Ted Kennedy, RFK, Progressive Values and Jack Newfield

I was watching MSNBC, and Chris Matthews was giving Senator Ted Kennedy his due as one of the greatest Senators in the history of the Senate. And then he mentioned that Senator Kennedy was hoping to see in Barack Obama what he had seen from his brother Robert F. Kennedy - the ability to bring the white working class together with African Americans, Latinos, the old and the young. Whether Obama can do do that, and we all hope he can, it brought to mind for me the late great muckraking journalist Jack Newfield, who thought the world of Bobby Kennedy. Jack considered Bobby Kennedy the last candidate of his lifetime to be able to bring the natural coalitions for Democrats and progressives together. Jack probably would have seen the same promise in Obama. Again, whether that will be proven right or not, remains to be seen.

But in 2002, two years before he died, Jack Newfield wrote one of the great articles ever written about Ted Kennedy, the Senator. And I would like to share some of that with you on the flip.

When Ted Kennedy arrived in Washington at the close of 1962 as the freshman senator from Massachusetts, he was welcomed with derision and low expectations. Just 30 years old, the President's kid brother, he had accomplished nothing in his life to earn the prize of a seat in the US Senate. Most pundits saw him as a dummy who had cheated on an exam at Harvard to stay eligible for football and who was dependent on an excellent staff to compensate for his inexperience.

Now, forty years later, Ted Kennedy looks like the best and most effective senator of the past hundred years. He has followed the counsel of his first Senate tutor, Phil Hart of Michigan, who told him you can accomplish anything in Washington if you give others the credit. Kennedy has drafted and shaped more landmark legislation than liberal giants like Robert Wagner, Hubert Humphrey, Estes Kefauver and Herbert Lehmann. He has survived tragedy and scandal, endured presidential defeat, right-wing demonization, ridicule by TV comics. Now, at 70, he has evolved into a joyous Job. His career has become an atonement for one night of indefensible behavior, when he failed to report the fatal 1969 accident in which he drove off the bridge at Chappaquiddick, leaving a young woman to drown in the car. He has converted persistence into redemption.

. . . . After forty years, Ted Kennedy's name, or imprint, is on an impressive array of legislative monuments, including: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for which he delivered his maiden Senate speech; the Voting Rights Act of 1965; the expansion of the voting franchise to 18-year-olds; the $24 billion Kennedy-Hatch law of 1997, which provided health insurance to children with a new tax on tobacco; two increases in the minimum wage; the Kennedy-Kassebaum bill, which made health insurance portable for workers; the 1988 law that allocated $1.2 billion for AIDS testing, treatment and research; the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act; the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act; and last year's 1,200-page education reform act, which he negotiated directly with President Bush and his staff.

Kennedy has also helped abolish the poll tax, liberalize immigration laws, fund cancer research and create the Meals on Wheels program for shut-ins and the elderly. In 1985 Kennedy and Republican Lowell Weicker co-sponsored the legislation that imposed economic sanctions on the apartheid government of South Africa. The bill became law despite opposition from Bob Dole, a filibuster by Jesse Helms and a veto by President Reagan. Only Kennedy could have mustered the votes to override by 78 to 21 a veto from Reagan at the height of his power.

Kennedy also ignited, and then led like a commando, the successful resistance to Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination by Reagan in 1987. Kennedy's passionate opposition from day one helped keep abortion legal in America. If confirmed, Bork would have provided the fifth vote to repeal Roe v. Wade. Instead, Reagan was forced to nominate Anthony Kennedy in Bork's place, and Justice Kennedy has supported the retention of legal abortion as settled precedent. . . .

As Jack Newfield demonstrated ,Ted Kennedy has been a giant and let's hope he remains fighting for us, fighting for progressives and our values for years to come.

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    I hate (5.00 / 14) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:44:35 PM EST
    to rain on your parade but Obama is not that candidate. IIRC, Bobby Kennedy went to the hills of KY to actually talk to the people there and listen to their concerns. Obama is not doing this and is even insulting these people. He seems to have written them off. I think that he is so immeshed in black liberation theology that he automatically thinks they are all racists. At least that is the impression that I get.

    I am constantly amazed (5.00 / 8) (#9)
    by madamab on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:49:26 PM EST
    at BTD's ability to see qualities in Obama that simply do not, and will never, exist.

    Obama is not a progressive. He is not even a Democrat. To compare him with RFK is insulting to RFK's memory.


    Ya think? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by madamab on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:55:01 PM EST
    As my post made quite clear, I was talking about BTD, not Ted Kennedy.

    You are deliberately (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by madamab on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:00:06 PM EST
    misrepresenting what I said.

    BTD, not quoting Kennedy, hopes Obama can be like RFK. I don't think he can; in fact, the one most like RFK in this race is Hillary. She is much more of a uniter than Obama.

    I disagree with Ted Kennedy too, on many things, including Obama. I have great respect for Senator Kennedy nonetheless, and he can certainly say whatever he likes about his own brother.

    I have great respect for BTD too.


    We think Obama is a bigot. (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by lorelynn on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:11:42 PM EST
    RFK was not a bigot. Regardless of what Ted Kennedy thinks, we see comparing RFK, whom we admire,  to a morally inferior person like Obama as an insult. Misogyny is as bad as racism  and Obama himself, and many of his supporters, have repeatedly engaged in misogynistic behavior. That's why we regard it as an insult.

    Obama has engaged in a mindboggling (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by lorelynn on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:19:22 PM EST
    amount of misogynist rhetoric for someone of his age and education. Then there is the fact that he has repeatedly exposed his daughters to Jeremiah Wright who engages in a tremendous amount of misogynist rhetoric. adn then there is obama's failure to ask his supporters to stop with the misogyny. Obama's a bigot.

    Ted can say what he wants, but a lot of women will percieve that we do RFK's name no favors when we compare the two of them.


    Well Ted Kennedy (none / 0) (#56)
    by IndiDemGirl on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:15:47 PM EST
    doesn't agree with you.  And I'll take his political opinion over yours, thank you.

    And Boddy Kennedy Jr. (5.00 / 5) (#79)
    by kenoshaMarge on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:24:13 PM EST
    doesn't agree with his Uncle Ted either because he endorsed Hillary Clinton as did his sister.

    Actually... (5.00 / 5) (#116)
    by AmyinSC on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:39:45 PM EST
    It was BOTH of his sisters...In other words, ALL of BOBBY'S children endorsed HILLARY.  The MSM only focused on Ted and Caroline, when at the same time, ALL of Bobby's came out in support of Hillary.  Very telling.

    Then again, the MSM RARELY covers ANY of Clinton's endorsements (e.g., how many people know that some MAJOR Native American tribes have endorsed Clinton?  Yeah, that's what I thought.).  Robert DeNito endorses Obama, and it is ALL the MSM can talk abt, even though Jack Nicholson endorsed Clinton the SAME DAY.  NO ONE talked abt that!  

    SO yeah - back to the issue at hand - Ted has had a long and distinguished career - nothing can detract from that.  But his brothers children obviously think Clinton has more in common with their father than Ted does.  For what that's worth.


    the oldest were (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by bjorn on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:44:45 PM EST
    about 16 or 17 I think, and there were 9 or something like that so they went down in age, the youngest I think was actually born after the assination.

    heh, cross posts (none / 0) (#122)
    by angie on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:43:30 PM EST
    I just posted about RFK, Jr. down thread -- totally agreed -- they never mention that fact about Hillary, as they want us to believe "all the Kennedys" are behind Obama.

    What a ridiculous argument (none / 0) (#154)
    by joanneleon on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:28:44 PM EST
    and how presumptuous of you.

    Some Obama supporters (the most fanatical ones) will go to any length to discredit anyone who supports Hillary, to put a negative spin on any news that is positive to Hillary Clinton, and to otherwise deny her any possible good that may come her way.  Really, you should seek help.  I think the psych experts are going to need to add CDS as an official medical diagnosis soon.


    Some Clinton supporters (none / 0) (#189)
    by IndiDemGirl on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:56:28 PM EST
    (the most fanatical ones) will go to any length to discredit anyone who supports Obama, to put a negative spin on any news that is positive to Obama, and to otherwise deny him any possible good that may come his way.  

    In this thread some Clinton supporters have implied that Senator Kennedy has been brain damaged by his tumor and that explains his support of Obama.  

    What will the psych experts do with that.


    Dueling Endorsements (none / 0) (#162)
    by daring grace on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:42:20 PM EST
    I don't really set much stock in endorsements, but while we're on this subject of competing Kennedys...

    Ethel Kennedy endorsed Obama.

    Does that make him more RFK-esque?

    Who knows? Who cares, really?

    I'm having trouble with the link so if you care to see it, you can go over to Huffington Post and find it under her name Ethel Skakel Kennedy on Feb. 2, 2008.


    no one here endorses McCain (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:40:10 PM EST
    well, no one serious.

    they may not endorse Obama either but it is not the same thing.


    Exactly. (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by madamab on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:42:03 PM EST
    Others may vote for McCain but I never, ever would.

    OTOH, I wouldn't condemn anyone for their choice in 2008. We are all doing what we feel is right for ourselves and our country.


    Quit the Super Delegates overturning the results. (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by alexei on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:46:18 PM EST
    This is a fallacious statement.  The Super Delegates if they vote for Hillary are fulfilling their function which is to choose the candidate best able to win in November and to be the best President using their judgment.

    The pledged delegate count is a flawed and ridiculous measure for "will of the people".  This has been pointed out many times here and just recently by BTD on the latest Nevada State Convention results.  The popular vote is the best measure for the "will of the people" and that includes FL and MI (funny how Dean hasn't mentioned his fifty state strategy for the Democratic Nomination).

    If Hillary is the popular vote leader, her argument for following the results of the primary is stronger than the byzantine and arcane system of delegate selection that only Democrats could invent.  If I decide to stay in this Party, (and no, I don't plan on voting for McCain), then I will work to see the elimination of the proportional delegate allocation and of caucuses.


    Superdelegates overturning the will of the people (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by g8grl on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:02:34 PM EST
    by voting for Clinton?  How often has that meme been proved inaccurate.  If the Superdelegates go for Clinton, it's no different than if the Superdelegates go for Obama.  I would argue that the Superdelegates going for Obama is overturning the results of the primaries since if they went with the way each of their states voted, Clinton would have won by now.  

    I hear you and I have seen the comments (none / 0) (#137)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:54:42 PM EST
    there are a lot of dashed dreams here.  give them some time.

    Could we get back to the subject (none / 0) (#156)
    by joanneleon on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:30:24 PM EST
    of Senator Kennedy's health and career?

    Huh? (none / 0) (#159)
    by squeaky on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:39:15 PM EST
    The topic is not Senator Kennedy's health. There is another thread to discuss Senator Kennedy's health although that would not be OT here, I am sure.

    This is topical, as distasteful as it may be to you:

    And then he mentioned that Senator Kennedy was hoping to see in Barack Obama what he had seen from his brother Robert F. Kennedy - the ability to bring the white working class together with African Americans, Latinos, the old and the young. Whether Obama can do do that, and we all hope he can,

    For pity's sake, read closely (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by Cream City on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:13:04 PM EST
    as that is BTD quoting Chris Matthews.

    And consult a calendar.  The story here is from 2002 and would not have mentioned Barack Obama.  Nobody outside of Chicago knew who the heck he was then, before the Kennedy-Kerry machine picked him to elevate to stardom in 2004.


    Your Reading Comprehension Could Use Some Work (5.00 / 4) (#61)
    by MO Blue on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:17:07 PM EST
    Tweety was opining on Kennedy's hopes. That was not a direct quote from Ted Kennedy.

    In your last two comments you have made it clear that you have no intentions other than distort what people on this cite say and to stir up trouble. If you are actually an Obama supporter, your actions are totally counterproductive. If you are a Republican troll, please crawl back into your hole.


    I will respond one last time. (none / 0) (#37)
    by madamab on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:10:31 PM EST
    And then he mentioned that Senator Kennedy was hoping to see in Barack Obama what he had seen from his brother Robert F. Kennedy - the ability to bring the white working class together with African Americans, Latinos, the old and the young. Whether Obama can do do that, and we all hope he can...

    That is the part I was talking about.

    I don't hope he can. I know he can't because he doesn't want to.


    No you don't know. (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Faust on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:23:21 PM EST
    Here is where I depart from ardent Clinton supporters. You DO NOT KNOW. You should not PRESUME to know. Very few of us KNOW, with certainty, much of anything (I try to be Socratic with regard to knowledge).  

    It MAY BE that you are correct in your assesment of Obama. But none of us know what the future holds with certainty.

    Of course BTD hopes that Obama MIGHT do great things. If Obama becomes a better man, a better leader, then that would be good for all of us.

    Doubting him is fine. There are many valid criticisms that can be leveled against him. But to categoricaly state that there is NO WAY that he could do great things because he is so fundamentaly corrupt in his character is a bit arrogant in my opinion. All people have the capacity for redemption.


    That's fine... (none / 0) (#87)
    by madamab on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:26:45 PM EST
    we can agree to disagree.

    Fair enough. (none / 0) (#113)
    by Faust on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:37:22 PM EST
    You must be joking. (1.00 / 1) (#51)
    by madamab on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:13:15 PM EST
    I bolded the part I was talking about.

    The part BTD added.

    You are being a total jerk.


    STOP IT (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by JavaCityPal on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:39:43 PM EST
    It's become impossible to figure out who is the troll.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by chrisvee on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:59:22 PM EST
    I'm starting to think that's the point.  Clearly the trolls aren't here to convert anyone. They apparently are here to create chaos so that eventually everyone just throws up their hands in disgust and leaves or TL shuts down comments.  The point is the chilling effect on the conversation, I think.

    I'm grossly off topic so I'll just close by saying that I appreciate getting to read these fine words written about Ted Kennedy who is I think one of the rate politicians who is actually worthy of admiration.


    Ugh--out of the blue: (none / 0) (#102)
    by Molly Pitcher on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:31:41 PM EST
    No one is quoting Kennedy, but someone is trying to describe why the author thought Kennedy made the endorsement.  That way, reading another person's mind, is a minefield.  Best not go that direction.

    Frankly this part of the thread has my mind reeling.  I think some of us said Obama is not an RFK re-incarnation.  Legal remark, I think.  And if anyone insulted RFK, I missed it--and will continue to miss it because these comments have exceedingly dubious roots.


    I think Kucinich.... (none / 0) (#161)
    by kdog on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:42:05 PM EST
    was the most like RFK policy wise.  RFK would think Hillary and Obama are Republicans.

    he may not be insulting his brother. (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:10:36 PM EST
    he never would, but that doesn't mean that he might choose to see things that just aren't there.

    Read the post again (none / 0) (#90)
    by ineedalife on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:27:10 PM EST
    He says that Chris Matthews says that. This is Matthew's mind-reading Ted Kennedy, not a Ted Kennedy quote. Big, big difference.

    Address the facts (5.00 / 5) (#25)
    by cawaltz on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:00:52 PM EST
    in the original poster's complaint. Bobby Kennedy was fearless. You woudn't see him shying away from Kentucky or West Virginia. He'd have fought hard to convince those people that he was right.

    In contrast, Obama didn't even bother going into West Virginia. Instead his campaign created a  made up narrative where not voting for Obama means you are either ill informed or racist.


    He knew his brother, but not Barack (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by goldberry on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:09:05 PM EST
    Obama is a shmoozer.  He hasn't demonstrated any great understanding for working class people.  In fact, he actively spurns them.  
    I hope Kennedy gets good treatment and has relief from his symtoms.  I also hope that he takes some time to reflect on what is happening to his party and has a change of mind before it is too late.  

    fine, let obama get his training wheels (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:11:30 PM EST
    on his time and not america's.

    Nope, Bill Clinton was a governor (5.00 / 5) (#57)
    by Cream City on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:16:17 PM EST
    and the longest-serving governor in the country then -- and thus, there is a major difference in their  comparable experience.  Come up with something else (but do research first).

    barrack obama is no bill clinton. (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:16:29 PM EST
    and he never will be. bill is a great man and obama? will inference says what i think.

    Great men.... (none / 0) (#163)
    by kdog on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:44:50 PM EST
    don't make millions off their presidency and still collect 8 million is taxpayer funded benefits...I'm sorry.

    kdog, go take a look at all bill clinton has (none / 0) (#194)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 05:28:19 PM EST
    done with his foundation.

    please don't make assumptions (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:19:55 PM EST
    and accusations about what i "hate". i do hate what i think obama would do to this country. hate him? i have more valuable ways to spend my time that that.

    Bill Clinton (5.00 / 5) (#74)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:23:16 PM EST
    had 12 years as Gov. of Ar under his belt. Obama has 28 months in the Il legislature and 143 days in the US senate. Obama has a total of what 4 years more or less? Do you think 4 is greater than 12? Apparently so.

    We are all not going to have to get behind him. Sorry but there is such a thing as free will.


    in all the time obama has spent in (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:25:52 PM EST
    many endeavors there is nothing to brag about or say is outstanding. watch the divisive way he has run his campaign, there is no reason to assume he won't try runnig the country the same way.

    What? (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:31:26 PM EST
    Simply pointing out facts is now designated as saying bad things about Obama? Sorry but the IL legislature is a part time job. The IL legislature meets for about 4 months out of the year. 4x7=28 right?

    yup, and he got the president of the (5.00 / 3) (#106)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:34:19 PM EST
    senate to let him sign off on other's bills so he could get credit. nothing to brag about there! no meeting at all of his primary committee assignment. yup let's not be mean to obama but heck it's ok to kick the clintons around.

    obama is running for president on a (5.00 / 3) (#103)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:32:28 PM EST
    pencil thin resume with much of nothing to show for it. so excuse me i'll take his inventory as that is my job as a voter. i don't respect his resume or actions in this campaign.

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by Steve M on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:32:59 PM EST
    12 years running a state versus 8 years as a part-time state legislator?  Come on.

    Perhaps my favorite inane talking point from this primary has been the argument that Hillary and Obama have "the same number of years in elected office."  Seriously, some people choose to go with that one.  The best part is that you could nominate a school board member for President by the same logic.


    You just lost all crediblity (5.00 / 3) (#129)
    by angie on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:48:15 PM EST
    Obama's time state legislature aren't worth JACK -- it is totally "minor league" and barely qualifies him for the US Senate, much less the Presidency. Being a governor of a state, even one full of bitter, gun-clinging bible thumpers like AK is vastly different and incomparable to "state senate." That you don't know the difference shows your inexperience in the political arena.

    What inanity (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by shoephone on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:16:44 PM EST
    Comparing Bill Clinton's record as an executive to Obama's record as a state legislator. Furthermore, Clinton served as Arkansas Attorney General before getting elected governor.

    Do you even have an inkling of a clue as to how ridiculous you sound?


    Sorry, but (5.00 / 3) (#82)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:25:25 PM EST
    it isn't "our" party anymore.  It's BARACK's party.  And we don't have to get behind it if we don't want to.

    they have worked hard to earn that hate (none / 0) (#69)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:21:11 PM EST
    having said that, you are correct.
    I mentioned in another thread the PBS thing about Roosevelt last night.
    one of the things they talked about was how Roosevelt did what you might call a "rope-a-dope" on many rich people who supported him in the beginning.
    later they came to hate him.
    I was just thinking how wonderful it would be if Obama was playing a similar game and all this sucking up to red state democrats and republicans was just another rope-a-dope.
    I dont believe it but there is "hope".

    According to Obama (none / 0) (#77)
    by cawaltz on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:24:03 PM EST
    Bill Clinton is a person who makes racist remarks. I daresay Bobby would have approved of name calling to score political points.

    no one played harder (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:30:07 PM EST
    political hardball than RFK & JFK.
    and they paid for it with their lives.

    I was in diapers (none / 0) (#151)
    by cawaltz on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:24:54 PM EST
    so I will have to take your wrd. From what I have read though he was capable of disagreeing with people without slandering or bein disparaging. Again, this is based on what I have read, not first person accounts.

    you can dare say all you daxx well please. (none / 0) (#88)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:26:52 PM EST
    bobby cared about poor people and workers of all races. it showed! so don't even go there.

    Yep (none / 0) (#148)
    by cawaltz on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:19:58 PM EST
    and he'd have been appalled that the people in Appalacia are being portrayed as ignorant hicks. He was a champion to ALL beig the operative words.

    I do (none / 0) (#141)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:05:11 PM EST
    I do believe he is insulting his brother by making that comparison, though I am sure he doesn't see it that way.

    As to BTD, I like and respect him, but I think it is wishful thinking to believe Obama can form any coalition that includes white working class voters after he has so often insulted them.

    Obama's problem is that he really is an elitist.


    Keep reaching (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by cawaltz on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:21:40 PM EST
    There isn't anything wrong with my reading comprehension and you still aren't addressing the poster's points. Robert Kennedy was a fighter. Obama is not. Insead of going to KY or WV to make his case, he invented a narrative that arrogantly dismissed these people as low information. Robert Kennedy would not in any way, shape or form have approved of that. He championed the working class and those that traditionally had no voice. There is no way he would have approved of his surrogates writing off working class whites. Obama has run acampaign that hs been divisive. It's the opposite of what Bobby Kenedy did.

    Ted Kennedy is certainly entitled to his hope and Opinion that Obama could be the next RFK. I am equally as entitled to disagee. The public persona pesented of RFK IMO is the opposite of how Obama has run his campaign. The campaign has been divisive, dismissive and weak. None of those words are words I'd use to descrie the RFK legacy.


    and dismiss the Kennedy's who apparently disagree (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by cawaltz on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:31:38 PM EST
    or are you opining that THEY really hated Bobby Kennedy and his legacy?

    You feel free to keep your opinion and not bother to address the facts. It makes you look like a kool aid drinker to keep sputtering but....but but.... Ted Kennedy said he is like Bobby instead of addressing the arguments presented.


    Site agitator Hill Raiser (5.00 / 3) (#85)
    by kenoshaMarge on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:25:54 PM EST
    How about the fact that RFK, Jr. (5.00 / 6) (#119)
    by angie on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:41:35 PM EST
    endorses Hillary? None of these pundits ever seem to mention that while invoking the memory of RFK. Hillary is the only candidate that can unite the AA, the white working class, the latinos etc. And I say that because despite the overwhelming support of the AA community that Obama has, Hillary still goes out of her way to engage the AA community -- attending the State of the Black Union, going to the communities and actually meeting with and talking with the members & press, etc. Despite the meme from the Obama camp, many AAs see Hillary as an acceptable candidate, albeit a "second choice." They do not view it as "give me Obama or give me death" as the msm wants us to believe.

    Yep (5.00 / 4) (#125)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:44:48 PM EST
    just another way this wasn't a fair primary (s)election process.

    I shake my head in utter amazement that Hillary has done so well with absolutely no support from the "librul" media.


    Maybe she should not have (none / 0) (#187)
    by Korha on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:44:35 PM EST
    voted for the Iraq War. Personally I would have been a strong Clinton supporter if she had voted against it. I doubt Obama would have had a chance, or if he would have even entered the race at all.

    For the absolute last time (none / 0) (#196)
    by angie on Tue May 20, 2008 at 05:37:49 PM EST
    she did NOT vote for the war. Do a little real research that allows you to actually read the bill she voted for and you will see that, instead of relying on kos for your talking points. It is like talking to a wall sometimes.

    OK (none / 0) (#198)
    by squeaky on Tue May 20, 2008 at 06:01:42 PM EST
    Have it your way. It is even worse that she trusted Bush. That was really poor judgement. Not that I think Obama would have done any different.

    If you want to know what she should have done Kennedy got it right. His speech was terrific.  Hillary was a big disappointment on this, imo.


    Right? (2.00 / 4) (#22)
    by squeaky on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:57:04 PM EST
    And so Ted Kennedy and all the people who worked with him on a daily basis are stupid? But you have the special glasses and secret decoder ring that enables you to see that Obama is not even a democrat?

    Lighten up on the kool aid, it is making your comments look absurd.


    Hysterical much? (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by madamab on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:02:56 PM EST
    Hysterical? (none / 0) (#40)
    by squeaky on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:11:15 PM EST
    You are making claims that are absurd, not me. If you really believe that Obama is not a Democrat you are the one showing signs of hysteria.

    Do you think that he is from another planet and gets information from radio transmitters in his teeth that let him know in advance how Hillary is going to vote? In case you have not noticed his voting record is almost identical to Hillary's and most other mainstream democrats. His voting record is opposite to McCain and most other Republicans.

    But you somehow believe he is not a Democrat. Wow.


    Radio signals in his teeth? (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by madamab on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:19:02 PM EST

    That's a pretty hysterical comment.

    And no, I don't believe he is a Democrat. Sorry if that makes you so upset.

    A Democrat doesn't disenfranchise voters.

    A Democrat doesn't race-bait.

    A Democrat doesn't promote and condone misogyny.

    A Democrat doesn't say he wants to go back to the good ol' days of the Reagan/Bush I foreign policy.

    Obama doesn't stand for the values that Democrats stand for.

    What else am I supposed to think?


    Upset? (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by squeaky on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:51:50 PM EST
    And no, I don't believe he is a Democrat. Sorry if that makes you so upset.

    You seem to have quite an eccentric definition of a democrat, shared only by a few hard core Hillary fanclubbers.

    But that does not upset me in the least, no more than the Obama cultists. Why should it? I do not get upset when someone says that a lake is a mountain.  

    Besides you are the one whose knickers got into a twist because many progressive Democratic leaders and pundits are supporting Obama and have compared him to RFK, namely BTD.
    Personally I only care about beating McCain, voted for Hillary because I thought she would be stronger against the GOP nominee, but see very little difference between her and Obama as regards their positions.

    IMO, both Hillary and Obama are somewhat to the right of RFK, nonetheless by any objective measure they are solid Democrats, irrespective of your distorted view.


    When Obama votes, that is (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by Cream City on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:29:58 PM EST
    as he has the third-worst voting attendance record in the Senate.  I'm sure you meant to mention that rather significant modifier to his record.

    He's no Ted Kennedy, who has been there for decades -- really there.


    OK (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by squeaky on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:32:22 PM EST
    Let's look at that record and compare.  If you compare his votes to Hillary's they are the same. Here are Hillary's votes and here are Obama's votes.

    Care to discuss specifics? Any absent votes that mattered to you? Thought not because there is nothing to differentiate the two.


    Don't be willfully ignorant (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by Korha on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:47:18 PM EST
    As you know, Obama had perfectly fine attendance records in the two years before he started running for President (as did Clinton, for that matter). There's no indication whatsoever that he and Clinton have significant policy disagreements, which is squeaky's point. Care to refute that? No, you CAN'T.

    to add (5.00 / 3) (#169)
    by g8grl on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:50:39 PM EST
    a Democrat doesn't undermine the legacy of the only twice elected Democratic President in modern history.

    a Democrat doesn't conflate the economic trials of the middle class over the last 7 years with the prosperity of the Clinton years.

    A Democrat doesn't call the last Democratic President and other loyal Democrats race baiters.

    A Democrat doesn't oppose re-votes in order to disenfranchise voters.

    A Democrat IS for Universal Health Care.  


    You are a master of irony (none / 0) (#55)
    by cannondaddy on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:15:06 PM EST
    Squeaky, this is not the place (none / 0) (#105)
    by JavaCityPal on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:33:12 PM EST
    or the time for you to start agitating the people on this site.

    As you can see, civil discussions end with your posts.


    WTF? (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by squeaky on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:56:22 PM EST
    Who are you to decide what is appropriate here? I agree that neither he or Hillary are progressives, but is absurd to claim that Obama is not a Democrat.   TL is not, your personal Hillary fan club, even if it looks like one these days.

    Fight the good fight squeaky (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Korha on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:23:42 PM EST
    Some of the commentators here are, unfortunately, becoming increasingly deranged.

    Sure, u do that, (none / 0) (#158)
    by vicndabx on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:35:27 PM EST
    but be sure to remember, people are entitled to their opinion.  If the commenter feels Obama isn't a democrat, leave it at that.  She's stating her opinion.  If you had an issue w/her saying something like Obama is not wearing a black suit or some FACT, then OK.  At some point you need to know when to argue and not reduce the discussion to a name calling contest.  

    Opinion? (none / 0) (#164)
    by squeaky on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:45:02 PM EST
    She stated it as a fact. Besides why should I leave it at that, isn't this about discussion? I do note your bias, in that the name calling
    was not coming from me.

    What was this? (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by vicndabx on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:50:20 PM EST
    But you have the special glasses and secret decoder ring that enables you to see that Obama is not even a democrat?
    Lighten up on the kool aid, it is making your comments look absurd.

    Sounds kinda disparaging to me.  Of course, that's just my opinion.....I won't go as far and call it a fact.


    Snark For Sure (none / 0) (#174)
    by squeaky on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:54:38 PM EST
    But not name calling.

    Sure, people are entitled to their opinion (none / 0) (#185)
    by Korha on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:38:50 PM EST
    And other people are entitled to attack their opinion for being deranged and without basis in reality. You can't make outlandish claims and then expect your outlandish claims to be immune from challenge. The train of logic in question is as follows: the poster is a partisan Clinton supporter, therefore he/she viscerally dislikes Obama, therefore he/she feels viscerally "from the gut" Obama is not a democrat. But of course being a democrat has nothing whatsoever to do with being likable, or being a good person. It's about a) belonging to a certain political party and then  secondarily b) supporting and voting for the policies that generally constitute that party's political platform. There are sorts of sexist, racist, and ignorant democrats--that doesn't mean they aren't democrats. They're just democrats we don't like.

    This a classic case of feeling from the gut and not thinking from the head. It's truthiness. I'm sure to the poster it "feels" right to believe that Obama is really somehow not a democrat. It's just not, you know, TRUE in any rational sense.


    Feeling from the gut (none / 0) (#213)
    by vicndabx on Wed May 21, 2008 at 04:48:59 PM EST
    Yes, I would agree.  However, what is that exactly?  "Truth" is often times based on your "feeling from the gut."  - absent black & white facts.  Is not our entire system of laws based on one's individual "feeling from the gut?"  If not, why not just let a computer serve as the jury in a court case?  We'd input certain known variables and let computer do some math to determine what's "right?"  Sorry, the terms Dem and Rep were devised by men, based on what was prevalent thinking at the time.  By your argument, Republicans are actually Dems since they were the original party to advocate for equality amongst the races.  Folks should be given the lattitude to determine for themselves who's Dem and who's not.  I seriously doubt the poster was arguing based on a letter following a name shown on a banner of a news show.

    You're wrong.... (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by kdog on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:40:38 PM EST
    I've had many civil discussions with the squeak-meister, and when we disagree there are never hard feelings.

    He is one of the few who has remained level-headed amidst the epic battle royale for the nomination.

    Rock on squeaky...rock on.


    C'mon... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by lyzurgyk on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:16:22 PM EST
    This post was about Ted Kennedy.   Let it go for a moment.

    BTD didn't make any definitive statement about Obama anyway.


    I was (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:34:35 PM EST
    directing my statement to BTD not Ted Kennedy. I believe that Kennedy has every right to his beliefs. I was talking about how BTD somehow hopes Obama can do something that he hasn't shown the desire to do so far. I think that hope is misplaced and not realistic with the evidence we have seen so far.

    Clarification (none / 0) (#167)
    by lyzurgyk on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:47:14 PM EST
    I meant BTD was posting a tribute to Ted Kennedy.   His comment about Obama was incidental and largely neutral.  (You had to be awfully sensitive to see it as a compliment to Obama)   Disappointing to me that the thread was immediately was turned into another Obama/HRC slugfest.    

    How about a little respect for the guy with the malignant brain tumor?   Just for one thread?


    Okay (none / 0) (#170)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:50:44 PM EST
    but I did that on the other thread and thought this thread was about politics.

    good point! thanks (none / 0) (#110)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:34:55 PM EST
    Poor old Kennedy (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Salo on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:19:34 PM EST
    forever in his brother's shadows.

    Bill Clinton was that candidate.   That was the last of the grand coalition.


    Absolutely (5.00 / 7) (#2)
    by ruffian on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:46:18 PM EST
    He is irreplaceable. Sending all good wishes his way.

    I'm sure he enjoyed seeing the cancer survivor Red Sox pitcher get the no-hitter last night. Let's hope it is a good omen.

    Last week I fired off an (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by bslev22 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:46:42 PM EST
    e-mail to Senator Kennedy because of his comments about Obama having noble aspirations and implying that Hillary shouldn't be VP because she didn't share those aspirations.  I wrote about how disappointed I was and told him that I stood by him up to and including the 1980 convention when he had absolutely no chance of wresting the nomination from Carter.  I agree with everything I wrote, but I admit to feeling kind of guilty now.  I still wish for Kennedy only good things, including a full recovery and many, many active years as our most inspiring voice in the United States Senate. Maybe the timing of this is meant to help bring us all together again.

    OMG you felled Teddy! (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by ruffian on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:48:11 PM EST
    Just kidding.  Gotta use some humor in these moments.

    If by bring us all together you (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by cawaltz on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:52:01 PM EST
    mean in wishing Senator Kenedy well, certainly. It certainly doesn't compel me to vote for Obama.

    Your Guilt Is Misplaced....You Have Nothing To (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:55:28 PM EST
    feel guilty about.  As a representative of the people, Kennedy basically works for us.  And if we are dismayed with him, we have every right to let him know.  He went against the will of the voters in his state and he knew he was on shaky ground.  It is terrible that he has cancer, but I feel confident he would not want us all to just roll over and get behind obama because Ted is ill.
    He is bigger than that and has worked hard for America, it's diversity and the right to stand up for our own principles.  obama is no Robert Kennedy and I Bill Clinton made great inroads into bringing blacks and whites together...let's not forget that.

    Very well said. (none / 0) (#94)
    by madamab on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:29:13 PM EST
    He really has no equal in terms of (5.00 / 11) (#4)
    by bjorn on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:47:08 PM EST
    legislation and getting things done.  I think when he first started he probably was all the things the pundits thought, but he grew into the position and when his brothers were murdered he felt the responsibility fall on him.

    I also saw Chris Matthews talking on MSNBC. It did bother me a little that he said, "since Bobby Kennedy no one has been able to bring Blacks and whites together, maybe Obama will be able to."  I thought Bill Clinton did that pretty good in the 90s.

    Thanks for this post, I thought this article was a great one.

    Yeah (5.00 / 10) (#8)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:49:21 PM EST
    they seem to want to erase Bill Clinton from memory.  It's kind of sick.

    Tweety has always hated the Clintons (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:09:45 PM EST
    he's a cancerous tumor on the media.

    Indeed (5.00 / 10) (#6)
    by andgarden on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:49:01 PM EST
    There are bills that Kennedy is working on now that I cannot see anyone else in the Senate willing to spend the time and the political capital to pass.

    Teddy is irreplaceable, and I hope we don't have to try.

    Kennedy has the political capital (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by madamab on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:53:53 PM EST
    that Bush pretended he had because of his 3% "mandate" in 2004.

    Ted Kennedy has earned every one of his accolades. I hope he can beat this horrible illness.


    the shame of it that we are losing (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:14:24 PM EST
    something irreplaceable. a legend for sure! i was and am sorry that he backed obama, but i respect him for his sincere devotion to do his job and love for america. the last kennedy brother!  a loss almost too great for us to bear i think.

    I cannot imagine (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by Steve M on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:49:01 PM EST
    what it must be like to outlive your brothers by 40 years.  It's incomprehensible to me.

    I'm going on 20 yrs (5.00 / 8) (#11)
    by ruffian on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:52:36 PM EST
    after my brother's death.  

    I think Teddy sees it the way I do - every day is a chance to do something they did not get to do.  He has used his time to much greater effect than most of us.


    I have great respect for Ted Kennedy (5.00 / 6) (#13)
    by stillife on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:53:32 PM EST
    and I wish him the best.  I also had great respect for RFK, and Obama is no RFK.  Of the five demographic categories mentioned above (AA, white working class, Latino, old and young), Obama is "uniting" only two of them.  

    I was a huge (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by kenoshaMarge on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:30:27 PM EST
    fan of RFK. I see nothing of him in Barack Obama. And evidently neither does his son and daughter because Bobby Jr. and his sister, her name escapes me, both endorsed Senator Clinton.

    Thank you BTD (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by TomP on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:54:15 PM EST
    for this diary.  Kennedy is a good person.

    In 1965 (5.00 / 14) (#16)
    by samanthasmom on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:54:19 PM EST
    my Girl Scout troop spent a week in DC.  The junior senator from Massachusetts gave us a personal tour of the Capitol. He said he was so proud of us for working so hard to take a trip together and to have chosen Washington as the place we wanted to go. Back then taking a troop trip like that was unusual. He was funny and energetic and shared personal stories with us. His love for what he was doing was like an infectious disease. My interest in politics was born that day. There are times when I want to club my senator, but then I think about all he's done for us in Massachusetts, and I kick something else instead.  

    Great story (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by JavaCityPal on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:46:37 PM EST
    The Kennedy family was raised to be civic servants. The incredible spirit and intrigue of the family members is just a big bonus. I hope our government has a lot more decades of Kennedy influence as each generation takes over.

    So.....dynasties are OK then? (none / 0) (#180)
    by oldpro on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:25:49 PM EST
    I can't keep track of what's in and what's out with Democrats these days....

    Thank you, BTD, for posting this (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by oculus on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:55:33 PM EST
    article, your tribute, and reminding me of Kennedy's crucial role in defeating Bork's nomination and preserving Roe v. Wade.  

    Although I am wondering if (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by oculus on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:05:02 PM EST
    the news of Kennedy's diagnosis may induce a sympathy vote in KY.  

    I seriously doubt that, but I guess anything can (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by bjorn on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:06:39 PM EST
    happen.  The polls close in less than 4 hours, most people probably don't even know anything at this point.

    I doubt it very much (5.00 / 2) (#178)
    by Valhalla on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:13:11 PM EST
    Kennedy's endorsement swayed few people in Massachusetts, and face it, a lot of people outside MA hate him,  I mean really, really hate him.  In fact a lot of people inside Mass. hate him too, but they vote for him because of the power he has in the Senate.  I'm sure everyone wishes him well but I can't see much of a sympathy vote unless it was Ted himself running for office.

    I'm from Mass. and I have great respect for Ted Kennedy, but I was very disappointed when he endorsed Obama.  Just because he's been a great Senator and worked very hard for very long on issues important to all Americans doesn't mean he's right about Obama, though.  Ted's not infallible.  People of integrity can be fooled, or see what they'd like to see instead of what is.


    Jesse Jackson - 2 presidential campaigns (5.00 / 6) (#31)
    by Josey on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:05:19 PM EST
    but he didn't engage in race-baiting and looking for racist motives in his white opponents' remarks.
    Unlike Obama, he was focused on issues and solutions.

    and Jesse was... (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by jackyt on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:27:52 PM EST
    far and away the best debater! I have no recollection of his debate opponents, but he was so adept at making his case that my impression of him has held all these years.

    Yes...and what's the lesson here? (none / 0) (#184)
    by oldpro on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:38:21 PM EST
    Look how far Jesse got...and now look how far Obama has progressed down the same road.  

    Hmmm.  Perhaps Jesse, Jr. learned a thing or two about politics and how to play the race card against your friends for your personal short-term benefit.

    And why not?  It's Chicago.


    Teddy (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:08:07 PM EST
    is just like any Obama supporter in that he attempts to apply morphs to the Obama-amorphism.

    And I'd tell him like I'd tell anyone else -- just because you wish it, doesn't make it so.

    Obama is NOOOO RFK. He isn't about woo-ing anyone. In fact, he doesn't much like people who don't swoon over him.

    Yick.  The comparison is just more barfola.

    I sat my babies in their playpen (5.00 / 12) (#47)
    by Molly Pitcher on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:12:06 PM EST
    in front of the TV to watch JFK's inauguration.  Later I heard the radio announcement of his murder while driving to their nursery school.  I saw Oswald shot, and my children saw a little boy salute his dad's casket.  They watched RFK's cortege.  And all these years later, my daughter was discussing Ted's diagnosis (so similar to my niece's) with me.

    Looking back at 48 years of the Kennedys I am trying to sum up the lessons (to me) of their lives.  I loved Camelot, but it never existed.  JFK, like many presidents before him, was gramted a silence that Clinton never knew.  RFK, whom I admired, was hated by many in the south, because in the end he stood for justice.  Ted was thought to be so much less--and he turned out to be the one who carried Joe's legacy.

    What lesson?  That Obama might turn out better than we think?  Possibly, but I think Hillary maybe personifies Ted's strengths most. He served despite the sneers, and I believe he never forgot Rosemary, who could symbolize all the people who can't fend for themselves.  I think Rosemary also symbolizes the world's women, the ones who had no say in their fate, who were destroyed by men making decisions for women, decisions based on men's self interest.

    Ted may have endorsed Obama with his words, but I think maybe his life endorses our Hillary, who hangs in despite--

    well said (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by bjorn on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:16:45 PM EST
    I think Senator Kennedy has respect for both Obama and Clinton.  And Kennedy has worked hard to leave a legacy of legislative accomplishments that will overshadow any personal and private tragedies.  Clinton has proven she can work as hard as Kennedy has over the last 25 years.

    he may have seen the math differently (none / 0) (#91)
    by Salo on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:27:14 PM EST
    Obama had a good case before Wright exploded on the scene.

    I doubt Kennedy had any idea about what was going on with that theological angle.


    this little thread (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by jackyt on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:40:34 PM EST
    provides such a lovely, poignant, balanced view of the Kennedy legacy and Ted's (major) part in it. I honor his imagination, dedication and sheer hard slogging work to achieve so many valuable goals throughout his career.

    I, too, see a reflection in Hillary of Kennedy's willingness and ability to keep on keeping on, in the face of overwhelming odds. I hope that strength of will and character brings him through this latest crisis successfully.


    well sorry to say on this sad day but i wish (none / 0) (#197)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 06:00:29 PM EST
    ted had vetted his candidate more than he clearly did.

    Remember, RFK was seen as quite divisive (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Davidson on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:23:38 PM EST
    RFk... (none / 0) (#203)
    by oldpro on Tue May 20, 2008 at 06:45:22 PM EST
    none of the union guys here in the 60s had any use for RFK.

    I, however, think he changed radically after Jack's death...as the war radicalized and split the country (LBJ's war, after all) and the Democratic Party along with race and poverty...

    And now...here we are again.

    I hated '68 the first time.  Don't think I'm going to like it any better in reprise.


    Rosemary, the true tragedy (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Cream City on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:24:07 PM EST
    of the Kennedy saga; thank you for remembering her, as she resided nearby where I lived for years in Wisconsin (so, yes, there always were reports of Kennedy clan sightings, but we and the media here kept respectful and kept away).

    And with her, I would put -- as the story does -- the tragedy of the treatment of Prof. Anita Hill, when Kennedy (and many other men, including one of my Senators who never has gotten my vote again) did nothing as women watched across the country.  

    That radicalized many of us then, and that memory still is with us.  A decade and a half later, we are seeing that even a member of the Senate receives the same treatment.  When it happens to one of us, whether a respected law professor or a respected Senator, it happens to us all.  And we will fight back in the ways that we can -- as we can do, if need be, this fall.


    Bravo, Molly (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:35:27 PM EST
    Wonderfully said.

    Teddy has been hoping for 40 years for someone who could come along and pick up his brothers' torch.  He found out he was unable to himself when he tried to run in 1980.

    I think superficially only, Obama comes closer than anybody has, and Teddy saw the last chance in his lifetime to get on that kind of train again, and Caroline put him right over the edge.

    I hope for his sake he doesn't realize how badly he was taken in by Obama and his own wishful thinking before he leaves us.


    Ted is no JFK and Ted is no (none / 0) (#142)
    by brodie on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:07:41 PM EST
    RFK.  Family members, I once read somewhere, back in the early 60s considered that Jack would be the one to go for the top spot, followed by Bobby, while Ted was seen as having a promising career in Congress.

    He has been an outstanding senator overall for sure.

    As for Rosemary, that's kind of a tough and unfair assessment.  In the early 40s at the time of her operation, the procedure was fairly new and still considered promising, incredibly.  Her doctor signed off on it, and it was performed by one of the most respected surgeons in the country, squarely and deeply w/n the medical establishment.

    Her father can be faulted perhaps for acting too aggressively on what was mild-moderate retardation, but no one can doubt he thought he was acting in her best interests.  I can't bring myself to harshly judge on this one and I don't think the context merits such a condemnatory conclusion.  Imo of course


    As the mother of a adult retardate. (none / 0) (#204)
    by Molly Pitcher on Tue May 20, 2008 at 06:53:39 PM EST
    a 'girl' of 51, I feel that tough assessments by me  may be understandable?  Happens I knew someone  who 'sat' for the Kennedys' in Palm Beach.  She told me (as a mother of a retarded child) that the problem Joe Kennedy was concerned about was not mere 'mood swings' but his daughter's sexuality.   Go look up on Wikipedia and see what that operation reduced her to.  No one ever thought the operation would improve her life.  And one thing I can guarantee--I would never allow anyone to operate on my daughter for such a reason, even if the surgeon had had a lot more experience with a procedure that drastic.

    Speaking of lobotomy--it is still being used rather carelessly.  A man in the nursing home with my husband had a lobotomy after a stroke.  "It will affect his personality a little, that's all,' his wife was told.  It reduced him to infancy.

    Maybe I should be grateful that by the 50's the craze for sterilyzing all retarded females had abated.  Yes--there are some issues that are really hot button with me--mental disability&retardation, stroke care/ brain cancers/ homosexuality.  I'll never be anything but aggressive in my approach to those issues.


    I hope and pray Teddy (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:13:06 PM EST
    is right

    Nicely-stated. (none / 0) (#64)
    by oculus on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:19:07 PM EST
    HRC woud've had the RFK coalition in the GE (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by Davidson on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:22:05 PM EST
    But then again she's the one Ted Kennedy and the other Establishment Democrats fought like demons to kneecap, if not destroy.

    Obama, meanwhile, will have a core base that consists of rich white liberals, students, and blacks.

    Black is white, up is down, right is wrong...

    i don't think obama's base has staying (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 06:02:44 PM EST
    power. it is a loose coalition of folks with little in common except obama.

    The comment re: Sen Kennedy (5.00 / 6) (#80)
    by DJ on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:24:28 PM EST
    "He has followed the counsel of his first Senate tutor, Phil Hart of Michigan, who told him you can accomplish anything in Washington if you give others the credit."

    could not be futher from Obama's history.  Obama has taken credit for others work.

    I think Kennedy "hoped" Obama would be able to do those things because Obama does have a unique story.  Unfortunately it's mostly a narrative to sell a couple of books, not necessarily true.  Obama is not even close to Robert Kennedy as his son will attest.

    I guess this is old school politics (5.00 / 7) (#83)
    by stillife on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:25:28 PM EST
    He has followed the counsel of his first Senate tutor, Phil Hart of Michigan, who told him you can accomplish anything in Washington if you give others the credit.

    The new kind of politics seems to be all about bill-jacking and taking credit for just (barely) showing up.

    Could Barack Obama live up to the (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Anne on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:26:18 PM EST
    Kennedy legacy?  Maybe - but he'd have to start with being able to give others the credit they are due, instead of taking it for his own; his exaggeration of his won efforts does a great disservice to those who deserved credit - but Obama seems to function on the basis of "no one deserves credit more than I do."

    I can't imagine Ted Kennedy blowing off a sub-committee chairmanship because he was too busy aspiring to higher office.

    Ted may be - by McCain's own comments about him - a no BS guy, but Obama is all about the BS; that would have to go, too.

    I have great admiration for Kennedy's efforts on behalf of so many people in this country; his concern is, by all accounts, genuine, with a true understanding of the meaning of public service; I cannot say the same about Obama, who seems to believe it is the people who must serve him and his own ambition.

    Now, maybe Kennedy believed he would be able to mentor Obama, guide him to better things - but if that was his intent, I have seen no signs that Obama has learned anything - which is a real shame.

    I just feel bad for Kennedy that his name will be forever tied to Obama's - and I do not think Obama will do the Kennedy name - or the legacy - proud.

    probably not! in a few years we'll (none / 0) (#200)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 06:04:07 PM EST
    remember ted and his strong support for important causes and obama will be a footnote. (personal opinion)

    I have great respect for Senator Kennedy (5.00 / 4) (#89)
    by cawaltz on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:26:54 PM EST
    His brother would have been proud of how tirelessly he has worked on fair wages and a myriad of other social issues that affect those that are at the bottom of the economic rungs.

    Respectfully disagree with Big T, who is by far (5.00 / 4) (#140)
    by magnetics on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:04:27 PM EST
    the fairest and most enlightened Obama supporter I know of.  I even find myself occasionally wondering why he doesn't switch sides.

    But, here's the point.  Gary Wills wrote a piece in the New York Review of Books, conflating Obama's 'speech on race' with Lincoln's Cooper Union address.  The cover of that issue had Obama's and Lincoln's faces side by side, in elegant monochrome.

    It is a gross understatement to say I was flabbergasted that someone as intelligent, knowledgeable, and insightful as Wills, could draw the equivalence as he did.   The cover too, struck me as light-years beyond the reasonable.

    In my jaundiced view, Obama has always been a media star and a media creation.  I did not dislike him at the beginning of the campaign, but have come to do so over its course.  Michigan and Florida loom large in my reasoning, but fundamentally, I simply do not buy the unity shtick, or the Reagan-influenced policy proposals; and I am offended at the ongoing attempt to bag the nomination by creating a victory narrative, rather than by winning votes.

    I think I understand his electoral strategy, however.  His gamble, and it is major, is that the country will not under any circumstances elect another Rethuglican president in 2008, which gives him carte blanche in the nomination battle to stiff MI and FL, as well as key elements of the traditional Democratic coalition.  Who knows; maybe it will work.  I for one, want no part of it, although I wouldn't vote for McCain dogcatcher.

    On Newfield (5.00 / 2) (#155)
    by kaleidescope on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:29:17 PM EST
    Apologies in advance for being OT.

    During my last year of law school, I was a volunteer reporter for the great WBAI, Pacifica's New York station.  Two days a week, I'd get a call from the assignment editor the night before.  She'd tell me what to cover, where to go.  Then I'd take my tape recorder and go cover, say, a press conference by gay Catholic priests protesting the callous way the church was treating priests who had contracted AIDS.  

    There is a lot happening in New York and WBAI got enough respect that I got in to cover virtually anything.  Much of this was intense city politics with the unspoken roles of the Catholic Church, various unions, competing ethnicities, borough politics and rampant corruption all being major parts of many stories.

    For an inexperienced white kid from Milwaukee, this was a little daunting.

    I ran into Jack Newfield many times during my reporting days and he was always willing to take time out to explain things to me, to help me make sure I understood the story right -- the history, for example, between Mayor Koch and Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger.  I learned a lot about New York City politics -- and politics in general -- from Jack.  He was a totally class guy and a real inspiration.

    My favorite story from him:  Newfield and Pete Hamill were sitting around a Brooklyn Heights diner one day and they challenged each other to name the three most evil people in history.  Each wrote his three picks on a piece of paper, then they showed what they'd written.  Both had written, in the same order, Hitler, Stalin and Walter O'Malley (who'd moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn to LA).

    LOL!!! THAT is a great (none / 0) (#205)
    by oldpro on Tue May 20, 2008 at 06:55:06 PM EST

    And what's more...I agree with their choices!  I never got over dem bums bein moved to LA...


    LOL!!! THAT is a great (none / 0) (#206)
    by oldpro on Tue May 20, 2008 at 06:56:05 PM EST

    And what's more...I agree with their choices!  I never got over dem bums bein moved to LA...


    Oh jeez...sorrrrrry... (none / 0) (#207)
    by oldpro on Tue May 20, 2008 at 06:58:12 PM EST
    see how upset I still am at even the mention of moving the Dodgers?



    Jack Newfield Is Sorely Missed (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by daring grace on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:45:18 PM EST
    Thanks, BTD, for sharing this. I would love to be reading his take on this election season.

    Senator Kennedy (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by chrisvee on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:52:09 PM EST
    I admit that I have always admired Senator Kennedy.    He epitomizes to me both the flaws and the virtues of being human.  I think that if one can atone for actions that contribute to the loss of a human life, he's tried. I leave that judgment for others to make.

    Of an extraordinarily accomplished family of public servants, he may have the most lasting positive effect on our country at least in terms of the lives of the average citizen.

    I hope he lives to see the dream of affordable healthcare for everyone realized.

    RFK made a brave (5.00 / 2) (#183)
    by suisser on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:36:57 PM EST
    and bold visit to So. Africa in 1966 to stand with the anti-apartheid  movement and to meet with (the then banned) Chief Albert Luthuli.

    Obama can't even get himself to KY.

    One of the great memories of my life (5.00 / 2) (#192)
    by riddlerandy on Tue May 20, 2008 at 05:12:44 PM EST
    was spending six months in 1980 working on Ted Kennedy's presidential campaign in several states.  It is heart-wrenching to hear about his new challenge, coming just days before the 40th anniversary of the death of his brother Bobby.

    I recently saw this video of Bobby in Indianapolis the night MLK was killed, which I had not seen in some time.  As I recall, the police refused to escort him to the site of the speech for fear of riots.  His unplanned speech is one of the most moving in my view.  

    I was early on (and in 2004) a John Edwards supporter because I saw some of Bobby in him.  

    Anyway, here is the video of Bobby's speech.

    "where have all the flowers gone?" (none / 0) (#201)
    by hellothere on Tue May 20, 2008 at 06:08:28 PM EST
    BO is no Robert Kennedy (4.60 / 5) (#17)
    by Prabhata on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:54:22 PM EST
    I was 20 years old when Robert Kennedy died.  Ted may want to see something he misses, but BO is far from what Robert Kennedy stood for.  I'm Latino, and like many who are disgusted with the DNC I will protest the DNC with a vote for McCain.  Let the Republicans finish the job they started with Reagan.

    It's a shame (3.66 / 3) (#27)
    by Edgar08 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:01:26 PM EST
    His behavior in this primary has diminished him.

    It's a shame (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by IndiDemGirl on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:11:38 PM EST
    that you diminish him and this site by your pettiness.

    i (none / 0) (#68)
    by Edgar08 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:20:59 PM EST
    didn't say what he said.

    You said worse than (none / 0) (#99)
    by IndiDemGirl on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:31:24 PM EST
    what he said.  

    even if I did (none / 0) (#109)
    by Edgar08 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:34:45 PM EST
    it doesn't matter what I say.  It's not my legacy that's being discussed.

    Speaking of being petty about legacies....


    You implied that Ted Kennedy (none / 0) (#127)
    by IndiDemGirl on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:47:35 PM EST
    endorsed Obama because of some mental incapacity due to his tumor.   Why?  Because he had the nerve to come to a different conclusion than you regarding which candidate he supports?  How dare he!  Trash his legacy!  

    Will you be trashing Lee Hamilton, John Edwards, Warren Buffet, Robert Byrd, Caroline Kennedy, Maria Shriver, etc.  or maybe they all have brain tumors too.


    I did not imply that (none / 0) (#136)
    by Edgar08 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:54:38 PM EST
    That was someone else.

    My impression is that Sen. Kennedy was saying what he said in complete possession of all his faculties.

    My inclination was to disagree.


    Ummm..I think Warren was pro Hillary. n/t (none / 0) (#171)
    by DJ on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:50:53 PM EST
    Buffett (none / 0) (#173)
    by Steve M on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:53:13 PM EST
    is an Obama endorser of the John Edwards type, which is to say, it's really a GE endorsement.

    I remember (none / 0) (#193)
    by DJ on Tue May 20, 2008 at 05:12:47 PM EST
    an interview with him when he said Hillary would be better for the economy, that she had studied and understood the issues.

    Maybe I'm mistaken.


    His endorsement of Obama and (3.00 / 2) (#35)
    by oculus on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:08:09 PM EST
    some of Kennedy's public statements with respect to this primary campaign have impacted the view some may have had of Kennedy.  In my view, this does not take away from his tremendous accomplishments.  In fact, I am inclined to think his endorsement of Obama and those public statements may have been impacted by his illness.

    I don't think that is fair. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:11:23 PM EST
    He's sounded quite normal in his public statements, even if I didn't agree with what he was saying.

    At any rate, Ted Kennedy hasn't really been a stranger to throwing some political elbows over the years, and not everyone is going to like where they get thrown. He still has a tremendous record as a Senator, and I wish him well.


    I can't say (none / 0) (#46)
    by Edgar08 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:12:02 PM EST
    If he knew what he was doing or not.

    You may have a point: (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Molly Pitcher on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:18:33 PM EST
    naturally, the subject of when my niece's primary tumor began and began to affect her has been the subject of much talk in the family.  I know her mother sees the tumor affecting her daughter's health and behavior some months before the diagnosis. It is possible that Ted's thought processes were being impacted some time ago.

    (Just as there is speculation about whether Reagan was already descending into his long goodbye while he was still president.)


    Jesus (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Jgarza on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:22:37 PM EST
    wow i hope this comment thread is a wakeup call to the moderators of this site.  

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Edgar08 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:53:27 PM EST
    A very frustrating moment for all of us.

    When one half of the party has seen the reputation and legacy of one Democrat be destroyed by a petty candidate, it does get hard for us to do the right thing with respect to the legacy of Senator Kennedy.

    I mean, that would be the right thing to do here.

    But for some reason, it appears that some of us just aren't in the mood.  Some of us might be.  Everyone gets to decide for themselves about legacies, great Democrats, and others.

    Perhaps, and this is just a suggestion, you don't have to take this suggestion if you don't want, but instead of blaming some of us for not being in the mood to celebrate great Democratic Leaders' legacies, perhaps you should ask yourself, "Gosh, what happened that it came to this?"

    If your answer is "Nothing," fine, move on accordingly.  You don't need to care about what some of us say.  And we'll be gone soon enough as it is.


    You are putting thoughts in my head, (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by Molly Pitcher on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:01:15 PM EST
    which is worse than putting words in my mouth.  I said the tumor may already have been affecting thoguht processes.  Not which thought processes, but any or all thought processes.  Having been through this with my niece, I know it is possible.  If I had said the endorsement and subsequent comments of Clinton might have been skewed by the tumor's effect, then you could complain about me.  I was remarking solely that it is within the realm of possibility that Ted may already be feeling the effect of a growth invading his brain.

    Come On Now (none / 0) (#147)
    by squeaky on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:18:00 PM EST
    You are a ardent Hillary supporter, and seem to have nothing but contempt for Obama. So Ted Kennedy supports Obama and you mention that Kennedy's tumor may be affecting his thought process? What is that supposed to be a non sequitur? Passive aggressive?

    Not sure why you would make that statement which has clear implications and then back off from it. That seems dishonest and obviously innuendo, imo.


    The original comment was NOT (none / 0) (#202)
    by Molly Pitcher on Tue May 20, 2008 at 06:24:47 PM EST
    mine: " In fact, I am inclined to think his endorsement of Obama and those public statements may have been impacted by his illness."  Not mine.

    What I said was based on first-hand experience with my unfortunate niece, who is dying of gliomablastoma multiforme at this very time.  She operated well enough for maybe three or four months before her brother became suspicious that something was wrong.  Her husband was working overseas--and we did not realize that she having headaches and could not read anymore.

    I did not comment on the endorsement at any time today--but I was addressing the supposition that Kennedy has been having problems caused by his tumor for some time.  It did not come out of the blue.

    As to my regard for Ted Kennedy, you might read what I did write about him early in this thread, I believe it was.


    No Sale (none / 0) (#208)
    by squeaky on Tue May 20, 2008 at 06:59:24 PM EST
    If the original comment were not the context, your remark would be touching and evoke sympathy, instead it was at best insensitive, imo. Unless I missed it, it should come as no surprise that the original comment was deleted. If it was not it should be.

    Grape or lemon? (none / 0) (#210)
    by Molly Pitcher on Tue May 20, 2008 at 07:37:06 PM EST
    Oh, me, I am too old to give a da**.  Also, got other things on my mind tonite.  Bye-bye.

    Wow (none / 0) (#211)
    by squeaky on Wed May 21, 2008 at 12:19:34 AM EST
    I hope I never get that old.

    You do know (none / 0) (#212)
    by Molly Pitcher on Wed May 21, 2008 at 08:45:15 AM EST
    what the alternative is?  As far as my giving a da**, let's just say I know when to stop wasting my time. A good thing to know!

    He sponsored Obama's speech (none / 0) (#153)
    by Foxx on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:27:26 PM EST
    at the convention, didn't he?

    You are joking, right? (none / 0) (#52)
    by IndiDemGirl on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:13:54 PM EST
    A sad and deranged comment (none / 0) (#152)
    by Korha on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:25:55 PM EST
    well (none / 0) (#177)
    by tworivers on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:11:55 PM EST
    You may be right - his support for Obama could well prove to be wrongheaded/a blunder.

    That said, I think you are making too much out of your difference of opinion with Kennedy on this one matter.  He has served this country extremely well for decades, and I don't think his support of Obama over the last months in any way undoes what he has accomplished over a 40 year career.



    BTD, you mentioned "adults" (2.60 / 5) (#92)
    by IndiDemGirl on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:27:21 PM EST
    the other day.  After reading the comments to your excellent post I'd say adults are few and far between on this site.  

    That someone would claim that Senator Kennedy's support of Obama is due to a mental illness caused by his brain tumor is an insult to  Senator Kennedy, RFK, JFK, and all Democrats.

    attention Chris Matthews, (none / 0) (#121)
    by ding7777 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:42:46 PM EST
    Obama failed to bring the white working class together with African Americans, Latinos, the old and the young.

    Ted's hopes are dashed.

    Now tell us the real reason Ted endorsed Obama.

    Has the GE already happened? (none / 0) (#130)
    by IndiDemGirl on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:48:44 PM EST
    Nope. So Obama hasn't failed at anything.

    Which GE did RFK run in ? (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by ding7777 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:51:26 PM EST
    Did RFK need a GE to earn "the ability to bring the white working class together with African Americans, Latinos, the old and the young"?

    Sadly, we'll never know what would have (none / 0) (#144)
    by IndiDemGirl on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:09:58 PM EST
    happened in that GE.  We also don't know what will happen in this GE.  As it hasn't happened yet, I don't think we can assign failure to Obama.  

    We do know (none / 0) (#145)
    by Edgar08 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:12:21 PM EST
    What happened in the primary.  The party is now divided not united despite Obama's frontrunner status going on 3 months now.

    I know, the conclusion is that's Clinton's fault.

    We'll see when she's gone whose fault it is.


    So (none / 0) (#182)
    by Jgarza on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:31:04 PM EST
    by your analysis Hillary is maintaining her constituency because Obama is a terrible candidate?  She must really inspire you then.

    By his own definition (none / 0) (#191)
    by Edgar08 on Tue May 20, 2008 at 05:00:53 PM EST
    He's the uniter.

    I wouldn't say that the fault is Clinton's. (none / 0) (#190)
    by IndiDemGirl on Tue May 20, 2008 at 04:59:46 PM EST
    But it isn't Obama's either.  Perhaps the division is just a result of a hard-fought primary with two unique and strong candidates.

    Reminds me that we know (none / 0) (#209)
    by oldpro on Tue May 20, 2008 at 07:20:05 PM EST
    one other thing:

    Bobby lost Oregon.

    It is Hillary who is in the RFK mold...and she is now on CNN talking about Teddy....and thanking the voters in Kentucky... 64% to 32% at 67% of that vote in.


    To have done so much good work (none / 0) (#146)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:13:00 PM EST
    on so many issues in the last 40 plus years. It's just astounding what politicians can actually accomplish with determination, ingenuity, and moral conviction. That Kennedy may serve as a model and teacher for Obama does give one hope.

    The key part--hoping. (none / 0) (#149)
    by rghojai on Tue May 20, 2008 at 03:20:53 PM EST
    "...Senator Kennedy was hoping to see in Barack Obama what he had seen from his brother Robert F. Kennedy - the ability to bring the white working class together with African Americans, Latinos, the old and the young."

    For what it's worth, I don't know if Sen. Kennedy has actually said this (or, if he did, when he said it--I would have been interested in hearing Kennedy's thoughts after Obama did not expend much effort in WV and KY) because it's someone saying what someone else was hoping.

    But even if Kennedy said it very recently, there's hoping and there's reality. I hope to get an interview for an appealing job I just saw advertised. I may: never hear from them; get the interview and not get the job; get the interview and not want the job; get the interview, get the job and love it... .

    I have a date Saturday night and I hope it goes well.

    We shall see.

    Comments now closed (none / 0) (#214)
    by Jeralyn on Wed May 21, 2008 at 05:01:04 PM EST