Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Obligatory Post About Ted Kennedy

I'm a huge fan on the movie "Shattered Glass", a film in which journalist Michael Kelly is portrayed as a brilliant editor for The New Republic magazine. After leaving TNR, Kelly went on to edit several other news and opinion journals and was eventually killed while covering the war in Iraq.
I immediately bought a copy of "Things Worth Fighting For", a collection of Kelly's collected journalism pieces. One of my favorites in the book is this gem, which was originally published in GQ. The link is much shorter than the original. I hope you'll go there and get back to me. It's pure, undiluted greatness.

Next, imagine if GW Bush had done this....

But, as Shakespeare said (or maybe it was Christopher Marlowe), the evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones. Here's Nick Gillespie, of Reason magazine on Kennedy's major accomplishment:

There is, buried deep within Kennedy's legislative legacy, a different set of policies worth exhuming and examining, precisely because they were truly a break with the normal way of doing business in Washington. During the 1970s, Kennedy was instrumental in deregulating the interstate trucking industry and airline ticket prices, two innovations that have vastly improved the quality of life in America even as—or more precisely, because—they pushed power out of D.C. and into the pocketbooks of everyday Americans. We are incalculably richer and better off because something like actual prices replaced regulatory fiat in trucking and flying. Because they do not fit the Ted Kennedy narrative preferred by his admirers and detractors alike, these accomplishments rarely get mentioned in stories about the late senator. But they are exactly the sort of legislation that we should be celebrating in his honor, and using as a model in today's debates about health care, education, and virtually every aspect of government action.

So at least he deregulated the trucking industry. I owe him a big one.

Here's a picture of him coming out of the swimming pool, shortly after killing somebody.

Multiple coats of high gloss Whitening to Instapundit for the collections of links.


Dr Ralph said...

Cheap shot at a dead man. Unfortunate since I know you are a much nicer person than that bit of knee-jerk nastiness would indicate.

Tim Lebsack said...

I almost feel sorry for the louse.

Dr Ralph said...

WS: for a man who eschews Fox News you sure seem to use a lot of clips from them (not to mention the whole Glenn Beck thing elsewhere).

Tim, to quote from your blog: "Why did they not kill Ted like they killed his brothers?" I think this tells me everything I need to know about the likes of you.

Tim Lebsack said...

Dr. Ralph and all -

this was the post from my blog

Thursday, August 27, 2009
on Ted Kennedy

I'm asking this question in all seriousness.
Why did they not kill Ted like they killed his brothers ?
Posted by Tim Lebsack at 6:21 AM

It's my fault that my communication was unclear. I assumed that the statement before my question would demonstrate my belief that the the murders of JFK and RFK hold mysteries that we may never understand and that those orchestrating these crimes may still be at large. I apologize if my wording indicated that I wished harm upon the late Senator Kennedy.

Regarding your comment "the likes of you", I'm much worse than you imagine.

I stand by my claim that Ted Kennedy was a dirty, low down, lyin' skonk that never could tie the laces of his older brothers.

Tim Lebsack

Dr Ralph said...

Tim ( -- I'd be the first to agree Ted Kennedy was a flawed soul, who was capable of stupid and cowardly behavior. No saint was he.

He also lived his entire life in a public spotlight which magnified every fuckup and misstep he ever made.

What would people say about you if you were forced to live your life with the same level of scrutiny. I know I wouldn't fare very well.

Was he a louse? It's not for me to say.

This is not an apology for his behavior. Still, I have to ask the question: are you calling him a louse because of the man he was or because of his political positions?

He was beloved by his constituents and, more tellingly, by his colleagues in the senate, on *both* sides of the aisle. A year or two ago senate Republicans ranked him No. 1 among Democrats for bipartisanship. I suspect they'd be in a better position to know whether he was a louse or not.

As to your quote, based on the context of the rest of your site, the meaning I took away seemed pretty clear cut.

But I'm certainly willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. Many (myself included) don't always post things which reflect our better natures. Despite your statement to the contrary I suspect you aren't nearly as bad as you imagine I imagine you are.

I'd probably buy you a beer if I met you.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Perhaps Fox goes to Instapundit, or Vice-Versa. Or Ed Morrisey's "Hot Air".
But I don't watch no Fox.

Here's my deal with Ted.... His brother's senate seat was held for him by a family friend until Ted could come of age. Then he ran as the sorta incumbent and was elected.
Then, by almost all accounts, he got drunk, ran off a bridge, and left someone to drown while he sobered up and fretted about the impact on his political career. One of my employees did that, and got 15 years in the slammer. Unlike Ted who got the opportunity, God help us, to sponsor more legislation than anyone can ever remember.
Then Ted sponsored legislation to keep the Kennedy family senate seat from being filled by a Mitt Romney appointee. Then when Romney was no longer governor, he sponsored legislation that insisted the governor fill the Kennedy seat.
My point is that he's above it all. I don't think he devoted his life to public service, I think he devoted his life to the pursuit of power.

Also, I know Mr. Lebsack. He's a good guy. Haven't seen the comment in question, but I've heard more than one person say "If they HAD to kill a Kennedy brother, why did it have to be...."

Perhaps that's the angle Time was searching for.

All that having been said, we all owe him one for reversing the trucking regulation madness.

Dr Ralph said...

WS - Instapunditry on the recently deceased is inherently risky.

On many of your statements regarding Ted Kennedy you'll get no argument from me. At all. He's gotten more than his share of mulligans in the game of Life.

Pursuing power? Isn't that in part the purpose of the political process? Is this bad only if you disagree with the power-holder's agenda? Aren't Libertarians attempting to gain power to enact their world view?

The real question is: what did he do with said power. While you probably would find fault with his legislative record, I don't recall anyone accusing him of lining his pockets or the pockets of his friends (can you say "Halliburton").

As to Mr Lebsack's tasteless remark, do me a favor and read it yourself and see if I was off base with my take on it. As I stated, many (myself included) don't always post things which reflect our better natures, so I won't hold him to a higher standard than I hold you (or me).

Finally, it's been my observation that pissing on a dead man's grave says more about the character of person pissing than that of the deceased.