The New York Times reported that Ted Kennedy asked legislators in his state to pass a law so that Governor Patrick can appoint a replacement upon his death.   The way the law is currently written, the seat would be vacant until a special election can be held.  The health care vote is going to be extremely close in the Senate.   Democrats are going to need all of the votes they can and it appears that Kennedy may not be able to cast his vote.

I try to live by what I call the “pure of heart theory”.  The basic idea is to conduct oneself in a way that is true to your ideals, is not selfish, and does not abuse positions of authority that one might hold.  In other words, be honest and don’t game the system when you are in a position to do so.

Well, karma’s a bitch.  The Massachusetts law used to allow the governor to appoint a temporary replacement, which is typically how those situations are handled in most states.  That’s the way the law was until 2004.  So what happened in 2004?  You might remember that a Republican, Mitt Romney, was the Governor and John Kerry was running for President.  The state legislature tried to game the system in the event that Kerry won the election.

Quite often the “law of unintended consequences” kicks in and the likelihood seems to increase dramatically when people make decisions that aren’t pure of heart.  We need health insurance reform of some sort in this country, so it’s a shame the way this worked out.

Maybe decision-makers can take a lesson from this…. ah, probably not.


[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/us/politics/21kennedy.html?partner=rss&emc=rss


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