The Moose praises the Senior Senator from Massachusetts.
The Moose has many profound differences with Ted Kennedy. But, there is no doubt that he is one of the most effective and productive Senators in American history.
Ted Kennedy is a proud liberal and a proud patriot. While others may put politics first, Senator Kennedy's objective is to make legislation. He has done that over and over again. Passing a plethora of progressive legislation is the result of his prodigious efforts. He may not always succeed, but one can always expect that he will be dogged and determined in his efforts.
A case in point was the recent attempt to forge a compromise on immigration legislation. While his Senate Democratic leadership wanted an issue, Ted sought to address a problem that sometimes leads to death in the desert. The Washington Post editorialized,
"But Democrats -- whether their motive was partisan advantage or legitimate fear of a bad bill emerging from conference with the House -- are the ones who refused, in the end, to proceed with debate on amendments, which is, after all, how legislation gets made. The unfortunate result is that momentum toward balanced reform may be lost. "The Democratic leadership played politics with the prospect of 10 million immigrants getting on a path to citizenship," said Frank Sharry, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a pro-immigration group. "It seems that Democratic leaders wanted an issue, not a bill."
The Senate immigration debate was Washington at its best and worst. The good news was that a bi-partisan coalition led by Kennedy and McCain attempted to forge a reasonable compromise to a vexing problem. The bad news was the fever swamp from the left and the right rose to smite it. In the end, the deal was killed by the cynicism of partisan gain. The Moose has learned that, behind closed doors, Senator Kennedy adamantly urged his fellow Democrats to accept the deal to keep the legislation alive.
But, no doubt, Senator Kennedy will forge ahead. Perhaps, Ted realizes that his party might just gain control (however narrowly) of Congress. Then what? The Republicans will just replicate the obstructionism of the Democrats. And so on...
The Moose, and the American people, are sickened by the petty partisan antics of Washington. Often they are devoid of principle whatsoever. But occasionally, a leader like Ted will actually accomplish something for the American people.
And for that, the Moose is indebted to him. --