Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sen. Kennedy and health care

Sen. Edward Kennedy passed away Monday.

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 headline:


ABC News:

'Win One for Teddy,' Say Dems Pushing for Health Reform
Key Question Is Whether Kennedy's Death Can Rally Fellow Democrats

CBS News:

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.


historymike said...

Thanks, Maggie, for taking the high road on the death of someone who did not share your political views.

Timothy W Higgins said...


There is little doubt that the late Senator would have loved to finish the battle for a subject that had been near and dear to his heart for over 30 years. While I don't agree with his beliefs on the subject, I cannot help but admire a man who always admitted who he was and what he believed in and never shrunk from a fight.

While I am sure that Sen. Kennedy would be flattered by having his name attached to a project so long fought for, I find it interesting that Congress seems likely to commit abuse by tying his name to a plan of rationed care to a man who received a great deal of experimental treatment in spite of age, poor habits, and overall ill health.

The Senator's passing diminishes us all and does truly bring to a close the end of an era in politics. Requiescat in pace indeed Edward Kennedy.

Chuck Greer said...

One thing I am never surprised at is Ms. Thurber taking the "high road"...she is a gentlewoman in the best sense of the word. Sen. Edward Kennedy's passing surely marks the end to an era, but I'm not sure how it "diminishes us", Tim? Teddy Kennedy was to the far left of both his brothers Jack and Bobby, took 10 hours to report a young womans death in 1969, and collaborated with the Soviet Union against his own country, according to files released by the KGB (believeable? I dunno!) but as Maggie stated, I, too, was no fan. My mother died of brain cancer so I know how that goes, and my heart goes out to him and his family.

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...


My condolences to the Senator and his family.

Brain cancer is probably one of the worst afflictions to have and to watch someone near and dear to you to die from.

That said, I believe in God, in the eternal life of our souls, and in judgment day, and by now, the Senator's soul has met his Maker, been judged and has been sent on to enjoy his eternal reward, sentenced for a time in Purgatory, to cleanse his soul, or damned to the eternal fires of Hell, for that is what we are taught and what we believe.

It is our further belief that we should judge not, lest ye be judged, so I have faith that our Creator will make the call, not any of us mere mortals and fellow sinners...

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