Special Rights

by digby

This is one of the reasons why Tom Goeghagan needs to be in the House of Representatives. He's a lawyer who actually reads and understands the constitution as a document meant to protect democracy and freedom. The unseemliness of Governors appointing Senators has never been more obvious than it has been this election cycle, what with the Illinois and New York soap operas and the lesser known sideshow of Delaware, where they clearly wished to put in someone to keep the seat warm for the Biden heir. If this doesn't prove just how wrong it is on principle for these governors to wield such power, maybe Goeghagan's op-ed will convince you how unconstitutional it is.

Americans should vote for their representatives, period. If the person is legally elected then that should be that. Nobody gets a veto, nobody doesn't get the job because a phony deadline wasn't met, legislatures don't get to step in and offer up a different candidate. All this arcane machinery around our elections, from this appointment process to the electoral college are relics of a time when the country was a far flung frontier that made it difficult to get people in one place and one in which a good many wealthy landowners had aristocratic "special rights." Enough.

For a wonderful piece on Goeghagan, (and from what I understand Goeghagan blogging will be an ongoing feature) please check out Kathy G's post at the G Spot. Kathy knows Goehagan very well and is in a unique position to follow this campaign closely.

I only know Goeghagan by reputation and his books, which I mentioned yesterday. And that would be enough to make him a great candidate. But as James Fallows wrote in his endorsement in The Atlantic, Goeghagan actually has a day job that makes him a uniquely qualified progressive candidate:

Day by day for several decades he has been a lawyer in a small Chicago law firm representing steel workers, truckers, nurses, and other employees whose travails are the reality covered by abstractions like “the polarization of America” and “the disappearing middle class.” Geoghegan’s skills as a writer and an intellectual are assets but in themselves might not recommend him for a Congressional job. His consistent and canny record of organizing, representing, and defending people who are the natural Democratic (and American) base is the relevant point.”

If there was ever a time when the congress needed a voice like that, it's now.

If you would like to follow Goeghagan's campaign, you can go here.