U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, a towering figure in the Democratic Party who took the helm of one of America's most fabled political families after two older brothers were assassinated, died at age 77, his family said.
"Edward M. Kennedy, the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply, died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port (Massachusetts)," the Kennedy family said in a statement early on Wednesday.
One of the most influential and longest-serving senators in U.S. history -- a liberal standard-bearer who was also known as a consummate congressional dealmaker -- Kennedy had been battling brain cancer, which was diagnosed in May 2008.
His death marked the twilight of a political dynasty and dealt a blow to Democrats as they seek to answer President Barack Obama's call for an overhaul of the healthcare system.
Dealt a blow to Democrats as they seek to overhaul the healthcare system? Not if you ask die-hard leftists. Via e-mail, twittering twits that tell the story:
"DAMN IT!!!!! I can't stop crying, I'm so upset at his immeasurable loss, and disgusted beyond belief at the republicans lies and greed"
"OH GAWD!!!! I can't believe that the republicans stopped Ted Kennedy from seeing the HCR passing before he died. I HATE THEM!!!"
"Gitmo is too good for the Republicans..THIS will change EVERYTHING!!NOTHING WILL STOP US NOW FROM GETTING HCR IN TEDDY'S NAME"
Also via e-mail, a related tweet from Steve Crowder:
Tedd Kennedy's dead. For passenger-seat mistresses, the world is now a safer place. RIP Ted Kennedy
The Anchoress is more thoughtful:
Someone emailed me a moment ago wondering how long it would take for Kennedy’s death to be politicized – specifically by the left, specifically in order to push through the rapidly souring Obamacare, and wouldn’t that be a dreadful and classless thing?
The answer, at least on Twitter, is “immediately,” and “yes, dreadful and classless, but nothing less than Kennedy himself would have expected and participated in; it is what politics has devolved to, after all. Even as he lay dying, the “Liberal Lion” was trying to finagle a means of protecting his Senate seat for his party. Or, someone was. And already on Twitter, the Obamacare proponents are insisting that Kennedy’s death will “give Obama the push he needs, to pass his plan.”
Well…maybe. But Kennedy’s death -outside of the coastal enclaves- will not have the drama and sentimental heft some might expect. Given a grim diagnosis in May of 2008, Kennedy managed, with the help of some of the best care available, to see another Christmas, another spring and even another summer. It’s entirely possible that what Kennedy’s death will really do is bring into stark relief the fact that under Obamacare, this overweight 77 year-old man with liking for the drink would probably have faced treatment rationing and an offer for “physician aid-in-dying”. Kennedy’s death will emphasize yet again that our elected “public servants” enjoy one of the best health insurance plans in the world, while they are trying to force something much less comprehensive (and life-affirming) onto their constituents.
God's mercy on the man... God's discernment on those who will judge his legacy.
UPDATE: Bookie adds wisdom to the Kennedy/Obamacare linkage:
I said I wouldn’t blog about Kennedy himself and I’ll keep my word. I would like to point out something, though, about Kennedy’s health care, since word is out that the Dems have instantly leaped upon his death to advance their health care agenda. If anyone among the population is paying attention, this should backfire.
The fact is that Kennedy is a poster child for the chasm Congress hopes to create between “their” health care and ours. Kennedy was a man who abused his body fiercely throughout his life. Although he’d apparently given up the worst of his vices, he was still obese, which is a big no-no in the Nanny state. He had reached the demographic point of no return, since he, a male, was diagnosed with brain cancer after his 75th birthday. Lastly, he had an incredibly aggressive cancer which, absent the most sophisticated and expensive treatment, would have carried him off in months, not . . . what was it? Years? Kennedy survived, not because he got the Obama Care the Left is demanding for the rest of us, but because he got the best that American medicine is capable of providing.
More than that, Kennedy would have gotten his care even if he had become ill after Obama Care became a reality. This is because he is part of the nomenklatura. He was a high level party apparatchik. In the Soviet days, these guys always got good care, even if their stalwart comrades were lying two to a bed, no sheets, in a ward crammed with the sick and dying.