IS DEMOCRACY UNDEMOCRATIC? There's more than an element of gamesmanship behind Democratic efforts to take away Republican governor Mitt Romney's power to appoint a new senator if John Kerry is elected president. But if the legislature approves a bill to supersede Romney's power of appointment with a special election, guess what? The voters will decide. And the last I checked, the Republicans will be allowed to put up a candidate if they so wish.
You'd never know that from reading this editorial in today's Boston Herald, though. Calling the bill "one of the most cynical, selfish, outrageous votes ever on Beacon Hill," the editorial claims that it would guarantee a Democratic victory, since only a Dem "can muster the financial resources to successfully compete within such a short timeframe."
Well, I don't know. Romney could run himself, leaving Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healy in charge. Romney has told us repeatedly that she's qualified, so it must be true. Romney could almost certainly raise and spend more money than any of the Democratic congressmen who are thinking about running. Or how about David D'Alessandro, the retiring John Hancock chief, who says he's interested in running for office? He sounds like kind of a liberal, but he could prove to be a Bill Weld-style Republican. That should appeal to the Herald's Bill Weld-style deputy editorial-page editor, Virginia Buckingham.
This much is sure: cynical though the Democratic power grab may be, letting the voters decide, rather than the governor, isn't necessarily a bad thing. Unless you're Mitt Romney - or the Herald editorial board.