JOHN KERRY

JOHN KERRY

We all know — Don’t we? — what the Democrats in Congress would be saying if it were Republicans who were trying to change a term-limit law to assure passage of legislation. And they’d be right. The campaign in Massachusetts to legislate a Democrat into the Senate by giving the governor the power to appoint a replacement for Edward M. Kennedy is unseemly, a terrible example of governance.

I am in the camp that believes that health-care reform is long overdue and that it should be passed while the Obama administration and the Democratic majorities in Congress — such as they are — are in place. But I can’t stomach the desperate measure now in the works in Boston, an act of expediency that should embarrass everyone involved — including Sen. John Kerry, who is promoting it.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG

This measure is of the same stripe and odor as the action taken last year by the New York City Council to alter the law that would have prevented Mayor Michael Bloomberg from running for a third four-year term. Bloomberg, who asked for the change, signed the bill himself with nary a blush.

Although it’s none of my business, I don’t object to Bloomberg serving as mayor another four years or, for that matter, another eight years. But the law should be changed based on some intrinsic principle, not based on the near-term needs and desires of a politician or a political party.

MITT ROMNEY

MITT ROMNEY

As for Massachusetts, the hypocrisy of what is under way there is astounding. The executive power to make an appointment to a vacant Senate seat was rescinded five years ago by the Democratic majority in the legislature in order to prevent Republican Gov. Mitt Romney from filling the seat if John Kerry had been elected president.

It should go without saying that self-interest is the worst motive for changing the law. The grim implication of these shenanigans is that Congress is unable to function except as a partisan cock-pit and that there is not enough political leadership or political will in the legislature or the executive department to overcome the extremism and bullheadedness. A fine nation we have become if we can reform a broken health system only by sleight-of-hand.

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