Ted Kennedy and the Death (Hopefully) of an Era

The controversial senator belonged to a different age, one ill-suited to today's increasingly decentralized world

With the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), two points immediately come to mind.

First is the endless, generally uncritical encomia that journalists and other public commenters immediately generate whenever any major figure, especially a controversial one, dies. Here's a writer for what was effectively Kennedy's hometown paper, The Boston Globe:

"I think they're gonna say he is one of the greatest legislators, or most effective legislators—if not the most effective legislator—the Senate has ever seen," Boston Globe reporter and author Susan Milligan said. "And I don't think you could find a sitting senator right now, Democrat or Republican, who would disagree with that assessment."

Milligan's assessment may well be on-target: When you consider major legislation that Kennedy helped to hustle across the finish line, such as No Child Left Behind and the Americans with Disabilities Act, he was indeed an incredibly effective legislator, typically reaching far beyond the partisan rhetoric for which he was famous to work with hard-core Republicans. Kennedy was, in the turgid term regularly applied to him, the "liberal lion" of the Senate, a principled and unyielding advocate for bigger government, higher taxes, more business regulation, you name it. Yet many of his signature accomplishments—No Child Left Behind and the Americans with Disabilities Act, for instance—were not pushed through along partisan lines. In each instance, he worked with the respective President Bush and a slew of Republicans at the time to ensure passage.

Which brings me to the second point: The legislation for which he will be remembered is precisely the sort of top-down, centralized legislation that needs to be jettisoned in the 21st century. Like Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) and the recently deposed Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Kennedy was in fact a man out of time, a bridge back to the past rather than a guide to the future. His mind-set was very much of a piece with a best-and-the-brightest, centralized mentality that has never served America well over the long haul.

Bigger was better, and government at every level but especially at the highest level, had to lead the way. In an increasingly flat, dispersed, networked world in which power, information, knowledge, purchasing power, and more was rapidly decentralizing, Kennedy was all for sitting at the top of a pyramid and directing activity. In this way, he was of his time and place, a post-war America that figured that all the kinks of everyday life had been mastered by a few experts in government, business, and culture. All you needed to do was have the right guys twirling the dials up and down. As thoughtful observers of all political stripes have noted, this sort of thinking was at best delusional, at worst destructive. And it was always massively expensive.

Consider No Child Left Behind. In the guise of giving students and parents the ability to opt out of objectively failing schools, it instead ramped up federal education spending (by more than 40 percent) to unprecedented levels; additionally, it has imposed significant costs on state and local budgets. More than that, it has mired public education in even more bureaucratic rigaramole. At the same time, it has accomplished nothing toward its stated goal of "closing the achievement gap" between lower-income minorities and white students. Something similar holds for the Americans with Disabilities Act, whose passage created vast new legal and governmental procedures that have impacted virtually every aspect of American life, all without actually increasing the income or workforce participation rates of the disabled. The Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, another law in which Kennedy played a major role, is the very definition of an explosively expensive government boondoggle that shuffled tax dollars from the relatively young and poor to the relatively old and wealthy.

There's a certain irony that Ted Kennedy has died just as President Barack Obama, who seems to very much grok the senator's mind-set, is pushing health care reform, the issue Kennedy called "the cause of my life." Virtually all Americans understand that if any sort of legislation actually gets passed, it will make their lives slightly more hellish when it comes to cost, bureaucracy, and quality of care.

Indeed, upwards of 70 percent of Americans fear that a compulsory national system will diminish the quality of their care, and 77 percent expect costs to rise. Americans are not being ideological on the issue. They are simply being realistic. Back in the '60s, when Kennedy was a young senator with presidential ambitions, large majorities of Americans wanted the government to get more involved in education, health care, and other aspects of day-to-day life. We fear it now because government did in fact become more involved in every aspect of our lives, both public and intimate. We know from bitter experience that, whatever its intentions, the government (especially the federal government) is not particularly good at delivering the sort of individualized, ultra-responsive customer service that the private sector is itself only recently figuring out.

In signing the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act a few months back, President Obama talked up Ted Kennedy's vision of a Depression-era corps of "paid volunteeers" who would fan out into every corner of America and declare, without irony, some version of "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you." Those days are over, beaten out of our system by experience with a federal government that Ted Kennedy (along with countless enablers on both sides of the aisle) helped to grow in ways that were impossible to predict.

There is, buried deep within Kennedy's legislative legacy, a different set of policies worth exhuming and examining, precisely because they were truly a break with the normal way of doing business in Washington. During the 1970s, Kennedy was instrumental in deregulating the interstate trucking industry and airline ticket prices, two innovations that have vastly improved the quality of life in America even as—or more precisely, because—they pushed power out of D.C. and into the pocketbooks of everyday Americans. We are incalculably richer and better off because something like actual prices replaced regulatory fiat in trucking and flying. Because they do not fit the Ted Kennedy narrative preferred by his admirers and detractors alike, these accomplishments rarely get mentioned in stories about the late senator. But they are exactly the sort of legislation that we should be celebrating in his honor, and using as a model in today's debates about health care, education, and virtually every aspect of government action.

Nick Gillespie is editor in chief of Reason.tv and Reason.com.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Ted Kennedy was one of the very few REAL politicians left. RIP dude, RIP!

    RT
    www.online-privacy.es.tc

  • ||

    Real politicians, indeed.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Perhaps now Massachusetts can get its hands on some of that clean, green power.

  • PR||

    Paid volunteers huh? They're gonna have to expand Profiles in Courage

  • ||

    They should drive the hearse off a bridge.

  • ||

    Sorry, didn't see the thread below.

  • ||

    What is it these days with the untrammeled praise of controversial figures who have died (not that Nick is doing that here)? Will OJ's death be followed by talk about only his football career? After the MJ coverage, this is starting to seem a little weird.

    How did the media treat Hitler's death in 1945? Was he a Lion of the Reichstag? A strong voice for the German people? I'm not comparing Hitler to anyone, I'm just wondering whether this is a new thing or not. Don't speak ill of the dead, okay, but does that apply so much with controversial public figures?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    A Kennedy doing secret deals?

    It's the shit we DON'T know, that's the worst.

    But, on the green-power thing - maybe now the windmills can be built in their back yard, unless RFK Jr. is still whining about it.

  • ||

    they are exactly the sort of legislation that we should be celebrating in his honor, and using as a model in today's debates about health care, education, and virtually every aspect of government action.

    Any resemblance to sensible economic policy is purely coincidental.

  • Rhywun||

    "...Kennedy was in fact a man out of time, a bridge back to the past..."

    Chuckle... I didn't see the other thread either. I was wondering where everyone was piling on.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Rot in puss, you fat shystie fuck. I'm lighting fireworks tonight. Nothing liberal about him.

    Unfortunately the "progressives" will probably try to use this to push their health bullshit. The fat tub probably died on purpose.

    (p.s.- I guess I must be one of the asshole variety of libertarians.)

  • ||

    Maybe I'm a pessimist, but I believe we're moving toward MORE centralized government, and rapidly.

    I had no idea about Kennedy's deregulation legislation, though. Thanks for the info.

  • Mary Jo Kopechne||

    Someone should make a Kennedy / Joker poster with the word "Murderer"

  • ||

    "The fat tub probably died on purpose."

    LIHOP or MIHOP?

  • CL||

    This is an opportunity for a wise legislator to honor the small good portion of Kennedy's legacy by continuing his Air Traffic reforms in the form of ending the Essential_Air_Service (small change compared to other govt programs, but something).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_Air_Service

  • ||

    And let's not forget his instrumental role in standing with Richard Nixon to pass the HMO Act of 1972.

    Otherwise known as the "gateway to nationalized healthcare" Act.

    Which jump started Managed Care.

    It was just a warmup for the likes of ObamaCare.

  • dave b.||

    Which one of you set the anonymity bot to liberal?

  • ||

    Wanna vomit?

    I can't even read the obituaries today because I just start sniffling and now my co-workers are looking at me getting teary-eyed in front of my computer.

  • Rich||

    Nice lunchtime link, SF.

    However, FTL: "I am a little queasy at the retroactive trivialization of certain past events."

  • Brazen Bullshit||

    "Wanna vomit?"

    Why set the bar so low?

  • ||

    Sug, now you stop that right now. Do you hear me?

  • Dan||

    Don't even wait until the body is cold, "freedom-lovers"!!!

    What a petty, small, self-important little missive from the Objectivist snot-nostrils of the Libertard Right.

    Ted Kennedy was instrumental in defeating statist intrusions on civil liberties. Not the least of his achievements was shooting down the appointment of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, thus saving the Bill of Rights from a police-state bonfire. He opposed the imperialist wars of choice that have led us to the present crisis in foreign policy. He risked his neck to oppose the neo-segregationists of South Boston. He fearlessly stood against homophobic Jim Crow-like laws such as DOMA and DADT.

    But don't expect even a passing allusion to such bravery from the Libertard ranters of reason.com. Teddy was wont to vote to increase Alec Baldwin's tax bracket by 2%, which makes him no better than a Stalinist Holdomor-fomenting kulak-killer with this crowd.

    I hope they bury him face-down so you all can kiss his ass.

  • Ted Kennedy\'s Brain Tumor||

    A thank you would be nice.

  • Tomcat1066||

    Teddy was a fucknut, so you can kiss my ass Dan.

    He did a couple of decent things, and a whole lot of shitty things. He's not any different than any other mother fucker who sits in the Senate. I'll be damned if I'm going to pretend he was more than he was just because he isn't breathing anymore.

  • Ted Kennedy\'s Brain Tumor||

    "What a petty, small, self-important little missive from the Objectivist snot-nostrils of the Libertard Right."

    The man was fucking evil you dipshit. He KILLED A GIRL AND GOT AWAY WITH IT.

    Old lion of the senate? More like OJ of the senate.

    His sister Eunice on the other hand, would have made a good senator.

  • Ted Kennedy\'s Brain Tumor||

    "I hope they bury him face-down"

    A very common posture for the senator.

    When I turned on the TV this morning and saw that he died, I smiled and said, "Finally!"

  • ||

    Teddy was wont to vote to increase Alec Baldwin's tax bracket by 2%, which makes him no better than a Stalinist Holdomor-fomenting kulak-killer with this crowd.


    i concur!

  • ||

    now kennedy has finally achieved the mental state of your average senator. it's a real step forward.

    to bad he can't still serve. no doubt the citizens of mass would be better represented by him now than before.

  • ||

    How is working hard to centralize and increase government power good? It's dangerous to all of our rights, not just our economic rights. Also, I note for the record, Teddy and George W. got along swimmingly. Odd, unless you understand that their goals were much the same.

    As for "thus saving the Bill of Rights from a police-state bonfire", that's not even good hyperbole, and I think Bork was and is a crank. What was he going to do, murder the other eight justices and declare himself Judge Dredd? As bad as conservatives can be, I think many on the left have purged any trace of reality from their political thinking.

  • The Wine Commonsewer (TWC)||

    Sugar, links like that are irrefutable proof to me that there is no hope for the republic.

  • The Wine Commonsewer (TWC)||

    What a petty, small, self-important little missive from the Objectivist snot-nostrils of the Libertard Right.

    Guilty. The only thing that separated him from the gutter was his last name. Without it he would have been just a red faced Irish working stiff with an unkept appointment with Betty Ford.

  • ||

    "I hope they bury him face-down"

    Me too. They need more bicycle parking around The Capital.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Or bus parking...

  • ||

    Great article, as always. But, it seems to me, Nick buried the lede.

  • ||

    Feministing is sucking his deceased cock, oddly enough. Not one word about Mary Jo.

    http://www.feministing.com/archives/017433.html#comments

  • Federal Dog||

    "writes Reason's Nick Gillespie in an obituary for the controversial liberal lion."

    Please feel free to fuck this "liberal lion" shit.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Not cool SF, not cool.

  • ||

    Not cool SF, not cool.

    Jeez, which part?

  • ||

    I could almost believe in the existance of a heaven and hell if it meant that Ted could spend eternity roasting in the latter. I'm so happy he fucked off and died.

  • IceTrey||

    The very definition of why we need to repeal the 17th amendment.

  • Rhywun||

    Wanna vomit?

    I couldn't get past "I'd rather have a deeply flawed man who gets stuff done than a very nice one who can't do anything." Which was like in the first fucking post.

    Dan,

    The things Teddy stood against, in common with many others, don't count nearly as much as the harmful stuff that has his name all over it.

  • Rhywun||

    Holy crap.

    "I think that his bending down, to pick up the most downtrodden American, is his real legacy."
    --SF's link

    I can't even believe people think this way.

  • ||

    Bending down? Bending down? WTF? I don't get the seeming desire that some liberals seem to have for aristocracy.

  • userathome||

    I've already started drinking beer so I can piss on his grave--asshole!

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I blame Disney, ProLib

  • ||

    Disney is the root of most evil.

  • ||

    ProL: They're liberals in name only.
    (He was the LINO of the Senate.)
    BTW, how many farthings in a guinea?

  • Federal Dog||

    "I think that his bending down, to pick up the most downtrodden American, is his real legacy."


    His "bending down" to create -- for his own political and financial profit -- a permanent caste of downtrodden Americans is his real legacy.

  • ||

    African or European farthings?

    Well, there's twenty-one shillings to the guinea, twelve pence to the shilling, and a farthing is some fraction of a penny (cheats and looks on Google)--make that four farthings to the pence. Therefore, 4 X 12 X 21 = 1008.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I couldn't get past "I'd rather have a deeply flawed man who gets stuff done than a very nice one who can't do anything."

    Yeah, that poster sounded kind of like she'd be a Nixon fan or an LBJ fan...or even :::shudder::: a Woodrow Wilson fan.

  • Rhywun||

    It's like bizarro world. Up is down. Day is night. Effective legislators who are constantly getting things done is a desirable thing.

  • Robert||

    Speaking of bizarros, if you want to see a character based partly on Ted Kennedy, check out the Luthor played by Michael Rosenbaum on TV's Smallville -- at least the early years; I stopped watching a few years ago. You couldn't watch the premier's main stunt without thinking Chappaquidick. Gough & Millar may never admit it, but they at times hilariously lampooned Teddy (and some other Kennedies, plus plenty of other contemporary, historic and mythic figures) under cover of a Superboy story.

  • true reason||

    These comments convince me more than anything that I want nothing to do with the so-called libertarian denizens of Reason magazine. Kennedy was a great senator, his impact unparalleled, and he worked sincerely toward the good of all. Of all the senators I can think of, he is the one who most deserves the praise he is getting, and I'd imagine all but the most ideologically close-minded could see that.

  • ||

    For my last word on Ted Kennedy I would like to recall my favorite line from "Animal House":

    "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life."

  • ||

    Oh, yeah, the man was a saint. Christ. I've heard him trashed by liberals often enough.

  • Rhywun||

    Yeah, I'm no hard-core libertarian. Hell, some might say I'm one of the resident liberals around here. But frankly I don't think *any* politician deserves the sort of praise people are heaping on this guy. So he defended true freedom a couple times. Last time I checked, DOMA is still around. Wars still happen. The things he *did* get done have accomplished little more that adding a couple zeros to the national debt while training people to believe they can sit around a wait for the government to solve all their problems.

  • Saddened||

    While your comments, Nick, may or may not be valid I find it highly disrespectful to talk negatively of a person who isn't even buried. For better or for worse Ted Kennedy spent his entire life trying to better the US and those less fortunate with him. Your article effectively says "good riddance." America would be a much better place if everyone (liberal, conservative, or libertarian) dedicated their lives to public service the same way Ted did. I would have much preferred you focus your article more on the topics covered in your last paragraph.

  • Joe M||

    Pro Lib Godwinned the thread right quick.

  • Federal Dog||

    "America would be a much better place if everyone (liberal, conservative, or libertarian) dedicated their lives to public service the same way Ted did."

    Debate that proposition with the Kopechne family.

  • ||

    Oh, please. I wasn't comparing anyone to Hitler. If you prefer, I could use Stalin's death in 1953.

  • Yee-Haw!||

    The only use for the downtrodden is that if they are already on their knees they can go ahead and suck my dick.

  • Craig||

    And let's not forget his instrumental role in standing with Richard Nixon to pass the HMO Act of 1972.

    All part of the secret plan to get people to call for government-run health care: mess up the free market so much that people start to think the free market can't deliver health care effectively.

    Before the HMO Act, doctors made house calls and charity hospitals tended to the poor.

  • Dan||

    If this thread is in the least bit representative of Libertarian attitudes towards the Ted Kennedy record, then there is no reason to expect that a Libertarian administration in Washington would do anything at all to increase personal liberty in America. The "War on Drugs" would be replaced with a war on "vagrancy" and sundry other low-grade poverty-driven offenses. A huge new underclass of politically non-enfranchised immigrant workers on rubber-stamped visas would cut the bottom out from under the wage market. Taxes would not go down; they would merely be shifted from social and educational programs towards massive increases in police and prison for use against a desperate and bloated surplus of laborers. Our national parks and other public spaces would be auctioned off to private oligarchs who could run them as personal fiefs, patrolled by private-security goon squads.

    What a visionless, bitter, narrow-minded bunch of grudge-milkers have hijacked the libertarian brand.

  • Craig||

    The very definition of why we need to repeal the 17th amendment.

    As if the Massachusetts state legislature would have appointed anyone not named Kennedy to the seat.

  • Joe M||

    How did the media treat Hitler's death in 1945? Was he a Lion of the Reichstag?

    Kennedy was called the Lion of the Senate.

    I wasn't comparing anyone to Hitler.

    It's not like I care; I just thought it was funny.

  • Federal Dog||

    "The "War on Drugs" would be replaced with a war on "vagrancy" and sundry other low-grade poverty-driven offenses."

    Yes, indeed. A central tenet of libertarianism is hunting down vagrants and the poor.

  • ||

    Oh, yeah, I did do the Lion of the Reichstag bit.

    Dan: What a bunch of freedom-hating, control freaks the left has become!

  • Mark Bahner||

    "A huge new underclass of politically non-enfranchised immigrant workers on rubber-stamped visas would cut the bottom out from under the wage market."

    Woohoo! Low-cost labor! What made America great!

    P.S. What part of "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..." do you object to?

  • Mark Bahner||

    "Taxes would not go down; they would merely be shifted from social and educational programs towards massive increases in police and prison for use against a desperate and bloated surplus of laborers."

    Why would there be any surplus of laborers, if "the bottom (is) cut from under the wage market"?

    Who can't use boatloads of laborers at $3 an hour?

  • Brian Combs||

    Dan must be a troll and actually a Republican, right? I've seen better arguments on DemocraticUnderground...

  • Mark Bahner||

    Oh, by the way, just to show I'm even more obnoxiously libertarian than the libertarians about whom Dan was complaining, I also support eliminating any restrictions on the number of H-1B visas granted. (Let's cut the bottom out of the top and middle of the labor market, too!)

    Needless to say, Ted Kennedy would NOT have approved:

    "The law on H-1B is indeed clear, but it simply doesn't meet the principles and values of the American people, who overwhelmingly agree with what Senator Kennedy said recently about the H-1B program, 'We all agree Americans must be hired first.'"

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117388283731536825.html

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "How is working hard to centralize and increase government power good?"

    It isn't, Pro-L. "Dan", here, is just another disgruntled statist who thinks centralized, bully-pulpit, pounding-the-podium-Nikita-style government, is a GOOD thing.

    That's why "Dan" is on the waah-waah-Ted's-dead-baby train.

  • ||

    When Gillespie dies, how many will notice? Of the few who do, how many will only remember a middle-aged James Dean wannabe?

  • ||

    TomG:

    Ted Kennedy was a flawed human being and a poor congressman. I don't think he had one good idea in his 48 years in congress.

  • B||

    penalcolony:
    You are so right. Your relative merit is determined by how many people remember you. But one must wonder: how many people will remember a middle-aged bitter internet troll?

  • Mark Bahner||

    "When Gillespie dies, how many will notice?"

    When Mao and Stalin died, how many noticed?

  • ||

    Kennedy was a great senator

    Talk about damning with faint praise!

    -jcr

  • ||

    Don't even wait until the body is cold, "freedom-lovers"!!!

    The body was a cold, calculating, self-serving SOB throughout its political career.

    -jcr

  • ||

    The "War on Drugs" would be replaced with a war on "vagrancy" and sundry other low-grade poverty-driven offenses.

    I'm curious; how in the world do you manage to pull that out of your ass? Vagrancy is an economic problem caused by leftists removing the bottom rungs of the employment ladder.

    -jcr

  • CHRI$ DODD||

    The co-creator of the "WAITRESS SANDWICH" (google it) has passed.

    Please...a little respect.

  • ||

    "they are exactly the sort of legislation that we should be celebrating in his honor, and using as a model in today's debates about health care, education, and virtually every aspect of government action."

    WTF he was drunk as a fish when these passed....thats why these two things are completly different than the entire rest of his record. While dieing of cancer is a fate few deserve to suffer....I can offer no sympathy for this man passing.....our world is better off with out the walking shit bag.

  • Teddy\'s SEARCH+RESCUE||

    We will be closed until further notice.

  • LYING LURCH KERRY||

    He LIED for me and with me.

    I will miss him.

  • Joe M||

    Vagrancy is an economic problem caused by leftists removing the bottom rungs of the employment ladder.

    That's a really great image that perfectly explains the situation.

  • ||

    You sods who speak ill of the dead are nothing but vicious cocksuckers. To quote the ancient Gaelic curse, "Evil unto the evildoer." Bad cess to you all.

  • Libertarian Romantic Ideal||

    I'm afraid Ted Kennedy's accomplishments, formidable as they are, will forever be overshadowed by Chappaquiddick

  • possum||

    His attacks on Robert Bork were his finest hour. Libertarians should be ever grateful to him for at least that.

    My guess, since I dont know his record real well, is that was pretty good on civil liberties (except the 2nd Amend) in general too, even though he was for bigger government in most other areas.

    So I would say his record was mixed.

  • ||

    As we speak, Mary Jo is showing Ted the door to hell.

  • ||

    Deregulating airline fares has made life better? On what planet? You used to be able to cash in a United ticket for American, or get flights that connected between any airlines at all. Not no more. Instead we have crammed flights and lack of service as airlines scramble to shave off a few cents, as Gresham's Law applies to the airways. Bad service drives good service out of the market. Meanwhile the increased traffic creates delays everywhere. And it's only a matter of time before safety starts being compromised to cut costs and attract fliers with lower costs. Fly "Usually Lands Safely" Airlines. Regulated fares, which forced airlines to compete on service, were far better.

  • Apologies to Mike Cross||

    I went to ol' Ted's funeral, one of the multitude;
    They asked if I'd be kind enough to say a word or two.
    Well I didn't want to tell a lie with anything I said,
    But how could I avoid it and not speak ill of the dead?

    So I started out by saying all of us have sinned,
    And each of us can only hope that God will understand.
    Ted made mistakes throughout his life, but now that it's all done,
    I think he's brought some happiness to each and every one.

    'Cause if Heaven is pleased when sinners cease to sin,
    If the Devil is pleased when another soul comes in,
    If the Earth is glad to be rid of a knave,
    Then everybody's happy 'cause Ted is in his grave.

    When he was just a little boy, his sins weren't all that great;
    He used to steal the money from the church collection plate.
    But I won't call him a shyster who loved to cheat and steal,
    Though he did once burn his mother in a real estate deal.

    But if Heaven is pleased when sinners cease to sin,
    If the Devil is pleased when another soul comes in,
    If the Earth is glad to be rid of a knave,
    Then everybody's happy 'cause Ted is in his grave.

    And I won't call him cruel, though he used to shave his cat,
    And he once put a snake inside his grandma's favorite hat.
    He burned his brother's business, and ran off with his wife,
    Framed his sister for the crime and set her up for life.

    But if Heaven is pleased when sinners cease to sin,
    If the Devil is pleased when another soul comes in,
    If the Earth is glad to be rid of a knave,
    Then everybody's happy 'cause Ted is in his grave.

    So for those of you who lived with Ted and knew him all too well,
    Take this opportunity to bid him fond farewell;
    And if ol' Ted could is looking in, I'm sure that he can see
    Today he's made this troubled world a better place to be.

    'Cause if Heaven is pleased when sinners cease to sin,
    If the Devil is pleased when another soul comes in,
    If the Earth is glad to be rid of a knave,
    Then everybody's happy 'cause Ted is in his grave.

  • ||

    Ted Kennedy accomplished more good in his lifetime than you have in all your time here with your faulty royalist economics, and false understanding of the distinction between a country with real liberty, equality and wealth and a third world country where the landlords and their corporations collect the rent and everybody else is a slave to the bank. Ted did more to establish liberty in our country than any of your corporate shills ever could do.

  • ari-freedom||

    Chris wrote: "Ted Kennedy accomplished more good in his lifetime than you have in all your time here"

    not much good for Mary Jo Kopechne...I don't think anyone here ever let a young woman drown to death.

  • T||

    Can anyone drown to anything but death?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Chris, if we had the liberal utopia espoused by the likes of Teddy K, there wouldn't be such things as personal or economic liberty. Those are bad things according to statists. "Wealth" is a four-letter epithet to socialists - unless they come from Old Money like Ted did - and remember, his old man moved the family fortune offshore so they wouldn't have to pay the high tax rates.

    What a goddamn hypocrite he was.

  • ||

    I hope Nick Gillespie dies. He certainly deserves it.

  • ||

    And goddamnit, I really wish you fucknuts would get your free-market paradise. I would love to see all of you filth crushed under the boots of corporatism and horrible working conditions while you suck its cock and call it freedom.

    You all deserve to die. Every. Single. One of you.

  • ||

    Socialist:
    you know everyne dies, right?
    And there is no heaven where you and Che and TK can kick it posthumously, and tell them how you defended them on Reason.
    And worst of all Socialist, yu are gonna die!

  • ||

    So all I need to be a great hero is be born into a wealthy family above the law, be a raging alcoholic who teaches said skills to son and nephew, kill a woman and blatantly lie about it, but pass legislation that never had its intended result, and I can be a hero too?

    Where the fuck can one sign up for this?!

  • WHISP||

    Ted Kennedy was the epitomy of self-service. His history, if openly and honestly investigated would have the stench of the dead.His lies and insinuations regarding Robt. Bork will stand as one of the classic character assinations of all American history and add to that the pay off to the Kopekne family. He cannot lie or buy his way out of his eternal destiny tonight or forever.

  • ||

    The Americans with Disabilities Act has made a huge difference for people with disabilities -- something that is clear to me whenever I travel outside the US, even to Canada. My friend has disabilities and uses a cane and sometimes a wheelchair. In other countries, it's common for the restroom to be in a basement only accessible by stairs. Many subway stations are only accessible by stairs. Those of us who dont' require ramps or elevators can never be sure we won't be in the same situation some day. So even if the ADA hasn't increased the number of people with disabilities in the workforce, it's made the day to day existence for them much easier.

  • Anomalous||

    The end of an er-uh.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "Socialist" is either someone with a sick sense of humor... or is being serious.

    If the latter... go fuck yourself.

  • cheryl stanton||

    Where do I start? Mr. Gillespie, you have obviously done your homework on Ted Kennedy but I can't imagine that the airline and trucking savings are more important than the other bills that were brought to birth and have changed America today. You do not mention Civil Rights, or minimum wage, or health care that can keep a soul from losing everything.
    When I think back to the more bipartisan times of the '60s and '70s I become embarrassed by the seemingly non caring Republicans in the senate and house today.
    When our founding fathers wrote that constitution they didn't waiver when they wrote and that all men should be created equal - they meant that... It is my belief that Ted Kennedy followed their script and now the likes of him (Byrd, Hatch and others) will be leaving for their retirement years - lets see what kind of government is left for you describe - for the better or for the worse?

  • abercrombie milano||

    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won't get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there's more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I'm not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It's just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight...the Bible's books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on...the Bible's books were written by people with very different mindsets

  • دردشة||

    Send your school choir down next year and we'll show them.

  • دردشة||

    Send your school choir down next year and we'll show them.

  • nike shox||

    is good

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