Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RIP: Edward M. ("Half-A-Loaf") Kennedy

The "liberal lion of the Senate" succumbed this morning to a brain tumor at age 77.

Kennedy's legislative motto: Why stand for principle when compromise is sooooo much easier than actually fighting for the people?

And you get credit for it, too? They call you a "lion." Even when you lie down with a Chimp...

The idea that half-a-loaf is better than no loaf at all is exactly the same sort of argument which urges that the perfect is the enemy of the good.

Which only makes sense if you regard "the good" as good enough.

And it is infinitely easier to make that decision to make if you already have 'enough.'

Kennedy lost a LOT of my respect when he went along--indeed, he endorsed--the Bushevik monstrosity, No Child Left Behind. Even when, last year, he seemed to pull back from NCLB, he was still apparently supportive of the educational philosophy of the "drill, skill, and kill" bill. He approved the appointment of Obama's CorpoRat Edn Sec, Arne Duncan.

Kennedy's was an early and ardent supporter of Mitt Romney's (FAILED!) Massachusetts health plan. His HELP health legislation leadership was squishy, too, though of course he was already dying by them. The plan, preceding him, was DOA. It was essentially ignored both in the "press" and in Congress when it was introduced in June, this year. His celebrity couldn't defeat the Gang of Six cynicism.

I, and the more ardent partisans of the efforts on which he compromised, probably, would have preferred if he hadn't been so "loved'; if he'd died honored but despised by the likes of Orrin Hatch, or John McCain, for his intransigence on matters of principle, I believe his legacy would have been greater.

His rhetorical sympathies were with 'the people,' it's true. He could give a speech. He had good writers.

But his class loyalty was inseparably with the Owners. Probably, he was about as good as "noblesse oblige" gets, these days...

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