Reactions to Ted Kennedy’s Death Classy…and Not Classy


The news of Ted Kennedy’s sad passing last night has been greeted with the expected wave of coverage, and coverage about the coverage.

I’m going to ignore the trolls who emerge at times like this, and focus on 3 particular reactions from prominent conservatives online.

First, there’s Ed Morrissey, who offers a clear-eyed summation of Kennedy that skips faux-sincerity and maintains an appropriately reverent tone:

Ted Kennedy lost his battle with brain cancer last night and died at the age of 77.  Kennedy, whose life was marked with tragedies and losses as well as self-inflicted scandals but also with legislative victories and power, had been ill for the last year, and had missed most of the 2009 session of Congress as a result…

…As Michelle says, we will have plenty of time to analyze Kennedy’s life and work, but today is a day to give comfort to Kennedy’s family.  They will be in my prayers.

Then, there’s Ed’s boss.  I think Ed was paraphrasing Michelle Malkin rather generously.  Still, I have to give Malkin credit for trying:

Put aside your ideological differences for an appropriate moment and mark this passing with solemnity.

There is a time and place for political analysis and criticism. Not now.

Yes, there will be a nauseating excess of MSM hagiographies and lionizations — and crass calls to pass the health care takeover to memorialize his death.

That’s no excuse to demonstrate the same lack of restraint in the other direction. Not now.

I have to thank Michelle for lightening my mood a little,as she struggles mightily to be a good person here.  On her Twitter feed, she chomps at the bit a little more:

Joe Biden on Kennedy: “He was never petty.” Biting. Tongue. Ow. about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck

Biden on Kennedy: “Remember how he treated people.” In the appropriate time, place, and manner, we will. about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck

The whole thing reminds me of Dr. Strangelove’s outward inner struggle.

Then, there’s Ed and Michelle’s colleague, Allahpundit, who can’t wait to shame liberals whom he claims are politicizing Kennedy’s death:

Lefties are now whining at me that it’s not “classy” to call them out while they’re busy shamelessly politicizing TK’s death 12 minutes ago from twhirl

It’s his drumbeat, but Allahpundit misses the point.

He’s referring to a Wall Street Journal article that discusses calls by various leaders to fulfill Kennedy’s legacy on health care, and to use of Kennedy’s name as a rallying cry for proponents of health care reform.

On the one hand, I am very mindful that folks don’t start saying, “Sweet!  Now we can pass health care reform!”  The instinct to view any political observation here as crass is very strong.

In Kennedy’s case, however, it would be crass to ignore the signature cause of his life.  Promising to pick up that baton and carry it across the finish line, expressing gratitude for his service and inspiration, these are the most natural things in the world.  Even Conservatives for Patients’ Rights recognizes this.

Crass would be using Kennedy’s memory to shame opponents of reform, or celebrating his death as just the push health care reform needed.  I don’t see anyone doing that.

Mocking and politicizing other people’s grief?  Yeah, that’s a little classless.


1 Comment

  1. […] read Tommy Christopher’s take on the same. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)GOP Invokes the Scarlet […]

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