Senator Ted Kennedy - I will miss you
Senator Kennedy died. I met Ted Kennedy in person twice in two milestones of my life. Once to tell him about Salem where they care for abandoned and abused kids - and he wrote me a personal check to support Salem - and once he encouraged me to speak out and stand up on the important issues of our time on the radio. The last legislation he sponsored and helped pass was the Family Opportunity Act. States can now expand Medicaid coverage to children with special needs, allowing low- and middle-income families with disabled children to purchase coverage under the Medicaid program. For many disabled children, Medicaid is the only health insurance program offering sufficient benefits to cover the required care, such as physical therapy and medical equipment. The Family Opportunity Act allows parents of disabled children to go to work and earn above poverty wages without losing coverage for their children. Senator Edward M. Kennedy the "liberal lion of the Senate," championed health care reform, working wages and equal rights. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the nation's highest civilian honor -- by President Obama- Senator Ted Kennedy - February 22, 1932 - August 26, 2009 - May you rest in peace.
It is easy, Gerald, to blame Kennedy for losing in 1980, but you're off base. Carter was reluctant to take on health care in his first term and Ted was tired of waiting. Jimmy Carter had all the right ideas, but little notion of how to accomplish them. This was the basis of Kennedy's oppossition and he dared to oppose a sitting president just as his brother had with Johnson over Viet-Nam. To blame Ted for Reagan is like blaming Bobby for Nixon. Chappaquiddick had more to do with Teddy losing and the hostages had more to do with Reagan winning.
Since posting that I have listened to the Wed podcast and was reminded of the great "liberal defence" quote from JFK that Teddy would quote as a proud liberal. It occurs to me that had another great Liberal, Walter Mondale, had the presence of mind to use that retort to Reagan in the 84 debate it might have changed a lot. Of course, if Ted had been able to articulate "why he wanted to be President" in the famous interview which he stumbed through things might have been different as well.
Nick, good point! This is why sane dialogue is so important. Plus, I believe that Jimmy Carter also had a Democratic Congress and Senate. But, I must ask myself, "Do the powers that be really want health care for all Americans?"
Like you Thom, I'm 58. I find myself singing that song by Dion that unfortunately became famous in the 60"s
"Didn't you love the things that they stood for
Didn't they try to find some good in you and me
And we'll be free
Some day soon
It's gonna be a one day
Anybody here seen my old friend Teddy
Can you tell me where he's gone
I thought I saw him walking up over the hill
With Abraham, Martin (Bobby) and John"
The thing that made him so special is that, by all rights, given his family name and wealth, and position, he could have easily been on the other side of so many issues that are important to everyday folks, like many others are, yet he choose, for whatever private reasons he might have had, to be on our side, to defend the poorest among us against the wealthiest, to defend the weakest among us against the strongest. In that sense he truly represented government of the people, by the people and most importantly FOR the people. Once again we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether we'll have that kind of nation, or one run by corporations, for corporations. We could have used his help. A lion is a good thing to have on your side in a fight.
There has been much praise given to Ted Kennedy. I have a different take on Ted Kennedy. Yes, Thom is right that we must be more Christian in our assessment of Mr. Kennedy. I have a problem because my perceptual opinion remembers his pettiness in his run to unseat a sitting president from his same party. He helped to divide the election that gave Reagan the win. From Reagan to even the present administration we have had poor leadership. Reagan opened the door to the biggest Ponzi scheme in American history - REAGANOMICS. This is the buzz word for tinkle down economic policies that have hurt the American people.