Just Call Me "Prophet"
Back on December 17, 2008, I made the following observation in response to Caroline Kennedy's freshly launched (and somewhat shameless) "campaign" to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat:
I think she will likely get it. Why would she go public unless she expected the job? Besides, Obama personally called Paterson and supported her candidacy -- pre-Blagojevich. If you are deeply cynical, you might even believe that she has made her desire public in order to appear "transparent" and avoid having her inevitable selection look like a backroom deal. But what do I know about deep cynicism?Well, it appears that the likely already-done deal is now almost officially done. According to an Associated Press article republished on MSNBC.Com, Governor Paterson will likely choose Kennedy for the slot and will soon announce his decision.
Taint That A Shame?
Because the Democrats have now implemented a "zero-tolerance" policy that bans "taint" in the Senate, I wonder whether any of them will argue that Kennedy possibly (remember, a mere possibility of wrongdoing can "taint") got the position based on her family's wealth, political power and fame, which she leveraged to force Paterson's hand.
I am not arguing that this happened, but Senate Democrats have forcefully claimed the power to block any vacancy appointment that could appear "tainted" -- even in the absence of a finding of any specific wrongdoing by the appointed or the appointer. Reid's taint argument could therefore justify my "hypothetical" nepotism challenge to Kennedy's selection. But I guess this is why I am a law professor rather than a politician.
Food for Thought
How long will it take before some irreverent person makes this argument:
Senator Reid, you should not accept the appointment of a relatively inexperienced, but extremely powerful and wealthy white woman who hails from a political dynasty, while blocking the appointment of an experienced black male of modest economic beginnings who, absent your shenanigans, would become the nation's only black Senator.Well, it seems that I just made the argument. Perhaps this angle could help kill this unnecessary diversion. And maybe Blagojevich knew this was coming and made a decision that would make this argument relevant.
PS: I know I said the Senate should drop this issue, but I am not a Senator, and (more importantly) I feel compelled to point out potential contradictions and hypocrisy among our leaders. Hard work - but someone must do it.
Related Readings on Dissenting Justice:
So When Exactly Does "Change" Arrive? Senate Battle Over Burris and Blagojevich Offers "More of the Same"!
Some Media Outlets Begin "Palinizing" Roland Burris
Defiant Blagojevich Names Obama's Successor: Decision Raises Political and Constitutional Questions
Like It or Not, Democracy Prevails: Illinois Supreme Court Refuses to Declare Blagojevich Unfit to Serve
Blago Impeachment: What Would Lincoln Do?
Playing or Paying Politics: Blagojevich, Political DealMaking, and the Difficulty of Drawing Lines
Pick Me! Caroline Kennedy Officially on the Job Market