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Thoughts On The Left And Ted Kennedy’s Death

Ted Kennedy is being feted by the left as a liberal icon, the liberal lion of the Senate and the new reason for passing health care insurance reform. Within a few weeks we’ve seen Democrats and the left shift from cost containment (blown away by the CBO) to appeals to religion (blown away because religion doesn’t rely on the state) to the passing of Ted Kennedy. One supposes they believe the emotional argument Kennedy’s death makes will swing support to their side that reason and facts wouldn’t.

There’s one problem with that – although Kennedy may have been “much beloved” among the Senate, the people of Massachusetts and the liberal left, I see no indication that such feelings translate outside of those circles. Certainly not enough to have the public finally throw up its hands and say “oh, the heck with it, let’s pass this travesty for Teddy”.

Let’s make the point again – he was a liberal icon. He was the liberal lion of the Senate. Neither of those mean a whole bunch to folks outside of those relatively small groups.

So that means that Democrats risk “Wellstoneing” this attempt at using Kennedy’s death to push their legislative agenda. If you’re unfamiliar with the public reaction to a memorial to Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN) upon his untimely death in an airplane accident, Democrats turned the memorial into an unseemly partisan pep-rally which backfired badly on them. They tried to use Wellstone’s death to rally support for a Democratic successor. It was a pretty sad spectacle and in the end, a Republican Senator emerged as the winner.

I say they “risk Wellstoneing” the Kennedy death because it isn’t clear yet that Democrats have learned and internalized that lesson. They may have. But as I’ve observed the Dems over the years, it seems they always overreach. And recently they’ve done a very, very poor job of reading public sentiment. Oh, and did I mention, they’re obviously desperate right now? Given that, I think they may very well do the same sort of thing again with Kennedy’s death.

An interesting, but unpersuasive argument emerging on the left is that reminding them of the Wellstone fiasco is bad form. Kennedy’s death, apparently, is different and, as I’ve heard any number of them say, he’d be the first to suggest that his name and memory be exploited for political gain.

I think that may be what they truly believe, but even with obvious media support to push the meme, I don’t believe Ted Kennedy has the political heft the left thinks he has. And that sets up precisely what the left needs to avoid – an effect similar to that of the Wellstone memorial, although it will most likely unfold in a different manner than did that event.

Meanwhile, we’re being treated to the beginnings of the exploitation of Kennedy’s death and the overreach for which the left is so famous. As an example, consider liberal talk radio show host Mike Malloy’s recent views on Kennedy:

Good evening, truthseekers, Mike Malloy here, thanks for tuning in…you know as well as I know that the death of Senator Ted Kennedy is the death of a man, absolutely, and everything he was to the people in his extended family, but we also understand it’s the death of an era, one of the remaining, if not THE remaining lynchpin of liberalism in this country is gone.

Aand you know what the term lynchpin means. So with the death of Ted Kennedy last night, liberalism in this country has lost its champion; the person who, in the modern era, personified liberalism to a greater degree than anyone in Congress; I think that his death heralds the beginning of a very, very very dark period in this country.

I remember feeling that way in 1963 and in 1968-when his two brothers were murdered by the right wing in this country.

Lee Harvey Oswald (a communist sympathizer) and Sirhan Sirhan (an Arab Nationalist) have never been considered to be part of the right-wing except, perhaps, in the most twisted of leftist conspiracy theories. But Malloy, who ironically welcomes “truth seekers” isn’t about the truth. It’s about using scare tactics and the left’s favorite boogey man. Of course to do that Malloy must engage in the rewriting of history. His “very, very, very dark period in this country”, presaged by Kennedy’s death, must have right-wing villains. The implication, of course, is that his feelings now, comparable to his feelings when Robert and Jack Kennedy died, can be laid at the feet of the right wing. Case closed.

And so it goes. Expect much more of this in the next few weeks as the desperate left pulls out all the stops, including those of decency and propriety, to push this monstrosity of a health care insurance bill through on the back of a dead Kennedy. As I said, Orwell would have a field day with this stuff.

~McQ

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8 Responses to Thoughts On The Left And Ted Kennedy’s Death

  • Don’t forget that Bill Ayers also included Sirhan Sirhan within the dedication to one of his books. I guess Ayers was really a right-wing sympathizer!

  • Hey, you never know- according to Huffpo, maybe Mary Jo would’ve thought her death would have been worth it, to help launch Teddy’s senate career!

  • Well, some of us consider the maladministration of LBJ and his legacy to be a very dark period.

  • On Dianne Rehm’s (notorious right wing nut ball) show, it is revealed that Ted Kennedy loved to tell and hear Chappaquiddick jokes. Class act, just the sort of person I imagine when I thing of a leftie.

    skip to 30:15 here: http://wamu.org/audio/dr/09/08/r1090826-28464.asx

  • So with the death of Ted Kennedy last night, liberalism in this country has lost its champion; the person who, in the modern era, personified liberalism to a greater degree than anyone in Congress

    Personified liberalism? I’d say that hits the nail right on the head. He was entitled (rich boy got into Harvard and the Senate because of his family name), stupid (his grade point average in college was lower than his lifetime average daily blood alcohol level), cowardly (Chappaquiddick), dishonest (serial cheater who got bootrd from Harvard for a semester), selfish (Chappaquiddick, serial adulterer), weak (Chappaquiddick, alcoholic), vicious (Bork speech, leaked Anita Hill’s name to Nina Totenberg and orchestrated the asassination of Thomas’s character from behind the scenes), sleazy (picked up vulnerable women in Palm Beach bars with his creepy nephew William Kennedy Smith), bizarre (walked around Palm Beach with no pants on), clueless (millions of lives that have been harmed by the liberal policies he championed), narcissistic (in addition to everything else, he just didn’t care that his political ideology hurts people).

  • It is probably pretty easy to be a liberal when you come from a wealthy and powerful family with plenty of lawyers on call. I am really hard pressed to think of any of the legislation he championed that really affected him. Taxes, probably not. Education, probably not. Immigration, probably not. Health care? Decidedly not.

    Rick

  • Way, way back in the day, I listened to Mike Malloy’s show on WLS. He was never not insane. His show was crazier than Art Bell’s.

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