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Posts Tagged ‘Teddy’

This week saw the passing of Edward M. Kennedy, patriarch of the legendary Kennedy political dynasty and the third-longest serving senator in U.S. history. Why is Kennedy’s death such a poignant moment in U.S. history?

–*Because it was like he was one of us.

–*Because he was not one of us. He was better.

–*Because he was going to give us universal health care.

–*Because he was such a good kisser.

–*Because he was mainly a funny drunk and not so much a mean-spirited drunk.

–*Because sex with a powerful political figure feels that much more powerful, and because he offered that gift so freely to so many.

–*Because he was able to overcome partisanship and seek compromise, and to play the game of politics shrewdly enough that it sometimes fomented progress, prosperity and equality for all.

–*… doing so with a lot of alcohol lubrication and sexual intercourse along the way–just as much as human progress demanded it of his poor, oversexed body.

–*Because a man who can pass civil rights legislation one minute and then the next be widely photographed having sex on a motorboat for the delectation of European paparazzi is just too damn fun to live without.

–*Because his fiery rhetorical style hearkened back to a less cynical time when politicians could still be heroes.

–*… back when we still bought into that kind of thing.

–*Because he got the COBRA Act passed, something that often went unnoticed when so much of the talk was about his trouser snake.

–*Because his greatness was curtailed by his deep human flaws, and that reminded us of our own fragile humanity.

–*… or just made the stupider among us feel superior.

–*… which, you gotta admit, is one of the less-heralded and more necessary talents of great leaders, given how many stupid people there actually are and how many guns they own.

–*Because he was the only one among his brothers to grow old, the designated mourner for their age of idealism, elegance, sophistication and daring.

–*And because, in the end, for all that, you don’t even get a lousy t-shirt.

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