Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Perhaps there are no better words to eulogize Ted Kennedy than those he used to eulogize his own brother Bobby in 1968. It is a brilliant speech that builds to these famous lines:
"My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it."
There was a time when we all thought that that speech would be all Teddy would be remembered for.
Poor Teddy. Teddy the baby brother, the fat one, the fuck up. Teddy who came too late to benefit from the press's reluctance to air the soiled skivvies of the Kennedys. But in the end, Teddy reformed himself and became the best thing he could have become: a wealthy man who fought against his own interests and for the benefit of those less privileged than he.
It is a shame that he died without passing health care reform. If all those senators on the other side of the aisle who have occupied themselves today with expressing their affection for their old nemesis, the Lion of the Senate, would only consider how they might more appropriately honor him.
I know that they don't want to pass a bill that would be viewed as a Democratic success story. Social Security and Medicare were both passed by Democrats, and are two of the most popular, ahem, socialist programs in the history of that legislative body. The Republicans don't want a repeat of those victories, plain and simple. And if you think their obstruction of reform amounts to much more than that, then I have a little bridge in Chappaquiddick I'd like to sell you.
But those distinguished senators should consider that instead of obstructing an acheivement that will save thousands of American lives, and impove millions more, they might instead reflect upon some lesser known words of the Lion:
"Surely we can learn to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us, and become in our own hearts, brothers and countrymen once again...Moral courage is a greater commodity than bravery in battle, or great intelligence. Yet is is the one essential vital quality for those who seek to change the world that yields most painfully to change."
Posted by vikkitikkitavi at 8:28 AM