Senator Ted Kennedy, the man nicknamed the Lion of the Senate, died today of brain cancer at the age of 77. His career as a politician spanned pretty much his entire adult life. Indeed, it was the only real job he had ever had (and pretty much the only job you could expect him to gave, given his last name). He was, to the progressive left, a hero, and to the right, a villain.
I suspect, really, he wasn’t either one. He was a man who knew that he was as secure in his job as anyone could possibly be and he used that security to carve out a leadership spot for himself. That’s not to say he didn’t work; far from it. Ted Kennedy was one of the hardest workers in Congress. However, not actually having to worry about a serious election challenger did give him the freedom to do what a lot of other would-be Senate leaders could not.
As for the rest of his life and his career, I’ll say today only what I wrote this morning on Twitter:
Ted Kennedy is dead and I am neither happy nor sad about it. I’m rather glad God gets to to the judging and not me.
I do wish his family the best. I know there are people who genuinely love him and will miss him sorely and they have my most sincere condolences. It hurts badly losing someone you love and I pray their pain eases soon.
You can start reading the MSM hagiographies, if you like, at Ed Driscoll’s site. Andrew Malcom has the Kennedy family’s statement. Jules Crittenden has a critical, but restrained remembrance and some other useful links. I largely agree with Roger Kimball’s assessment of the man’s life and career, but I warn you, it is brutal and insensitive.
It will be hard for the left to cry insensitivity, though, when they have picked up his still warm corpse and are dancing it out onto the stage hoping it will help them pick up a few points worth of support for their government-run health care bill.
UPDATE: Like I said, I’m glad that God does the judging and not me.
UPDATE 2: I wonder if it would help if they showed Weekend at Bernie’s for Congressional Movie Night?
UPDATE 3: Linked by The Daley Gator who has a good take on the story.