General Political DiscussionCalGal -- Friday, August 02, 2002 -- 05:03:48 AM
What's the political news of the day?This thread is tagged: politics
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Grover Norquist proposes a constitutional amendment to keep Americans from running for public office on their family names: "A dynastic disease in American politics"
As Norquist notes, his proposed amendment would not prevent Hillary Clinton from running for the presidency nor would it have prevented George Bush from running seven years ago (nor, for that matter, will it prevent, if it is passed, Jeb Bush from running in 2012 or 2016). So what's the point?
Right. That's a huge problem in American politics.
Let's see an amendment barring candidates from using their own money.
Yeah, because so many of the super-rich are in politics, as opposed to familial political lines.
If all men are created equal, how could spouse, sibling or child of an office holder be less equal? Plus
Interestingly, we don't even have to pass this amendment. If it's that important to you, don't vote for the person. And it's even more versatile! When it's less of a problem you can allow it, and when it's critical you can vote based on it! Amazing!
I'm glad the amendment process is so involved and difficult. 90% of these proposals are asinine.
We have qualifications to public office in which this isn't a problem.
Why exclude non-Americans (and those U.S. citizens not born in America)? Aren't they equal?
Why exclude the young? Aren't they equal?
Why have term limits? Don't they prevent fair electoral competition?
Yet no one I know seriously thinks these limits keep us from maintaining our ideals.
The fact that these limitations have to be laid out in the Constitution, and that additional ones require going through the amendment process, demonstrates A) how serious we take these things, and B) how minimal we want to keep the restrictions on who can run for public office.
I think imposing more of them, especially one as stupid as not being allowed to run because of who birthed you or who you're related to, is undemocratic. Unsurprising, given it's a putz like Norquist.
This is a circular argument. We take these things "seriously" because they are in the Constitution. (Thus the things not already in the Constitution shouldn't be taken seriously?)
I can turn around and simply say that the fact we can amend the Constitution shows the Founding Fathers knew they wouldn't get it right in the beginning and wanted succeeding generations to have the ability to adopt other "serious" limitations.
I was going to say that it would have prevented Jean Carnahan from taking over Mel Carnahan's seat, but I looked him up and he wasn't an incumbent. But I suppose if he had been and had died during the campaign, his widow couldn't have taken his place if this amendment were in effect. Wasn't there another instance where a senator's widow ran for his seat after he died and was elected?
I think the problem with the amendment is that it's basically toothless (although it would prevent things like Duncan Hunter's son succeeding him in his congressional seat next year).
Norquist seems to think the purpose of the amendment should be symbolic. I don't think we ought to go through so much trouble for symbolism.
X-posted with Alice...
I think so, but I can't remember who or when.
But Alice said she looked Ms Carnahan up and it wasn't the case that her husband was an incumbent.
Right; Ashcroft was the incumbent. Mel Carnahan was the governor of Missouri. He ran for US senator and died 3 weeks before the election, and it was too late to take his name off the ballot. The lieutenant governor, who stepped in to take Carnahan's place as governor for the rest of his term, announced that he would appoint Jean Carnahan as senator if people elected Dead Mel. And that, my children, is how Ashcroft lost to a dead guy.
In the House, 36 women were elected to fill vacancies caused by the death of their husbands. Fifteen were reelected.
In the Senate, nine women have been appointed to serve out the term of a husband who died, and one daughter was appointed to serve out the term of her father who resigned (Murkowski) to run successfully for Governor. Three of the ten were subsequently reelected.
Margaret Chase Smith of Maine was elected to her late husband's seat in the House, and then was elected to the Senate, serving there for 24 years (the longest a woman has served).
Some people may recall Maurine Nueberger of Oregon who won a special election to fill the remaining term of her late husband's seat, defeating the man who had been appointed to fill out the term. (She had been a successful politician in her own right, serving in the state legislature.) She filled out the remainder of her husband's term and was reelected, serving in the 1960s.
Sala Burton filled her husband's seat.
This proposal is just too damn dumb to laugh at.