In assessing the legacy of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, most eulogies have begun by celebrating his legislative achievements, which have touched virtually every American. He is routinely — and rightly — placed among the greatest senators who ever lived. Others have pointed to his less tangible contributions to the nation — that as his brothers’ heir, he kept the Kennedys’ progressive flame lit and continued to carry the torch for the least powerful among us.
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What we loved and admired in him, what we hope for ourselves and our country, is his sense of moral largeness, his unbounded capacity to care, not because he was a saint but because he wasn’t. By challenging us as he challenged himself, and reminding us where we fall short, Kennedy shames us, a gift that, one suspects, will linger in the national soul.
Oh yeah he said that. A guy who got liquored up, drunkenly drove a car off a bridge, left his female companion to die, and told authorities about all this . . . oh, about ten fucking hours later — you know, once his blood alcohol level was safely back around zero — what a morally large fellow he was!
Hell, I already have a Photo of the Day and Image of the Day. But you have to admit this is pretty cool. It’s the Station Fire from space — with numerous other prominent Southern California landmarks, like the Channel Islands and the Salton Sea:
Shortly after the Iraq war started I saw Senator Kennedy in a public session of the U.S. Supreme Court. As we were taking our seats he briefly took my arm and told me he greatly appreciated the attitude of the Spanish government regarding the decision taken by the White House because, he said, “although you know my position ” — he was one of the few senators to oppose the authorization for the war — “I appreciate the solidarity with my country in times like this.” “I would appreciate if you relay this to President Aznar,” he added.
Let me see if I get this straight: if it’s good to show solidarity with the US “in times like this”, why did this only apply to foreigners? Why didn’t he start with himself? I understand the “politics ends at the water edge” principle, but it’s one thing not to criticize, and another to send a clear, precise message like this.
I read the article as saying that Kennedy thought that, once we were in the war, we needed to stay in and win. And so, with that in mind, let us pray:
For the successful conclusion of the Iraq war, as Ted Kennedy, the Lion of the Senate, would have wished, we beseech thee: Lord, hear our prayer.
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