When Ronald Reagan was shot, not a few left wingers made remarks about how fortuitous it might be if the man bought the farm. I remember the girlfriend of a friend making such a remark. I called her on it and she "cleaned it up" by saying, no, it would be wrong to wish for his death, but okay if he were incapacitated.
WTKK replayed the Jim and Margery show from the day after the announcement of Ted Kennedy's illness. I have mentioned Jim Braude and Margery Egan before. She center left and he, off the charts de la gauche. In Massachusetts, center left and out there lefty are terms much different than say, in Kansas.
Anyway, there were mostly encomia about what a wonderful man our senior senator is. There were also comments that even the right wingers were fulsome in praise. One might surmise that they take the high road because they are better or because they are too scared. We do not speculate as to motive.
I am glad there no comments wishing he were dead after horrible suffering. There are few in this country who have not had a family member who has gone through it. My family, has been mostly immune despite irresponsible dietary choices. A dear family friend, however, went through years of the battle and one knew that no matter the treatment torture, death would be the reward. For those years, my reaction was a heaving sigh of resignation. The cheerful smile became suffering and was then no more. Sad the person who would wish it on another as was my friend's girl's death wish for Reagan.
That out of the way, the praise of Senator Kennedy is, in itself sad. People go out of the way to praise him as the friend of the working man, the poor. He stood against this or that, ad infinitum.
Margery said of him that he dedicated his life to public service, and opined that she had not. The suggestion being this made him a great man. For all that time in the Senate, a seat he was anointed to. he received a salary. There is no record that I know of his refusing to cash paychecks out of noblesse oblige. While working so hard for us in the Senate, he had a staff paid by us. He supported laws that took taxpayer money to help those he favored. In these endeavors, he did not expend his own substantial fortune. Put aside whether or not his father made the money honestly or not, Ted earned none of his wealth. While serving us, he lived a life of privilege, not going without in the least for his office. If you think about it, his tenure kind of reminds one of Evita Peron whose praise was in the same vein.
As to an example of the vaunted public service we have the No Child Left Behind boondoggle. It has changed nothing for the better for the nation’s kids, but the educrats have done well out of it. If nothing, the senator has been an effective toady of teacher unions. The voice of humility has dealt with the oppression of the taxpayer due to the condominium of government worker unions and government. Ted is part of this ongoing civil war.
We’ll give him his opposition to Iraq. Was it principled or just political? Don’t know, but we concede the benefit of the doubt as to motive.
Margery's colleague Jim was as effusive in praise. He at one time mentioned a possible memoir that would address the elephant in the room. Chappaquiddick was mentioned less as a tragedy for the Kopechne Family, but more as a burden for Ted. The import being how all he achieved outweighed what happened on Martha's Vineyard.
Of course, who is the voice of humility to gainsay such sentiments. Churlish we would be to point out the numerous folk who opine in his favor, have not lost a child in that situation. We would pose a question to the callers and pundits who feel the value of his service outweighs a young lady's drowning. If you believe it so, and could bring back Mary Joe, would you be willing to drown your daughter for the greater good?
Mr. Braude used to excoriate Cardinal Law, the prelate who shifted pedophiles for his role in the church scandal. Though Jim seemed to take pleasure in it, he was right. Law, evaded legal problems by artful methods and escaped to Rome. Kennedy used legal means to keep Chappaquiddick from being fully disclosed. Law was abetted by the Massachusetts legal apparatus and so was Kennedy. I have to beg Jim to answer, why one should get away from the full legal treatment and one deserve it?
Cardinal Law should come back to his archdiocese and present the district attorney a full report of all he did during his reign and suffer the consequences and regain a tad of honor. Ted should release every fact of the night his passenger drowned. Whether it was an error in judgment or manslaughter, I'm under no illusions that it will make a difference to the electorate here, but it is the right thing. Whaddya think, Jim?
"Do we operate under a system of equal justice under law?
Or is there one system for the average citizen
and another for the high and mighty?"
- Senator Ted Kennedy, 1973 -
Res ipsa loquitur.