As Kevin noted below Ted Kennedy died. My condolences to the Kennedy family.
It seems the left is intent on debasing Kennedy's death with a concerted effort to manipulate the American people into supporting Obama's health care reform. Will it work or will it turn into a Paul Wellstone spectacle with similar results? Considering how pissed the American people are at the left and the Democrats for trying to shove this down their thoats, I have a feeling they won't appreciate this new push for a government take-over of health care recycled and presented to them in Kennedy wrapping. It's crass, cynical, and simply disgusting.
But Kennedy was not above crass, cynical, and disgusting politics himself. The Democrats in Massachusetts are already a bit embarrassed because Kennedy asked them, again, to change the state laws to suit him and his wishes:
In the letter, dated July 2, Mr. Kennedy asked lawmakers to amend the state's rules and grant the governor the power to appoint his successor until a special election could be held.
"It is vital for this Commonwealth to have two voices speaking for the needs of its citizens and two votes in the Senate during the approximately five months between a vacancy and a special election," he wrote.
While Massachusetts voters would probably vote in another Democratic senator, any delays caused by a special election could hinder efforts by the party to corral the 60 votes needed in the United States Senate to move health care legislation forward.
But the effort to find a quick replacement for Mr. Kennedy may prove complicated. In the week before his death, reaction in Boston to his request ranged from muted to hostile. The state's Democrats found themselves in the awkward position of being asked to reverse their own 2004 initiative calling for special elections in such instances.
Until that year, Massachusetts law had called for the governor to appoint a temporary replacement if a Senate seat became vacant. But when Senator John Kerry, a Democrat, was running for president in 2004, the Democrat-controlled State Legislature wanted to deny the governor at the time -- Mitt Romney, a Republican -- the power to name a successor if Mr. Kerry won. The resulting law requires a special election within 145 to 160 days after the vacancy occurs.
"The hypocrisy is astounding," the state House minority leader, Bradley H. Jones Jr., told The Boston Globe on Thursday. "If we had a Republican governor right now, would we be getting the same letter?"
The hypocrisy, hubris, and entitlement are all astounding. Kennedy expected the Massachusetts legislature to bow obligingly and fulfill his wishes as if they were his servants. Bow obligingly is what Obama and the Democrats want the American people to do regarding health care. It's nothing short of monarchical, but I predict the American people will resist the "we know what's better for you" elitist push once again.
The Anchoress has much to say about Kennedy's death and purgatory.