I offer my sympathies to his family and friends over his loss. Having lost an uncle to brain cancer, I know first-hand what a dreadful disease it is. So I'm grateful he is no longer suffering its effects - and that he had a full and good life.
I was not a fan of Sen. Kennedy. It will come as no surprise to readers of this blog that I rarely agreed with any of his positions and was quite opposed to many of his proposals.
However, I respected and admired the shrewd politician that he was. Which brings me to the subject of health care....
Kennedy was a strong proponent of universal health care and supported a government-run option.
I can only imagine the thoughts he was having on the subject as he learned of the public's growing opposition to the concept. Being an avowed and unabashed liberal, he probably thought those of us opposed to the idea just didn't know what we were doing...that he knew better for us on the subject.
I don't mean that as an attack; merely a statement of fact. But knowing that the proposal was sinking fast, what could he do to help it? Give it a rallying point - which is what his death has done.
The DrudgeReport.com headline:
HEALTH BILL FROM THE GRAVE: DEMS RALLY AROUND KENNEDYCARE
'Win One for Teddy,' Say Dems Pushing for Health Reform
Key Question Is Whether Kennedy's Death Can Rally Fellow Democrats
Sen. Byrd: Health Bill Should be Named for Kennedy
Even his final act has political overtones - shrewd, calculated, brilliant - and perfect timing, which is a big factor in political success.
I'm certain he would rather still be with us, fighting in the trenches of 21st Century politics. But knowing that he really had no option (death greets us all some day), I do not think he would mind the use of his death to promote one of his long-time goals.
While I don't think it will be enough to overcome the opposition, I can - and do - admire the strategy, unintended though it may be.
Of course, the strategy may back-fire. While Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid may think this is a good thing to do, if the bill goes down in flames (which it appears is likely), the last bill with Kennedy's name will have been a failure - something I don't believe Kennedy would appreciate.
Regardless of the outcome, I think Kennedy would appreciate the battle. Rest in peace, Sen. Kennedy.