Teddy Kennedy's legacy

by: Mike Lux

Tue May 20, 2008 at 17:58


I know that everyone is already paying tribute to Ted Kennedy today, but I have to add my own words to the mix, because Kennedy's career and track record are too amazing not to note.

I have recently completed my book manuscript on the history of the debate between progressives and conservatives in America, and I have been researching a lot about the congressional debates this country has had in these last 220 years, and I have no doubt that Kennedy should be ranked as the single most important and effective senator in terms of progressive politics. Other senators I would put high on the list- including the great champion of abolition Charles Sumner, the great Progressive era leader Bob LaFollette, Sr., FDR's partner on much of the New Deal era legislation George Norris, and liberal lion Hubert Humphrey- all accomplished great things, but had neither the longevity in the Senate nor the breadth and depth of accomplishments of Ted Kennedy.

Kennedy has been a player in literally every major progressive accomplishment of my life, usually a major player, quite often the leading player: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, Legal Services, the War on Poverty, environmental legislation, OSHA, bringing down Richard Nixon on the Watergate investigations, ending the Vietnam War, stopping military aid to the Contras in Central America, the Martin Luther King holiday, stopping Robert Bork, the increases in the minimum wage, Family and Medical Leave, National Service, Motor Voter Act, S-CHIP. His fingerprints are on all of that legislation, and more. And even where he failed, on universal health care and labor law reform and stopping the Iraq war and other battles, he fought the good fight with passion and heart and courage. I hope like hell his fight is not ending, that he does not go gentle into that good night, because we need his passion and heart and courage in these cautious, careful times all the more.

Mike Lux :: Teddy Kennedy's legacy

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I wish everyone would knock it off (0.00 / 0)
Guy is not dead, ya'll.
Can't we wait until the unfortunate happens, whenever it is it will, before we start talking about his "legacy", "who he was" and so on ?

Why? (4.00 / 1)
Can't we wait until the unfortunate happens, whenever it is it will, before we start talking about his "legacy", "who he was" and so on?

Honoring Kennedy's record of accomplishments isn't going to somehow cause his demise, if that's what's going to happen. Not talking about his record of accomplishments isn't going to stave it off either.

I'm reminded of a song I grew up hearing in church.


Won't you give me my flowers while I'm living
Let me enjoy them while I can
Please don't wait till I'm ready to be buried
And then slip some lilies in my hand

Won't you give me my flowers while I'm living
And let me enjoy them while I can
Please don't wait till I'm ready to be buried

Speaking about the man's accomplishments, his commitments, his record, doesn't have to mean eulogizing the man, after all.


[ Parent ]
Yes, wait for the death certificate before you send flowers (4.00 / 1)
Back in January, 1970 I had major major surgery and was told I had perhaps 5% chance of making it for more than 6 months.  

Well I did the experimental chemotherapy treatments, and I am still pooping along, some 38 years later. I think Ted Kennedy will aim for making mincemeat of the probabilities just as I did.  He may not be successful, but expect him to try to shoot the moon.  

In the meantime read Ted Sorensen's new book, "Counselor"

Ted Sorensen has become blind more or less due to a stroke, but he has written a book that is over the top.  Much of it seems like a script for Obama this season.  


Is it possible that some kind words frpm his supporters (0.00 / 0)
Might help him on that path to recovery?

I mean, we send cards and flowers to the sick, too, not only the dead.



"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
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