Paying respects to Kennedy

Going through my e-mail, I was struck by the notes of condolence and respect from our two senators after the awful news that Ted Kennedy received today.

What a shame it is that, what with the partisan craziness of recent years, it takes something like this for a man to be spoken of in human terms by Republicans, to the extent that we’d notice. Mind you, perhaps Sens. DeMint and Graham have said similar things in the past and I missed it. After all, Kennedy has the reputation of being highly respected by his colleagues across the board, whatever may be said about him out by partisans out on the hustings. And Sen. Graham, for instance, has had good things to say about working with Hillary Clinton, while leaving no room for anyone to think he approves of her politics overall.

But still, a good word for Ted Kennedy from a Southern Republican is still a thing worth taking note of.

A year or so ago I wrote a column about how, every once in a while, politicians will break down the usual barriers to treat each other as human beings. It’s something I try to watch for, because I find it so gratifying. It gives me a little hope for our politics, and for the human race. So while these releases are no big deal, and will be dismissed by cynics as wholly inadequate, I take some little comfort from them.

Anyway, here’s the release I got from Jim DeMint:

DeMint Statement on Senator Ted Kennedy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint made the following statement:
    “Our thoughts and prayers are with Senator Kennedy and his family right now. I have tremendous respect for Senator Kennedy as do all of his colleagues. I wish him a full and speedy recovery.”

As insubstantial as that message is, it occurs to me that politically, he did not have to do it. Seriously, what would be the political cost to Jim DeMint of saying nothing? Not much, I’d wager. So at some point the decision was made, "Let’s say something." Maybe it’s not much, but I will grasp at straws looking for UnPartisan hope.

Speaking of cynicism — I mentioned the DeMint release to a colleague right after it came in, and he said You won’t see one from Graham, not in this election year. But at that very moment (12 minutes behind the DeMint one), this was coming in:

Statement by Lindsey Graham on Senator Kennedy
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement on the news concerning Senator Ted Kennedy.
    “All of us who serve in the Senate respect Senator Kennedy and were shocked to hear his diagnosis.  We all hope for a speedy recovery.  Senator Kennedy is a tough guy and my money is on Ted when it comes to recovering.  He’s a worthy adversary and at times, someone you can do business with.  He’s a man of his word.  I’m very much hoping for a speedy recovery and praying for him and his family.”

Sure, he got the "adversary" part in, but it was gracious nonetheless.

These aren’t much. They are, in fact, what anyone should do under the circumstances. But I still find these simple, brief expressions of human decency a welcome relief from the usual.

Finally, may God grant peace and hope to Sen. Kennedy and his family. We’ve been through this in my family, and I know that prayers help — whatever the creed, whatever the party.

10 thoughts on “Paying respects to Kennedy

  1. slugger

    I will be saying things here that are offensive to many people. It has to do with Sen. Kennedy. Maybe the Catholic Church should have spoken against this when it happened (since he is a Catholic).
    When Mary Jo Kapeckney died the weekend of the celebration on Hyannis Port and all that took place with Sen. Kennedy leaving her to die in the car at the bridge, I have no real sympathy for Senator Kennedy.
    I cannot even believe that he has been elected and re-elected for all the years in the state of Massachusetts. Maybe the little people do not have anything to do in the overall equation. Maybe it is all about who you are and how much money you have.
    I will pray that he will recover because maybe God has something special for him when he knocks on the gate.
    God help him. Forgive him for he knows not what he has done.

  2. David

    A malignant brain tumor is definitely a tough bounce. No matter how much I may differ with Senator Kennedy doctrinally and politically, and no matter what I think about his personal life, I hate to hear this awful news. I hate it for him, and I hate it for his family.
    I wonder if he’ll try to continue in the senate, or just have the Governor of Massachusetts appoint a replacement. Isn’t that how they do it? If this or something similar is the case, there won’t be any difference politically. The Governor, or the people of Mass if they are allowed to vote, will replace Senator Kennedy with an equally liberal person.
    In any case, I hope he’s either right with his Maker or can get that way forthwith. David

  3. David

    I actually spoke with Senator Kennedy back in the eighties. I was the Airwing Maintenance Officer for Carrier Airwing One aboard the USS America in 1986, and Senator Kennedy came aboard on a tour one day. I was in flight deck control that evening late watching the night aircraft spot go in so we could get to work fixing airplanes, and the Senator walked into flight deck control and began asking questions about what we were doing and generally just talking with us. Seemed like a pretty OK guy that night. I got the idea that his back was hurting him (I’ve heard since that his back is horribly painful at times), and I also got the idea that his mind was sort of somewhere else. I can only imagine where. But I did talk with him briefly, and he seemd OK for a flaming lib. David

  4. penultimo mcfarland

    The Post’s account gives Kennedy more credit than I would, but that paper’s ceiling is my floor, so there.
    Past Mary Jo Kopechne and Chappaquiddick, even now, in the wake of this news, I can’t praise him nor feek sorry for him.
    He was the least of his brethren, but he has lived the longest.

  5. wtf

    Isn’t ironic that those who bring up the Kapeckney incident nearly 40 years ago shaking their fist and wagging their finger at a spoiled rich kid from New England who got away with breaking the law abolutly worship the ground that their spolied rich kids from New England George W. Bush who broke the law walks on? I can hear the veins popping in their little skulls when they say…”well Bush never killed anybody when he drove drunk and was arrested for DUI” True.
    Well, Kennedy wasn’t responsible for 4000 dead US servicemen and hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi citizens when he was sober. What’s Bush’s excuse?
    40 years people…let it go. regarldess of what your radio gods have told you, Senator Kennedy has served his country in the Congress for nearly 40 years with distinguished service. Disagree with the policies? Sure, that’s the American way. But to criticize him personally during a dark moment in his life….well I fear it has become the American way. For shame people.
    The thing is, if Kennedy should pass, what scares the dittoheads and mindless minions of the right is that their main boogey man will be no more. Who will they have to blame for all of their fears? The mirror?
    They might just have to make an argument for thier beliefs based on facts……oh wait, they can’t.

  6. You killed Mary Jo

    Oh boo frikin hoo, maybe the scumbag will run into Mary Jo Kopechne who he killed, or the millions of dead infants which died through the abortion efforts he championed on his way to hell. Burn in hell Ted. They’ve got a special niche carved out for you.

  7. David

    WTF, you aren’t giving us guys on the right enough credit. You ought to be careful about underestimating your enemies that way.
    In any event, we aren’t afraid of Kennedys’ death because it will remove our “boogey man.” As I said in my first post, anyone with a brain whether on the right or the left, can see that the next senator from Mass will be every bit as liberal as was Senator Kennedy. You gotta give us some credit on the right, ’cause we get that.
    And honestly, the new senator who takes Kennedys’ seat will probably be even MORE liberal than Ted was (if that’s even theoretically possible…I’m not sure it can be done). I say MORE liberal because this seat will forever be associated with the Kennedy dynasty and tradition, and it will be considered a “legacy” seat ~ meaning the incumbents will have something to prove in championing and furthering Kennedys’ legacy of utter liberal lunacy. David

  8. Lee Muller

    Ted Kennedy should be judged on his sorry record of legislative efforts to undermine American liberty and aid her enemies.
    It is a shame the way people who know better suddenly try to dress Kennedy up in a white gown out of pity for his illness.


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