Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hero or villain?


It's been interesting to see the commentary on the Internet today about the passing of Sen. Ted Kennedy. There are some on the right fringe who can focus only on his past troubles with the bottle and his role in the death of a girl 40 years ago. There are some on the left who act as if he's a saint we all should be worshipping. I'm more in the middle. I saw a flawed man who seemed to sincerely care about his fellow man, particularly the less fortunate among us. While I'm certainly not ready to nominate him for sainthood, I think, on balance, he was a person who did much more good than harm in his life.

Labels: ,

56 Comments:

Anonymous Newslady said...

I agree with you. Back in the 60s when he was boozing and womanizing, he was a total loser. But, it seems like after his night of debauchery and drinking with nephew William Kennedy Smith
(1991) he turned his life around somewhat.

You could argue that it was too little too late, as Mary Jane K. never had a chance to turn her life around, but he still did it and I respect him for that.

He could have remained a loser and the people of MASS would no doubt still have re-elected him time and time again, but he became more of a statesman and champion of the poor and elderly and for health care reform.

Hell, even Republicans respected him. I'm sorry that he won't be around to see health care passed.

August 26, 2009 at 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was both flawed and heroic. In the end, he championed causes that made America a better place. It's interesting that there was such a clamor for him to run for president for so many years, but, when all is said and done, being in the Senate was probably his true calling.

--Brad Hundt

August 26, 2009 at 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One has to admire his passion and motivation for the causes he promoted. His zeal for wanting to get certain legislation passed was immense.

It's too bad his ideas were so far off base in too many cases. But, I will not elaborate on that here.

He does demonstrate the need for something to be done to move these people out of office after some period of time. What was his tenure, 46 years? That is waaaaaay too long. He overstayed his welcome soooo long ago. He is not alone. Byrd and Helms are two others that come to mind as being there far toooo long. The ideas of the founders on elected servants did not include these lifetime (or almost longer than lifetime) tenures.

Yes, he did some stupid things, but we all have a record ourselves. It is too bad his last move in the letter to have his seat filled quickly is the most recent. It comes after he wrote a similar letter a few years ago, asking for an appointment on vacancy to be delayed until a next election. His handlers clearly should have counseled him last week to put down the pen and tablet, forget the letter. This last move really made him look like a dumb politician.

August 26, 2009 at 8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think he ever stopped boozing and womanizing. He was just more careful about it.
To the Kennedys, it was sport.
I always found it interesting that NOW never had any problems with the good senator. Never a peep about him.
That said, he did serve his constituents well, even if I don't agree with him pretty much on anything.
But, as another poster stated, 46 years in the Senate is too long for any person.

August 26, 2009 at 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do find it interesting that the good senator was so concerned about his successor. Wanted to change the rule that called for a special vote to be held and instead allow the governor to replace him.
Of course that law was changed when John Kerry was running for president in 2004 and Mitt Romney, a Republican, was governor.
What the hell are they afraid of, the people of Massachusetts electing a Republican?
Ted's got a better shot of rising from his grave than that does of happening.

August 26, 2009 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

When they changed the rule in regard to Kerry, they were afraid that then-republican governor Mitt Romney would appoint a republican.

August 27, 2009 at 6:32 AM  
Anonymous Billy Joel Maddison said...

two words come to mind "term limits"

two other words come to mind also

" douche bag " not " big dig "

August 27, 2009 at 7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, Newslady give him credit for 'turning his life around' in 1991. That would put him in his 60's. Odd line of thinking.
The only thing I can credit him with his not just spending his dads money. At least he had some ambition.

August 27, 2009 at 7:31 AM  
Anonymous don't poke @ the dems said...

LOL why are the dems trying to change the rules again? They must feel entitled to that seat? Master Obama might be right, time for a change!!!

August 27, 2009 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I agree... leave it the way it is and just wait for 2010 to extend out supermajority to a super-duper majority.

August 27, 2009 at 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who among us isn't flawed? The Kennedys weren't the first nor the last rich people to live excessively, have affairs and use their wealth to gain political power. Given the tragedies Ted had to deal with in his life, it's remarkable that he was coherent, let alone effective. He did more good than harm. No one can say if his brother, had they lived, they would have been more effective.

August 27, 2009 at 9:34 AM  
Anonymous trig said...

so what you just said is, pick up any drunk, pay him very good for 50 years and maybe in the last ten he would show up twice a week not drunk so he is a good man? well shitfire and save the matches take my paw paw.

August 27, 2009 at 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The answer to your question is yes, he was a hero and villain. I don't know what it would be like to live the life of a Kennedy but I don't think it would be easy.

Kennedy was like everyone of us, a mixture of success and failure. His were just more exposed because of who he was. There is no debate he was one of the most important and influential senators in the country but he also had wild streak in his personal life.

The other part to this is the legacy he had to live up to and the history that must have stalked him. I wonder how many times he winced when a car backfired near him or was startled by a loud noise. Assassination had to be on his mind on a daily basis.

I think I would drink a lot under those circumstances.

August 27, 2009 at 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find the willingness to forgive Kennedy for his involvement with the death of a human being and the misuse of women including a possible rape in the family and other massive indiscretions interestings in light of the comments regarding Michael Vick. Human beings are more important than animals, yet Kennedy can be forgiven and praised and Vick must stay a pariah forever. Strange strange logic.
He did what he did because it served his ego and his desire for power. He wanted a legacy and he gained it.
I hold him in no contempt and don't mind that he was in office so long. The voters of his state perfered him to the alternatives that is how it should remain. He was their champion and represented their viewpoint in politics.
BTW Ellispes if you think the Dems are gaining seats in 2010..wow, it has only happened twice in American history in midterms and the GW Bush was one of them. That took September 11th to help propel a party. The time is now for the Democratic party's agenda, not after 2010 or even right before it. Not a partisan thing, but part of the nature of our system.

August 27, 2009 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

And the pens never won the cup until the first time they won the cup... and past results are not indicative of future performance...

Anything can happen... the GOP isn't doing themselves any favors right now

August 27, 2009 at 9:53 AM  
Anonymous robert byrd said...

our forefathers warned of people like mr. ed kennedy. 50 years?? shouldn't it be King Kennedy??

August 27, 2009 at 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellispes the best indication of previous behavior is past behavior.. your argument does not hold water. It is based on partisan desire rather than the cold hard facts of politics.
People look for things to justify their position when looking at politics from a partisan position, that is what you are doing.
As most those with liberal bends or those that are partisan in their thinking on both sides, you ignore history except when you believe it supports your position.
The party in power weakens as it fufills its agenda. Opposition builds amongst those in the middle regardless of the desires of those most partisan in the two parties.

Some of us choose to not be guided by our own desires and instead see the world as it is, not as we hope it would be.

August 27, 2009 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

And your logical and detached view of the political landscape right now is one in which the GOP is going to gain seats?

That's a reasonable assessment, I guess... A lot of that depends on what happens between now and, say, august of 2010... there certainly IS opportunity for the right... but on their current trajectory, barring any catastrophic failure on the part of the left, I can't see the regional party of bibles guns and birth certificates picking up any sway.

August 27, 2009 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger MJ said...

Sorry, E, but I also doubt the Dems will gain seats. Americans like divided government, and I can't say I blame them. However, I will be surprised if the Dems lose control of either the House or Senate.

August 27, 2009 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Mike, it may appear that way (Americans liking a divided government) but I would stop way shy of saying that is WHY dems will lose seats... We have a divided government because we have a divided nation... nobody is going to the polls on election day to vote for someone they disagree with just for the sake of keeping the balance of power equal in the house and senate.

For example... I might vote for Sestak in the primary... but if specter is the dem on the ticket, there's no way in hell I'm voting for Toomey. Honestly, I like Arlen... but I could stand someone a little more liberal and a lot younger...

August 27, 2009 at 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The best indication of previous behavior is past behavior"??

"As most those with liberal bends"??

How's it going, Cody?

--Brad Hundt

August 27, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Polling and other data have shown that most American's like divided government.
Again, Ellispes argues for what he desires. Those that are partisan in both parties make similar arguments but they are not the ones that decide elections.

August 27, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I have said repeatedly that I wish the GOP would take a rational position so that the balance of power would NOT skew too heavily in one direction...

You say that americans want a divided government... ok. What's the alternative? One party rule? Nobody is going to say they want that...

Going back to my example... nobody is going to vote for someone they don't agree with just because they think their side is winning by too many senators or congressmen.

Are you saying that they will? Are you saying that a bunch of liberals are going to vote for a bible banging neo con just so that there isn't a veto-proof majority in the senate?

Are you saying that a bunch of evangelicals are going to vote for a pro-choice anti-gun candidate just so their state isn't perceived as too red?

My argument is that people aren't going to vote for republicans "just because."

August 27, 2009 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

The politicization of Kennedy's death is a bit disturbing, and I'm not talking about Dems using it to bump health care or approval ratings. It's the right-wing media that is accusing the other side of using his death for their own benefit. Maybe I'm not paying enough attention, but how has anyone used his death for political gain? All I've seen on the news is documentaries on his life/career. People like Hannity and Limbaugh should be ashamed of themselves (I know, kinda hard because they have no shame) that they're already accusing the Dems of this before Kennedy's body is even cold. Let the family grieve first.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26514.html

August 27, 2009 at 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its a 5 oclock world when the whistle blows...No one owns a piece of my time...

August 27, 2009 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

16 tons and waddaya get?

August 27, 2009 at 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellispes I am saying that the moderates the people in the middle sway between the parties. It is interesting that Republicans, a party that you are not a member of any longer must take a "rational" hence your view point of the issues.
Those that are not on the extremes of the parties worry that the world is becoming too partisan and just a tab bit out of whack by both sides and their supporters.

August 28, 2009 at 2:15 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

And why, pray tell, do you think that I am no longer a republican?

And what does that say about their aptitude for capturing the votes of the moderates?

August 28, 2009 at 6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The world will be no worse off without this guy that actually thought a "screw driver" was something to drink.
However, he sure knew what his pecker was for.
And what a courages man he was - just ask Mary Jo!
The lion roars no more, and that IS a VERY good thing.

BTW: How many more communist is Obama going to put in positions of power before the American people finally have enough of this Marxist? I've had enough now!
DON'T TREAD ON ME

August 28, 2009 at 6:15 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

Name one communist Obama has put in a position of power.

August 28, 2009 at 10:33 PM  
Anonymous just one said...

1. Van Jones

August 28, 2009 at 11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTXOzAAqnho

van jones bio

August 28, 2009 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I know that this is a closed-minded statement, but I don't care how much good Kennedy did. To me, he'll never be anything more than a murderer who used his power and wealth to beat the system. My only question is, does the hush money to the Kopechne family stop now that TK is gone, or was it a lifelong agreement?

August 29, 2009 at 7:15 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Are there restrictions on which political or economic views are allowed in our government?

I know there isn't a religious test...

August 29, 2009 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger MJ said...

I'm digging the dramatic piano music in your Van Jones youtube clip. Unfortunately, I can't take anything Glenn Becks says seriously. Just another tired rant by a lunatic.

Here's the other side of the coin...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eva-paterson/glenn-becks-attack-on-van_b_271518.html

August 29, 2009 at 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glenn Becks is a fact man. Libs don't like facts.

Must be tired surfing all day.

August 29, 2009 at 2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted Kennedy was a crap jocky when he was alive, and he is stillone now that he is dead.
However, he was rich enought to get away with murder.
Go straight eo Hell Ted it's just what you deserve!
One less lib to put up with. Hooray!!

August 29, 2009 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

"Glenn Becks is a fact man."

There HAS to be a God... for who else could deliver such awesomely entertaining fare as this?!

LoL... Glenn Beck uses pulp fiction spy drama novels as historical research :-)

August 29, 2009 at 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Ted goes to hell, he'll have plenty of Repuiblican company. AMybe because being with a Kennedy is Republican hell.

August 29, 2009 at 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would a drunken murderer be allowed to rest in peace with true American Heros? I think the familes of the 300,000 should kick out the drunk! He will spoil the dirt of the true Americans.

Don't forget Papa Kennedy funded the Nazi's also!

Rest in hell Kennedy's!

August 29, 2009 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

Stay classy, Republicans!

August 30, 2009 at 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stay classy, Republicans!
..........................
I'm a Democrat and even I think Teddy was a no good SOB! Certainly NOT worth all the time wasted glorifying his pathetic drunken ass.
You stay stupid MJ!

August 30, 2009 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

Fine, I retract my previous statement. Instead, I think you should cash in your human card, because you clearly have no compassion.

Anyway, I'm seeing what this "discussion" is devolving into, so I'm going to move on from this thread. Continue to launch your anonymous messages of hate and personal attacks. I won't read them anymore.

August 30, 2009 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Mike Jones is a classy dude. Someone should give that guy a job :-)

Which do you guys dislike Kennedy for more? Being a drunk or killing someone with his car?

This is a leading question, I admit :-)

C'mon now, take the bait!

August 30, 2009 at 3:41 PM  
Anonymous the anonymous one said...

It's only a bait question if you care about the left right paradigm.

Bush was a burn out, his wife (was never a political person)killed a person with the car, and Obama is the poster child for all types of drugs.

Doesn't change the fact that Teddy was a drunk driver and killed that girl.

August 30, 2009 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I'm a fan of the "right/wrong" paradigm...

Kennedy caused the death of that girl- right.

Kennedy accomplished more good as a balls to the wall drunk than most people do in their entire lives- right.

Drug use is an "issue" regarding public servants- wrong.

August 30, 2009 at 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellispes
Drug use amongst public officials is not an issue? Wow, proves what I feel all the time reading your posts..
Those that use drugs are unwilling to deal with the reality. They use them to escape reality and responsibility combined with compromises on ethics, morals and a general willingness to lie.
If this is what you consider non issues, then I understand why you have moved to the far left. Just puts everything you post into context.

August 31, 2009 at 6:21 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Do you think that we could consistently elect a president, senator, or congressman... in this day and age... who has NEVER smoked pot?

If you insist on it being an issue, you dramatically reduce the pool of eligible candidates and take a number of solid candidates off the table.

August 31, 2009 at 6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Mike Jones spent as much time putting out resumes and beating the pavement as he does blogging about his existence and 'how hard' it is right now he would be in the productive sector of our economy.

August 31, 2009 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

One could argue that George W. Bush, who was a heavy drinker in his earlier days and a reputed cocaine user, employed those substances to escape reality. I never held that against him. If someone smokes dope every day, or drinks to excess on a daily basis, then I have questions about their ability to be my elected leader. If it was something in their past, or it's a rare occurrence, I have no problem with it.

August 31, 2009 at 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If someone smokes dope every day, or drinks to excess on a daily basis,
--------------------------
Perfect description of Teddy

August 31, 2009 at 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too much booze cause brain cancer.
Well, at least we know it doesn't cure brain cancer.
Ron

August 31, 2009 at 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Binky said...

Why do we let our elected officals slide on the laws they make? I mean they hold the American public to high standards that they could never reach. Why do we elect these bums? Cause they are rich? If you have a cpl million in the bank, why do you want to work in public service? To line your pockets even more.

I hear they have triple the old guard protecting Kennedys grave cause grave robbers want to still his liver to open a chain of bars.

August 31, 2009 at 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Binky, it's STEAL!!

August 31, 2009 at 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pure and simple, all politicians are self-serving crooks Nothing more, nothing less.

August 31, 2009 at 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There once was a Senator from Mass.
Who wanted a new piece of a**
He lucked up and found her
He f**ked up and drowned her
Now his chance to be president has passed

September 1, 2009 at 7:04 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home