Ted Kennedy RIP

Sen (Edward) Ted Kennedy is dead. He was a friend of Ireland and a foe of gunmen. A hero of the less privileged and a champion of peace. The last tower of Camelot is gone but the change he campaigned for all his life in Ireland and in America is happening today in many way because of him.

The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die

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Adds: Nice tribute by Steve Clemons on Huffington Post.

Adds: My own personal tribute.

  • willis

    This seems to sum up well the complexity of the man.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/aug/24/ted-kennedy-massachusetts-senate

    “With television broadcasting the debate nationally, Kennedy, obese and haggard, stepped out of his fumble-mouthed persona and wiped up the floor with Romney. Rather than getting lost in a tangle of half-formed thoughts, Kennedy forthrightly portrayed himself as a fighter for universal healthcare, abortion rights and other liberal causes – a pugnacious stance enhanced by the fact that he was, characteristically, bellowing.

    The two men stretched the truth in seeking portray the other as having benefited from questionable business deals. But Romney never recovered when Kennedy responded: “Mr Romney, the Kennedys are not in public service to make money. We have paid too high a price in our commitment to public service.”

    Kennedy’s invocation of his dead brothers was, of course, a cheap shot. But it was also politically brilliant. On election day, Kennedy thrashed Romney by 17 points. If you go strictly by the final numbers, in retrospect Romney’s challenge looks like that of just another pretender. But Kennedy’s overwhelming victory wouldn’t have been possible if he hadn’t risen to the occasion at a moment when few thought he had it in him.”

  • Big Maggie

    RIP, Ted.

    He was a great man in many ways, although flawed.

    But which of us is not flawed?

    He never quite lived down the scandal of Chappaquiddick but seemed to wish to make up for it in later life with his many good works and fights for humanity. I like to see those as his way of repenting.

  • Comrade Stalin

    He never quite lived down the scandal of Chappaquiddick

    The aftermath of which said as much about the US justice system as it did the Senator.

    This kind of posthumous whitewashing goes on every time a public figure dies.

  • =

    Says Conall, ‘… violence was an anathema to him’

    It sure was the night he ran off after crashing his car on that bridge, leaving a young lady, he was probably dating, to die in the cold water of a lonely river….

    Some guy…and he cheated in his law exams…..

    Some example…luckily he never got the Presidency…..the lame duck he back recently is enough to have to live with.

    As to Ireland…..I think his influence is overhyped…..he was no friend of Unionism….

    I sympathise with his family on the death of a loved one but his political legacy is not one I’ll be honoring.

  • For the record Mary Jo wud now be 69 if she was still alive. She was 28 when Ted last saw her.

  • Big Maggie

    “he was no friend of Unionism….”

    Now why would that have been?

  • Dec

    “he was no friend of Unionism….”

    As opposed to…?

  • =

    Big Maggie…like a lot of Plastic Paddys….he lived the never to be achieved dream of a ‘united Oirland’…..a republican who didn’t approve of the IRA’s physical force but nevertheless would have accepted and did accept anything they achieved through their violence.

    The fact that we now have a terrorist as joint First Minister was something Kennedy approved of, forgetting that the man never ever repented for the murders, bombings, mayhem and terrorism he directed for over 30 years.

    Ted’s aim was to destroy Unionism, not through force but like Hume and others, reducing the British presence….dimmer switch Britishness.

    I don’t mourn his passing…..better men no doubt passed away today….all of them anonymously.

  • Ted’s sister Eunice died a fortnight ago.

  • Big Maggie

    Good grief,

    I’m sorry I asked.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Mary Jo Kopeckne was unavailable for comment.

  • Greenflag

    ‘he was no friend of Unionism….”

    Unionism doesn’t have many . He was after all a member of the US Senate and not the Israeli Knesset where I believe ‘unionism’ still retains a few ‘admirers ‘ 🙁 There are of course the new found fair weather Tory friends but post election it’ll be another story.

    Kennedy was not without his flaws and there’s no doubt that he would have become President had his private life been unblemished .

    He worked very hard for health care reform ,education and women’s issues. And lived long enough to endorse Obama for the Democratic nomination.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Greenflag: “Unionism doesn’t have many . He was after all a member of the US Senate and not the Israeli Knesset where I believe ‘unionism’ still retains a few ‘admirers ’ 🙁 ”

    Republicanism, on the other hand, had friends in most the Semtex supplying end of the Arab world.

    Teddy bought the pretty myth and never had to deal with the ugly reality… but it may have just been the Chivas Regal.

    Greenflag: “He worked very hard for health care reform ,education and women’s issues.”

    Which is risible, since the Senate insulates itself from the programs it imposes on the populace, he cheated his way through college and he had more than a few of his own “women’s issues.”

  • I take it we have to allow 24 hours homage before jokes are allowed here. Seems a tad reverential.
    Seems most of my office colleagues are non pc.

  • fin

    “Republicanism, on the other hand, had friends in most the Semtex supplying end of the Arab world.”

    You’re just showing off cos unionism got theirs direct from State,

  • Dathi

    Poor Ted..the only reason he got anywhere at all in this world was because of his two dead brothers.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    fin: “You’re just showing off cos unionism got theirs direct from State, ”

    Never be ashamed of what you are, fin, or whom your fellow travelers are.

    If you sleep with dogs, you shouldn’t be surprised you wake in a kennel.

  • Clay Davis

    Correction: He stood by his fellow Bostonian (Newtownian, to be precise), Mitchell Reiss, who stood by the McCartney sisters. Reiss needed all of the support he could get if he was going to get the McCartney family into the White House, as neither the British nor Irish governments wanted them there. Kennedy’s support of Reiss led to an ill-tempered and hypocritical piece from Danny Morrison re: Chappaquiddick. Thus ended Gerry Adams’s relationship with Teddy: if you look at the footage from 8 May, you will notice that whilst Jean Kennedy-Smith embraced Adams, Teddy politely ignored Grizzly.

  • Mick Fealty

    Mike,

    It’s simply a ‘public order’ measure. We’ve had our fair share of disorderly conduct on obit threads here in the past. Legit criticism fine though.

  • Mick Fealty

    Mike,

    It’s simply a ‘public order’ measure. We’ve had our fair share of disorderly conduct on obit threads here in the past. Legit criticism fine though.

  • RepublicanStones

    RIP.

  • A N Other

    “Big Maggie…like a lot of Plastic Paddys….he lived the never to be achieved dream of a ‘united Oirland’…..a republican who didn’t approve of the IRA’s physical force but nevertheless would have accepted and did accept anything they achieved through their violence.

    The fact that we now have a terrorist as joint First Minister was something Kennedy approved of, forgetting that the man never ever repented for the murders, bombings, mayhem and terrorism he directed for over 30 years.

    Ted’s aim was to destroy Unionism, not through force but like Hume and others, reducing the British presence….dimmer switch Britishness.

    I don’t mourn his passing…..better men no doubt passed away today….all of them anonymously.

    Posted by = on Aug 26, 2009 @ 10:43 AM”

    I take it this is Robbo you’re referring to??

    Or was it just me and Ulster Resistance, in addition to Clontibret, never happened…

    Congrats on your whataboutery…keep drinking that oranger-flavoured Kool Aid…

  • Rory Carr

    Like any other human being Edward Kennedy suffered from defects of character which I am sure could not have been any greater than my own and which it would be unseemly to dwell upon at this moment.

    In any case our thoughts must turn to his work and achievements which were nothing short of magnificent. For almost half a century in the richest nation on earth he has been the champion of the poor, the sick, the aged and the marginalised and his stamp has been upon almost every piece of progressive legislation enacted in the US that was of benefit to those groups and that more often than not in the teeth of the most vicious rearguard actions from those legislators who took their cue only and ever from that ruthless and exploitative class that puts rate of profit above all, regardless of the cost in human misery.

    Humanity has lost a mighty warrior for justice.

    R.I.P. Edward Kennedy.

  • Greenflag

    Well said Rory !

    If there had been a dozen or more Ted Kennedy’s in the US Senate the USA today might not be propping up the bottom of the table for the greatest inequality in health and education as between rich and poor in the countries of the developed world .

  • =

    Greenflag tells us ould Ted did a lot for ‘women’s issues’…..I’m sure you all heard of the time he introduced an abortion bill in the Senate…..

    One of the dolly bird interns came up to him in the Senate corridor and asked, ‘Ted, what about the abortion bill?’

    Says, Ted…..Ah..ah…don’t worry, I’ll put a cheque in the post tonight’.

  • Big Maggie

    Such naked hatred. Shameful. Ted was well aware of such toxicity in Northern Ireland and worked to eradicate it.

    A good legacy. I hope when I go that I’ll be remembered for a tiny fraction of what he achieved.