Posted by: williamjsykes | January 2, 2009

Caroline Kennedy – Politics of Change and the Democratic Establishment

I consider myself something of a moderate voter who voted for Obama past election. I did so mainly because I didn’t buy the presentation of McCain as a “maverick” after a series of manuavers -including the nomination of Sarah Palin as Vice Presidential candidate, something that looks more like a practical joke in retrospect- that seemed to be a gesture to appease groups with radical or inherently dangerous ideologies, a la evangelicals, remaining adherents of neoconservative foreign policy, and so forth. Nonetheless, shortly after Obama’s victory that undoubtedly marked a colossal degree of progress in American political history, I was rather appalled to see the Democratic establishment acting contrary to their platform of “change,” something many if not most Americans find necessary after years of debacle under the Bush Administration.

Enter Caroline Kennedy, one of quite a few remnants of political dynasties (e.g. Tafts, Kennedys, Bushs, Lodges, Rockefellers, Clintons) in American history. A heir apparent to the royal line of JFK and Jackie O, Kennedy boasts an enormous degree of connection and support amongst the establishment of the Democratic Party and a largely undistinguished career as an attorney. While Kennedy’s alleged incompatability is to a much lesser degree than her GOP counterpart in 2008 (You Know Who), the practice of appointing a rather obscure and yet unproven figure -who nevertheless is well-liked within party establishment- by a party that ran under the platform of change and reform, seems to be objectionable if not entirely abominable.

As a President-Elect in these challenging times, Barack Obama will have to not only combat opposition from the increasingly defensive Republicans (i.e. Richard Shelby of Alabama) but also with a horde of party loyalists and borderline radicals within the Democratic Party. While I will abstain from discussing other specific issues now for the sake of brevity, I’d say that the current Senate replacement issue and Caroline Kennedy’s run as an appointee (thus not a candidate) somewhat tells the American populace that should Obama be remembered as a FDR-esque figure who raised his nation from the verge of misery, he will have to confront his own party and its establishment as well as a broad omnibus of opposition that will emerge as a reaction to the President-Elect’s reform policies.


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