Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I agreed with little of Kennedy's politics, and regarded him as hypocritical in that his wealth would insulate him from the effects of the liberal/progressive programs that he famously espoused. He was the archetypal "limousine liberal." I also didn't think much of his character, what with stories of cheating in college an law school, philandering, support for government-paid abortion while claiming to be Catholic and of course the Big Issue, Mary Jo Kopechne.
All that said, however, he was probably the last liberal who understood that sometimes you need to listen to the other guy and compromise in order to craft legislation that (a) could get bipartisan support in Washington and, (b) be acceptable to a large plurality, if not a majority, of ordinary Americans. Given the penchant of the voters in Massachusetts to elect extreme lefties to federal office, I fear that whoever replaces Mr. Kennedy in the Senate will be much more along the lines of John Kerry, Harry Reid and Barack Obama than, say Joe Lieberman, Claire McCaskill or Mary Landrieu.
The nation has suffered a loss, and we don't yet know how great it is. At least Kennedy was a known quantity who on occasion exhibited some common sense, and by all accounts he was personally a very likeable man. I'm not sure whoever the good people of Massachusetts elect to replace him will be either.