I was talking with my wife about the appointments Obama has made thus far, and while we both agree that the choice of experienced people is a good thing, a wise move in general, we're also both a little perturbed by the Clintonian shape this administration is taking. Another Kennedy in the Senate, maybe Jeb Bush too? Jesse Jackson Jr.?
Daniel Larison has these words of wisdom:
Many Palin critics mocked her selection as something out of a cheesy Disney movie; Caroline Kennedy’s advocate in Ruth Marcus is openly declaring her desire to have Enchanted performed in the Senate.Now this made me laugh (I thought Enchanted was excellent, by the way) but isn't it true? And on that note, have we begun electing mere caricatures? Palin the down-home mom's mom from Alaska; Kennedy the princess; Obama the savior; McCain the soldier....perhaps we've been doing this all along, I'm not sure. I've only been voting this century, really.
Well let's read a bit of Marcus's post:
What really draws me to the notion of Caroline as senator, though, is the modern-fairy-tale quality of it all. Like many women my age -- I'm a few months younger than she -- Caroline has always been part of my consciousness: The lucky little girl with a pony and an impossibly handsome father. The stoic little girl holding her mother's hand at her father's funeral. The sheltered girl, whisked away from a still-grieving country by a mother trying to shield her from prying eye.How romantic.
Ross responds quite aptly:
This is, of course, a pretty good distillation of the case against dynastic politics: Namely, that it transforms the business of republican self-government into a soap opera, in which the public/audience thrills to the "intriguing subplots" involving a President's daughter, a President's wife, and a Governor's son who happens to be the President's daughter's sister's ex-husband ... and sighs, enraptured, at the "fairy tale ending" when the President's daughter grows up to have a Senate seat handed to her as a reward for having endorsed the President-elect.Now, admittedly, this would be less aggravating if it were simply a call for Caroline Kennedy to run for the US Senate. One can choke down dynastic politics if they also happen to be the will of the electorate. When discussing appointments however, meted out by Governors, to one of the most important political positions in the country, one cannot merely shudder and write it off as silly. Thankfully such minds as Douthat's and Larison's and many others are working hard to cast this as the dangerous societal tendency it seems to be becoming.
It's not "girly", writes Douthat of Marcus's moment of self-deprecation, it's an embarrassment.