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RIP Ted Kennedy

I am so terribly sad about Ted Kennedy’s death from brain cancer.

I have a friend who can’t forgive Ted for Chappaquiddick.

To me, Chappaquiddick is something that happened before I was born. Ted Kennedy, who had two brothers ASSASSINATED, developed an alcohol problem and had a tragic car accident because of it? Color me shocked… shocked, I tell you.

Believe me, if Kate was killed in a stupid, tragic alcohol/drug-related car accident, I’d be upset. I’d be REALLY upset. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the guy involved in the accident was “devil incarnate” or an “irredeemable bastard.” My position is that Ted Kennedy has done enough for the United States of America to redeem himself on that. He cleaned up, eventually, and frankly, until you or I have TWO brothers BRUTALLY MURDERED, I refuse to pretend to pass judgment.

Ted Kennedy reflected and supported my values in Congress. We needed him and he took up that burden for us. I know “conservatives” hate him, I know there are people who can’t get over his liberal politics or his privilege or his flaws. I’m unconcerned by those issues where he is concerned. To me, he will always be “The Lion of the Senate.” I can say without any cynicism or sarcasm, I appreciate the role he played in passing important legislation such as the COBRA Act, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Ryan White AIDS Care Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Mental Health Parity Act in 1996 and 2008, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Rest, Ted. So sorry to hear that your life has been cut short, because despite your long career I do believe that you had much more to give and much more crazy Republican crap to defend us from. I hope someone will give us their all the way you did, I long to find some progressive who was raised to believe in the obligation we all have to service. But as far as I’m concerned, you’ve paid your debt through public service. I intend no disrespect to Mary Jo Kopechne by this.

Thank you, Ted.

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