Fulcrum Ruminations

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Camelot's Last Watchman Departs

Teddy Kennedy has died. I honestly don't know how to feel about this. Ideologically, he was on the "wrong" side of a lot of issues to me, but he was a force to be reckoned with in the Senate. And some of his major accomplishments were landmark pieces of legislation, reshaping the social and political landscape of America for the better.

But Ted Kennedy was also a virtual poster boy for the "tax and spend" school of politics. And altho his record of service in the Senate is remarkable for its length and breadth, it also stands as an example of what's wrong with American politics, where people get in to Congress (either chamber) and take root. It's hard to credibly advocate for "fresh ideas" when you've been in the same office for four decades.

All other considerations aside, Ted Kennedy's passing marks the end of an amazing political saga, from his brother John F Kennedy's rise, to Bobby Kennedy's equally tragic story, to his own phenomenal career. Teddy was the last of his generation, the final sentry on the battlements of Camelot. The family scions now in public service just don't have the gravitas of the Jack/Bobby/Ted triumvirate. Somehow, the greatness of the Senate itself seems now diminished, as if a central pillar had been removed.

Fare thee well, Senator Kennedy.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Recently, In the News

Sonya Sotomayor has become the country's first Latino Justice of the Supreme Court. From what I can tell, her judicial record is unremarkable. Maybe in today's ultra-partisan soundbite-driven climate, "unremarkable" is the most we can expect.

Long time no blog, eh? Seems like I never have the time any more. All the amazing stuff going on since my last entry and not a word. Watching Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress drive deficits into realms even George W Bush never imagined has been interesting. Government over-reach continues apace. Now they want to enact health care reform, but typically for our gubbermint they want to do it in as ill-considered and ham-fisted a manner as they can. And the Republicans, bless 'em, have adopted the Democrats' political playbook from the late 90s/early 2000s: their whole strategy seems to be pointing across the aisle while yelling "you guys suck!" Yeah, that worked out so well for the Dems, you might as well try it.

Sarah Palin has resigned the Alaska governorship for reasons best described as "unclear". Or maybe "idiotic", but what do I know?

The economy is showing signs of recovery, but it's juuuuuuuuuuuuust a wee bit early to be celebrating victory, I think. The structural problems that led to the mess have not remotely been addressed, banking and finance types continue to give themselves huge bonuses for being incompetent, Uncle Sam has prevented some big companies from going under - thereby preventing the market from learning the proper lessons from its folly - and all in all, the other shoe has yet to drop. Yeah, buddy.

This is all very superficial, I know, but my time and motivation is lacking these days. Watching the abject foolishness going on in Washington has, frankly, left me stunned.

Oh well, at least the press has its priorities straight.

Or not.

Labels: , , , , , ,