To readers unfamiliar with the one-party domination of Massachusetts politics, Paul Kirk is not exactly a household name. An old friend of the Kennedy family, he was appointed by our governor as an interim replacement for the late Senator Ted Kennedy after a highly partisan political squabble that was resolved by his agreeing not to run in the subsequent special election.
He also had to agree not to endorse any candidate in that election, lest the power inherent in his incumbency unduly influence some voters. Now -- in direct contravention of the resolution that got him the job -- the senator has publicly endorsed the Democratic candidate, Martha Coakley. Not content with seizing the moral low ground, he dismissed entirely-justified Republican criticisms by averring that his views were no surprise to anyone; hardly the point and hardly a defense of such blatant dissing of the legislature. He may well argue that the operative resolution was -- in fact -- non-binding, but this is a mealy-mouthed evasion, not likely to satisfy the ever-vocal critics of the Kennedys in particular and of us Massachusetts Democrats in general.