All of the above are tweets from Andrew Breitbart’s Twitter feed.
Here’s the deal: you don’t speak ill of the dead, especially when the body is still warm.
Now, before any of the conservatives in the audience get all pissy with me, you should know that I did not always agree with Ted Kennedy (and still don’t). I thought that the way that he treated Clarence Thomas during his Supreme Court Justice hearings was shameful. I think that Chappaquiddick was a supremely shady incident (at best). I think that the idea that Ted Kennedy made his way up the political ladder, and got out of some, err, sticky situations simply because of his surname is downright shameful.
However, unlike other bad people in this world, Ted Kennedy turned himself around and tried to make the world a better place. There’s a great piece over at Politico that talks about that very subject. Money:
He was elected to the Senate 47 years ago this autumn, when nearly 65 percent of Americans now alive were not yet born. And it turns out longevity creates its own kind of charisma and myth-making power.
Forty-seven years was long enough to transform him in popular vocabulary from Teddy to Ted.
It was long enough for him to bleach and in many eyes redeem the most garish stains on his public image. Twenty years ago Kennedy’s name tended to be invoked first in the context of personal excess and scandal, and only secondarily in the context of public service. In later years this order was emphatically reversed.
“From 1980 to this day, I know of no one who has transformed themselves – not overnight, just steady, year by year, bill by bill, problem by problem – to, what do they say – ‘lion of the Senate,'” said former Sen. Harris Wofford (D-Pa.)
After the deaths of his brothers and his own disgrace in the 1969 incident at Chappaquiddick, Wofford said, Kennedy turned his attention to a sustained, deliberate effort to rebuild his reputation.
“He set about being a very diligent, good senator. A powerful one, rapidly, because people liked him,” said Wofford, who served as an aide to John Kennedy. “He was in his own world and he was not under the shadow of either brother. Neither of them was really comfortable in the Senate. He fit in.”
Now, you may not see it that way. Because Kennedy was unabashedly liberal, many conservatives decried that he was ‘destroying our country’. But here’s the thing: anytime you are serving the public as an elected official, you are trying to make our country better. Albeit in your own way, but better nonetheless. Not everyone will agree with you, but that’s what happens when you don’t get 100% of the votes (and who does that?).
For example, I have been very clear that I think Michele Bachmann is out-of-her-mind when it comes to issues like the U.S. Census (truth here). But, I will admit that she is trying to make our country a better place. If (Heaven forbid) she were to get hit by a truck and die today, I would never say thing like Breitbart is saying (tweeting).
After all, you just don’t speak ill of the dead. Sadly, Breitbart is not alone in his callousness.