Sunday, January 11, 2009

Not another another Kennedy

I haven't written anything before this post about the potential appointment of Caroline Kennedy to Hillary Clinton's soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat because I don't know what to say about it other than what I've already written about my feelings towards America's growing dynastic tendencies (If you check that link you'll get the reference in my post title).

Well, that's not exactly true. I can comment that in the specific case of Caroline Kennedy I am opposed to it on the grounds that were she not the daughter of JFK she would have zero chance of being able to just announce she wants the seat and have it handed to her with zero previous political experience. Indeed, I strongly suspect that were the only thing different about her being that her last name wasn't "Kennedy" she would still have no chance at the appointment. And now that I've typed out the preceeding sentences I can see why I wasn't going to write anything in the first place: this is basically the same complaint I had before.

So since I'm lacking any new words to describe something I feel quite strongly about, I'll defer instead to what Glenn Greenwald wrote about America's growing dynastic politics and his Salon radio interview with political scientist Dr. Nathan Burroughs about the same subject.

Additionally, I'm seconding the sentiment expressed by Ophelia Benson in regards to Kennedy's attrocious interview with the New York Times in which she drops what seems like a hundred or so "you know"s.

I'm always on the lookout for code, and that's a code I don't think I've seen before. 'Other walks of life' and 'all kinds of different voices, you know,' is code for people with no relevant experience whatsoever going into politics, and it's not in and of itself a thing to be cheered. Total lack of relevant experience is not absolutely always a disqualifier, but it does at the very least need to be offset by conspicuous talents and skills of the right kind - like, for instance, being able to talk in an adult way in public. Caroline Kennedy is 51 years old and a lawyer, and she talks like a teenager. So - she has no relevant experience, and she's remarkably bad at talking in public, and the only reason to suggest her at all is because she is a Kennedy. Hmmm...that reminds me of something...what could it be...Oh yes, it's the current president. And even he doesn't say 'you know' every five words like a high school kid.

In my book, her being a Kennedy is a reason not to appoint her, and also a reason not to vote for her, just as in my book Hillary Clinton's being a former president's wife was a very strong reason not to vote for her. I detest this nepotism thing we've got going and I wish people would stop encouraging it. I don't want a Kennedy dynasty or a Clinton dynasty any more than I want a Bush dynasty; I don't want any damn dynasty.

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