August 28, 2009

It's absurd to use Teddy Kennedy's death to push the health care bill.

First, a collection of clips:
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.

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?
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.

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.

122 comments:

mccullough said...

The problem here is that Ted Kennedy was not beloved by the American people, he was beloved by his colleagues.

His colleagues also are not beloved by the American people. I'm betting his colleagues will best honor his memory by holding on to their Senate seats until death, which won't happen if they pass a healthcare reform bill.

alan markus said...

Considering that the current health care bills are "bloated" up anyway (1000+ pages and counting), if passed, it would be appropriate to name it after Ted Kennedy.

Lem said...

A dead men passing a dying bill that may lead to death panels?

Good lord..

Werent the republicans declared dead?

Bruce Hayden said...

One problem with calling it KennedyCare is that the late Senator got the best treatment that money could buy. Likely better than those limited to Medicare could acquire. And even more likely, far better than they could expect under the proposed legislation. No Death Panels for a Kennedy (or at least of his generation - apparently the extended family is so prolific that they are running out of money, since few of them apparently have real jobs either).

Some wag the other day suggested Obama/Kennedy Care (OK Care), and that was preferable to Kennedy/Obama Care (KO Care), which might bring to mind the Death Panels that have the seniors so worried.

garage mahal said...

How long before we hear Obama pulled the plug on grandpa so he could ram this health care bill through?

rdkraus said...

So many big bills and laws have hyphenated names. I'm thinking:

The Kennedy-Kopechne Health Care Act.

Got a ring to it. No?

Bruce Hayden said...

A dead men passing a dying bill that may lead to death panels?

They may though attach his name to the bill.

The law that I still have to routinely deal with is the Sonny Bono (aka Mickey Mouse) Copyright Term Extension Act (or something like that). It was nice having someone in Congress who had a serious interest in IP, but I really don't like the litigation passed in his name. I was frankly surprised at his knowledge of IP, given that he had been married to Cher, etc. But he really did understand it, better at the time than probably anyone in Congress.

Bob_R said...

If we destroy the US drug companies it is much less likely that an obese alcoholic will live to serve in the Senate for over 40 years.

Bruce Hayden said...

Considering that the current health care bills are "bloated" up anyway (1000+ pages and counting), if passed, it would be appropriate to name it after Ted Kennedy.

It is going to be hard to beat that post.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

It's absurd to use Teddy Kennedy's death to push the health care bill

Not if you're desperate and have nothing else to fall back on. You are witnessing the death throes of the Democrat health bill.

Lem said...

and another thing.

It’s a little too late for makeup.

This will be ObamaCare until the day it dies.

The condescension of these people knows no bound.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Shit. It's like naming a new line of cutlery after Charles Manson.

KennedyCare is a health care plan that will provide Americans with less care than Ted Kennedy received.

How about DeadTedCare? With ChappaQuickCare Walk-In Clinics?

Big Mike said...

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.

Except that one of the things that the political establishment did in Jack Kennedy's name was to escalate the Vietnam War.

David said...

"With ChappaQuickCare Walk-In Clinics?"

Swim In.

Lem said...

I don’t mean to beat a dead horse but ;)

But when Reagan died the death was treated with dignity and respect, same with Ford.

Have the democrats no decency?

Are there any boundaries these people wont cross?

The Drill SGT said...

Except that one of the things that the political establishment did in Jack Kennedy's name was to escalate the Vietnam War.

Lest not we forget,

- JFK was killed by a Marxist
- RFK was killed by an anti-Israel Palestinian

So it wasn't right wing nuts in either case.

bagoh20 said...

I wish the media could put it as balanced as Ann did.

Dead men make bad law.

Lem said...

From now on if an important piece of legislation gets in trouble are we going to have people calling to check up on Bird?

How ya doing senator? are you taking your medicine?

How is your prostrate?

Maguro said...

A bill to develop a floating car would seem more appropriate.

Alex said...

I piss on his grave. In fact I'm going to my old state of MA and shout that at the top of my lungs in Worchester.

PatCA said...

What big legislation was passed after JFK was killed?!

Here we have a millionaire getting the best care money can buy, and we are supposed to our middle class pennies so his ilk can pass it on to their supporters? I think not!

Here's a deal: whatever money Teddy leaves to the poor for medical care we will match.

Alex said...

I hope he rots in hell forever and ever and ever!!!!

traditionalguy said...

It is always a hoot to here Gergen giving the Republican view on these talking heads shows. Gergen quit being a Republican at least 30 years ago.

Bad Penny said...

JFK was replaced by LBJ, who knew how to get legislation passed. Is there anybody in the current administration with that skill?

Jeremy said...

How long before we hear Obama pulled the plug on grandpa so he could ram this health care bill through?

Now that would be reaching across the aisle!

-The Other Jeremy

LarsPorsena said...

I've gotta' hope that ,with an assist from the MSM, the Dems go full throttle for a Wellstone redux funeral.

m.a. said...

"Senator Kennedy's death will inspire his colleagues in Congress to find a way to pass health care reform." Perhaps that means Congress will find a way to come to consensus to get something, i.e., the Kennedy pragmatism of keeping partisan ideals while finding consensus - not to be confused with the Obama pragmatism is bi-partisan rhetoric with partisan action.

Synova said...

I have a question.

WAS Kennedy some sort of driving force behind health care reform?

I suppose that he did have his various pet projects, but was that really one of them?

Marcia said...

"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."

This has to really piss Bill Clinton off, the idea that he never was a torch-bearer.

Old Dad said...

Why Kennedycare will never, ahem, surface. For what is He best remembered, and for what will the loyal opposition gently remind us of?

It won't go swimmingly for the Dems. There's just too much water under the bridge. We're drowning in debt as it is. The legislation will suffocate in committee. Blue Dogs are already gasping for air at the August Townhalls. No, this legislation is sunk, DOA. Those who vote for this anchor will be seen skulking away from the scene of the accident.

Marcia said...

"I've gotta' hope that ,with an assist from the MSM, the Dems go full throttle for a Wellstone redux funeral."

In terms of funeral spectacle, I expect:

Kennedy::Wellstone =
Michael Jackson::Karl Malden

Peter V. Bella said...

It is absurd to use Ted Kennedy's death for anything other than what it is- well deserved and too late. He should have died in prison. Let us use this time to mourn Mary Jo Kopechne instead. She at least tried to make a difference in the world as a teacher.

Synova said...

Something about cancer research in Kennedy's name would make sense and be appropriate... if people want to honor him. But this is just political convenience, isn't it?

Kennedy dying doesn't suddenly make a bad idea transform to a good idea.

And I think that Althouse is right about the fact that in the end... we all die. Kennedy was 77. There is nothing shocking, or unexpected, or particularly tragic in living 77 years and then dying of a disease we all found out about months and months ago.

But even if Kennedy was a handsome young man struck down by cancer in his prime, or killed in a plane crash, or assassinated...

It STILL would not transform a bad idea into a good idea because it happened.

John Lynch said...

We;re not all boomers. Most of us really don't care that much about Kennedys.

Big Mike said...

@Synova, the short answer to your question is "yes." Ted Kennedy had been pushing for healthcare "reform" (meaning single payer) since the earliest days of his Senate career.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

You're so cagey, Ann. I can never tell how you really feel.

"It's only sad in that it's sad we're all mortal" made me laugh.

Rialby said...

There was a man from Hyannis
who showed up late in pajamas
They went down and saw
the girl in the cah
After that, his wife went bananas

Joe said...

But when Reagan died the death was treated with dignity and respect, same with Ford.

Selective amnesia must be a wonderful thing.

Lem said...

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.

I could see when John F Kennedy JR died a push for a Kennedy Preserve our Blonds Act ;)

jaed said...

Ted Kennedy had been pushing for healthcare "reform" (meaning single payer) since the earliest days of his Senate career.

Except when Nixon prposed it, IIRC.

Chase said...

It is absurd to use that phenomenally mundane event to push and prod us to take political action.

And yet, they will try.

It is always amazing to me how the left sees no problem with labeling conservative administrations "Big Brother" after Orwell's "1984", but yet misses the point of the methods of Big Brother - "reframing". Our liberal friends believe that any issue can be sold to the public if the definitions and "framing" are done correctly.

Which of course means that words mean different things when the left wants them to: "hate", "racist", "marriage". For a group of people who's politicians love to use the phrase "I believe in the wisdom of the American people", it is ironic to find that they don't believe enough in that wisdom to let American's decide on the merits alone.

Freeman Hunt said...

The problem here is that Ted Kennedy was not beloved by the American people, he was beloved by his colleagues.

I think that's the key to the disconnect. The media and the politicians think Kennedy's death is this incredibly momentous event by which we could measure political time. But the reaction of the man on the street seems to be, "Oh, a Senator died? Sad. Hey, I have this hilarious YouTube video of a dog to show you..."

Aside from my friends who are political hobbyists, I haven't heard anyone even mention Kennedy's death. Not the liberals. Not the conservatives. And yet, it is dominating the news and the political talk.

Chase said...

Another example of how the Democrats have no shame.

From the Democratic Congressional Committee last March:

Today Rush Limbaugh yet again crossed the line saying: by the time the debate on President Obama's health care plan is over, "it'll be called the Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care bill.” It is outrageous to demonize a patriotic Senator who has spent his life fighting so that every person has the opportunity to live the American dream.

bearbee said...

It's absurd to use Teddy Kennedy's death to push the health care bill.

Politics - Theater of the Absurd.

Or is it Theater of the Self-Absorbed?

hdhouse said...

Wow alex....by your comments and stuff I'd guess you are kinda a worthless little prick.

TRO said...

"Democrats are saying respect for Kennedy could change minds now. National sorrow has created political momentum before."

Where's the national sorrow? I only see it among Dem leaders, the liberals of Mass, some Kennedyophiles, and from a few of the tourists in shorts who made a mistake and got in the wrong line while visiting the Kennedy library.

LarsPorsena said...

"....Aside from my friends who are political hobbyists, I haven't heard anyone even mention Kennedy's death. Not the liberals. Not the conservatives. And yet, it is dominating the news and the political talk."

Trenchant observation.

All the talk around the water-cooler concerns the dismal economy, the crap labeled as health care reform, the kids returning to school, football season, the California kidnapping, Little League World Series....Ted's death isn't on John/Jane Doe's radar.

Lem said...

The use of Kennedys death for political purposes went from demonic to angelic in about 5 months.

How long does the planet have to live again?

tim maguire said...

CHETRY: To honor his memory, could lawmakers find the inspiration to reach across the aisle and get health care reform passed?


Absolutely, let's ram though a mega-billion dollar society altering reform of uncertain consequence that most people don't want as a tribute to a rich privileged old man who recently passed away of natural causes after a long blessed life.

How Chetry must despise the American people to wish them manipulated and used so, a blank slate to hang symbols in front of, damn the consequences. Thanks Chetry. I'll remember this.

wv: dolts

really!

mrs whatsit said...

Consider the difference between the medical care Ted Kennedy received while he was dying and the medical care Mary Jo Kopechne received while she was dying. Then consider the reason for the difference. That anybody could suggest with a straight face that this man's name belongs anywhere near a health care plan goes well beyond irony into farce.

Doyle said...

Whenever I want to know what's absurd and what isn't, I turn to Ann Althouse.

Roger J. said...

What this montage of talking heads (the cerebral kind or the penile kind remains in play) trying to fill air time--As McCulllough points out except for the far left, the voters of MA and some in the Senate, this Kennedy carries no magic.

Moreover, from a standpoint of votes, the dems are down one vote, and from a standpoint of committee chairmanship, the health committee goes to Dodd or Milkuski--Two real losers without even the "magic" of the kennedy name. Finally health care is opposed by a plurality of the american people.

Nope naming it Kennedycare is a loser on top of a loser. But by all means, I hope the dems try it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We;re not all boomers. Most of us really don't care that much about Kennedys.

I'm a Boomer, and I think the Kennedy's can't get off of the stage quick enough. I'm sick of them and all of the damned entitlement mentality that they have.

In fact, I wish all of the stale left over 1960's Boomers would just shut up with their worn out and broken utopian idealism and go away. I thought that in the 1960's pretty much also.

garage mahal said...

If Kennedy was a philandering drunk who made rude jokes I'm not sure why he wouldn't be welcomed in the Republican party.

Doyle said...

LOL. Maybe the jokes weren't racist enough.

Chase said...

Good old Doyle . . .

Doin' drive-bys today are we? Shootin' the shotgun and then hiding around the corner to see if it hit anything?

If you had anything on the naming of the Kennedy Bill you'd use it.

But, again, you don't. You got nuthin'. So you hide.

Must be hard being you.

Eric said...

I have a question.

WAS Kennedy some sort of driving force behind health care reform?


The answer to that question is kind of amusing. Kennedy is the senator most responsible for the defeat of the universal health care plan Richard Nixon proposed, presumably because Nixon was a Republican.

So you could say but for Kennedy we may have had national health care almost forty years ago.

Doyle said...

You got nuthin'. So you hide.

This is the kind of manliness that too many blog comments lack.

Chase said...

Is that all you got, Doyle?

For an obviously educated guy who's got a cool website (really - your politics are wrong, but you do write amusingly there), that's it?

Nothing that deals with the issue at hand?

Sad. It's a bitch when you're on the wrong side of an argument and all you can do is throw poo, isn't it?

Everyone - remember this is how liberals handle discussions when they got nothing - drive-by poo shootings.

PoNyman said...

What is with the current meme that Kennedy's time spent in the Senate was for some redemption reason? I've read it at Slate, Huffington Post, and The Atlantic. Was the guy walking into his office each day counting down the days until his redemption had come? I'm not sure looking for salvation through politics is a good way to gain redemption. What the heck would he have done differently if Chappaquiddick had never occurred? Other than not being POTUS that is. A limitation on his own goals for himself from others (the public) seems to be the biggest sacrifice.

Old Dad said...

Doyle,

I've got a sinking feeling that you're attempting irony. Irony may serve to ameliorate (like a splash of soda in three fingers of scotch) the bloated, corpulent, besotted,and might I add, florid hyperbole that surrounds the reputation of the late Senator. Alas, he, ironically, sleeps with the fishes. May the Blessed Mother Mary and her sainted husband Joseph, intercede for this whale of the Senate. And may Prof. Althouse serve forever more as a life guard, one (if you will) who attempts to save those drowning in the abyss of the absurd after taking a right turn into the political deeps.

Doyle said...

Well just because you liked my blog:

Hypothetically, what would would I "got" in an argument about the propriety of renaming the health care bill after Ted Kennedy? Conclusive scientific proof that it's appropriate? It's not that kind of a discussion.

I don't care what they call the bill. I just want it to be good and I want it passed with or without the likes of Nelson, Conrad et al. If rallying around the late senator helps get that done, I hope they do it.

The issue in this comment thread is basically that wingnuts didn't like Ted Kennedy, and they don't like liberal legislation, so obviously they won't like the idea of liberal legislation named after Ted Kennedy.

And I'm sorry to interrupt your Mary Jo Kopechne jokes with my "poo shootings."

Kirby Olson said...

Dodge should develop a car that always goes off the deep end into the murk in honor of Ted.

Kirby Olson said...

It would be about as attractive to the consumer as any of their other cars.

Chip Ahoy said...

What's weird about this is Kennedy himself strenuously opposed national health care when Nixon proposed it. So I understand from what I've read, the great compromiser was unable to reach an acceptable agreement and so did his best to shoot the proposal down and succeeded. We would already have something that would have grown naturally, as all government programs do, and by now be at the place and building upon what the Dems hope to achieve, along with a lot of unrelated and unnecessary expenses, by passing this present-day shape-shifting monument to uncertainty during a period of incalculable debt. Naming it after the person instrumental in preventing it in the first place, now there's a trait I find uniquely Democratic. I'm imagining most people for this bill-in-the-making are either too young or too ill informed or too numb to economic reality, or too willfully blindly partisan to care. On the other hand, maybe they exist by the evanescent filaments of hope.

Go ahead and name it after Kennedy. Please do. It's tantamount to singing to the choir and will fuel even more fierce opposition. Dumb asses.

For the record, I actually do respect Kennedy and I appreciate much of what he's achieved. I believe his presence in the Senate has made my country a better place, his character flaws and his apparent loyalty to party above his loyalty to his country notwithstanding.

traditionalguy said...

Ted Kennedy's death could be used in the Plan as a new Lion of the Senate lifestyle Option requiring the use of only Chivas and Young Stuff from age 67 to age 77, or death whichever occurs first, and NO medical care. The Panels set up in the Obamanation Bill can offer that option to all retirees at age 67 and see how many will chose to drop like flies and save on the FICA, plus save on Medicare a lot more money than a few cases of scotch. We can call it Teddy's Option Paliative Care. Also free cigarettes come in the plan.

MadisonMan said...

Maybe if they made a clever acronym out of Kennedy.

(Actually, I think the first comment, by mccullough, nailed it)

Chip Ahoy said...

Old Dad, stop it already, I'm gasping for breath over here.

Chase said...

No Mary Jo jokes from me, my friend.

Actually, I didn't hate Kennedy at all - just disagreed with him on most things.

I do appreciate his work on several things, as David Brooks so well points out today: community health centers, the National Cancer Institute, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Meals on Wheels program, the renewal of the Voting Rights Act and the No Child Left Behind Act. The latter law, by the way, has narrowed the black-white achievement gap more than any other recent piece of legislation.


But the issue here that Ann is talking about is the way that Democrats are seeking to use his death to promote their political choice. As I pointed out above, that is highly hypocritical for many of them, especially nancy Pelosi, when her own DCCC made outrage of the renaming health care back in March and now wants to rename it. That's up on a par with the Democrats in Massachusetts wanting to change the Senator replacement law at the last minute. Even the New York Times(!) spanked Mass Dems for that hypocrisy.

I think that's distasteful and borders on reprehensible.

Your thoughts?

Cedarford said...

"Peter V. Bella said...
It is absurd to use Ted Kennedy's death for anything other than what it is- well deserved and too late. He should have died in prison. Let us use this time to mourn Mary Jo Kopechne instead. She at least tried to make a difference in the world as a teacher."

By your criteria of life imprisonment for anyone who kills another by failure of good judgment...you'd have to support life imprisonment or death for other similar "perps" in fatal car accidents, like Laura Bush.

========================
Bob_R said...
If we destroy the US drug companies it is much less likely that an obese alcoholic will live to serve in the Senate for over 40 years.


The trend in going with universal healthcare versus older systems prevelant in America, 3rd World countries, and Muslim nations is:

1. Heathcare costs go down, life expectancy goes up.
2. Doctors mansions and drug company execs mansions decrease in size - but there are typically twice as many doctors and drugs are twice as cheap and always affordable by the masses.
3. Drug R&D under a universal health system would go from most drugs discovered by government grants to university or pure government-run research centers and similar overseas - to being most drugs discovered by government funded research, by countries with universal healthcare.
(Countries with universal healthcare in many cases exceed the healthcare innovation of the US, as a function of population. Examples include Australia, France, Japan, Israel, Taiwan, Singapore, Germany having higher medical patents per capita than America. All also manage to preserve private sector motivation quite nicely.)

garage mahal said...

"It's absurd to use Teddy Kennedy's death to push the health care bill."

Just when our lies were taking root the liberal face of health care reform up and dies. Liberals cannot have heroes! And he made rude jokes according to one person! Our shiny keys.....look at these shiny keys!....over here, not over there!

Matt said...

Using the death of a politician for political purposes is nothing new. And so the question really is to what extent is it being used.

Kennedy has been trying to get universal healthcare for 40 years. He supported the Democratic health plan. So it is only natural that this would become a political topic whereby they would rename the bill or try to get passage. However, note that passage is pretty close to certain anyway. It's only a matter of specifics that needs to be ironed out.

I think it only becomes an issue if someone equates a 'no' vote as also being disrespect for a man who just died. Then it is cheap, yes.

tim maguire said...

Maybe you're right, Doyle, but I'd like to think the real issue is that these talking heads are so irresponsibly frivolous that they would actually urge the passage of a bill not on its merits but as a tribute to someone they think deserves a tribute. If the health care bill deserves passage, pass it for that reason. Put up a plaque for Kennedy (who, as you apparently don't know, was white).

Frankly, I'm disgusted.

AJ Lynch said...

How about those Mets Doyle?

Matt said...

Chip Ahoy

Re: Kennedy opposed to Nixon's health care.
You are forgetting why Kennedy did this. He did it because he and the Democrats wanted a better plan. He had a plan of his own. And in the end they could not compromise. And about that time Watergate came along and killed the 1974 bill. [They tried in 1971 too but could not compromise either].
Link

That said, Nixon's bill was in some cases really progressive. No doubt many republicans today would call Nixon's proposal a crazy marxist plan. But, yeah, had it passed it would be interesting to see where it would have taken us into the new century.

BJM said...

Drill Sgt @12:45

Lest not we forget,

- JFK was killed by a Marxist
- RFK was killed by an anti-Israel Palestinian


Nor forget that William Ayers dedicated his communist manifesto "Prairie Fire" to Sirhan Sirhan (among others), but that doesn't fit the left's current conservative=terrorist narrative.

Actually naming the bill after Kennedy may be the perfect solution as the Dems can blame him when it either fails or costs them dearly in 2010.

Old Dad said...

Chip,

Despite the fact that our nation's abysmal liquidity could very well asphyxiate economic recovery, I will, out of deference to the late Senator and his pooch "Splash" cease to plumb the ironic depths of Doyle's genius.

BJM said...

Garage, making jokes about a woman's death for which you were responsible is not "rude", it is immoral and unforgivable by anyone with a modicum of decency.

That so many are willing to dress manslaughter up in a suit of convenient morality to win elections says more about them than Kennedy himself and we are all the lesser for it.

William said...

You can put lipstick on a corpse, but it is still a corpse. Both the bill and the sponsor deserve to be in the ground.

Cedarford said...

jaed said...
Ted Kennedy had been pushing for healthcare "reform" (meaning single payer) since the earliest days of his Senate career.

Except when Nixon prposed it, IIRC.


To Kennedy's credit, he thinks that not working with Nixon, who was committed as deeply in his own way as Kennedy was to fix a medical system Nixon judged was immoral and in serious future financial jeopardy - was Teddys greatest legislative mistake.

Nixon was committed not just for personal reasons - he thought it immoral, it that cost his brother his life because his poor farmer Dad couldn't afford the TB treatments that would have saved the kid. But it was still unreformed in America, long after most European and Asian nations followed Bismark's great reform - costing working Americans of modest means greatly 50 years later, when America was a very wealthy nation.

Nixon thought it was far more in the national character to offer healthcare to Americans who toiled in contracting jobs, small firms without healthcare, farmers and rachers working 60-80 hour weeks - than to just give it to welfare queen mommas and prisoners who never worked at all.
He also was fretting big about economists telling him that Medicare could collapse in the future unless costs were controlled..he thought the economists gloomy news of a projected 16 trillion deficit by 2010 meant it was was unsustainable. (It's 37 trillion now).

Teddy of course had an agenda of making it free to as many constituent groups as he could suck up to,,,but he later realized that he could have readily gone along with Nixon on 85% of what Nixon wanted. And worked any add-ons later if the basic package had passed Congress and worked.

garage mahal said...

Garage, making jokes about a woman's death for which you were responsible is not "rude", it is immoral and unforgivable by anyone with a modicum of decency

How do you know it's true, it seems you're assuming it is.

AlphaLiberal said...

Weird logic, Ann. His brother's death was more stunning so don't pass the bill for Teddy. The connection is not obvious.

And, yeah, the big guy died before we could overcome the defenders of the corrupt status quo (hi, all) to pass health care reform for the American people.

So let's do it for the Lion.

But, I'm sure Ann also hated that phrase "let's win one for the Gipper."

AlphaLiberal said...

Oh, look. Another Republican lying like a cheap whore over claims that health care reform would kill old people.


Nihilists, all.

AlphaLiberal said...

It's been weeks since our last Republican scandal.

Time for the Republicans to "get scandal-y".

BJM said...

Garage, Are you really that obtuse?

I am referring to your use of the word "rude" to describe what would be beyond the pale if it were true.

That you cannot see the moral distinction is not surprising.

AlphaLiberal said...

BJM, is it rude to consistently lie, exaggerate and distort what a bill does?

I'll answer that for you: very.

Is it rude to scare old people with falsehoods about Death panels?

Got it: Beyond the pale.

Deceitful, too.

AlphaLiberal said...

Really, to be preached at about morals from people who consistently show they practice none, themselves is too, too rich.

AlphaLiberal said...

For all the moralizing right wingers, please review the ninth commandment: "Thou shalt not bear false witness."

"Thou" includes even you. "false witness" includes your lies about Obama and the health care bill.

But the Ten Commandments don't apply to you, right?

cryptical said...

Wow, looks like it's time for Alpha's shift. Do you get paid by the post, or just by the hour?

I'll bet the astroturf operation for the Althouse blog have given themselves a cute name like "Truth Warriors".

Cedarford said...

Matt - That said, Nixon's bill was in some cases really progressive. No doubt many republicans today would call Nixon's proposal a crazy marxist plan. But, yeah, had it passed it would be interesting to see where it would have taken us into the new century.

Watergate derailed not only Nixon's healthcare plan, but also the 2nd item of what he planned were to be the greatest and most necessary domestic achievements of his 2nd term - a national energy plan aimed at getting us off foreign oil dependency and back to a positive trade balance.

And ironically, it wasn't Watergate or Teddy that blocked either for the next 35 years. It was reactionary conservatism and the worst of Reagan "voodoo economic theory".

To inflexible hardcore conservatives, an energy plan would trammel the right of Freedom-Lovers and the all-knowing Free Market to just naturally get what they wanted with ever cheaper oil found with "high technology" and drive whatever they wanted.
And in healthcare, Reagan pronounced it the "best in the world", with no new taxes needed to pay for it. Just more "entrepreneurs finding miracle drugs and being rewarded with wealth beyond ken for doing so".

To that faction, from Goldwater through Reagan to Palin - new ideas involving government doing anything were just anti-Freedom. And people like Nixon, Dirksen, Rockefeller, George Romney, Bush I - were not True Believers, but soft-hearted Marxists.

Hard to say where we would be with a Kennedy-Nixon Compromise that gave poor workers the right to get adequate health insurance and which worked to get control of healthcare costs. Likely not 37 trillion in the hole, at a minimum.

It is easier to project what Nixon's energy plan and determination the US would maintain a positive trade balance would do. We wouldn't have been so sucked into the ME. Each energy sector job here in the US in oil, gas, coal, nuke power adds 350,000 dollars into our economy and blocks 80,000 of our wealth being lost overseas to some of the worst regimes.

Big Mike said...

@Alpha, better go back to Daily Kos or Journolist and get better talking points. These are pretty lame, man.

BJM said...

AL, firstly wielding religious dogma as a bully club is lame and secondly, Go fuck yourself and the donkey you rode in on.

Eric said...

I see Alpha is here to do his best Baghdad Bob impression. Lies, lies, they're all lies!

Except, you know, they're not.

jr565 said...

And Alpha, it's kind of funny hearing about how the republicans are trying to scare the seniors, since its been the democrats that have been demagoging republicans for upwards of two decades now how they hate the poor, how they want grandma to eat dog food (or how after the republicans are through with them they'll be forced to eat dog food). Woman and minorities and old people always being the hardest hit. NOt to mention that people like John Edwards and his two americas spiel was nothing but demagoging "the rich" and the evil conservatives who get ahead while the poor suffer.
Not to single out john edwards of course since that has been the democratic modus operandi since the 70's any time they argued for or against any program.

And it doesn't hurt your case when people like Ezra Klein are out there suggesting that rationing of health care is in fact a FEATURE and not a bug of the new health care plan being put forth by the dems.

Beth said...

I've just realized that Althouse must have signed onto to some sort of Limbaugh contract, after being cited on his show. Suddenly, she's quoting him a few times a week.

pm317 said...

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.

I like how you say it here (in general about death).

Big Mike said...

@Beth, I think the Professor is still being "cruelly neutral." Right now it's going against your party and you don't like that. And someday she'll be beating on my fellow Republicans, and I won't like that (but I'm guessing you won't mind a bit). It makes her one of the most effective bloggers on the Net (so I keep hanging around).

BTW, I was thinking of you after I stumbled across this. Does that article resonate with your experience, or is she off base?

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth said...

Big Mike, I take your analysis in good humor, but I'm not a Democrat - overall, I try to distinguish more on liberal/conservative lines, and not Republican/Democrat. Living in Louisiana, for instance, there aren't a lot of liberal Democrats in office. They're moderate and conservative. When you hear about Blue Dogs, think of our Democrats.

I'm not registered with either party, in any case.

Althouse has more often than not jabbed at Dems, and liberals, so that's nothing new. I just think Limbaugh's a pile of dreck, and I can't help but notice he's suddenly all over this blog.

Methadras said...

It's good to see that these moronic leftists repeat their calls to action as a rehash of the same sentiment as Senator Wellstone, but without all the trappings of a marxist rally. Same message, different Kabuki. Pass a horrific form of legislation in the name of a dead man. Brilliant.

Beth said...

Thanks for the link, Mike. I read that yesterday - like pretty much everything written post-levee failure, it has some truths and lacks a complete picture. She's right about the outside press reporting hysterical rumors, and that despite everything awful that happened, overall, a huge number of people managed themselves well in the face of chaos, and in that respect, the article seems sound in making that point.

Big Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Methadras said...

Hey look everyone, it's AlphaSnivler again showing off his mighty faux indignation once again. Your drunken, toothless sot of a lion has passed. A do nothing coat-tail rider that fancied himself a stealth marxist with populist overtones. Doesn't your kind have anything better to do besides eviscerate whatever good name this man had left to become righteous in passing legislation in his name? You guys couldn't be more phony than you are right now. Your ilk disgusts me. I spit on you, feh.

former law student said...

"It's absurd to use Teddy Kennedy's death to push the health care bill."

I'm going to tell you something I've kept to myself for years -- None of you ever knew Ted Kennedy.
It was long before your time.
But you know what a tradition he is at the DNC... (There is a gentle, faraway look in his eyes as he recalls the boy's words.)
And the last thing he said to me -- "Brock," he said -"sometime, when the team is up against it -- and the breaks are beating the boys -- tell them to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Tedder...(Obama's eyes become misty and his voice is unsteady as he finishes.) I don't know where I'll be then, Brock", he said - "but I'll know about it - and I'll be happy."

AST said...

Why not call it "Teddycare" It has a cute cuddly feeling. Much better than Death Panel Care or even Obamacare.

kentuckyliz said...

The takeaway lesson from Ted Kennedy's life is:

Never let rich boys off the hook for murdering someone. They might end up to be waitress-slammin' lifelong Senators.

Goodbye, Lyin' of the Senate.

WV auseeman
(Aussie is misspelled)

AllenS said...

Sometime in the early 1990's, Ted Kennedy visited where I used to work. It was about 10 o'clock in the morning, and his face was beet red. Everyone laughed, and said he was drunk already. He was very overweight.

Hal said...

They can call it The Ted Kennedy Denied Mary Jo Kopechne Health Care Act.

TosaGuy said...

"I've just realized that Althouse must have signed onto to some sort of Limbaugh contract, after being cited on his show. Suddenly, she's quoting him a few times a week."

What Rush was really good at especially in the pre-internet days is exactly what Ms. Althouse quoted in this post -- pointing out a series of journalists or politicians all saying the same coordinated talking point.

Gina said...

The Dems are desperate. Grasping at straws. This will only "inspire" about 50 people, all of them in the beltway, all of whom already were cheerleaders for Obamacare.

I sort of feel sorry for them at this point. Wait, no I don't.

AJ Lynch said...

Kentucky Liz:

"Lying of The Senate"!

I like it.

former law student said...

AJ Lynch said...
Kentucky Liz:

"Lying of The Senate"!

I like it.

Orrin Hatch is a class act.
John McCain is a class act.

The typical Althouse commenter is not.

Revenant said...

Orrin Hatch is a class act.
John McCain is a class act.

The typical Althouse commenter is not.

I'm not classy, but I'm a better person than Ted Kennedy, Orin Hatch or John McCain.

And that's good enough for me.

lewsar said...

I'm not classy, but I'm a better person than Ted Kennedy, Orin Hatch or John McCain.

And that's good enough for me.


kinda setting the bar low there, rev...

wv: sitine, sitting whilst eating saltine crackers.

AJ Lynch said...

FLS:

Why you always defend powerful Dems astounds me.

I'm with Rev. I don't care if you acuse me of lacking class. I have a spine and I won't defend long-serving Congress critters whether they are Dems or Reps.

They are the ones who wrecked the country's finances. They have done nothing but kicked the can down the road on every tough, longstanding issue facing the country.

They deserve to be retired by the voters.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Orrin Hatch is a class act.
John McCain is a class act.


They are just pretending to be class acts.

The typical Althouse commenter is not.

We are honest. That in and of itself IS a class act.

Revenant said...

kinda setting the bar low there, rev...

I need to leave plenty of room for drinking, gambling, and chasing loose women. :)

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Any regular reader here knows that Althouse is not just a Limbaugh fan, but a subscriber to Rush 24/7.

I'm always curious about what she has to say about an issue -- she has a sense of the absurd that... dare I say it... Rush does.

Even if she's a liberal sometimes. (Was not happy about her Obama vote. But life goes on.)

lewsar said...

well, i'm with you in spirit on two of those. gambling has never done anything for me, so that's out. my wife and i celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this year, and i intend to stay happily married, so chasing loose women is out as well.

but drinking? i'm down :)

Bruce Hayden said...

To liven things up a bit, Ron Rosenbaum: How Sarah Palin Rope-a-Doped All-Too-Many Liberals:

As a liberal myself, I was amazed by the obtuseness of the liberal reaction to Sarah Palin’s “death panels” quote. They fell into a trap because all too many were blinded by their class-conscious, snobbish disdain for Palin, who, whatever else you think of her, is one cagey operator.

And in doing so they allowed that one brilliantly crafted propaganda phrase to undo the chance for some necessary health care reforms (portability of coverage, no disqualification for previous conditions, eligibility to some plan for all, subsidized coverage for the impoverished uninsured).

They couldn’t believe that Sarah Palin was capable of something as canny as that deadly “death panels” phrase. They couldn’t see that it was a metaphoric shorthand for something real. Instead they thought she was too dumb, that she meant it literally (to have seen the potential for rationed end-of-life care in the bill), and instead indulged in an orgy of disdain for her “crazy,” “ignorant” “lies” and malicious misrepresentation
.

Skookum John said...

@Cedarford: Each energy sector job here in the US in oil, gas, coal, nuke power adds 350,000 dollars into our economy and blocks 80,000 of our wealth being lost overseas to some of the worst regimes.

So will you at least give Sarah Palin credit for recognizing this fact, and opposing the Ex-Im bank handout to Petrobras?

Skookum John said...

What Rush was really good at especially in the pre-internet days is exactly what Ms. Althouse quoted in this post -- pointing out a series of journalists or politicians all saying the same coordinated talking point.

Journalists and politicians, you mean. And only Democratic politicians, of course. Echo chambers like JournoList have existed for decades, but without Rush and his successors the public would have been none the wiser.

Talk radio in the 80's and 90's was critical in exposing the Democratic Party stenographers in the national press, but that was just the equivalent of the Doolittle Raid on the Gramscian enemedia. It took the Internet to really torpedo them in the wheelhouse.

Rathergate was the Battle of Midway in this scenario, and now it's 1943 and the best is yet to come. Goodbye, fifth-column enemedia. I haven't bought a dead-tree newspaper or watched a Big Three news broadcast in six or eight years now, and can't wait to see the final annihilation of these termites.