Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy - Living in the Shadows

This morning the last living son of Joseph Kennedy Sr died. Sen. Ted Kennedy was 77 when he succumbed to the affliction he has battled recently.

Too young to serve in WWII and become a war hero like his older brothers Joe Jr and Jack, it seemed Ted would always be in the shadow. In politics, he stayed in the shadows while his brothers Jack and Bobby went to Washington DC and the White House. It was not until all of his older brothers were gone did Ted Kennedy emerge from his brothers' shadows. Like Jack and Bobby, he had a chance to being the Democrats' candidate for President, but his far too human nature at a place called Chappaquidick would deny him that as he cowardly dithered over creating a cover story while an innocent woman named Mary Jo drowned in Ted's car.

So Ted settled into his seat in the Senate where he became a fixture, some called him a lion. What he was was a master of pork and bluster. When he dared to lecture Clarence Thomas it cemented his reputation as a hypocrite.

And in his fading days, instead of being a selfless statesman Ted Kennedy tried to hang on to power. This time could have been used by Ted to promote a successor to his seat, instead it seemed Ted nestled deeper into that seat determined to weild power until the last. So now his state is left in mourning while the legislature has to deal with what to do with Ted's last power scheme - rewite the 2004 law he ramrodded to make a vacant Senate seat filled by state election that the now stricken Ted wanted changed back to what it was before the 2004 change.

Perhaps it is fitting that Ted Kennedy's last political act is one that will cause turmoil, controversy, and argument. It definately removes him from the shadows of his older and more accomplished brothers.


pat said...

Frankly, I always thought of Ted Kennedy as a dimwit. A cheater in college, as well in life. A philanderer, a coward, a cheat and a fool. He was a tool of the left because he could not think for himself. He was a philanderer because he married a woman smarter and more mature. Other than the sorry state of his personal affairs, he will be most remembered for lying about the expense and consequence of every Bill he ever passed.

Anna said...

Being in the literal shadow of three brothers who were heroes and martyrs, what did it do to Ted's soul? He sought a path to get out of that shadow in later years.

George Will wrote today that the 1980 bid of his for President expelled the ghosts of Ted's brothers. But I have to ask George, by that time the whole spectre and image of Camelot was so firmly entrenched, there was no way to escape it for Ted. So he draped it upon his shoulders to cover his failings. So the mirage that was Camelot becamse Ted's armour against all who keenly saw his failings. He used Camelot as a shield while he did things that his brothers would have opposed. So shadows became part of Ted's soul.

Mike's America said...

The thought occurred to me that since Dems are insisting we honor Ted Kennedy by passing their hell scare bill, they might also want to promote Ted's plan for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq and also Afghanistan.

Or has defeat there now become something Dems don't want to see?

Anna said...

Defeat is not wanted by democrats if it can be tied to them. They may hide the looming defeat behind bland words. Even committed progressives do not want to appear defeatist least the poli rise up.

Looking at the list of speakers for the funeral, the chance of it being the sequel to Wellstone is there. We got Mumbles Menio, Deval Patrick, and Nancy 'The CIA are liars' Pelosi in the queue.