by Brien Jackson

I’m not sure if it’s kosher to say this yet, but Ted Kennedy (God bless him) really does need to resign his Senate seat. At this point, his erratic ability to show up for votes is something of a liability for the Democratic agenda, which would be much better served by moving the bar to 59 votes for cloture in the event Kennedy isn’t going to be able to vote regularly. Also, it’s just hard to really justify why someone who isn’t really able to carry out the job, in Kennedy’s position, should stubbornly hold onto one of only 100 positions in the Senate and be one of only 2 Senators from his state. At least in the cases of Robert Byrd and Tim Johnson there’sa certain governing rationale (both would likely be replaced by Republicans), but I really can’t see anything laudable about Kennedy’s continued presence. I understand that he wants to be around for the healthcare debate, and on some level maybe he has earned that over the course of his career, but what happens if, God forbid, he has some sort of incident during the healthcare fight and can’t cast a vote? If Franken is seated by then I guess it wouldn’t make much of a difference, but of course Kennedy could potentially be replaced by then as well.

I respect Ted Kennedy a great deal and hope he lives for quite a while longer, obviously, but given the current state of things and his current issues, for the good of the agenda, and for the country, I think he really does need to step aside. And really, bittersweet as it might be for him, wouldn’t that, advancing your cause by putting aside your own personal interests,┬áin some way be a fitting endnote for a dedicated public service?