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RIP, Ted Kennedy
cap, captain miss america
I lived in Massachusetts for two years. In that time, I had the honor of being served in the Senate by one of the most progressive Senators in Congress. In spite of coming from a family of tremendous wealth, Ted Kennedy's support was always with ordinary people who didn't always know how they were going to pay their bills. In spite f being older, from an earlier generation, he was always singular in his ability to look to the future in a way that is usually reserved for young people.

If you haven't yet read it, I think the best way to honor this man is to read the article he wrote for Newsweek not too long ago.

This man has been fighting so hard for us to all receive the kind of quality health care that he does. I hope we can continue his fight with renewed passion and hope even if he is no longer alive to see the fruits of his labor.

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yepper. it would be great if we also had the Edward Kennedy Healthcare Access for All AMericans, 2009. (as well as the Serve America act...)

*crosses fingers*


I guess it really isn't that much of a surprise, but how awful. I was really hoping he'd be around to see a good health care bill finally pass.

(Deleted comment)
Considering that the Chappaquiddick crash not only happened 40 years ago, but was almost identical to the way that one of my best friends from high school died and I can absolutely attest that the driver of the car was so psychologically screwed up by what happened that night that he was not capable of informing of my friend's death, either, I take extreme offense to the fact that you would write something so nasty about someone who spent the vast majority of his life before and after that night doing truly good things. People fuck up. Some people fuck up in ways that are more serious than others. But I am personally offended by the idea that you're unwilling to forgive someone who pioneered civil rights, health care, education, and pretty much every important piece of legislation of the past 47 years for fucking up one night in his life. There's this thing called compassion. If someone you loved fucked up that badly, wouldn't you prefer to see them treated with compassion rather than punished forever for it?

At very least, I would think that you would have the decency to keep these kinds of comments out of my personal journal, and put them in your own if that's how you feel.

I agree about the good he's done, but in general, I don't think the issue is as simple as an either/or choice between ignoring past mistakes or punishing someone forever.

I'm deleting my original comment, since it's innaproperate for your journal.

Okay, I guess I didn't comment back in time. If you still have the comment, I would appreciate it if you could put it back.

And it is absolutely not an either/or. But accusing someone of murder when the absolute worst thing they could have done is gotten drunk at a time when drunk driving wasn't a huge thing like it is now and then lied about it after the fact, and probably by all accounts was not drunk, took a wrong turn, and experienced serious panic or psychological shock, which is what happens when your car crashes into the water is, well, extremely extreme. He endured shitloads of negative press and it probably affected his ability to run for President a decade later. Frankly, I don't think the problem is that it didn't affect him enough-- I think the problem is that other people in similar situations have been treated like murderers and criminals because they panicked and made terrible mistakes. We didn't try to get Cinthia's boyfriend arrested because he left her in the car and didn't report it. We hugged him and mourned with him because we knew it was harder for him than all of us because he would blame himself every day of the rest of his life.

Edited at 2009-08-26 11:22 pm (UTC)

Original comment: Politically, it's too bad, because he supported things I'm in favor of. But I can't take too much mourning over the death of a man who was able to murder a girl and have it barely impact his career.

I think if it was definitely murder if he was drunk - I don't see drunk driving as a mistake, it's a choice. But you're right, that's a big if.

I do, though, have a hard time beliving that if he wasn't a Kennedy and a senator he wouldn't been charged more severely, since all investigations agreed the driving was at least, neglegent. I don't think this is anything Kennedy did, on purpose, but there was obvious political pressure or outright intimidation on people involved with the incident, from the grand jury members upward. Ted Kennedy didn't ask for this, but he benefited from who he was.

This makes me less sympathetic then I would be for a more average person. And that isn't entirely fair, I know, but I also feel like someone with so much else going for them doesn't need my kindly thoughts.

I think the difference here is that I think the way he was treated should be the status quo and the way other people who don't have his family should be treated like he was. I don't think he should have gotten off worse-- I think a lot of other people should have gotten off better.

I also think that the expectation we can have of someone driving drunk in the past 20 years is different from 1969. It's like smoking while pregnant-- I think it's unconscionable to do it today, but that has been after huge campaigns to bring the issue to light.

Edited at 2009-08-27 12:41 am (UTC)

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