I do not paint horns on this man.
I, as a Black man, am simply stepping back, making note of what my people need the most and realizing that it is NOT more shifting of our burdens onto another. We need more SYSTEMATIC means of addressing our problems within our "Friends and Family Plan".
In doing so we gain SKILLS, we enforce temperance within our culture and we create a model that can be picked up and replicated elsewhere.
The popular ideology that Kennedy and others promote will have lawsuits, regulation and legislation as a means of obtaining prosperity in pursuit of that LEVEL PLAYING FIELD that never seems to come. As long as their is an existing infrastructure to fight against - their movement has some effect. Put them on their own in the wilderness where their outcomes will be primarily based on their inputs - their screwed.
Ailing Kennedy fading as top target for right wing
Friday, May 30, 2008 6:39:15 AM
By TOM RAUM
Republicans have raised many millions of dollars over the past three decades just invoking the name of Ted Kennedy.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., was their poster child for liberals, the quintessential Washington tax-and-spender, a left-wing caricature to his conservative detractors.
But branding someone a "Ted Kennedy liberal" is slowly fading from the political lexicon.
Even before the diagnosis last week that Kennedy, 76, had a malignant brain tumor, conservatives' darts were being redirected at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and the two Democrats vying for the Democratic nomination, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.
Increasingly, Republican candidates for Congress are seeking to link their Democratic opponents to those names rather than just Kennedy alone.
Kennedy remains a favorite target of conservative activists and right-wing talk-show hosts, to be sure. But there has been a noticeable pivot recently.
Fox News' Sean Hannity says Obama is "more liberal than Ted Kennedy."
When Kennedy endorsed Obama, Rush Limbaugh invoked memories of "Camelot," but wound up suggesting that Bill and Hillary Clinton were "the evil knights hiding out in the woods to steal from everybody and get rid of people that get in their way."
It's not that the iconic liberal lion of Massachusetts has turned any less liberal. He remains one of the most outspoken critics of President Bush's Iraq war policy and a longtime unapologetic champion of cherished liberal causes.
It's just that his reputation as a consummate legislator and amiable Senate colleague has taken off much of the edge and helped to offset the darker depiction by some conservatives. Under the shadow of his illness, almost nobody is taking pot shots at him these days.
Alabama Republican House candidate Jay Love was running a campaign commercial that showed pictures of Pelosi, Clinton and Kennedy and vowed to work against "their" liberal agenda if elected. But after news of Kennedy's illness, the commercial was remade with Kennedy's image replaced by that of Democratic front-runner Obama.
Bush, who disparaged Kennedy during the 2000 presidential campaign, recently saluted him as "a man of tremendous courage, remarkable strength and powerful spirit."
"Take care of my friend," Bush told Kennedy's wife, Vicki.
Bush has hosted Kennedy socially at the White House and worked with him to pass two of his major domestic initiatives, the No Child Left Behind education law and a Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, about as conservative a Republican as they come, shed tears over the news that Kennedy had a brain tumor, calling Kennedy "a brother."
"Despite the angry rhetoric that sometimes came from the right, smart people within the Senate understood that if you worked with Senator Kennedy, you were going to get things done," said Jim Manley, who worked for Kennedy for many years before signing on as a spokesman for Reid.
As to the "Kennedy Liberal" label, "that always made him laugh. He reveled in it," said Manley. "He understood that it was an implicit acknowledgment of how effective you are. I think it's a natural part of politics: You're always looking for some bogeyman."
It wasn't only his liberalism that made Kennedy an easy target for the right. His lifestyle, his drinking and womanizing in the 1980s, and more recently his substantial weight, have played into the attacks. Ann Coulter, the conservative author and commentator, calls him "Senator Drunkennedy," for instance
The 1969 automobile accident at Chappaquiddick, Mass., that resulted in the death of a young Pennsylvania woman, Mary Jo Kopechne, has long shadowed Kennedy.
Things began to change in the 1990s when President Clinton and his wife became the new punching bags for the right. In 2004, fellow Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, joined them as a prime target.
Speaking to a conservative audience in May 2004 as he sought re-election, Bush suggested that Kerry's voting record was so liberal that it made Kennedy look like "the conservative senator from Massachusetts."
"That's a heck of a feat," Bush said to laughter.
Even so, Kennedy was still mentioned in some Republican stump speeches, particularly in the conservative South.
Former Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., speaking at an Oklahoma fundraiser in 2004 for Republican Senate candidate Tom Coburn, said a vote for Coburn's opponent "is a vote for Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton to run the Senate. ... If we don't win this seat, we won't be in control of the Senate. It's that important."
Kennedy, meanwhile, has emerged with more respect from lawmakers in both parties.
"He's been around so long he knows the ins and outs of the rules," said James Thurber, a political scientist at American University and former aide to Hubert Humphrey. "He knows how to reach out and put his arm around somebody and say, `Can't you go along with me on this one?' He's the way the Senate used to work."
"There's a real reservoir of affection for him, but also an understanding that he more than anybody has been the glue keeping the place together," said Norman Ornstein, a congressional scholar with the American Enterprise Institute.
Hillary Rodham Clinton could do worse than following Kennedy's example should she lose her presidential bid, Ornstein added. "It shows you can become a force of nature if you've got talent and personality and the ability to build alliances."