Reading the tributes to the late (and great) Ted Kennedy from leaders on the Right–including even [Space-time continuum rips.] Sarah Palin–and looking at the widespread outpouring of grief at his passing, I'm struck by what this says about large (if not majoritarian) swathes of the Right, where he was vilified and demonized at every turn.How many of his critics on the Right so wont to vilify him as an un-American leftist zealot have show a fraction of his moderation and openness to bipartisanship? That a leader of such substance and accomplishment–not to mention one universally respected by colleagues, even those diametrically opposed to him politically and ideologically–can be routinely smeared across the spectrum of conservative American media as a traitor tells you how close-minded, ideologically rigid and hostile to serious intellectual debate the GOP has become since the Reagan Revolution.
A great statesman and a great American. As the Economist noted, Kennedy's departure leaves a huge void in American politics, which even before his passing had long suffered from an acute dearth of open debate on many of the most pressing policy issues of our time.May he rest in peace.
There is a certain sad symbolism in his demise occurring now, just as the cause of universal health care–one of the issues closest to his heart–seems to be faltering under the GOP's savage barrage of swiftboat-style propganda and pseudo-populist astroturfing. (Compare Ted Kennedy's courage to the spinelessness of all these "blue dog" Democrats who are playing ball with the Right's hysteria and disinformation about "socialized medicine".)