to antagonize African Americans, Hispanics, women, Northeast, Pacific Coast, Upper Midwest, more educated, younger and new voters. 

If the Republicans do not change their tune, they will remain in the political wilderness for a long time.  Republicans across the country need to condemn this tactic, repudiate that candidate for GOP leadership, and break their ties with Rush Limbaugh and other talk show hosts who poison the atmosphere of American political life!