“Dynastic politics.” Should conservatives oppose political “primogeniture” even if the prospective candidate merits consideration.
First, I want to apologize in advance to those who may find this diary somewhat rambling. It’s probably because I’m still working through the problem, and there are several overlapping issues.
Note: I’m well aware that the precise definition of “primogeniture” refers to the medieval right of the first-born son to inherit the throne. I’m adopting the term here to describe how long serving politicians attempt to position family members to “inherit” their seat.
Conservatives have long wondered if we would ever truly be rid of the Kennedys. Ted was bequeathed his dead brother’s senate seat by the voters, and a multitude of Kennedys have inflicted themselves on the public ever since; with their ability and intellect seemingly diminishing with each generation. The finest moment of Scott Brown’s campaign was when, during a debate, he challenged the assertion that it was the “Kennedy seat.” He brilliantly replied it was the “people’s seat, and from that point on, Coakley was toast.
The left is primarily guilty of practicing dynastic politics. Bill is attempting for the second time to stick us with Hillary, and yet he stills finds time to muse that “Chelsea would make a great president some day.” Obama was barely inaugurated before we heard the demented idea that Michelle would also be a good president.
Mario begat Andrew, and NY is still suffering. Pat Brown produced Gov Moonbeam, and California is much the worse for it. Notice the pattern here. Democrats really do find elections to be pesky little annoyances.
And of course, there is the Daley dynasty in Chicago.
And while I’m at it, here’s a prediction. Despite recent comments, Harry Reid isn’t running again in 2016. By saying he is, he’s frozen the race. After the GOP takes the Senate in 2014, Reid won’t be able to remain as minority leader. Schumer and Durbin will fight it out. Instead, Reid will retire shortly after (sadly, his wife is quite ill, so he has a valid, and somewhat “face-saving” rationale) and his son will jump into the race.
For several hundred years, European royal families attempted to cement alliances, and perpetuate themselves, by carefully arranging marriages. Though oddly, when Democrats attempt to do the same, it hardly ever works out. The Cuomos attempted an alliance with the Kennedys, and that union resulted in multiple affairs, and the wife’s suicide.
Barbara Boxer peddled her daughter Nicole off to the Clinton’s, sentencing the poor lass to be the wife of Tony Rodham, Hillary’s brother. Babs obviously thought she’d finally made it to the big leagues; but alas, her daughter refused to accept her fate, and divorced the despicable cad after a few years.
It’s different with Republicans. I can’t ever recall any remote hint of a groundswell for Mamie, or Pat, or Nancy, or Barbara, or Laura. Curiously, (or not???) the one GOP spouse that the left seemed to embraced was Betty. Maybe it’s those inside-the-Beltway demons they can relate to….
Bush 41 didn’t win the WH in in own right. Rather it was with the hope of a third Reagan term that he was elected. And he proceeded to squander the overwhelming support of the voters after Desert Storm, in a few short months by breaking an unequivocal pledge not to raise taxes. And yes, if Perot hadn’t entered the race, he’d have won easily. But if GHWB had kept his promises, Perot would never, despite all his millions, have found any traction with the voters.
I supported Bush in 2000, both against McCain, and obviously against Gore. Yet I always felt that it was somehow wrong, that it didn’t sit well, that we should be electing the son eight years after the father. Was there no one else? Image if Bush 41 had won a second term. Would his son have tried for the WH in 1996?
And since then we’d had to deal with talk of Jeb, and George P…and I think there are another few floating around there.
One of the most striking areas of disagreement among Red Staters has to do with term limits. I believe the overwhelming majority here would like to see them for Congress. Yet a number, including many of the front page writers and Mods, are opposed to them, believing that elections are the only means of imposing term limits.
Request: I wish RS would do a poll…see what the readers think.
Which brings me to my original question:
I live now in Florida, in the Tampa Bay area, having moved here from NY shortly after my congressman, Gus Bilirakis, was first elected. By most measurements, he’s been a reliable conservative voice in the House. Indeed, his office has been very helpful, and responsive, in assisting both myself, and a friend of mine, in resolving matters with various federal agencies.
He was first elected immediately after his father, Mike, who had held the seat for 24 years, retired. Again, I’ve seen nothing that I can fault him for as my representative, but I also don’t liked it that he “inherited” the seat. And I can’t help thinking that perhaps there’s someone better out there; possibly a more articulate conservative voice. Bilirakis has since been re-elected three times, with virtually no opposition, and at age 50 he’s likely to exceed his father’s time in the office.
How can we as conservatives be comfortable with the idea that two people, father and sun, can hold the same seat for more than half a century.
This week we heard the news that Rep Bill Young, from nearby Pinellas county, was retiring next year, after 44 years in the House. When asked who might succeed him, he opined that “either his wife, or his son, would be a good choice.” I can’t begin to describe how angry that statement made me. I detest that mentality.
Young hasn’t been a true conservative. He’s a lifelong appropriator, and just look at how big EVERYTHING in Washington has become during his time in office, much of which he voted for.
So here’s the question, the dilemma. I know absolutely nothing about the son. But I think he’s a lock to succeed his dad. Heck, some voters may even think it’s the same person….
But even if the son is a 100% clone of Ted Cruz, should conservatives be supporting him for the same seat held by his dad.? How can we be comfortable with it. It creates an image, a sense of entitlement. Let him move to another district, and run on his own name and merits.
We see this happening more and more; long serving politicians attempt to pass on the seat. The founding fathers feared creating another royal class in the new nation. Yet we’re well on the ay to doing so. It’s wrong. It’s something that conservatives should oppose on principle.
And it’s why we need term limits for Congress.