Although I suppose I shouldn’t expect any better, RedState’s obituary for Kennedy sadly typifies conservative America’s reaction to this tragedy. After a very nice testimony to the late Senator Kennedy’s personal charm, it devolves into parroting a distortion (Kennedy ran against Carter for the ’80 nomination: he did not support Reagan!), rebranding him as a bigoted defeatist, and, finally, closes with a tacky joke. Despicable.
Lest we forget, there would not be a black President — of any party — without Ted Kennedy’s work on civil rights. There would not be an American national security policy, for there would be no America, without the calm, reasoned approach to warfare that Senator Kennedy and his brothers embodied. The same hot heads demanding torture and indefinite detention today are those that would have brought us to nuclear war 1962, but for Jack Kennedy. There would be no Medicare but for Senator Kennedy’s fiscal responsibility, spurned by the honorable members opposite, and there would be less help for the poor, but for Senator Kennedy’s compassion. The story of the Kennedy family in government is the story of the triumph of liberalism, as a philosophy for social change, national security, and everything in between. In each major battle of the twentieth century, the forces of the past were dealt a crushing blow, frequently by a Kennedy, and always to our benefit. We can concede the individual personal failures of the Kennedy men without fear, for the magnitude of their legacies far overshadows the petty points of their distractors. In the life of every great man there will be disappointments, great and small, but these terminate with their deaths. The gifts they gave America live on.
He was an American Senator. Honor him.
Update: Senator Hatch (R-UT) sets the gold standard for class. “Cancer may have taken my friend, Ted, from us, but his legacy continues on. Although Ted and I fought over politics most of the time, he was a passionate man who dedicated his life to public service and did a lot of good for a lot of people.”
Update: read Tommy Christopher’s take on the same.