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.

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