Senator Ted Kennedy has died after roughly 18 months fighting brain cancer. He was 77. The Boston Globe, predictably, is effusive, with dozens of stories already posted.
“Teddy,’’ as he was known to intimates, constituents, and even his fiercest enemies, was an unwavering symbol to the left and the right - the former for his unapologetic embrace of liberalism, and latter for his value as a political target.
He will be eulogized as the consummate "legislator," but his legislative efforts were directed always at moving the nation to the left. His unfulfilled (to this point) passion for universal health care is yet another example. That he dedicated his life to public service is admirable. That he was wrong in so many areas on the direction the country should move is not.
As with any passing, I wish his family peace. But I think the lead paragraph in the Globe story says something worth repeating.
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who carried aloft the torch of a Massachusetts dynasty and a liberal ideology to the citadel of Senate power, but whose personal and political failings may have prevented him from realizing the ultimate prize of the presidency...
First, I think we can all come up with some of those "personal and political failings" as we ponder his life. Second, it speaks volumes that the Kennedys and the Globe considered the presidency the "ultimate prize." It is not. It is the ultimate honor.
8/26/09 1500: Paragraph 17. That's how long it took the Associated Press to mention the hypocrisy of changing the succession law back to allow Massachusetts Democratic Governor to appoint Sen. Kennedy's successor. Paragraph 17. That's a whole lot of reading to find out why the law is the way it is.