article imageOpinion: Ted Kennedy, the liberal adversary to the conservative movement

By Patrick McMahon.
Subscribe to author
Published Aug 26, 2009 by  Patrick McMahon - 19 votes, 9 comments
Share on Facebook  
Listen - Email - Print
Recipient email:
You can enter up to 10 comma-separated email addresses.
Your email:
optional
Message:
optional

With Ted Kennedy's passing early this morning, most news outlets are airing tributes and having guests on to share memories of the later senator, but not all people are holding off their criticisms of Kennedy.
Kennedy has long been described as the liberal bogeyman to the conservative movement, despite his reputation for working across the aisle with some Republicans. Kennedy has been long hated by many on the right because of his personal flaws and also because of his public stances.
In terms of his personal life, Ted Kennedy was a lightening rod of criticism from the late 1960's until the mid 1990's. There were countless allegations of extramartial affairs and womanizing, out of control drinking, and most notably the Chappaquiddick incident. Kennedy divorced his first wife, Joan, in 1982 and was said to be an eligible playboy for the next ten years. Much of this came to light when the senator was called to testify at his nephew William Kennedy Smith's rape trial in 1991. Kennedy was out with Smith the night of the alleged sexual assault and much of his torrid life was on display during the trial. Smith was eventually found not guilty by a Florida jury.
His legendary drinking problems and Chappaquiddick came together on July 18, 1969. Kennedy left a party after drinking in order to take Mary Jo Kopechne, a former aide to his late brother Robert, to a ferry to leave the island. He took a wrong turn and the car ended up in the water. Kennedy swam to safety, but Kopechne never made it out of the car. Kennedy left the scene of the accident and did not go to the police until the next morning. He pled guilty for leaving the scene of an accident. This incident dogged him for the rest of his life, effectively crippling his chances for the presidency. Many on the right criticized Kennedy for leaving Kopechne in the car when she may have still been alive and able to be saved.
Throughout his 46 years in the Senate, Ted Kennedy amassed an impressive record of legislative accomplishments, much of it promoting policies and ideas that the right opposes. Kennedy earned the enmity of the conservatives for his vocal opposition to Ronald Reagan's Supreme Court candidate Robert Bork, unequivocal support for abortion, even though he was a staunch Catholic and was previously pro-life, and his opposition for national defense related projects. Kennedy focused primarily on social programs and welfare issues, therefore earning the label of a bleeding heart liberal. Despite these criticisms, Kennedy relished his role in the Senate and was declared to be the "liberal lion."
Today, some conservatives and just anti-Kennedy people, are not mourning the senator's passing and are coming out against him. Andrew Breitbart, Washington Times columnist and operator of Breitbart.com, called Kennedy a "villain," "duplicitous bastard," and a "prick" on Twitter hours after he died. Breitbart continued his opposition to Kennedy by posting: "I'm more than willing to go off decorum to ensure THIS MAN is not beatified,” Breitbart wrote. “Sorry, he destroyed lives. And he knew it."
RedState.com's Erick Erikson said that “I can’t say that I’ll miss him.” For Erickson, the liberal senator “represented all that is wrong with Washington—a kingdom of nepotism and worship at the altar of failed liberal policies that get repeated ad infinitum.” Bill Bennett wrote today that, “They say one should not speak ill of the dead,” he said on the National Review's website. “True. But I am of the view that one should not lie about the dead either. So I will not go on."
Kennedy will be the subject of eulogies and tributes for the next few days, so it will be interesting to see how politicized his memorials will be. If anyone remembers the late Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone's memorial, then they will know that turning a personal reflection on a person's life into a liberal political rally will not work. Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi and Russ Feingold have already been out today urging the healthcare reform bill to be named in Kennedy's honor and for Congress to "do this for Ted." Naming a bill after the fallen legislator is a fine honor, but to pass it just to honor him is wrong. America has serious questions and reservations about the legislation out there.
Honor Ted Kennedy if you are a fan of him, silently respect him if you are not, but let us not polarize this man's memorial services over the next several days. I don't think he would support that, given his ability and willingness to cross the aisle to pass bipartisan legislation.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
article:278320:19::0
More news from: United States»

Trustee Files $199 Million Suit Against 4 Madoff Family Members

Four relatives of convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff are being sued for $199 million by the trustee appointed by a court to liquidate Madoff's business.
Published 8 hours ago by  Chris Dade in Business

US Chamber of Commerce changes eco stance after Nike quits board

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently came under fire for saying climate change was a good thing, but after losing some very prominent members, the Chamber has been frantically attempting to ensure the public that it 'had it all wrong.'
Published 11 hours ago by  Stephanie Dearing in Environment | 2 comments

TopFinds: Typhoons Ravage Phillippines, Spanking Kids Lowers IQ

A Digital Journalist from the Philippines reports on the devastating typhoons. Two women rally against their health insurance companies. Spanking kids can lower their IQ. These are the top stories around the world.
Published 15 hours ago by  David Silverberg in Internet | 5 comments

Republican: Palin would be a catastrophe for GOP in 2012

John McCain's 2008 Presidential Campaign Manager and GOP strategist, Steve Schmidt, thinks if Sarah Palin were to win the Republican nomination in 2012 than it would be a disaster to the Republican Party.
Published 17 hours ago by  Andrew Moran in Politics | 1 comment

Elizabeth Smart testifies abductor raped her daily

Elizabeth Smart testified in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday that she was raped three to four times daily and told that if she yelled or tried to escape that she would be killed.
Published 21 hours ago by  Kevin Jess in Crime | 1 comment
apis-127431 apis-127424 apis-127410 apis-127415 apis-127395
Email:
Password:
Remember meForgot password?