Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Last Lion Is Gone: Ted Kennedy 1932-2009

No one in the last 47 years has fought harder for the average American than Ted Kennedy. That's how long he was in the Senate. He will be missed.

Update: It's past 2 a.m. in Boston and the Globe hasn't quite caught up yet to the news. But they know. They've known for months. See this long piece on Ted Kennedy.

2nd Update: Here's the Boston Globe finally on Ted Kennedy's death.

I've been looking for someone to remind us who Ted Kennedy was. Here's a couple of paragraphs from David Lightman's article on McClatchy:
He was one of history's most towering senators, a skilled lawmaker who crafted scores of statutes that helped how children learn, how doctors treat the sick and how workers are paid and protected.

“He was the Henry Clay of the 20th Century. He got the job done,” said Thomas Whelan, associate professor of social science at Boston University, citing the “Great Compromiser” of the mid-19th Century.

3rd Update: Turkana of The Left Coaster has this:
When I was a teenager, in the 1970s, if you wanted to research the issue of national health care, you consulted the Congressional Record, and ended up quoting Senator Ted Kennedy. If you wanted to research alternative energy, you consulted the Congressional Record, and ended up quoting Senator Ted Kennedy. if you wanted to research labor issues, human rights, poverty, peace, immigration, and just about any other important issue, you consulted the Congressional Record, and ended up quoting Senator Ted Kennedy.

There more at The Left Coaster. Jeralyn of Talk Left has been humming "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" all day.

S.W. Anderson of Oh!Pinion wrote an apt line:
...throughout his seven and a half six-year terms Kennedy was what a great senator should be: a lobbyist for those who could never afford a lobbyist...

I've been reading a fair number of editorials. I'm tired of hearing that Kennedy was a flawed man. He was no more flawed than any number of Republican senators, governors, government officials and a president or two whose behavior is quickly forgotten in the media. The difference, to mention only one, is that Kennedy got things done. We're a better nation because of him. In Washington, only a handful of today's Republicans can say the same, and their record is dwarfed by Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Somewhere among all the posts I've written, I think I quoted my grandfather, a Republican, by the way. He wasn't like today's Republicans, though. He had a simple philosophy: "The measure of a man is not how much he takes, but how much he gives." There aren't many men and women who have lived up to that as well as John, Robert and Ted.


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