Edward Kennedy dead

Gintas writes:

I have a bounce in my step today, could it be because it’s such a beautiful day outside?

I found Gintas’s brief remark, which he sent under the subject line “Ted Kennedy dead,” charming and containing an element of truth, and so I posted it. Some readers may be offended by the publication of lighthearted thoughts on the occasion of a death. In this connection, I am reminded that the Book of Psalms presents a wide range of human emotions, including despair, hatred, and desire for vengeance. By including such non-godly feelings in the Bible, its authors and editors seemed to be saying that there is a need to recognize and express the full panoply of the emotions in the human soul, not necessarily in order for them to be approved and emulated, but in order for them to be given their due place as part of the whole. Edward Kennedy, the lion of the left, strove for 40 years to destroy this country. It is natural and normal, if not representative of a high level of moral virtue, for a man to feel a bit of innocent cheer at the departure of this remorseless enemy from the planet earth. In that spirit I’ve posted Gintas’s comment.

By the way, if readers think that in my above interpretation of the Book of Psalms I am justifying Jewish-type vengefulness as against Christian forgiveness, I first heard this view of the Psalms from an Episcopal priest.

Also on the subject of Kennedy’s death, Paul Nachman wrote to Kathryn Jean Lopez and Victor Hanson at National Review:

Kathryn and Victor:

Do you recall what Senator DeMint said after we citizens defeated the amnesty-and-immigration-acceleration bill for the second time in 2007? “When the U.S. Senate brought the Amnesty bill back up this week, they declared war on the American people.”

Edward Kennedy was intimately involved, via the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act amendments and its successor legislation, especially in 1986 and 1991, in an ongoing war against the American people and the ruination of our country.

He was a vile and despicable man (as is evident from the great Michael Kelly article about him, if more evidence is needed).

Further, he wasn’t merely an opponent. He was our implacable enemy.

Please reconsider your “RIP Ted Kennedy” benedictions at The Corner. They amount to unreflective and inappropriate sentimentality.

Paul K. writes:

I can’t say, like Gintas, that the news of Teddy Kennedy’s death put a bounce in my step. Teddy Kennedy fulfilled his destiny, having lived long enough to do irreparable harm to this country. When historians perform the post-mortem on this once great republic, they may conclude that it was the 1965 Immigration Act that Kennedy championed that truly sealed our fate. All his mischief after that was merely the frosting on the cake.

During World War II, General Patton wrote a prayer for the troops, which included the line, “Let me not mourn for the men who have died fighting, but rather let me be glad that such heroes have lived.” In Kennedy’s case, I can only say, “Let me not rejoice that such a man died, but rather let me be sorry that such a man lived.”

On Sunday’s “This Week” program, when John McCain said, “No person in that institution is indispensable, but Ted Kennedy comes as close to being indispensable as any individual I’ve ever known in the Senate,” I was once again grateful that McCain is not our president.

August 27

A. Zarkov writs:

While I regard Ted Kennedy as the most destructive Senator we have ever had, I take issue with your describing him as a “burned out hulk,” even in 1980. If only he were. A hulk yes, but hardly burned out except in a narrow sense. Unfortunately for America, Kennedy was a very effective Senator. He had an excellent and very hard working staff, no doubt energized by Kennedy family myth and charisma. He also treated his people very well unlike a lot of other liberal politicians. I need not go on about his personal failings for VFR readers as we all know all about that.

LA replies:

There was a vacuous, mechanical quality about him even then., like in his infamous Roger Mudd interview in 1980 in which he was unable to say why he wanted to be president. However, that vacuous quality was clearly evident from the time of Bobby Kennedy’s death and Ted’s elevation to the carrier of the Kennedy torch. The problem was, Ted was basically a dullard, a big lug, lacking the outstanding talents of his two slain brothers. Also his own life was in moral / sexual chaos (which among other results drove his wife into alcoholism) culminating in Chappaquidick. Needing to justify his personal existence and to carry on the Kennedy legacy, he redefined that legacy as leftism, aggressively devoting himself to the ultra liberal agenda as the substitute for the moral and human good. For the rest of his life he was a robot for radicalism. That’s what I mean by a burned out hulk.

Gintas writes:

Ted Kennedy just died? Judging by pictures of him, I could have sworn he was dead these last 20 years, at least.

A. Zarkov replies:
Our difference here is purely semantic. To me when someone is “burned out” they no longer function. Moreover to get burned out means you had to have something to burn, and that eliminates Ted Kennedy. Even if I agreed with him politically, I would still detest him on the basis of his personal failings. I know some liberals who feel that way too. Many admire Ted for not living the life of an idle rich man, but as Don Boudreaux points out here:

“While Kennedy didn’t choose a life of ease, he did something much worse: he chose a life of power. That choice satisfied an appetite that is far grosser, baser, and more anti-social than are any of the more private appetites that many rich people often choose to satisfy.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 26, 2009 06:07 PM | Send

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