Friday, December 2, 2011

All In The Family

By now most people know that Barney Frank is (thankfully) not running for reelection.

In a just world, he would be running to stay out of prison for his role in the Fannie-Freddie scam, but that's another story.

Anyway, this is turning out to be a case of when life hands you lemons, make a Flaming Lemon Drop.

Democrats surprised by Barney Frank retirement turn to Kennedy family
Massachusetts Democrats left reeling by Barney Frank's unexpected retirement announcement Monday are seeking to take advantage of a political brand that's very familiar to state residents, and recruit Robert F. Kennedy's grandson Joseph P. Kennedy III to run for Frank's vacant 4th District seat.
What is it with Bay Staters? Do the citizens of Massachusetts feel incomplete or unfulfilled if they don't have a Kennedy representing them?

Of course, it's very early in the process. And plenty of other democrat pols are interested in Frank's old seat (sorry...). So we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Or, as the Kennedys say, "We'll drive off that bridge when we come to it."

A similar story is playing out on the local front. Long time San Antonio congresscritter Charlie Gonzalez is retiring unexpectedly.
Rep. Charlie Gonzalez’s decision to retire at the end of 2012 will end the congressional tenure of a Democratic family whose name has been synonymous with the city of San Antonio for more than half a century.
Charlie's father, Henry B. Gonzalez, was an old-time hard-core liberal who was elected to the U.S. House with the help of President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. He 'served' for 37 years. When he retired in 1998 he bequeathed his seat to son Charlie, who kept it in the family for another 14 years. His decision not to run for re-election ends over 50 years of representation by the Gonzalez family.
It also presents a political opportunity for state Rep. Joaquín Castro, twin brother of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro. The Democrat will seek Gonzalez’s 20th Congressional District seat...
The Castros are San Antonio's version of the Kennedy brothers from 50 years ago. Young, dynamic, smooth, polished, ambitious - keep your eye on them. They will choose safe districts as their home base, spend a few terms in the House to build up credibility, and then make a bid for either governor or senator - or beyond.

I'm not sure just when we as a nation became comfortable with the notion of family dynasties holding onto public offices for decades. It runs so counter to the notion of the Founding Fathers. Remember, George Washington refused to run for a third term, even though he was urged to by many of his peers, and even thought he would have easily won.

On the other hand, the backlash against FDR led to a constitutional amendment limiting presidents to Washington's two terms.

Remind me again, what party did FDR belong to...?

1 comment:

Harper said...

At the local level here we are seeing a surge in a birthright mentality, old timers vs new residents, etc. It almost seems to be the antithesis of hope and change - people not only want to go back pre-Obama, they want to revert to how things were twenty or thirty years ago, as if that will fix things.

I have been enjoying a bottle of Tuaca, mostly in the form of adult hot apple ciders, but your Lemon Drop reference reminded me how much I love a Tuaca Lemon Drop. Tuaca, so you can't walk-a.