The Democrats seem to feel that Senator Kennedy is so beloved that Americans would feel horrible about a health care overhaul bill with his name being voted down or ignored. One distressed leftist wrote on Twitter Thursday:
@mattizcoop It feels a bit like 9/11 on Martha’s Vineyard. End-of-summer weather is achingly beautiful but the mood is melancholy because of Teddy.
Ah, yes — to mattizcoop, the loss of Ted Kennedy is like 9/11 all over again. To normal people, Senator Kennedy’s passing is sad but expected. He had a brain tumor. He had lived a full life and he died. That’s what happens to people. On the other hand, 9/11 was a national tragedy of life-altering proportions. The comparison is vile. While a leftist might equate one old, sick, accomplished man dying to thousands of innocents killed in the most startling terrorist attack in the nation’s history, the average American most certainly does not see it that way. All the pomp and attention already feels excessive.
Does any senator hold enough emotional sway with the American people that his name attached to bad legislation will give it the catalyst it needs for passage? I don’t think so. In fact, in this case, the name association might make things worse. Again, Twitter serves as a bellwether: Mary Jo Kopechne was a bigger trending topic than the dearly departed senator.
A liberal might wonder how that could be. What Americans saw in Senator Kennedy was what makes them angry about health care: privilege, superiority, and elitist exclusion from consequences of decisions. No average guy could get away with leaving a young lady to drown in a car. And so, while Massachusetts saw fit to reelect this man and liberals lionized him, regular folks watched his antics with bemusement. Those Kennedys! They sure are an interesting family. Tragic.
Attaching Senator Kennedy’s name to the health care bill might be just what the doctor ordered. This bill, should it pass, will represent what’s worst about American politics today. Those in government believe they know what’s best for the American people — so much so, they’ll defy even their own constituents’ will to forward their statist agenda. Should the legislation fail, it will be because the American people have rejected the notion that the government should solve all problems from cradle to grave. And so it will be laid to rest, along with the man who represented it most, an ideology whose time has past.