Speaking of naming the bill under Ted Kennedy, we have a State-Run Media montage here, day two: pushing health care for Kennedy. Here we have John King of CNN, Jessica Yellin of CNN, Roger Simon of Politico, David Gregory at NBC, David "Rodham" Gergen at CNN, Brian Williams of NBC, Kelly O'Donnell at NBC, and Kiran Chetry at CNN all talking about the passing of Senator Kennedy and health care reform.It's absurd to expect the death of a 77-year-old political figure, who was known to suffer from a fatal cancer, to be anything like the response to the sudden, violent death of a 46-year-old President. Even assuming both men were equally beloved and even if the older man had also been President, the emotion cannot be anywhere near the same.
KING: There was a change in the political dynamic after President Kennedy's assassination. Will there be a change in the health care dynamic after his passing?
YELLIN: Senator Kennedy's death will inspire his colleagues in Congress to find a way to pass health care reform.
SIMON: If President Obama wants to carry the torch that the Kennedys had passed to him, President Obama's going to have to pass health care.
GREGORY: ...as the result of the Senator's death, because he was such a champion for health care.
GERGEN: This may open a new window for Barack Obama to bring Democrats and Republicans back to the table in Teddy Kennedy's memory.
O'DONNELL: Democrats are saying respect for Kennedy could change minds now. National sorrow has created political momentum before.
WILLIAMS: I received an e-mail today that said, "In lieu of flowers, let's pass health care reform."
CHETRY: To honor his memory, could lawmakers find the inspiration to reach across the aisle and get health care reform passed?
The murder of John Kennedy was a profound shock that had the power to reconfigure our minds. It made us want to find something positive to do in response. The death of a sick old man, who had had more than the usual allotment of years, is sad for those close to him, but otherwise is an utterly normal event, sad only in the way that it is sad that we are all mortal.
There is nothing to be done about it. It is absurd to use that phenomenally mundane event to push and prod us to take political action.