August 26, 2009

Teddy Kennedy is gone.

"He was a Rabelaisian figure in the Senate and in life, instantly recognizable by his shock of white hair, his florid, oversize face, his booming Boston brogue, his powerful but pained stride. He was a celebrity, sometimes a self-parody, a hearty friend, an implacable foe, a man of large faith and large flaws, a melancholy character who persevered, drank deeply and sang loudly. He was a Kennedy.... Born to one of the wealthiest American families, Mr. Kennedy spoke for the downtrodden in his public life while living the heedless private life of a playboy and a rake for many of his years. Dismissed early in his career as a lightweight and an unworthy successor to his revered brothers, he grew in stature over time by sheer longevity and by hewing to liberal principles while often crossing the partisan aisle to enact legislation. A man of unbridled appetites at times, he nevertheless brought a discipline to his public work that resulted in an impressive catalog of legislative achievement across a broad landscape of social policy."

79 comments:

ajf said...

Finally, Mary Jo Kopechne's killer is dead. Good riddance, may he rot in hell for all eternity.

rhhardin said...

I suppose burial at sea is out of the question.

Maybe in a car.

rhhardin said...

The prepared obit seems a little overwritten.

Apparently editors don't check for that.

LoafingOaf said...

Finally, Mary Jo Kopechne's killer is dead. Good riddance, may he rot in hell for all eternity.

How did I know the first comment would be hateful? So typical.

I don't have anything nice to say about Kennedy, but I don't feel the need to say something hateful just hours after his death.

Roger J. said...

I agreed with little of what ted kennedy did or stood for--but he was clearly a man of accomplishment and I hope he rests in peace.

rhhardin said...

Kennedy's sack-of-shit persona is a reaction to 50 years of unchallenged positive spin.

Sotto voce remarks are there indicate you can't be counted on to go along with the coverage.

NKVD said...

Yet another dead sainted Kennedy. A sordid sot, an obese drunk, a whoremonger and killer. Yeah, he will be missed.

WV - onstori - what the MSM will be with the death of this horrible miscreant.

Greg Hlatky said...

Edward Kennedy will be remembered as a man who overcame an impoverished, hardscrabble upbringing to matriculate at Harvard, where he soon established a reputation for extraordinarily original thinking. Before his election in 1962 he had complied such a record of accomplishment that the voters of Massachusetts were impatient at the Constitutional age limit of 30 for senators.

When faced with a great personal crisis, Kennedy acted with such straightforward candor and courage as to embody that old adage, "Let justice be done, though the heavens may fall."

In his only run for the presidency, he laid out such a coherent vision of his reasons for seeking that office that it was only through the machinations of his opponent that he was deprived of it.

In his 45 years as a Senator, Kennedy's green-eyeshade approach to spending and careful appreciation of the Constititional restraint on the reach of the Federal government earned him the affectionate title of "The Taxpayer's Friend."

A faithful husband as well as the father of another upstanding legislator, Edward Kennedy was the embodiment of his Catholic faith. We will not see his kind again.

Pastafarian said...

Thread's over at 8 comments -- Greg wins.

Ron said...

Is it time for Jello Biafra to get the band back together?

LarsPorsena said...

He can't be dead! Just yesterday he was working the phones to get the laws of Massachusetts changed so he could hand-pick his successor.

Jake said...

At the wedding of the son of one of Ted's best friends (a former senator whose father was a really famous jock... guess who), a friend dragged me over so we could stand behind Kennedy. I asked my friend what he was doing. He said, "I want to drink next to the guy who has his own room in the Drinking Hall of Fame." Ted heard the remark... and was not amused.

The Drill SGT said...

I don't have anything nice to say about Kennedy, but I don't feel the need to say something hateful just hours after his death.

I agree with LoafingOaf

AllenS said...

If I died, and somebody told Ted Kennedy my life story, and my thoughts about politics, I'm sure he'd say, "good riddance, we're better off he's gone." I have no doubt. Kennedy was not a nice man.

TRO said...

I can't remember when I felt this much sadness at the passing of someone.

Oh yes, I remember now, Michael Jackson.

May both he and, finally now, Mary Jo Kopechne rest in peace.

jacksonianlawyer said...

Vengeance is not ours to be had, but, ultimately, it happens.

Ron -
It's been a while since I've heard Jello's name tossed around with "the band" anywhere close by. Spoken word aside, those fellas don't get along too well anymore...ain't you read nuthin?

Tom Tucker said...

Born and raised in Mahssachusetts, I cahn't say that's a Boston accent. May I ahsk that it be changed to a "made-up better than you" accent? Good riddance.

rhhardin said...

What will ye sensitive souls do about the other 9999 Americans who die every day?

Kennedy is all about going along once again with media crap, or not.

rhhardin said...

If you have a cocktail flag you could fly it at half staff in your front yard.

rhhardin said...

Or maybe fly the cocktail flag at full staff, inverted.

I'm not sure of the protocol.

Christopher said...

Crossing the partisan aisle?

"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, scoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is - and is often the only - protector of the individual rights that are at the heart of our democracy. . .no justice would be better than this injustice."

As a Catholic, I pray for his soul. Other than that, the kindest thing I can force myself to say is good riddance to bad rubbish.

vw - almin. The bitter smell of cyanide. Can't think of anything funny, though.

save_the_rustbelt said...

My first memory of politics was in 1960, and so the Kennedys dominated much of my political life.

When focused on public service, they were consistent and forceful and committed.

When focused on their own personal appetites and egos, they were self-centered and used women in a most horrible way.

Truly now, the torch is passed.

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

The lion sleeps....

"....to speak for those who have no voice; to remember those who are forgotten; to respond to the frustration and fulfill the aspiration of all Americans seeking a better life in a better land....for all those whose cares have been our concern, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die."

Edward Moore Kennedy, August 12, 1980

I'll never forget the night Ted Kennedy gave that speech at the Democratic National Convention after failing to win his party's nomination for the presidency. I was staying in a one-room kitchenette in Liverpool, NY, just outside of Syracuse. It was - and remains - the greatest political oration of my lifetime. Watching the event on a small, black and white TV I instinctively knew I was witnessing one of those sublime moments in American history that would be remembered a century into the future.

Teddy Kennedy died late last night at the age of seventy-seven. In a life that is littered with ironies, here's the biggest one of all: His three older brothers - Joe, Jack and Bobby - are eternally frozen in our imagination as the personifications of youth. How poignant that our final image of the baby of that family will be as an old man, frail and mortally ill.

An incredible realization just came to me: Teddy represented the state of Massachusetts for forty-six years, eight months and nineteen days. That is nearly three months longer than all the years his older brother Jack lived on earth. Forgive the cliche that is so overused it has become trite through repetition, but this really is the end of an era.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

garage mahal said...

Classy followers you have here Ann.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Truly now, the torch is passed.

Actually, let us hope that this torch is extinguished. We do NOT need a dynastic political class in this country. That includes Bush, Clinton, Kennedy and anyone else. Our representatives in government should be chosen based on merit and not the happenstance of birth.

When we have a ruling elite, like the Kennedy clan, we end up with people with inflated egos, no accountability and who have no connection with the people that they are supposed to be representing. They consider themselves our rulers and our betters. All the worse for them and the rest of us.

Good bye Kennedy. Judgement day at last

vw = hornized

some things just write themselves.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Classy followers you have here Ann.

You betcha garage :-0

Diamondhead said...

Classy senator you had there, Massachusetts.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Actually Ted Kennedy is a very sad figure.

How difficult it must have been to try to live up the the over inflated, iconic, glowing reputations of his older brothers Jack and Joe and the "Sainted" Bobby, when you are not much more than mediocre. In reality, they were not all that 'sainted' either, but when your family and the public make them so....it would be tough to try to force yourself into that halo.

Especially when you know it wasn't true of them and certainly wasn't fitting well on you.

No wonder he drank.

rhhardin said...

Richard the Lion Hearted got the name presumably from the lion's bravery and strength.

You're not supposed to think of the tail.

Joseph said...

Stay classy, Althouse commenters.

I thought the section Althouse exerpted was quite fair and frank--pointing out what Kennedy was and was not with deference appropriate for an obit.

rhhardin said...

The obit cited is clanky word processor prose.

You never get to Kennedy.

Randy said...

I remember being taught as a small child about manners, there being a time and place for everything, and two wrongs not making a right. Those were near-universal beliefs in the neighborhood I grew up in. Times have changed, I see.

TRO said...

"Classy followers you have here Ann."

Oh please, if this were a Republican the left would be partying like it was 1999 and wishing that he or she was burning in hell.

Take a tour of the right blogosphere and you will find most of the responses to be muted, even reluctantly respectful. Yeah, some snark, I mean he did kill a woman after all, but didn't some lefty blogger post something about comity only going so far?

MadisonMan said...

NPR (En Pee Ahh) ran the snippet of the 1980 Roger Mudd interview that in my mind (justifiably) torpedoed Kennedy's Presidential candidacy: Why do you want to be President, and he had no clear answer!

As a youngest son, I have some empathy for Teddy Kennedy. May his family find comfort and peace in the coming weeks.

And let me add to some commenters: I hope that when you die, your life is not summed up by your darkest moment.

vw: afingr (that I am wagging at you)

rhhardin said...

Imus interviews Greenfield on Kennedy player.

rhhardin said...

We need a group hug, apparently.

TRO said...

"And let me add to some commenters: I hope that when you die, your life is not summed up by your darkest moment."

Depends on what that darkest moment is and whether the person pays the price for it and expresses real regret.

Killing someone and walking away from it with little to no real acceptance of responsibility doesn't qualify.

rhhardin said...

It's not about Kennedy, but about the media control of the national mood.

And ridicule is not of Kennedy but of the media seriousness.

And some think everybody has to go along with the media.

Kennedy himself was always a clown figure. You wondered how come he got reelected, is all. But there are other clowns in the Senate, so it was an unfocussed wondering.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"Classy followers you have here Ann."

Yeah garage. I keep forgeting how solmen and respectful your side was when Reagan died. Or how your side jumped up and down with glee when Tony Snow was diagnosed with cancer.

You wouldn't know class if it bit you on the ass.

rhhardin said...

Armstrong and Getty: "So is John McCain the Lion of the Senate now?"

Hoosier Daddy said...

And let me add to some commenters: I hope that when you die, your life is not summed up by your darkest moment.

Well if that turns out to be the time I shoplifted a Mars bar from the corner dimestore when I was 12 I'd agree with you.

Then again, if I had gotten shitfaced, drove my car in a river and left my date to drown while I saved my own ass then I suppose I should expect much sympathy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I mean shouldn't expect much sympathy.

wv inglyza = The language hdhouse uses when commenting on this blog.

elHombre said...

Classy followers you have here Ann.

I think that a few counterpoints to the hypocrisy of the political class, the left wing and the MSM about Kennedy are not a bad thing.

May God rest his soul and not hold him strictly accountable for his actions in life.

WV "mogin" = Reputedly, the motto of a recently deceased politician (and many of his colleagues).

garage mahal said...

Yeah garage. I keep forgeting how solmen and respectful your side was when Reagan died. Or how your side jumped up and down with glee when Tony Snow was diagnosed with cancer..

Riiiight. Even if true which it isn't, isn't the "they did it tooooo!" so 3rd grade? Your words.

bearbee said...

Tony Snow

Hoosier Daddy said...

Riiiight. Even if true which it isn't, isn't the "they did it tooooo!" so 3rd grade? Your words.


Oh I'm not using it as an excuse garage, just simply pointing out you guys are hardly the models of compassion. Hell I yield to no one my disdain for the guy and I don't apologize for calling it like I see it, his death notwithstanding.

And if you want to deny your side wasn't cheering Reagan and Snow's death, I have a bridge in Oakland to sell you. Oh I forgot. Those bastard Asian dealers in Vegas took all your money. Never mind.

Dusty Fog said...

As someone who pretended to be a Catholic while leading the charge for abortion, I think the millions of tortured souls who where murdered in the womb might have something to say about the Senator when he steps up for judgement.

One dead secretary will not be such a big deal.

jaed said...

For some reason this morning I am thinking about an Alternate Universe Teddy Kennedy, in which Joseph Kennedy never conceived political ambitions for his descendants. No buying Senate seats, no scandals, none of the damage Teddy eventually did to the country and its ordinary people.

In that universe, Teddy Kennedy has just died after the same illness, after a long, productive, and happy life spent in some ordinary pursuit that had nothing to do with politics. Most people don't know his name and his obituary is carried in the Boston papers, not the national news. In this alternate life, circumstance never tested the weak spots in his character, and he never drastically failed in integrity. He used his many qualities for good for the people around him, not in the pursuit of power and fame. In that life, he died in old age, surrounded by family, with his brothers nearby, and no one who knew him has any cause to remember him with anything but kindness.

I'm not sure what this means, if anything. But this morning I find myself feeling sorry for the man. Many members of that family would have led far happier lives if not for the family's grasping at dynastic greatness - including Teddy. May he rest in peace and may God comfort his family and friends.

Dusty Fog said...

I felt the same way when Uday Hussien died.

paul a'barge said...

Maybe we could hang his body from the frame of one of those off-shore windmills in Cape Cod.

You remember the project that Kennedy, the fat, blustering, drunken blowhard hypocrite killed because the project wanted to build the windmills "where I sail"?

Chase said...

Garage,

Don't be a drive-by on this thread, man.

It would be good to see you man up and call the hatred expressed toward Tony Snow by the left completely wrong as well (bearbee above showed it to you here). It would give your earlier comments a shot of integrity rather than just make you look like a hateful anti-right knee-jerk.

You can decry the hate of the left without lessening your criticism of the remarks here.

Backbone or jello?

Hoosier Daddy said...

It would give your earlier comments a shot of integrity rather than just make you look like a hateful anti-right knee-jerk

Cut garage some slack. He's understandably upset over losing his shirt to Long duk Dong at Vegas.

Revenant said...

Ted Kennedy is gone.

I'm torn between "good!" and "who cares?". I mean, I used to hate the guy, but lately I've transitioned to not caring if he's alive or dead.

Decisions, decisions.

rhhardin said...

"The nation remembers Ted Kennedy. Details at 12:30."

Teaser in Limbaugh break.

Freeman Hunt said...

There was Ted Kennedy the tyrant legislator seeking to expand ruling power at every turn with no regard for Constitutional limits, and there was Ted Kennedy the man.

While I might not miss or feel much pity for the former, I do feel sorry for the latter that he died of cancer and didn't have a better life. Just like anyone who dies, I hope all the best for him beyond this life.

rhhardin said...

If you feel sorry for Kennedy the man, you're media sucker bait.

There's plenty of people you actually know who can actually use the concern.

Don't go the celebrity audience route. It's a video game, for your entertaining yourself with.

rhhardin said...

Ted Kennedy Becomes Eligible to Vote in Chicago.

There's the spirit you want.

Let the media program into that attitude.

Unfortunately the linked joke tries to improve it, but you take what you can get.

Freeman Hunt said...

RH, I have had no contact with any media aside from this blog, Twitter, and Drudge since Kennedy's death.

The concern I have for the man is the same I have for any stranger who dies.

some said...

"And let me add to some commenters: I hope that when you die, your life is not summed up by your darkest moment."

"Osama bin Laden, faithful father and advocate for Islamic causes..."

AlphaLiberal said...

Well, Freeman Hunt gets credit for showing humanity. Not so much the rest of you low-class, low brow goulish creeps.

Good God, you suck.

Freeman Hunt said...

This is how you bid adieu to someone you disagree with politically. Perfect.

rhhardin said...

The concern I have for the man is the same I have for any stranger who dies.

Do you spread it around pretty thin? 10,000 Americans die every day.

It sounds more focussed like celebrity sympathy to me.

I'm only saying it's self-indulgence, not that it isn't very common. The inclination is how the media holds audience.

It's not good for public debate.

rhhardin said...

Buckley wrote a nice obit for Hubert Humphrey, in an early National Review somewhere. An opponent and possibly a friend as well, though I don't know.

It didn't worry about his soul.

Christopher said...

"Good God, you suck."

Blow it out your ass, AL. Is your little whine supposed to shame us? Make us temper our tongues and join in the MSM fellating of Edward Moore Kennedy?

No dice. You people spent eight years doing everything but physically shooting at George Bush. As Hoosier said, you creamed your shorts in glee at the death of Reagan and at Tony Snow's cancer. You've spent years screaming and begging for Rush and Clarence Thomas to die (the name Julianne Malveaux mean anything to you?).

So frankly, you can all FOAD. Kennedy was a disgrace to the Senate, a drunk, an adulterer, a traitor who conspired with the USSR to throw an election, a moral coward and an all around loathsome human being. The only dollop of sympathy I can give him comes from his surviving his two beatified older, more talented brothers.

Other than that he was a perfect representative for the abomination calling itself the Democrat party.

garage mahal said...

t would be good to see you man up and call the hatred expressed toward Tony Snow by the left completely wrong as well .

I can, and will, to those examples on Patterico was it?

So, is it ever wrong? Wrong now and wrong then? Just wrong then?

dick said...

Then why didn't you man up then instead of waiting until you needed the rest of us to follow your lead on Kennedy.

Freeman Hunt said...

Do you spread it around pretty thin? 10,000 Americans die every day.

It's not coming out of a jar. There's a bottomless well there.

Don't you feel something of the same thing when you see, say, an ambulance rushing by? Don't you have a moment of concern for the person inside?

rhhardin said...

Don't you feel something of the same thing when you see, say, an ambulance rushing by? Don't you have a moment of concern for the person inside?

No. Ambulances go by all the time.

All the kids in the world that liked sirens have found jobs there.

Vicki however sympathizes, real audio.

Eli Blake said...

Just because I know what kind of hateful misinformation that the right puts out there, I will post this pre-emptively:

the army approached the Kennedy family about a possible burial at Arlington.

I mention this, that it was the army that first approached the family about this because I'll bet you a dollar to a can of beans that if Kennedy (a Korea-era veteran) is buried at Arlington next his brothers you can be darn sure that conservatives on talk radio and that blogosphere will claim that political pressure was brought to bear on the army and that the White House and/or Democrats pulled strings to get him there.

I'm certain that's what they will say. Nothing that involves any liberal is beyond these folks to denigrate.

Eric said...

I'm certain that's what they will say. Nothing that involves any liberal is beyond these folks to denigrate.

Well, those are the rules these days. Who was it that changed the rules? Why, it was the "Chimpy McBushitler" crowd on the left.

Kennedy was a statist, attempting to restrict my liberty at every turn. Why should I shed a tear at his passing?

David said...

For once I agree with Garage and Alpha. Ted Kennedy does not deserve a pass for his flaws, or for his despicable conduct in the Kopechne case. But we have no idea what kind of penance he may have done for Mary Jo's death, and had no right to expect that he reveal his prayers of the last 40 years to get our forgiveness. That is between the Senator and God.

Dancing on someone's grave nearly always shows the dancer in a bad light. This is not one of the exceptions to the general rule.

RIP Senator Kennedy, and condolences to those who loved him.

rhhardin said...

I blame modern education and fear of the ``Does not play well with others'' evaluation.

The wise parent would ask what the others were doing at the time.

Eli Blake said...

Eric:

I'd agree that the left may have gone a bit hyper at times with Bush but don't say we started it.

Not when some callers to talk radio (including some I listened to) actually celebrated the day Ron Brown's plane flew into a mountain back during the Clinton era. I even remember an (Albuquerque) local talk show host saying, on air, "the only thing to mourn is that the President himself wasn't on that plane with Brown."

There is nothing at all that the left said about Bush that is worse than what the right said about Clinton (in fact to this day some people still believe that the Clintons had Vince Foster and Jim McDougal murdered.)

AST said...

Rabelaisian, eh? Well, now he's a puff of smoke, like Morph the Cat.

Revenant said...

I'd agree that the left may have gone a bit hyper at times with Bush but don't say we started it. Not when some callers to talk radio (including some I listened to) actually celebrated the day Ron Brown's plane flew into a mountain back during the Clinton era

It is dumb to speculate about "who started it". People have been celebrating the deaths of their political enemies -- or in some cases *causing* the deaths of their political enemies -- for thousands of years. For example, during the 20th century leftists assassinated two Presidents they saw as too right-wing or pro-capitalist (Kennedy and McKinley) and attempted to assassinate three others (Truman, Nixon and Bush).

There is nothing at all that the left said about Bush that is worse than what the right said about Clinton

Just one obvious example of something the Left said about Bush that was worse than anything the Right said about Clinton is the accusation that he orchestrated the Iraq War to enrich his oil buddies. Accusations of rape or assassination pale in comparison to accusations of mass murder for cash.

in fact to this day some people still believe that the Clintons had Vince Foster and Jim McDougal murdered.

And 35% of Democrats believe that Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance and let them happen. That quite obvious qualifies as "worse than anything the Right said about Clinton" too, don't you think?

Revenant said...

But we have no idea what kind of penance he may have done for Mary Jo's death

We might not know what kind of penance he did, but we know what kind he didn't do.

Revenant said...

you can be darn sure that conservatives on talk radio and that blogosphere will claim that political pressure was brought to bear on the army and that the White House and/or Democrats pulled strings to get him there.

First of all, it isn't clear why you would think "the army approached the Kennedy family" negates a claim that Democrats pulled strings to get Kennedy into Arlington. The army is, after all, currently run by a Democrat.

That being said, so far as I can tell Ted Kennedy qualifies for burial in Arlington. John F. Kennedy qualifies (as a war hero and President), and the Arlington rules allow otherwise non-qualifying veterans to be buried along with qualifying relatives.

rhhardin said...

I'd have hoped Kennedy's burial could have been produced by Monty Python, for a proper send-off.

Not necessarily a car in the sea, but something equally hard, but not quite impossible, to present as serious ceremony.

There could have been an argument at the end about the eternal flame ending in a brawl and cable news cutting away.

Eric said...

There is nothing at all that the left said about Bush that is worse than what the right said about Clinton (in fact to this day some people still believe that the Clintons had Vince Foster and Jim McDougal murdered.)

What? When did people on the right compare Clinton to Hitler? Did anyone on the right ever produce a propaganda piece hit-job on their own president like Fahrenheit 9/11?

Did you miss how Bush was conspiring with the Jews and bin Laden to carry out 9/11. Something like that, anyway, I couldn't follow it very well.