Senator Ted Kennedy dead at the age of 77
Late last night, Ted Kennedy died of brain cancer. A long-time fixture in American politics, a man with, let's say, an interesting history, and the last of the major "Camelot" figures of the Kennedy dynasty (despite, of course, there still being plenty of Kennedys around), the US Senate will be a different place without him.
Although there was very little I agreed with Kennedy about, and although I thought his views on most issues were somewhere between wrong and dangerously wrong, I never thought Kennedy to be (as I think of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid) a willing force for evil. He believed what he believed and, maybe because he came from a rich and powerful family, had somewhat less purely partisan, self-aggrandizing motivations. (Still, you'd have to recognize that his end-of-life shenanigans, trying to change Massachusetts succession law for Senators which require a 5-month period and then a special election rather than a gubernatorial appointment, were exceptionally partisan and, I'd like to think, beneath him. After all, that law is only in place because Kennedy himself pushed it when he was afraid of Mitt Romney appointing a Republican if John Kerry had won the presidency. I'm glad, however, that that sort of thing will not be what Kennedy is primarily remembered for.)
It was Ted Kennedy who I'd say is largely responsible for Barack Obama being President of the United States.
It will be Ted Kennedy whose memory the Democrats will use, like a martyr, to try to pass socialized medicine, one of Kennedy's long time goals.
And despite how wrong Kennedy was about almost everything, his passing may focus the mind of Americans on the difference between a committed liberal who was about as gentlemanly as someone in his position in politics could be versus the people running the Democratic Party today. In the interest of not going on a rant during this note, I'll refrain from characterizing those people right now...
I can't say that I will miss Ted Kennedy or his influence. He was a strong force for bad policy. But at the same time, I recognize that the country has lost something with his passing.
[For more about Senator Kennedy, this article at the Washintgon Times is quite good...]
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