Gay Patriot Header Image

In Memoriam, Edward Moore Kennedy

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:22 am - August 26, 2009.
Filed under: National Politics

Edward Moore Kennedy, for over forty years the senior senator from the great state of Massachusetts and youngest brother of former President John F. Kennedy “died shortly before midnight Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 77.”  This comes at a particularly sad time for his family; his elder sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver having passed earlier this month.

I share Michelle’s sentiments that “There is a time and place for political analysis and criticism.  Not now.”  There is indeed much for us conservatives to criticize about this man; he was a longtime champion of many causes and much legislation we and our allies have vigorously opposed while opposing bills near and dear to our hearts.

But, he was also a man dedicated to his home state, working closely even with Republican Governors when the Bay State’s interests were at stake.  And he often worked together across party lines, forging lasting friendships with his political adversaries.

When then-President George H.W. Bush was hospitalized during his term in office and then-Vice President Dan Quayle came under attack from the media as unqualified to serve should something happen to the President, Kennedy rose to defend his former Senate colleague–at a time when even Republicans sat silent.  In 1982, Quayle and Kennedy had teamed up to craft the Job Training Partnership Act.

And Kennedy became increasingly friendly with his Utah colleague, Orrin Hatch, as they served together on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He may have been a liberal, but, as the years passed, he did not treat his political adversaries as enemies, instead he saw many as colleagues who, though coming from different political and philosophical perspectives, were fighting the same fight, seeking to achieve the same goal–the welfare and well-being of the United States of America and its people.

He was, as we all are, flawed, but, in the hour of his passing, let us remember his strengths.  And they were many.



  1. […] In Memoriam, Edward Moore Kennedy – GayPatriot […]

    Pingback by StealthCereal | “Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy dead at 77″ and related posts — August 26, 2009 @ 2:42 am - August 26, 2009

  2. Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment.

    He was a US Senator and that’s all I can say.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — August 26, 2009 @ 2:47 am - August 26, 2009

  3. Let him R.I.P.

    Whatever the truth about Mary Jo, he has now met his maker. He has been judged…..

    Comment by thestraightaussie — August 26, 2009 @ 3:18 am - August 26, 2009

  4. RIP, Mary Jo Kopechne. (July 26, 1940 – July 18, 1969)

    Comment by Music Lady — August 26, 2009 @ 4:13 am - August 26, 2009

  5. Dan, your post begs for a rebuttal and a reminder of what Kennedy was really like, but you say you don’t want one. Fine. I’ll mostly skip it and just make the following one point, with no examples or detail. You said:

    as the years passed, he did not treat his political adversaries as enemies

    Considering the last eight years, I find that laughably false.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 26, 2009 @ 4:28 am - August 26, 2009

  6. Ted Kennedy: A Personal Remembrance…

    Ted Kennedy’s passing saddens me. Alright, you ask “How could a libertarian /conservative/ republican (take your pick) be saddened by the passing of this left-wing socialist /nationalized health care shill /whatever (take your pick) ?……

    Trackback by A Solitary Conspiracy — August 26, 2009 @ 4:35 am - August 26, 2009

  7. All I’ll say is, may Senator Kennedy find the rewards in the next life he was denied here.

    Comment by The Livewire — August 26, 2009 @ 6:31 am - August 26, 2009

  8. If one doesn’t have anything nice to say — I’ll remain silent.

    (I’m also boycotting the news for the next week.)

    Comment by Julie Kelleher — August 26, 2009 @ 6:50 am - August 26, 2009

  9. I agree with Julie. First in SC we had Gov. Sanford – adulterer, then Michael Jackson – pedophile and now we will have a weeklong eulogy for a murderer. He was no JFK.

    Comment by PatriotMom — August 26, 2009 @ 7:14 am - August 26, 2009

  10. Your analysis of Ted Kennedy’s effectiveness is spot on. Despite the partisanship of the last 8 years, his was not a shrill voice (like Pelosi’s or Boxer’s), and much of what he did was behind the scenes and in service to his constituents.

    More on my blog at . (I submitted a pingback – not sure what happened. Hope you don’t mind my using the comment form as an alternative.)

    Comment by Solitary Conspiracy — August 26, 2009 @ 7:20 am - August 26, 2009

  11. I think that the posts by Mr. Blatt, Hugh Hewitt, and others on the right show the class of those on the right. Although we disagree (often ferociously) with our political enemies, and hope that their policies fail, we always wish them the best personally. I disagree with almost everything that Senator Kennedy proposed, voted for, or rallied behind in the Senate, in the end though, he was an American who served with distinction in the service of our nation.

    Comment by Danny — August 26, 2009 @ 7:45 am - August 26, 2009

  12. ^ JFK, on sober-reflection, wasn’t even JFK…

    My sypathies for his surviving family. RIP.


    Comment by MFS — August 26, 2009 @ 8:26 am - August 26, 2009

  13. I always thought that Teddy’s look in his later years was the living image of the prototype Senator.

    Who will fill that role? Perhaps Chris Dodd can let his mane grow long and he can pork up, but he will have get reelected as well.

    Sail away, Teddy, you are now history which will be written and rewritten for many years to come.

    Comment by heliotrope — August 26, 2009 @ 9:24 am - August 26, 2009

  14. RIP, Senator and my condolences to his family. Where I agreed with the Senator, I praise his record. Where I disagreed with the man, I look forward to change. That’s about all I can say on the matter.

    Comment by John — August 26, 2009 @ 10:08 am - August 26, 2009

  15. With Sen. Kennedy’s passing, does anyone know when the last time the Senate didn’t have any Kennedy family members? Ted Kennedy yes, has gotten away with murder & became the typical bloated politician. But as Dan said, he reached across the aisle & didn’t let politics get in the way of friendships. He was the ultimate political player & was the go-to guy for new Senators learning the ropes. New England just lost a huge chunk of political clout. RIP, Teddy.

    Comment by Jim Michaud — August 26, 2009 @ 10:11 am - August 26, 2009

  16. While his brothers died young and tragically, Ted Kennedy was able to live a full life and die an old man of natural causes.

    Not Bad.

    Comment by LCRW — August 26, 2009 @ 10:23 am - August 26, 2009

  17. “flawed”? Leaving a young woman for dead in a car underwater, while he sits in a hotel room sobering up is characterized as “flawed? Call it what it is, murder. he’s answering to his maker now and his family name won’t but his way out of this one

    Comment by Tony H. — August 26, 2009 @ 10:23 am - August 26, 2009

  18. God Bless the Senator and his family at this time. The past few weeks must have been very hard for their entire family. I can be as partisian as the next conservative, but now is not the time to point out flaws as his family grieves. Let me say as a son of a rich father, Ted Kennedy could have spent his life like a Paris Hilton, but he chose to serve others. I disagree with a lot of liberalism, but one things for sure, you always knew where Ted Kennedy stood on issues. no deception, no waffling. I’m not sure you can say that about 90% of polititians.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — August 26, 2009 @ 11:35 am - August 26, 2009

  19. His raison d’etre was his family’s legacy: Guilt, wealth, power. At what point does a man cease to be misguided and becomes immoral?

    Comment by Ignatius — August 26, 2009 @ 11:49 am - August 26, 2009

  20. Firstly, my condolences to the Kennedy family.

    With that out of the way, I cringe when I read about how this politician or that politician worked for his constituents. Being a Senator, Ted Kennedy was not in Congress to work solely for the good of the voters in Massachusetts, but for the good of the country in general. Ted’s liberal views, and the votes that they generated were not exactly friendly to the US as a whole.

    I wish Mr. Kennedy peace in his passing, and I’ll even pray for his soul, but I don’t buy into the meme that he worked diligently for his constituents. He worked diligently in protecting his family’s interests above anything else. His selfishness, as seen in everything from the sad Mary Jo Kopechne story, his backstabbing attempt to wrest control of the Democratic nomination from Jimmy Carter, his more recent backstabbing of Hillary Clinton during her primary campaign, and his most recent actions concerning his succesion, lead me to believe that Ted Kennedy was all about Ted, and Ted only.

    Comment by Joe Democrat — August 26, 2009 @ 12:38 pm - August 26, 2009

  21. Given that many if not most of our policy and political ideas and ideals are conflicting, I still would rather have had him as my Senator than the one I’m stuck with,”Ma’am” Boxer.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — August 26, 2009 @ 12:40 pm - August 26, 2009

  22. Lest anyone question my name on this blog, I am a disgruntled Democrat who now walks an independent path. I voted Republican for the very first time in my life this past presidential election. I voted for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary in my state of Florida. My political leanings are centrist. Sarah Palin was the prime reason for my Republican vote in the presidential race. I look forward to seeing her run for higher office in the future.

    Comment by Joe Democrat — August 26, 2009 @ 12:46 pm - August 26, 2009

  23. Joe D, like you, I was a Democrat for a long time and am now an Independent. And my sympathy goes out to all those who counted on Kennedy as a member of their family. And my sympathy does not extend to whitewashing Kennedy’s faults, including the fact that in public life, he was dedicated to growing government endlessly and thus destroying the freedom of his fellow Americans.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 26, 2009 @ 1:20 pm - August 26, 2009

  24. I may not be commenting in a way some may prefer to, but thanks to our Constitution, I may do just that.
    I am proud to say I have lived in the Kennedy Era. I am a baby boomer, on ther younger side of it, and the people who accompanied Ted Kennedy were also
    movers and shakers. Those of you who want to be critical of this man please try to remember-“Judge not lest ye be judged.”
    May his brothers, Dr Martin Luther King, all of friends and loved ones meet him at journeys end. God Speed Mr. Ted Kennedy, and thank you for your service for the poor and downtrodden. You tried so hard to make it so the wealthy could no longer step on the necks of the poor and less fortunate to get where they want to be.

    Comment by Jenny Barrows — August 26, 2009 @ 1:32 pm - August 26, 2009

  25. Joe D, I voted for Bill Clinton in 1992. I’ve since made amends.

    Right now I’m just enjoying the fact that we’re supposed to pass a health-care bill that’s supposed to insure ‘quality care’ for the poor… and Nancy Pelosi wants to name it after an unbelievably rich man who nevertheless had all of his healthcare money provided by tax dollars.

    Comment by DaveP. — August 26, 2009 @ 3:00 pm - August 26, 2009

  26. May God have mercy on him, comfort his family and misguided supporters, and end the damage done to America by Ted Kennedy’s politics and policy.

    Comment by American Elephant — August 26, 2009 @ 3:13 pm - August 26, 2009

  27. Kudos Joe D. Lakeland, FL. here.

    I echo AE.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — August 26, 2009 @ 4:25 pm - August 26, 2009

  28. Alright, it’s now 2:40 PM. Is it OK to make Dead Kennedy jokes yet?

    The Onion seems to think so.

    Comment by American Elephant — August 26, 2009 @ 5:42 pm - August 26, 2009

  29. Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment

    Comment by Tom — August 26, 2009 @ 5:47 pm - August 26, 2009

  30. I’ll go with Twain’s quip instead:

    “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — August 26, 2009 @ 5:48 pm - August 26, 2009

  31. #26: I might have found The Onion piece funny a week from now but, today, I find it grotesque.

    I don’t think I could agree with Ted Kennedy on the time of day but he was a fellow human being with friends and family. R.I.P.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — August 26, 2009 @ 8:30 pm - August 26, 2009

  32. BTW, AE, I wasn’t faulting you for providing the link 🙂

    Comment by SoCalRobert — August 26, 2009 @ 8:31 pm - August 26, 2009

  33. geez guys.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — August 26, 2009 @ 8:31 pm - August 26, 2009

  34. How I would like Ted Kennedy to be remembered:

    Comment by Socalrws — August 27, 2009 @ 2:36 am - August 27, 2009

  35. Let’s not forget the Kennedy-Andropov connection.

    Comment by Ignatius — August 27, 2009 @ 12:17 pm - August 27, 2009

  36. Boosh!!

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — August 27, 2009 @ 5:35 pm - August 27, 2009

  37. As a gay liberal I thank you for doing as Kennedy would have done. I’m sorry so many other people can’t do the same. Dan Quayle and Ronald Reagan are only two of the many political adversaries Ted Kennedy called friend.

    Comment by Spooky — August 27, 2009 @ 8:52 pm - August 27, 2009

  38. As a gay liberal I thank you for doing as Kennedy would have done.

    Gotten shitfaced drunk, driven you into a large body of water and left you for dead while trying to hide what he’d done to save his political career?

    I’m sorry so many other people can’t do the same

    Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

    Comment by American Elephant — August 28, 2009 @ 6:41 am - August 28, 2009

  39. Dan Quayle and Ronald Reagan are only two of the many political adversaries Ted Kennedy called friend.

    Translation: Dan Quayle and Ronald Reagan decided to be nice to Kennedy, despite his shameless lying and (in Reagan’s case) Kennedy’s desire to collaborate with the Soviets against him, as has Iggy reminded us.

    The fact that some chose to be more generous to Kennedy than he deserved and treat him as better American than he was, Spooky, is not ultimately a positive reflection on Kennedy.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 28, 2009 @ 11:31 am - August 28, 2009

  40. American youth can’t get those ‘first jobs’ they need… thanks in part to Ted Kennedy. Morrissey notes that the trend was visible in mid-2008, *before* the recession gathered steam.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 28, 2009 @ 11:46 am - August 28, 2009

  41. Well, Ed Klein reported that Sen Kennedy liked Chappaquiddick jokes. (Audio here) H/T Hotair and the Campaign Spot.

    So I’d say we are honouring him. In that vein…

    Rumour has it that Sen. Kennedy will be burried at sea. The USS Kennedy will be taken out of mothballs for the event. Once out in the ocean, His body will be put in an Oldsmobile and then the car will be shot off the deck via catapult.

    Comment by The Livewire — August 28, 2009 @ 1:02 pm - August 28, 2009

  42. anybody that has anything bad to say about him, go home and watch more propaganda from fox , i cant say fox news cuz i dont remember the last time they had news.

    Comment by chrisper — August 29, 2009 @ 1:26 am - August 29, 2009

  43. […] Dan Blatt ‘85: He may have been a liberal, but, as the years passed, he did not treat his political adversaries […]

    Pingback by Tributes to Senator Kennedy : EphBlog — August 29, 2009 @ 7:12 pm - August 29, 2009

  44. Watching the shamelessly adoring coverage of Kennedy’s funeral on TV this afternoon (ugh), I am reminded of what a “character” he was (translation for non-Southerners… a loud, brash, over the top personality possessed of dubious moral standards). In fact, when I think about the Democrat Party, I see a party of “characters” — Uncle Teddy, Barney Frank, Bill Clinton, Rod Blagojevich, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Charles Rangel, Marion Berry, William Jefferson, etc.. Could it be that the Democrat Party is the Party that promotes “characters” — and the Republican Party is the party that promotes “character”? (Yes, I know, the Republican Party has its share of losers, but all in all, I think they come out way ahead of the guys across the aisle in this regard.) Just a weird thought…

    Comment by Elephant in the Room — August 29, 2009 @ 7:28 pm - August 29, 2009

  45. Politics aside, he left Ms. Kopechne to die while he went to sleep off a bender and calculate how to save his political career. “Flawed” is an understatement and most certainly overly gracious.

    Comment by KevinQC — August 30, 2009 @ 12:24 am - August 30, 2009

  46. I can´t get all teary eyed over Teddy´s passing. In fact, I wish I could hear what the family of Mary Jo Kopechne has to say about Kennedy´s passing. It might be something like, ¨good riddance.¨ I know my mother would have said, ¨he died like a dog (a wealthy, pampered one at that), he got what he deserved.¨

    Comment by Roberto — August 30, 2009 @ 1:21 am - August 30, 2009

  47. sorry, no sympathy here for that traitor to the america i love. he gave no breaks and he will get none from me. he is directly responsible for the “murder” of 50 million innocent lives. i spit on his memory. burn in hell.

    Comment by marc — August 30, 2009 @ 10:21 am - August 30, 2009

  48. #37: “As a gay liberal I thank you for doing as Kennedy would have done. I’m sorry so many other people can’t do the same. Dan Quayle and Ronald Reagan are only two of the many political adversaries Ted Kennedy called friend.”

    I agree that there is a time and place for political analysis and criticism and that in virtually every instance, the “time and place” is not immediately following the death of a political adversary. However, I also find any heightened vigilance or concern that conservatives will suddenly forget their manners and stoop to engaging in grotesque or unbecoming political attacks on Ted Kennedy misplaced and completely unnecessary when the Kennedy family itself is engaged in this:

    Yeah. They went there. America’s oldest and most powerful political dynasty has now resorted to using its pre-teen, future alcoholics and adultery-enablers to peddle nationalized healthcare at Uncle Teddy’s funeral (sickeningly punctuated by the entire congregation’s uneasy refrain of “Lord, Hear Our Prayer!”) So, short of one of us showing up at Ted Kennedy’s burial in a 60s mini-dress, up-do, blue make-up and moaning at the coffin, “Teddy! Teddy! Save me! Can’t breathe! [choke],” what exactly would it take to breach the standard of political decorum set by the Kennedy family?

    Comment by Sean A — August 30, 2009 @ 11:14 am - August 30, 2009

  49. It’s some comfort to think that in the end, everyone gets what they deserve. Everyone. Make of that what you will.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 30, 2009 @ 6:03 pm - August 30, 2009

  50. #49: Agreed, ILC. Ultimately, it’s all going to be up to someone/something beyond our full comprehension and we can only speculate about what other human beings will face in the hereafter. However, I derive some comfort from the absolute certainty I have about ONE THING: it does NOT involve 72 virgins. That’s just silly.

    Comment by Sean A — August 30, 2009 @ 10:40 pm - August 30, 2009


    Edward Moore Kennedy was very young, too much young, to bear all that misfortune, so much sorrow and responsibility. He could have left everything. Who wants jewels with teeth! I mean the political intricacies of holy aqua or atomic cigars. Nobody would have complained. But he took his family’s path and did it well, as well as or better than his three dead brothers, or even better, because he lived enough to demonstrate everywhere, his philosophy of life: the power for the common good. He fought until the last breath to create the health reform, “the cause of his life.”
    It was, as predicted by his name, the “blessed guardian” of human rights. There was no point, comma or parenthesis that did not deal fairly. Citizens of all types and skin benefited from his quotidian tenacity; poor, employees, women, children, sick and immigrants. He opposed the war. He faced racism and participated in educational reform.
    His speech, Tolerance and Truth, about church and state, should be manual to be read by certain nuclei of coconuts that, having no more clothes to tear, they anoint with ashes the different beliefs, as if they were the only owner of the kingdom. Men of little faith!
    The list of well-being bequeathed to all his people is incalculable. The way to be followed indicated by his brilliant and unforgettable star is infinite. It pains me…I am very sorry! With the departure of Edward Moore Kennedy, is leaving us the last hero of a great dynasty. The daily work was his best allied and empathy, without a doubt, his best weapon.
    Farewell, blessed guardian of human rights! And do not forget to send my best regards to your family.

    Comment by María Evangelina Cobo Zaballa — September 3, 2009 @ 2:44 am - September 3, 2009

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.