He passed away last night from brain cancer:
Sen. Ted Kennedy died shortly before midnight Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 77.
The man known as the “liberal lion of the Senate” had fought a more than year-long battle with brain cancer, and according to his son had lived longer with the disease than his doctors expected him to.
“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever,” the Kennedy family said in a statement. “He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it.”
While my sympathies go out to his family and those who cared for him, it’s hard for me to feel anything but contempt for the man, for he never admitted guilt nor ever paid for leaving Mary Jo Kopechne to die in a Chappaquiddick estuary. Any accomplishment he may ever have had is blighted by that.
Maybe now he’ll finally have to answer for it.
UPDATE: I linked to Crank’s post above -do read it- but I wanted to excerpt a portion because of the lesson it teaches that Barack Obama should have learned:
Kennedy’s career could have been a cautionary tale for our current president, who might not have found himself in quite the fix he is in at the moment if he’d followed Ted’s example, bided his years, spent more time in the trenches doing the unglamorous work of legislating and taking the hard punches that must be taken to sell the product to the public, learning how the system works, why it works and who makes it work. Most of the changes Ted Kennedy made in this nation over his career were change for the worst – but he did, over time, make real change because he worked at it instead of just saying the word “change” and hoping it would be so.