Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Aristocratic arrogance is alive and well

Boy do I wish Hillary had won the nomination. Just think...Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton. No, not a broken record, just a broken electorate. What is wrong with us? 300 million citizens and these are the best we can come up with? An editorial on Senator Kennedy's death by Michael Barone piqued my interest.
When he took office, Ted Kennedy's résumé was brief. He'd been expelled from Harvard for cheating on a Spanish exam...

...he drove off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island off the Massachusetts coast. Ted Kennedy swam away but his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned. His failure to notify authorities of the accident removed him for at least a time from any presidential consideration.

Nevertheless, he was re-elected to the Senate and served continuously until his death yesterday.
Let me get this straight, killing someone because of your recklessness doesn't permanently take you out of presidential contention? President, no that would be ridiculous, Senator sure! Am I the only one who is horrified by the nepotism and sense of entitlement in our political system. The Kennedy's are simply one of the most egregious examples, but there is definitely a familial aspect to the nation's political class. A few of the multitudinous examples:
  • John F. Kennedy was president, his brother Robert Kennedy a U.S. attorney, his other brother Ted kennedy a Massachusetts Senator.

  • Both Vice President Al Gore and his father were senators from Tennessee.

  • George W. Bush's father was president, His brother, Jeb Bush, governor of Florida, and his great-grandfather a U.S. senator.

  • Bill Clinton was president, Hillary Clinton was Senator and is Secretary of State.

  • Colin Powell's son is chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

  • Sen. Mitch McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao, was secretary of Labor.

  • Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist's daughter, Janet, was inspector-general of the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Congressmen John Dingell, Charles Gonzalez, Jim Duncan, and Harold Ford have all held the same seats their fathers held.

  • The fathers of Nancy Pelosi, Jon Kyl, Chris Dodd, and Bob Bennett were all Congressman.

  • Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, gave up his Senate seat to become his state's governor and appointed his daughter to fill his position.

  • Senator Carl Levin and his brother Congressman Sander Levin.

  • Kwame Kilpatrick is the son of Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick.

  • Senators Robert F. Bennett and Mark Pryor are both the sons of senators.

  • Olympia J. Snowe is the wife of former Maine Governor John R. McKernan.

  • Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is the son of George Romney, a former Michigan governor.

  • Senator Elizabeth Dole, wife of Senator Bob Dole.

There are loads more examples on Something seems wrong when so few families completely dominate our political landscape. For gods sake, high school elections in Mississippi have more diversity. For change we can believe in, how about we start with the last name.


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