Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thoughts on Ted Kennedy's Passing

Ted Kennedy has died.

While I'm not a fan of political dynasties, the US senate certainly can't afford to lose a liberal when there are so few of them.

I thought it was a mistake for Kennedy to pass the family torch to (what was obviously) a centrist Obama during the 2008 campaign. (Not that there were any other choices beyond Kucinich when it came to liberal presidential candidates at the time).

Kennedy fought hard for what he believed in and wasn't afraid to let George W Bush know that the Iraq war was dubya's Vietnam. (Just as the Afghanistan war may well turn out to be Obama's Vietnam, ironically).

While the issue of succession is currently under discussion in Massachusetts, one former Bush deputy assistant, Bradley Blakeman, might be wishing he could eat his words today after positing this past Monday - while calling for Senators Kennedy and Byrd to resign - that "We should not allow any official to rule from the grave." May you be haunted, Mr Blakeman.

Although Kennedy's life experiences were controversial, he never shirked from standing up for what mattered. And although I didn't agree with some of the legislation he supported (No Child Left Behind and the Serve America Act - to name 2 of the most recent), I did admire his gravitas and overt crankiness.

Robert Byrd has called for Obama's health care bill to be named after Kennedy. I don't know if that's fitting considering how much Obama has caved on basic liberal principles that would make American health care more affordable and available - but that's not for me to decide.

RIP. Condolences to his family and friends.

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