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Kennedy's Passing--Skeel

Like nearly everyone who does not inhabit the left, I’ve always had deeply mixed feelings about Ted Kennedy—admiration for his dedication and accomplishments mixed with distaste for his partisan excesses and the seamy side of his personal history.

Soon the historians will go to work, putting his legacy into perspective. I believe that his decision to throw his support to Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries last year will be viewed as one of the shining moments of a remarkable political career. The easy decision would have been to support the establishment candidate. But he put the Kennedy name behind the candidate who could open a new page in American history, much as J.F.K did.

In political terms,Ted Kennedy surely will be remembered as one of our greatest senators, much as the nineteenth century triumvirate of John Calhoun, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster are.


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Comments ( 2 )

Are you kidding me? Ted Kennedy has single handedly done more to destroy the ideals this country was founded on than any one other senator I can think of.

His decision to back B.H. Obama tops off his list of destructive decisions and stances.

Perhaps it is all of your "elite education" that gets in the way of common sense about what is happening in this country right now but it is NOTHING to celebrate. And Mr. Kennedy's part in it is nothing to celebrate either.

I think you're right in the sense that Kennedy will be thought of as a "great" senator in terms of his influence. Perhaps more than anyone in the last forty years, he understood how to get something going with an eye to the future. A good example is No Child Left Behind. Kennedy no doubt disliked the standards bit in the legislation, but used his influence to cut out private school vouchers and enshrine a much larger federal role in primary education for years to come - no doubt with the expectation that, one day, more funds would follow. What I wonder is whether he'll also be remembered as key to the utter degeneration of our judicial confirmation process with his deeply dishonorable speech on Bork. Things have never been the same and he is at least in part to blame.