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August 26, 2009

Kennedy
Posted by Patrick at 02:06 PM * 139 comments

Flaws and all, he was probably the greatest senator in American history. Ezra Klein:

There is an impulse to honor the dead by erasing the sharp edges of their life. To ensure they belong to all of us, and in doing, deprive them of the dignity conferred by their actual choices, their lonely stands, and their long work. But Ted Kennedy didn’t belong to all of us. He didn’t even belong to all Democrats. He was not of the party that voted for more than a trillion in unfunded tax cuts but cannot bring itself to pay for health-care reform. He was not of the party that fears the next election more than the next failure to help America’s needy. Rather, he belonged to the party of Medicare and Medicaid, the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Civil Rights Act and immigration reform. He belonged to the party that sought to advance the conditions and opportunities of the least among us. He was, as Harold Meyerson says, “the senior senator from Massachusetts and for all the excluded in American life.”
Comments on Kennedy:
#1 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 02:36 PM:

Kennedy was a better human being, I think, for learning early that he was fallible.

#2 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 02:45 PM:

May he rest in peace, and may ALL of his colleagues in Washington have the decency to Do The Right Thing, in honor of his memory.

#3 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 03:10 PM:

Senator Kennedy -- no one can say it the way you could:

"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die."

I still dream of things that never were and say, "Why not?"

#4 ::: [troll deleted] ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 03:43 PM:

[Posted from 128.32.215.20 (Oakland, California), which is not, to my understanding, a usual place from which the departed access the internet. Further investigations welcome - AS]

#5 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 03:47 PM:

I'm very much put in mind of Chumbawamba's song about Joe Hill, "By and By" --

"Don't waste the days when I'm dead and I'm gone...
For all I sang was a start, not an end."

The sound on the live version on YouTube is a bit shrill, and completely not representative of how good it sounds on both the studio and live CDs. Lyrics at http://lyricwiki.org/Chumbawamba:By_&_By , though.

#6 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 03:48 PM:

That didn't take long.

#8 ::: Mods: Clean up on Aisle 4 ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 03:49 PM:

I think this comment is in very poor taste.

#9 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 03:56 PM:

Re #4: Nice touch of humor, Abi. ;-)

#10 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 03:59 PM:

abi... (Oakland, California), which is not, to my understanding, a usual place from which the departed access the internet

They go to Berkeley?

#11 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 04:07 PM:

To be a bit State/Commonwealth proud, I can look back, and realize that a shootload of really important progressive legislation was shepherded through the U.S. congress by three men of enormous talent and compassion, All representing Massachusetts in House and Senate: Ted Kennedy (Senator for 47 years (9 terms)), Tip O’Neill (Representative for 34 years (and two different districts)), and Joe Moakley (Representative for 28 years (14 terms)).

(one of the things that Moakley did, which is not widely recognized, was his attempt to block the legislative structure for uni-cameral legislative vetoes over action of the executive branch)

#12 ::: Larry ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 04:51 PM:

What saddens me the most about this is the inevitable garbage the right wing nutters will spew. He was most definitely not perfect, but he was worthy of respect. i wish my senators (nj) were close to him.

#13 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 04:56 PM:

As a fellow Garden Stater, Larry, I share your opinion.

#14 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 05:15 PM:

When we lived in Massachusetts, I took particular relish in voting for Senator Kennedy when the opportunity came. It was like having a hand in history.

May he rest easy.

#16 ::: Kelly McCullough ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 06:29 PM:

Vale Senator Kennedy. He rose to meet the challenges of an extraordinary life and did not let his flaws defeat him.

#17 ::: katster ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 06:44 PM:

Yeah, 128.32.*.* is UC Berkeley's net block. nslookup says that IP is ... sis13.berkeley.edu. Hmmm, I suspect that's probably a campus computer lab, as I think SIS is Student Informational Services.

Although checking sis.berkeley.edu gives me all the student ways to check grades/class schedules/enrollment status, which means that it's either one of their workers, or one of the computers used to access SIS in places like the Sproul foyer aren't locked down as tightly as they should be.

It might be worth sending a complaint to Info Services and Technology (ist.berkeley.edu) to see what you can find.

-kat, former Berkeley student


#18 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 06:50 PM:

NPR --- sorry, the BBC, on the local NPR program -- just ran a bit about the reaction in South Africa.

I'd quite forgotten how passionate Reagan the GOP, and the Libertarians I knew in college at the time, were about maintaining good relations with the racist bastards down there. Funny how "constructive engagement" was necessary for changing South Africa but not Cuba.

#19 ::: Scott ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 06:58 PM:

Summer Storms @2

If they didn't have the decency to do the right thing because it was The Right Thing, why would they do it to honor the memory of somebody else who tried (I'm not going to speak to his success) to?

Are we so driven by the personalities around us, that only that will drive us to the proper actions? Aren't there better reasons to do The Right Thing before and beside Kennedy's death? If those reasons failed to move behavior...

#20 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 08:05 PM:

Scott @19, if one thing will move them where another won't, I say good for that thing.

#21 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 08:08 PM:

Amen. Just going to the family memorial site and reading the various tributes from persons great and not-so-great got me teary. When I lived and voted in Massachusetts, I always felt good that this man was representing me and what I wanted the world to be.

#22 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 08:29 PM:

Senator Byrd has called for the health reform bill to be named after Kennedy.

#23 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 08:53 PM:

Seen on Daily Kos, in reference to the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy: In lieu of flowers, let's pass health care reform.

My thoughts exactly.

#24 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 10:01 PM:

#23

Yup -- but only if it's reasonably good health care reform (for some flavor of "reasonably good" that I'd find acceptable).

First, however, some Legislator needs to introduce such a bill, then a number of leading ones need to push it. What's apparently on the agenda currently doesn't qualify -- we seem to be down to band-aids & cosmetics.

#25 ::: Matthew Austern ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2009, 11:41 PM:

The bill that Kennedy's committee passed seems reasonable enough. Not perfect, but reasonable, and a big improvement on what we have now.

One of the things that made Kennedy a great Senator is that he knew when to compromise, and how to get the best deal that could reasonably be achieved at the time. He wasn't the most liberal person in the Senate for much of his career, but he he got more done than anyone to his left.

#26 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 12:57 AM:

Petition in support of the Kennedy bill.

#27 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 07:32 AM:

I am minded of the fact that he voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Medicare, Medicaid, was one of the strongest and most consistent supporters of a minimum wage, and endorsed some chap named Barack Obama for the presidency. And those are just a few of his achievements in over four and a half decades in the Senate.

He had a position of influence and power, and he used it for the public good. Yes, he was a human being with flaws, huge ones. But I don't expect people to be plaster saints.

He has deserved to be remembered well.

#28 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 07:34 AM:

Also, Ecclesiasticus 44 i-iv.

#29 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 10:05 AM:

Fragano @ 27... But I don't expect people to be plaster saints.

"You see my husband as a saint, and so he must be right in everything he says and does. And then you see him as a devil, and everything he says and does must be wrong. Well my husband's neither a saint nor a devil. He's just a human being, and he makes mistakes."
--- Matthew Harrison Brady's wife in Inherit the Wind

#30 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 10:40 AM:

Serge @29:

Let us not crucify men on a Cross of Blue?

#32 ::: tim kyger ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 02:04 PM:

The greatest senator in U.S. history?

Oh, give me a *break.*

#33 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 02:32 PM:

Some idiot on MSNBC thinks that Camelot is dead because Teddy is gone...he's wrong, because as long as there is one of us who'll do this:

"Each evening, from December to December,
Before you drift to sleep upon your cot --
Think back on all the tales that you remember
Of Camelot.

Ask every person if he's heard the story,
And tell it strong and clear if he has not,
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory,
Called Camelot..."

Doesn't anyone understand the power and persistence of myth anymore?

#34 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 02:45 PM:

"We're knights of the Round Table, we dance whene'er we're able. We do routines and chorus scenes with footwork impec-cable, We dine well here in Camelot, we eat ham and jam and Spam a lot. / We're knights of the Round Table, our shows are for-mi-dable. But many times we're given rhymes that are quite un-sing-able, We're opera mad in Camelot, we sing from the diaphragm a lot. / In war we're tough and able, Quite in-de-fa-ti-gable. Between our quests we sequin vests and impersonate Clark Gable / It's a busy life in Camelot."

#35 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 02:46 PM:

tim kyger, #32, who would you propose?

#36 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 02:49 PM:

Well, tim, tell us who you think is greater. Don't forget to review Teddy's career first, though.

#37 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 03:41 PM:

Tim, I would also be interested in hearing who you think is a better choice for the title and why.

#38 ::: Tim Kyger ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 03:44 PM:

How about, right off the top of my head, Harry Truman?

It's not that Ted Kenneddy wasn't a *good* senator, perhaps even a great one (that's a matter of opinon only), but he surely wasn't the GREATEST one in 200-plus years of history.

What about Henry Clay, again, off the top of my head?

As to reviewing his career...well, this man was one of the greatest foes of the space program there ever was. And he was *effective* at it, too.

Furthermore, the man got away with manslaughter. Why? Because he was rich. If I'd done what he'd done, I'd still be in prison, as I am poor, and always have been.

Despite all this, I got to work with EMK and his staff, and he *was* a geniually nice guy -- which can't be said of most of the folks in the Senate (or in the house). He could laugh at himself, and at jokes on "him."

He'd probably be very embarrassed at the lionization, nay, the very saint-hood-making process that is occuring.

Greatest senator in all of U.S. history? Again, I say, give me a break. Yep: Important one, no doubt. Perhaps the most important in the last couple of decades (again, that might be open to argument). But in all of U.S. history? C'mon.

#39 ::: Tim Kyger ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 04:59 PM:

Serge, at #34:

It's a silly place, isn't it? ("Its only a model." -- Patsy.)

All the rest: Sorry about the misspellings. Isn't there a spell checker around here somewhere?

(I'm typing this at work on a work computer (Social Security Administration, FWIW) and don't have access to one...)

#40 ::: Dave Weingart ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 05:05 PM:

Neil @ 31: That's brilliant!

#41 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 05:51 PM:

Tim Kyger @ 39... "Its only a model."

Shhh!

#42 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 06:18 PM:

Trying to determine who the best is, without a specific and measurable rubric, is food for flaming. Under some criterion, each Senator is the best; a few Senators come pretty high on a lot of criteria. Best? Not well defined. All of Tim's are pretty solidly good choices under various criteria I like; so was Kennedy. I'm not going to worry about who was best until I get an answer to the question, "At what?"

#43 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 06:19 PM:

Tim Kyger: What indeed about Harry Truman? He was a fine president, but a lackluster senator; his one accomplishment of note in the Senate was a committee to trim waste in military spending. Stack that against the work Kennedy has done - one has to take a view of the last half century of social progress that even Robert Bork would shy away from to deny the value of Kennedy's contribution, regardless of one's feelings about the space program.

Henry Clay, now, there's a tough call. I can't deny the significance of his role in the federal banking system, though I would dispute the value of the compromises he brokered to delay the Civil War and resolution of the slavery issue. In his time he was a towering figure. In our time, Ted Kennedy was a towering figure. They're very difficult to compare without making ideological value judgments.

There's no question that Kennedy was a flawed man. I tend though to judge people not just by their flaws, but by how they deal with their mistakes. When he was thrown out of Harvard, he joined the military. When the Chappaquidick scandal broke, he laid the matter before the voters of Massachusetts and accepted their judgment. He handled his flaws with the dignity he could muster and kept working. I respect that.

#44 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 06:21 PM:

I'd say the greatness thing depends on whether you mean "achievements made in the Senate" or "achievements made by people who were Senators at some point in their lifes".

#45 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 06:28 PM:

Raphael, I think "greatest Senator" means the first, not the second. To indicate the second you'd have to say something like "greatest guy who was ever a Senator" or something.

#46 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 06:40 PM:

HR 676, is the National Health Insurance Act, introduced by Congressman John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., who represents Detroit. Conyers' Web site states the bill's purpose is "to ensure that every American, regardless of income, employment status, or race, has access to quality, affordable health care services."

http://www.pnhp.org/

What can still happen, as proposed by Anthony Weiner: Take the mess that is the current health insurance bailout act and replace it with HR 676.

http://weiner.house.gov/news_display.aspx?id=1325

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tUmUk-jLDo&feature=related

Anything less is a Wall Street bailout with a stethoscope attached.

#47 ::: alkali ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 06:47 PM:

My nominee for greatest Senator ever would be Kennedy's predecessor in the very same Senate seat, Charles Sumner. Antislavery, so much so that he was beaten bloody on the floor of the U.S. Senate by a Southerner. Pro-integration. Supported prison reform, public education, and economic relief and civil rights for freed slaves. Opposed colonialist wars. Early opponent of racial preference in immigration laws, a fight Ted Kennedy eventually won. Described by Lincoln as "my idea of a bishop."

"The Utopias of one age have been the realities of the next."

"Worse than any heathen or pagan abroad are those in our midst who are false to our institutions."

#48 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 07:21 PM:

Over at Scalzi's Whatever, I picked up a link to Charles Pierce's 2003 profile of Kennedy that I think might be relevant here (indicating that the original post at least isn't unique in its assessment of Kennedy). The connecting quote for me is towards the end, where American history professor Merrill Peterson (the author of The Great Triumvirate, a study of Clay, Webster, and Calhoun) comments: "I said to a colleague recently that he [Kennedy] might be the greatest senator of them all . . ."

In the same article, Senator Russell Feingold says "I think he's the greatest senator of the 20th century." To tell you the truth, I don't know if agree with either quote--I tend to be wary of dubbing anyone or anything the "greatest," especially until some significant time has passed for retrospection--but I believe that Kennedy's Senate career certainly deserves to be on the list of "possible greatests."

It's an interesting article.

#49 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 07:52 PM:

Tim Kyger #38: You picked a fucking slaveowner as possibly the greatest senator? How nice.

#50 ::: Tim Kyger ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 08:34 PM:

Re #49: (who I think is a sockpuppet. Hello, there, Teresa).

Ah, the vaunted calm, rational discussion of the Left.

I have a running battle with my 13 year old daugher, trying to keep her from using the verb "fucking" (or as an adjective). It's been a losing battle so far, alas. I see that it was also one for your parents, too.

We parents are such loooosers. *sigh*

#51 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 08:39 PM:

Tim Kyger @50: Wait, you think Fragano is a sockpuppet?

Comment statistics for Fragano Ledgister on the Making Light blog
Year Number of comments posted
2009 555
Total: 5768 comments.

Comment statistics for Tim Kyger on the Making Light blog
Year Number of comments posted
2009 4
Total: 79 comments.

Riiight.

#52 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 08:41 PM:

Tim Kyger @50: you really blew it there. Fragano's no sockpuppet, he's got a long history here. And, perhaps, more personal reasons than some others here to despise slaveowners -- I won't say "more reason" without the qualifiers, as it shouldn't be NECESSARY to need extra justification for reviling slaveowners.

Also, chastising him over the use of a judiciously-dropped F-bomb is just another way of invoking the Tone Argument, a well-known silencing technique. And comparing him to a 13-year-old and ranking on his parents?

I dunno, do you think we've hit Bingo yet?

#53 ::: Older ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 08:42 PM:

You're new around these parts aincha, Mr Kiger?

#54 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 08:46 PM:

I thought the 1960 campaign story - with photo - of Teddy riding a bronco at a rodeo in Wyoming was interesting. DKos had it here.

Greatest senator? I don't know. Up there in the top group, though.

#55 ::: Tim Kyger ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 08:52 PM:

OK, #52. Y'r fckng cnt.

There. Does that raise the tone of the argument here? I don't want to silence it, after all. I take it by the implications in your posting that it's OK to do this, to curse at others, as you do, y slly-ss shthd.

Either the discussion is civil, or it isn't. I'd prefer that it be civil.

Or is it that only that you* get to decide that?

Look, I don't have a problem with Ted Kennedy being thought of as a great senator. *He was.* What bothers me here is the lack of any historical distance of any sort whatsoever, due to all involved being so close in time to his life.

#56 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 08:58 PM:

Tim Kyger @55: Fragano's "fucking slaveowner" referred to a dead guy. You just named a fellow commenter one of the worst things you can call a woman. I think you may have a bit of an equivalency problem.

#57 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 08:58 PM:

Tim Kyger @55:

If you can't see the difference between calling a participant in the conversation a "fucking cunt" and calling a historical figure a "fucking slaveowner," I strongly doubt your ability to carry on a civil conversation of any sort.

Now, as neither you nor I are moderators here, we don't really get to decide the tone of the conversation, except by example.

But ignoring the substance of Fragano's objection to Henry Clay and instead chiding him on his tone is an all-too-common silencing technique against people who have genuine grievances to discuss, and I'm calling you out on it.

#58 ::: tim kyger ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:01 PM:

Tom Whitmore:

You have it dead on right, as you almost always do.

I might pick as one of the greatest Senators of the 20th Century (something I haven't given much thought to, in case the rest of you don't read very carefully) Lyndon B. Johnson. The man got the 1957 Civil Rights Bill passed, against the sheer total objections and wall of solid opposition of the rest of the Democratic Party, opening the way for the 1964 and 1965 Civil Rights Acts.

I frankly think that's much more of an important event, in historical terms, than anything Ted Kennedy did in his legislative career.

That comment will be intrepreted as a slam against Ted Kennedy. It isn't. I just think that his accomplisments don't compare to the passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act in terms of what it took to accomplish. YOUR MILAGE MAY VARY ON THIS OPINION -- I don't expect everyone, or even *anyone,* to necessairly agree.

And there is a point about Henry Clay being a slaveowner. I'd forgotten that. I retrack my mentioning of him, which was, after all, just a casual, off the top of my head instance. He's just this big name in American History, is all; he's in the history books as a major Senator, slaveowning and all.

As is George Washington, too, which doesn't absolve him. But better Washington than Ole' Massa Tom Jefferson, who didn't manumit at his death.

Just a passing opinion. I have it in for Jefferson.

#59 ::: Tim Kyger ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:04 PM:

I guess I need a primer on what cursing is allowed here, or not. I didn't think that it was that complicated.

I am soooooo sorry for my thoughtcrimes. I won't let it happen again.

Of course, you all *will* take the opportunity to curse at me at will. So be it. Freedom of speech and all.

I just think it's tacky, is all, something that doesn't seem to bother some of you when it's *your* turn to do it.

#60 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:06 PM:

alkali@47: I knew some of the bits of Sumner you mention; my question would be how effective he was. Kennedy made friends across the aisle; whatever the Republicans have done to this country, I suspect would have been a lot worse without Kennedy working to moderate it.

Tim: there's a difference between using vulgarities about third parties and addressing them to other participants.

#61 ::: Tim Kyger ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:07 PM:

#47: Sumner. Yep. He's got my vote. Good call.

Perhaps also, then, John Qunicy Adams. Or did he just go back to the House? I forget.

#62 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:07 PM:

Fragano @ 49: Ook. Well, yes, there is that. And rather more than just a personal failing, I'd say, given the Great Compromiser's efforts to maintain the Union with slavery as a part of it.

In fact, Daniel Webster was the only member of the "Great Triumvirate" of 19th century senators who didn't own slaves, and Webster is on record as believing that keeping the Union in one piece was more important than getting rid of slavery. Calhoun, of course, was not only pro-slavery, he's the only pre-Civil War politician I'm aware of who came out and claimed that slavery was a "positive good." (At least Clay never did that!) (I don't think.) These were men who were undeniably influential in shaping our history, but they were flat-out, dead wrong on arguably the definitive issue of their century . . . maybe the whole of U.S. history. How deeply does that undercut their legacy?

Or, to put it another way, maybe: part of the greatness of being a great senator, most of Kennedy's eulogizers have been saying these past few days, is the ability to compromise, to work across the aisle. But what if the issue is one that shouldn't allow compromise?

I don't have any answers, obviously--I don't think I know enough 19th century history to really state an informed opinion--but, well, the questions are intriguing.

#63 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:15 PM:

Tim Kyger: I know you are occaisional here.

I know you enjoy playing the contrarian; and accusing those whom you play it with of being in bad faih.

I didn't know you were so willing to show yourself for a fool. The merest bit of diligence might have saved you the embarrassment of showing yourself to be an ass.

1: You acccused Teresa of engaging hypocrisy. I presume this is because you feel she has some personal animus.

2: You accused her of cowardicel: by implying she was unwilling to face you in her own right.

3: You accused the rest of us of being dupes.

4: You engaged in base tone arguments. As to when/how your daughter chooses to use the verb "fucking" (certainly there are times it's appropriate; not all having to do with sex), or it's gerundial form; that's your perogative as a parent (good luck with that; I've failed to completely restrain it in myself), that's no place to pretend that Teresa (were it a case of sockpuppetry) hadn't chosen it with care. She has a fine track record of not needing to use coarseness, and has shown that, notwithstanding her ability to avoid it, that when she feels it useful, she can use the best of anglo-saxon roots.

5: Clay was a slave-owner. His advocacy of both slavery, and his complaisance at it's spread certainly entitles his memory to some opprobrium. I have no fault with Fragano choosing to be short and sweet. He might have taken the the more highflown path of delicate aspersions, it would have failed to display his contempt.

I happen to think Clay was smart. He was also stupid, and did as much as many to cause; albeit by means of blowback (to use a more modern concept) the Civil War, and the attendant reactionary ills which followed. Those same ills we are even now still trying to resolve.

So, all in all, your response was far, and away, more foolish, churlish, and childish than Fragano's. It was, in a word, pathetic.

#64 ::: J. Random Scribbler ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:17 PM:

Tim @ 55 and 59, you have utterly missed the point.

First of all, there are multiple levels of civility. Dropping an F-bomb on someone long dead isn't exactly civil, but it's hardly the same as insulting someone who is present and involved in the discussion.

Second, granting for the sake of argument that the only two choices are "civil" and "not civil" with no middle ground, then heck yes I'd rather have the long-timers here deciding where to draw that line, than one individual who is new to the community.

While your original point is good, your delivery is getting in the way. Please consider the impact of your word choices.

#65 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:17 PM:

Tim Kyger @59:

Nobody's cursed AT you yet. Fragano used an obscenity to describe a third party in a post addressed to you, but nobody's used any sort of epithets to describe you.

Given that our hostess has done exactly the same thing in a post title, referring to Ralph Nader -- a post upon which you commented -- I find your claim to be unaware of local customs about colorful language somewhat suspect.

Yes, Teresa disemvowelled the epithet, probably to improve its chances of getting past various net-nanny filters. That's the only difference.

#66 ::: J. Random Scribbler ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:24 PM:

Hmm, Tim, actually I see from your comment history that you aren't actually new here, so I apologize for assuming that you were. Still, you are one individual, and community standards are created by the community, not one person.

#67 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:41 PM:

I'm still feeling like I've lost my favorite uncle (I don't have any uncles anymore, they've all passed). And Tim K is not helping.

This story left me fairly verklempt.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/27/us/politics/27year.html?hpw

It's good, just be prepared to weep if you're tender-hearted.

and Tim, I do use the c-word. But usually only as a "Tourette's moment" in the car when someone tries to kill me and my passengers. I use the f-word more often, and you're getting close to me commenting in your direction with that word.

#68 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:41 PM:

I guess I need a primer on what cursing is allowed here, or not. I didn't think that it was that complicated.

Avoiding priggishness is good.

Of course, you all *will* take the opportunity to curse at me at will.

This is most unlikely. Though if you have other generalisations to make about the implications of word choice among "the Left" you may attract the attention of people who will have no need to resort to vulgarity to make you look about 2cm tall.

#69 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:41 PM:

tim kyger, you've gone way beyond what's considered legitimate here. I don't know what will happen when the mods see it, but it really disinclines me to read any more of your posts.

I am soooooo sorry for my thoughtcrimes. I won't let it happen again.

This isn't remotely like an apology, but you knew that.

Of course, you all *will* take the opportunity to curse at me at will. So be it. Freedom of speech and all.

Notice we haven't. Funny about that.

I just think it's tacky, is all, something that doesn't seem to bother some of you when it's *your* turn to do it.

I think it's pretty damn tacky that you keep ignoring all the people who keep telling you that it isn't the word. That's YOUR standard, not the one here. You have attacked other commenters with the most angry-making terms you could have used. To me, that makes you a troll. You can't just ignore that and go back to being reasonable (as you were at first) as if nothing had happened. You need to apologize sincerely and convincingly.

I have no power to enforce this here, except that I personally will ignore your posts until you apologize.

#70 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 09:52 PM:

On the other hand, LBJ is a worthy contender. He's certainly the only great president in my lifetime so far. Of course, after we get past the three biggies, the next best presidents (and I do think I put LBJ fourth, at least lately) carry a fair level of suckage.

The point about Ted Kennedy, though, at least as I understand it (and as expressed by the cartoon @#31), was that he made many, many lesser changes, not so great as LBJ pushing through the Civil Rights Act, perhaps, but cumulatively humongous.

(And yes, John Quincy Adams spent his post-presidential career in the House. Why can I not find a great biography of the man? Clay and Jackson, twin towering pissants, got fine Remini books, while David Herbert Donald died with his JQA bio unfinished.)

#71 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 10:20 PM:

If I may be so bold as to challenge you on the substance of what you said, Tim: Do you seriously believe that the usual punishment for leaving the scene of an accident is a life sentence in prison?

Or are you living in a part of the world where life imprisonment is a common pubishment for the crime you clearly believe Kennedy committed, namely driving drunk?

Nowadays in the U.S., there might be a prison sentence for that. But it was unusual, and upset some people, when the Nassau D.A. brought homicide charges a couple of years ago against a driver who killed strangers while driving, drunk, on the wrong side of a highway.

More often, we learn that a drunk driver was also driving without a license, or had had his license suspended umpteen times for driving drunk and/or without a license. Apparently it is still considered reasonable for the entire punishment for driving without a valid license to be suspension of the nonexistent or already-suspended driver's license.

Rich or poor, if you want to kill some and walk away without criminal charges, use a motor vehicle.

#72 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 11:20 PM:

Tim Kyger, a bunch of the regulars have filled you in on the basics of courtesy here. As one of the moderators, let me give you some explicit rules:

  • We frown very strongly on insulting other commenters. Fragano’s comment used strong language about a third party, and a long-dead third party at that. Your reply was an insult aimed at Rikibeth. If you look back at those comments, you’ll notice they’re missing some vowels.
  • We also frown very strongly on bigoted language. The first insulting term you aimed at Rikibeth was a sexist term used to reduce a woman to her sexual organs.
  • Fragano, as others have pointed out, is a long-time and frequent commenter here. For you to accuse him of being a sock-puppet indicates a lack of familiarity with the community and is insulting to Fragano. For you to accuse him of being a sock-puppet of Teresa's, when Teresa is notoriously intolerant of sock-puppets, is insulting to Teresa.
  • You reacted with incredulity to the claim that Edward Kennedy was the US’s greatest Senator ever, even though by your own later admission, this wasn’t a matter upon which you had expended much thought. The impression I’m getting here is that you were picking a fight.
  • And then you got all snarky and mock-apologized for “thoughtcrimes”. Understand this: The flack you caught for your comment to Rikibeth was about what you were thinking, it was about what you wrote, which is an action. Your actual thought-related crime – actually a crime of not-thinking – is one nobody’s mentioned till I just pointed it out in the previous bullet point.

I say all this even though I disagree with Fragano's original point. I don't think that failures in one realm invalidate accomplishments in another. If a brilliant composer is also a serial killer, that composer's compositions remain brilliant.

#73 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 11:25 PM:

Tim, stop digging. This is not the first time you've come in here and said something unworthy of the person I remember you to be, but it may be the worst.

Thank you for providing some context for your original statement. Thank you even more for being willing to reverse your opinion about Clay when provided with more data. That's the Tim I met.

#74 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 11:28 PM:

Tim Kyger @ 55... That was very inappropriate language. Please refrain from using it while we're around. As for the Left's vaunted discussions, it's the first time I'v ever them described as calm and rational.

#75 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 11:37 PM:

J.Random @ 66:

Actually, IIRC, Tim Kyger knew Teresa & Patrick back when they were all little more than teen-agers, and shared with them the fraught experience of producing a WorldCon after the original bidders pretty much dropped the ball (a WorldCon which, I testify, turned out well for those of us attending it(1)... but was clearly (& sadly) something of an Emotional Disaster behind the scenes). So there may be undercurrents here of which we wot not.

If memory serves, Tim was (or at least seemed), back then, to be a much nicer, more intelligent, and more civil person than he's come across as being the couple of times I've seen a run of posts from him here. *sigh* (But then, IIUC, he's spent some years working as a Congressional Assistant, and I suppose such exposure to Politicians & Politics would have a somewhat-corrupting effect on anyone.)

(1) It would be hard to fault a Convention at which my highlight experience didn't seem at all out of place. Alone in the Observation Room at the top of the hotel, after a night of Good Parties, to watch the sun rise over the rim of the Desert.

Group of chattering highschool girls emerged from the elevator. Annoying distraction.

Then they fell silent, watching the pre-dawn light spread. One starting singing, quietly, just as the sun's disk broke above the horizon, then most of the others joined-in, a cappella. The "Alleluia" from a Mozart Mass.

#76 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2009, 11:52 PM:

Don: I have chills. It's amazing to ponder the sheerness of how 1: apropos such a thing could be and 2: how false it would ring were it in a piece of fiction.

#77 ::: J. Random Scribbler ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 12:14 AM:

Thanks for the perspective, Don. I wasn't aware of the history. Also, one of these years I will get to a con. Everybody always has such great stories from them.

Back to the original topic, though: I'm with Avram on the belief that failures in one area do not invalidate accomplishments in another. Chappaquiddick did happen, and Kennedy did get a lighter punishment than someone else probably would have. Such things should not be swept under the rug, but that doesn't mean they outweigh everything else Ted Kennedy accomplished.

We've lost someone important at an unfortunate time. I hope some good will also come of his passing, somehow.

#78 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 12:47 AM:

The cartoon leaves out two important pieces of legislation: the Americans with Disabilities Act, which means that when I work I can get accommodations such as not having to walk up stairs because of my fibromyalgia; and the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, which means my son with Asperger's can get the help he needs to function in school.

That, along with the Mental Health Parity Act, and Title IX means that Kennedy has probably had more positive direct effect on my life than any other elected official that was not a President. I'll even forgive him for No Child Left Behind.

#79 ::: Matthew Austern ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 12:50 AM:

Are you sure of that? I can name at least one other nationally famous political figure who killed someone with a car. Not only did this person not go to jail, but nobody even seems to talk about the event. It wouldn't surprise me if there are other famous politicians who have done the same, and I just happen not to have heard about it.

Vicki is right. For better or worse (worse, in my opinion), the US doesn't usually treat killing people with cars as a serious crime.

#80 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 12:53 AM:

Timothy Zeven Kyger, I'm so sorry your brain has been eaten by weasels, but it has, and you're banned.

#81 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 01:06 AM:

I have never been more unhappy to ban someone. Tim Kyger got me into fandom. He introduced me and Teresa. I honor the person he was.

But his behavior toward Rikibeth is simply beyond the pale. He is no longer welcome here, or anywhere in my life.

Having a political point to make doesn't amount to a license to be an abusive asshole. The end.

#82 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 01:10 AM:

Patrick, my condolence.

#83 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 01:14 AM:

I was dating Tim when I met Patrick. There's a lot of old history there. I'm sorrier than I can say that he's become someone who could post comments like that -- and I don't just mean his remarks to Rikibeth.

#84 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 01:19 AM:

At the same time, I'd also like to invite Don Fitch (comment #75) to shut the hell up. Don has a decades-long history of being unpleasantly condescending to me and mine. I'm unhappy with my old friend Tim -- but Don, that doesn't mean I like you better.

Everyone else: I'm sorry that asinine people from my distant past have decided to use this thread as the place to re-enact ancient crap. Further outbreaks of ancient crap (this means you, and you know who you are) will be mocked without mercy.

#85 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 01:28 AM:

The irony here, and you can tell it's real life because it contains irony, is that in a better world I would be having an affable conversation with Tim Kyger based on his very good point that Lyndon B. Johnson is also a plausible candidate for "best US senator in American history." But I'm not interested in having that conversation with somebody who's willing to be a complete asshole to an innocent bystander just because his own nose is out of joint.

Meanwhile, regarding Kennedy, the Rude Pundit is right as usual:

He was a hard-drinking son of a bitch who screwed around on his first wife, a Dean Martin-like punchline to jokes about alcoholism and a tabloid laughingstock. During that period, among other things, he was getting funding cut off to Chile because of Pinochet's barbarism, pushing legislation to help political refugees, getting sanctions imposed on apartheid-era South Africa, negotiating with Gorbachev on nuclear missiles, stopping Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination, and strengthening the Civil Rights Act. What did you do on your years-long bender?
Read the rest.

#86 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 02:00 AM:

I don't understand why Tim Kyger wants to assert that Henry Clay was celibate.

#87 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 03:07 AM:

Note, all: If the crap you're guiltily contemplating is less than twenty or thirty years old, Patrick didn't mean you.

#88 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 05:23 AM:

My impression is that Tim Kyger is so convinced that anything to the left of his own opinions must obviously be stupid that he doesn't think he needs to back it up in any way or do some basic research when he makes claims along that line. Which, of course, can very quickly lead to making yourself look pretty clueless.

#89 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 06:18 AM:

Tim Kyger #50: I'd love to know how I manage to be a sockpuppet for Teresa in spite of being a few months younger, several inches taller, one chromosome different, and hundreds of miles away from her?

#90 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 06:25 AM:

Mary Frances #62: Indeed. It was central to Clay's political career.

#91 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 06:38 AM:

Guys, Tim is gone from the thread and the site.

Leave his words to stand on their own; they're telling enough without further rubric.

#92 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 07:03 AM:

Hm, by chaing coloured stickers for letters, one should be able to make a smashing Rubric's Cube.

#93 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 09:18 AM:

If all it took was a little sockpuppetry to turn a slow awkward rhymer into the likes of Fragano, I'd have taken up the practice years ago.

#94 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 09:43 AM:

Fragano @ 89... how I manage to be a sockpuppet for Teresa (...) and hundreds of miles away from her

Maybe Teresa used a very long tube sock.

#95 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 09:50 AM:

I've been called a sockpuppet in the past. It's a very weird feeling.

(Signed, Teresa)

#96 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 09:59 AM:

All this talk of sockpuppets reminded me of Avram's lovely sketchnote from Anticipation. And is that a smiley face on the sock? At first I thought it was a button.

#97 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 10:14 AM:

Serge @ 94: No, tube socks are only properly worn on the London underground.

#98 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 10:15 AM:

I thought I was Teresa.

- Spartacus

#99 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 10:17 AM:

Mark @ 97... By Metrosexuals?

#100 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 10:56 AM:

Serge: Only if they're pbpx fbpxf.

#101 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 11:00 AM:

How odd. I would never have interpreted Tim's comment as imputing that the sock puppet was Teresa; I would have seen it as asking her if she knew whether this was a sock puppet, since she's the person he knew best who is one of the moderators on this board. Different people's minds work differently, don't they.

#102 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 11:12 AM:

Tom, I read the sockpuppet comment the same way you did. I still thought it was pretty rude, and kind of off the wall: normally when you think someone's a sockpuppet, you have some idea who you think has their hand in the sock, and that was missing. I think that may explain why so many others interpreted it as they did.

Meanwhile, for your merciless mockery, I present some ancient crap. More than twenty or thirty years old, I'm sure.

#103 ::: CaseyL ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 11:37 AM:

Patrick, thanks for the quote from and link to The Rude Pundit. I've been more or less continuously in tears since Teddy died, and that amazing, wonderful essay got the waterworks going again.

#104 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 11:44 AM:

I would only have put it as slightly rude. And there's the very easy method of checking "read all by" to see that if Fragano were a sock-puppet, that would be a veritable Leonardo of sock-puppetry. Questions of identity do make people upset, often for many, many years.

#105 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 12:01 PM:

Xopher @ #100:

Fowl joke, that.

#106 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 12:17 PM:

Ingvar, I was too chicken to post it in the clear.

#107 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 12:23 PM:

Xopher, henny-one would have been.

#108 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 12:25 PM:

TexAnne, eggsactly so.

#109 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 12:27 PM:

Serge #99: Metrosexuals only travel by public transport in Paris for some reason.

#110 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 12:39 PM:

Xopher, thanks for the ancient crap. Here's some really good shit.

#111 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 01:15 PM:

Fragano, #109: And Montréal. And Washington, DC.

#112 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 01:40 PM:

Conservatives are now whining about Kennedy's death being politicized. I say fuck them and the horse in on which they rode.

#113 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 01:41 PM:

Serge@98: I'm Teresa, and so's my wife!

#114 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 01:53 PM:

Will the real Teresa please stand up?

[sound of chairs pushing back all across the globe as all MLers start upwards]

#115 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 02:00 PM:

I'm the surreal Teresa, and this is my fish.

#116 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 02:06 PM:

Fragano @109, echoing D. -- let's not forget the METPO in MOCKBA.

#118 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 03:03 PM:

When I looked up Tim's history of posts here (because I thought I remembered him initiating several other weird flames out of the blue) I thought it was sadly ironic that I found a couple of his earlier posts were enthusiastic follow-ups to Fragano.

#119 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 04:25 PM:

Patrick & Teresa: My condolences on Tim's self-immolation.


Kennedy: Definitely a star in the political firmament.

#120 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 04:29 PM:

There is no Teresa, and I am Her son.

#121 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 05:02 PM:

I DECLARE THE XOPHER SCHISM!!!11

There IS a Teresa, and I am Her hamster!

#122 ::: JanetM ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 05:06 PM:

We are all Tanith. This is not going to make any sense to anyone who wasn't there at the time, but I nevertheless feel compelled to post it.

Regarding Sen. Kennedy, I must admit I had no idea all the things he'd had a hand in. I'm impressed. May he rest in peace; may those who loved him find comfort in memory.

#123 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 05:12 PM:

Follow the sandal of Teresa, you heretics!

#124 ::: edward oleander ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 07:39 PM:

No, no! The gourd! Follow the Gourd!

#125 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 08:41 PM:

D. Potter #109 & Tom Whitmore #116: Vosotros olvidastéis a Madrid (yo tambien, por supuesto).

#126 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2009, 11:09 PM:

I heard the last two hours of speakers reminiscing about Sen Kennedy. They included Joe Biden, Orrin Hatch, Mayor Mennino, John Kerry, Caroline Kennedy.... It's got to be one of the political events of 2009. The politicians speaking, showed what got them elected....

Other information that's popped up the past couple days--Kennedy, not any of the rabid warmonger rightwingers, was the person in Congress who got the armor for the soldiers... the parents of a dead soldier contacted him about their son dying for lack of decent armor, and Kennedy promised them that he would work to change the situation. The father came forward this week and talked about it, and said that Kennedy stayed in contact with him and him wife until shortly before his death.

#127 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 12:40 AM:

Another good cartoon remembering Teddy Kennedy, via About.com's Political Humor website. Although it may be a misattribution: when I heard him say that on one of the TV networks' memorial programs the other night, he said it was something his brother had said shortly before being elected President.

Meanwhile, all the images of him in his sailboat have issued me a new earworm, not a song, but a poem: Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar."

#128 ::: The Raven ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 01:20 PM:

Kkkkkk. Sympathies on the bad conduct of an old friend.

I've taken to calling the public health care option the "Kennedy Option." It's what he chose to support when it became clear that "Medicare for all" was not possible, it may do some good, and I think he would be pleased at that use of his name.

#129 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 05:09 PM:

Last night's was over the dead body of Ted Kennedy--quite literally, it was of the nature of an Irish wake, the casket was there and present, and the reason for the presence of the speakers. The newspapers also reported that there was a rotating set of people, four at a time keeping vigil, along with the standing honor guard by the casket, ensuring that there were always people present, an old Irish custom rarely honored in this era of funeral homes.

The commemoration, as I noted above, was a political event. It couldn't help but be a political event, and given that he was the last of four brothers, all of whom died while actively in federal service, one in military action, two assassinated, and the last by illness while still service as a US Senator, would have been completely out of keeping for it to have not been a political event.

The funeral Mass was also a political event. I only heard part of it, but that small part was notable--the Intercession speakers were all descendants of his and his brothers, mostly their grandchildren, and their words were of unanimity almost all politically charged. "Healthcare should be a right, not a privilige." "The poor are not in fashion, but they are always in need."

I only heard the tail end of Pres. Obama's speech, which was the last before the priests led the final prayers in the service. The recessional was American the Beautiful, three verses and refrains of it, instrumentals and voices. The WBUR commentators talked over it after the first verse. "The lion is dead," one of them said with finality. They mentioned that while members of the Kennedy family had talked about health care, Pres. Obama said nothing about it--and indicated that politically that that was a weak thing to do/have done.

The commentators also pointed out that this is and is not the end of an era--it's the end of the era of the generation of Jack, Bobby, and Teddy Kennedy, but the intercession speakers were the upcoming generation of the family. The commentators didn't say then that the family is one that's been in politics for generations before Edward Kennedy and his elder brothers had entered politics, notably their grandfather, "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald was an iconic politician, and that one of Robert Kennedy's continues to be in the US Congress as a Representative (as oppose to Joe Kennedy, son of Ted Kennedy, who served and then stepped down deciding to focus on other endeavors). The commentators did focus on the number grandchildren and grandnieces and grandnephews, pointing them out as the future of the Kennedy family, and indicating with that those claiming the days of Kennedys in politics is gone, aren't paying attention.

One of the foci of the speakers last night, was how Ted Kennedy had been a catalyst for them becoming politically involved and motivated, and/or remaining involved and motivated. The events since Tuesday, may not cause a huge blip on the radar in the country as regards generally instigating people to go into politics, but it seems likely that it's a watershed as regards at least number of the youngest generation of the Kennedy family, and probably some number, small, but likely to make marks in the world, of people who otherwise watched/heard, and have found inspiration for a calling.

The lion might be dead, but the pride that birthed and nourished the lion, is large and has a new generation coming into adulthood, and politics is in their blood, and in the words they spoke at their relative's funeral today. I wouldn't count them out going forward into the future. "The dream lives on," have been the iconic words this past week.

#130 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 05:57 PM:

I was at a Health Care for America Now rally this morning. They opened with a brief eulogy for Senator Kennedy, and a moment of silence. We then had the series of speakers you'd expect: a nurse, a small business owner, a preacher, a union leader. The keynote speaker was Wendell Potter, the former insurance company executive who testified to Congress on how insurance companies deny coverage. The final, rabble-rousing speaker got a guttural roar from the crowd when he urged us to call our senators and congressmen and push for the passage of "The Kennedy Health Care Bill."

#131 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2009, 10:54 PM:

Paula @128 wrote: and that one of Robert Kennedy's continues to be in the US Congress as a Representative (as oppose to Joe Kennedy, son of Ted Kennedy, who served and then stepped down deciding to focus on other endeavors).

This is actually backwards. Patrick Kennedy, the congressman from Rhode Island, is Teddy's younger son. Joe Kennedy, who was a congressman from Massachusetts and now heads an organization that works to provide low-cost energy (especially winter heating fuel) to low-income people, is Bobby's eldest son -- but not his eldest child as a commentator on a TV network claimed tonight; Joe has an older sister Rosemary, who has been active in politics in Maryland.

#132 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2009, 12:30 AM:

JanetM: We are all Tanith.

The t.b version is "We are all Rich Rosen." Again, not worth trying to explain.

#133 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2009, 12:54 AM:

#130 Lois

Er, yes.
Mea culpa.

#134 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2009, 09:23 AM:

Clifton Royston #131: Heh, I was just thinking about that one....

#135 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2009, 05:28 PM:

In Friday's WashPost, Business columnist Steven Pearlstein talks about how Kennedy was sorry he didn't make a healthcare deal with Nixon.

#136 ::: Jenavir ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2009, 09:17 PM:

Has anyone here seen anyone eulogize Kennedy by saying that Mary Jo Kopechne "would be proud" of him if she could see what he's done?

I ask because, while clicking randomly through some LiveJournals, I found this poem that implies that people are saying this. I find that a very offensive implication on the part of the poet. Speaking for Kennedy's victim, and assuming how she'd feel about him if she lived, is a god-awful thing to do. And as someone who mourns Sen. Kennedy's death, I really don't appreciate having those words put in my mouth. But before I leave an angry comment for the poet, I'm curious to find out: has anyone seen anyone who actually says this?

#137 ::: Kevin Marks ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2009, 04:59 PM:

Jenavir #135 the reference is to this Huffington Post article by Melissa Lafsky.

#138 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2009, 10:29 PM:

WCRB, despite having gone ever further into Classics Lite, made a good move at the time of the funeral; they ran the live recording of the Mozart "Requiem" from JFK's memorial service in January 1964.

#139 ::: Jon Hendry ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2009, 08:48 PM:

serge @10: "They go to Berkeley?"

I'd think San Jose.

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