Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Impact of Senator Kennedy

The Washington Post calls Senator Edward Kennedy Congress's best dealmaker and boldest liberal. Kennedy's ability to cross the aisle and broker deals brought about the first Campaign Finance legistlation; Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the State Children's Health Insurance Program and many health care initiatives. He backed Title IX, which brought about equal funding for men's and women's athletic programs in colleges. He has been a driving force behind minimum wage increases. And for every program he's pushed through, he's often had a Republican beside him.

As much as I dislike Senator John McCain, I agree with his assessment of Kennedy: "I have held that view because he remains the single most effective member of the Senate if you want to get results."

Will Kennedy continue in the Senate while he is treated for malignant glioma? Selfishly, I hope he does. We need his voice. He's the second longest-serving Senator in office right now, not up for election until 2010. He's a fighter. We need him. On the other hand, he's facing an agressive treatment with a poor prognosis. He deserves some peace.

Although I met him once, briefly, when he was a brand new Senator - I shook his hand - I feel that Senator Kennedy is part of my family. Like so many others, I feel heartbroken at his diagnosis. Keep him in your heart.

10 comments:

Randal Graves said...

Chappaquiddick! Chappaquiddick!

I wanted to see what it was like being a wingnut for a moment.

For all of his, and other Congresssuckers' faults - I really do think we can expand Vonnegut's comment about only looneys wanting to President to that august body - he's definitely been a force for the side of good.

enigma4ever said...

so sad...thank you for keeping him in our hearts...amazing that you met him...Uncle Teddy as DK said has been fighting for us forever..over 40 years...

DivaJood said...

RG, I hope that you got it out of your system, otherwise we'll have to consider padded rooms. And actually, anyone who really wants to run for office has to have a couple of loose screws.

Enigma, it was a handshake, but still - impressive moment for me. I wish I'd gotten a photo op. Also met Joe Biden, who was absolutely gorgeous at the time, and Moe Udall, who had me laughing so hard - he was incredibly funny.

an average patriot said...

Kennedy is a good man and genuinely loves what he does. He as been my Senator most of my life and has helped me in the past. Being a regular thorn in every senators side including his we have traded thoughts.
He won't go anywhere until he absolutely has to don't worry about him. He knows how important he is to us and the party.
I do find it a bit disingenuous for the likes of McCain and Bush to be giving him accolades at this time but he certainly deserves it. It just strikes me as they are doing it for Political gain more than anything.

DivaJood said...

Jim, I know he loves what he does. And he's damn good at it too.

Fran said...

Someone had once posted his full speech in the Senate recently when he went on a verbal rampage about raising minimum wage. He went full throttle to bat for the working poor. Federal Minimum wage had not been raised for over 10 years. He was not going to let the issue slide.
I respect his chioce either way-- If I was facing a 1 year of life remaining, I'd quit my job & do the "bucket list" stuff, spend time with my people, and look at life from a different perspective.
Yet I know his heart is in being a Senator.... he's also served more time there than most.
Hmm- can he do home based Senate work?

robin andrea said...

It's a heartbreaking diagnosis. I hope he is able to keep doing what he loves to do with every breath he has left.

DivaJood said...

Fran, now that is interesting, home-based Senate work. Yes, his passion for justice has been incredible. But he's still there.

Robin, are you settled?

Patry Francis said...

This Sunday The Boston Globe ran a story about Ted thoroughly researched and positively pursued treatment for his two children, Kara and TEd, Jr. who were given a similarly bleak cancer prognosis at different times. I hope he can produce a third "miracle" for himself. Sorry I don't have the link, but if you can track it down, it makes for an inspiring read. Ted isn't just a lion in the senate; he's a lion for his family, too.

DivaJood said...

Patry Francis, I will look for the article. Thanks for the heads up.