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Wow. Ted Kennedy has a brain tumor, and -- while no one is officially saying so -- it's almost certainly terminal and will kill him in as soon as six months, and almost certainly within five years.

I find myself just a little bit stunned.

Ted Kennedy has been a part of my political awareness for almost as long as I've had that awareness. I first started observing national politics in the late 1970s, and that is when he made his abortive run for president. I got a full education on his weaknesses and checkered past. And ever since then, that initial impression has been thoroughly confirmed and reinforced.

Yes, on at least two occasions, I've had reason to laud the Senior Senator from Massachusetts here, when he did things that I thought were noble and praiseworthy and decent. Those have been vastly outnumbered by the times I've criticized him, mocked him, derided him, recited the shameful litany that marks the lowest portions of his life. And I do not regret a single one of them, will not retract a single word of anything I have said about him.

Now that his days are truly numbered, though, I find myself having to take a different kind of look at him, with a slightly softer eye. I need to strike a compromise between my sincere, honest, and blunt assessment of him as a man and a politician, and human compassion -- and it's a hard balance to strike.

Were Ted Kennedy dying of some other ailment, one that I could draw a connection to one or more of his failings, I would have a hard time not pointing that out. If he had cirrhosis of the liver, I would say that it was only just; the man had abused his liver for years, and it was all too predictable. If he were struck with syphilis or some other venereal disease, I would say it was his womanizing that was doing him in. And if he were struck down in a car crash or drowned, I would say it was evidence that not only was there a God, but he had a sense of justice.

But it's not that. It's brain cancer, a tumor so pernicious and so invasive and so malignant that there is almost no useful treatment -- and it usually brings on a horrid death.

That's the kind of fate you wish on your worst enemies. For example, I rejoiced in the passing of Yassir Arafat. When Saddam Hussein did his little air-dance, I did my own little happy dance. I was also delighted on the all-too-timely passings of Saddam's sons and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. I eagerly await the far-too-overdue demise of Fidel Castro. But for all that I've said about Ted Kennedy, I have never considered him a "worst enemy."

An adversary, yes. An opponent, absolutely. A rival, a foil, one who is terribly wrong and has caused great harm to our nation almost since he first entered the Senate over 45 years ago, but not a "worst enemy." Indeed, not even an enemy.

As I said over the weekend, the greatest feeling I have for Ted Kennedy is pity. He is a true American icon, representing at the same time some of the things that make us so great, and some of the things that are our most shameful. I don't think any other nation in the world could produce someone like him.

Last night, Cassy posted her own piece about Ted, and she practically demanded that people be respectful. As she noted, Wizbang is not Daily Kos or Huffington Post or Democratic Underground or even Free Republic.

As much as I respect Cassy, I'm going to take a different approach. I agree with her that our readers tend to have a bit more class than the rabid hacks and hyperpartisan asshats who flock to those sites and tend to garner the most attention, but I have a slightly different idea on how to prove that. And I also have the advantage of years (both calendar-wise and time around these haunts) over her, and that gives me a little more willingness to take risks.

So in the comments on this piece, I'm doing just the opposite of what she did. I'm giving everyone carte blanche to say whatever they want about Senator Edward Moore Kennedy. If you feel the need to vent your spleen, to spew your bile in public, to rant and rave and explore new levels of tastelessness and crassness and vileness in your hatred of the man.

I'm going to invoke the "special rules" on this one, though. I will be policing the comments on this piece a bit more thoroughly than usual (and I have the day off, so I have a bit more free time to devote to it), and I will be watching for a few things. Here are the rules I'm imposing:

1) Commenters MUST use the names they've chosen to use most frequently. If I catch anyone commenting under a new name, I very well might change that to the name they use most often. If you're willing to say it, you damned well be willing to own it.

2) Likewise, if I catch anyone choosing to impersonate another commenter and put their own words in someone else's mouth, I WILL change that name and I very well might also ban the poser.

3) Comments will be closed on this entry at some point tonight or tomorrow morning. This window will be open for no more than 24 hours, largely because I won't have the time to properly police it after that.

So there you go. Have at it. This is your chance to say whatever you like about Ted Kennedy, in front of the entire Wizbang readership.

But it will be under your chosen name, and preserved for all to see who seek it out. As they say in school, this WILL go on your permanent record.

Here's your chance to prove whether or not our readership can be as disgusting, as vile, as noxious, as disgusting as the worst vermin who infest the sites I named above -- HuffPo, DU, Kos, Freep, and their ilk.

I don't think you are capable of that. But I'm willing to risk finding out.


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Comments (45)

As Savage often says...... (Below threshold)

As Savage often says...

Liberalism is a mental disorder.

Ted Kennedy just proved it.

I still hold with my commen... (Below threshold)
Yogurt Author Profile Page:

I still hold with my comment Cassie ganked:
"Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment"

I do not wish anything detrimental for Ted, but I refuse to turn a blind eye to his hubris. While I empathize with Teddy,his Family and all cancer sufferers, I can not overlook the fact he was directly responsible for the death of a young girl. He never accepted responsibility for it, was never punished.

I hope his battle with the ... (Below threshold)

I hope his battle with the tumor is minimal in regards to pain and suffering. I hope he has time to communicate with his family in a way that would mend fences he may have breached in his life. I hope he is at peace with GOD and acknowleges all his sins and asks forgiveness.

Having said this, he is what is wrong with America. His father, wealth and priviledge bought him his senate seat as his two brothers before him. There is no camelot or dynasty but the press pushes this ideal as if we need it. We don't. When JFK jr. crashed his plane, Ted Kennedy had the Coast Guard and US Navy mobilized for the search. So unfair to the millions of citizens who would not have access to that service. Ted Kennedy's millions is tucked away in protected trusts and off shore accounts and investiments so the US tax lays cannot touch them, though he is always looking to spend more of my hard earned money. He has disgraced himself, the senate and this country many times. I hope he atones for this. ww

I hope his cancer eats h... (Below threshold)

I hope his cancer eats him away he dies a slow agonizing death and rots in hell for eternity for all the ills he caused this country.

That was the general sentiment on the lefty blogs when Tony Snow was diagnosed with cancer. I can't nor won't lower myself to that level particularly because I don't feel that way and don't feel the need to jump on a groupthink mentality just because others are willing to do it.

A personal attack wishing death or celebrating an illness just demonstrates the inability to articulate a reasoned debate.

However I do believe Ted Kennedy should have never been allowed to serve in the Senate for leaving the scene of an accident that left a young woman dead, a crime the average Joe may have gone to jail for and lost their right to vote, let alone become a law maker. But to wish death or illness, no, just justice.

I don't like the man's poli... (Below threshold)

I don't like the man's politics. I don't like what he did with Mary Jo - I see that as a massive personality flaw, an avoidance at all costs of the results of his actions. He effectively insulated himself from the results of what he wanted for the rest of the United States. Given the chance, I believe he'd have gladly been King - for all the 'correct' reasons, in his mind - because HE could have done the royalty thing right.

God knows, the Kennedys have been anointed as America's Royalty in all but name by the media.

That said - I wouldn't wish what he's going to be going through on anyone. My prayers go out to him, and I hope the best for him.

God will sit in judgement a... (Below threshold)

God will sit in judgement and he has judged Ted Kennedy.


No one should have to die a... (Below threshold)

No one should have to die a painful death like cancer can cause...I hope he overcomes this disease or passes quickly. God forgave him of everything he's done wrong, including Mary Jo. And he gave His Son's life to pay for it. I just hope Teddy finally accepts that and the grace offered him freely by Jesus Christ.

It's been said he was the s... (Below threshold)

It's been said he was the son that Joe Kennedy, Sr. had figured would have the smallest role in his family's political dynasty in America. Yet of the four sons in that generation he easily lived the longest to have the greatest political impact - in my opinion. He'll be remembered much more than his oldest brother, Joe but will not generate the emotions that come with the memories of John and Robert. I think the Kopechne tragedy is a true indication of his character. Also, it is easy to be a beloved senator when you dispense "compassion" with your constituents' money while sheltering your own fortune - and I do not begrudge him his fortune one bit. I would never wish for him what he must now go through. Unfortunately, when the news broke I did have a Kos moment: I thought it ironic the tumor was on the left side of his brain. I think I will have to answer for that thought at my judgement.

My thoughts are along the l... (Below threshold)

My thoughts are along the lines of Yogurt's. While I'm not taking pleasure in this, I can't get worked up feeling that sorry for him. He's a vile man.

Two Old Testament verses co... (Below threshold)

Two Old Testament verses come to mind:

"And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him..." (1 Kings 15:3)

"...for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me..." (Exodus 20:5)

If anyone is responsible for the "Kennedy Curse," it is the selfish, greedy, debaucherous Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. The family's misfortunes, including Teddy's, were a direct result of the bad influence of the old man, who believed that money and power were the only things necessary to wash away the stain of sinful living.

That being said, I don't believe that Teddy's cancer is the result of some supernatural curse. These things just happen, and they happen at random to all of us. As other commenters here and elsewhere have pointed out, given the unfortunate circumstances surrounding so many of his family, Teddy is fortunate to have lived long enough to develop an age-related illness.

The really cruel irony in all of this is that Teddy's death will likely mirror the sad fate of his sister Rosemary, who was lobotomized against her will at the age of 23 on orders from her father, and who spent the rest of her life as a mental vegetable.

Wow. I guess we have an ans... (Below threshold)

Wow. I guess we have an answer.

Just for informational purp... (Below threshold)

Just for informational purposes, those with malignant astrocytomas (GBMs, Grade IV astros by other names) don't suffer. As the tumor progresses they simply get sleepier.

I've read that "could not b... (Below threshold)

I've read that "could not be reached for comment" line so many times that it is now accompanied by a slide-whistle in my mind.

And then a rim-shot.

As Americans, democrat or r... (Below threshold)

As Americans, democrat or republican, we have all had a fascination with the Kennedy family. We watch as they implode, succeed and do the things they chose to do. History, if it dares to be impartial will judge the Kennedy's on their place in American History.

I am not a Ted Kennedy fan, but as so many have said I would wish this on no one. Only God can sit in judgement on Ted Kennedy, we are called to pray for him.

So Mr. Kennedy, I pray God's will for you for your life.

"God forgave him of everyth... (Below threshold)
Yogurt Author Profile Page:

"God forgave him of everything he's done wrong, including Mary Jo"

Are you sure? Isn't some sort of contrition in order? The first step is to accept responsibility.

The thoughts and prayers of... (Below threshold)

The thoughts and prayers of millions are with Senator Kennedy and his family.

He is one of the Greats.

I am not quite sure what... (Below threshold)

I am not quite sure what I feel about Senator Kennedy. Mostly I feel that God is trying to get the man's attention before it's too late for him. I can only hope and pray that he repents and turns to God while he has the chance.

God desires that no man perish but that all would come to repentance. That includes men like Ted Kennedy. As a Christian, I pray that the love of God manifests in me even for people like Ted - people like him are usually the ones who need it the most.

For all his failings, and t... (Below threshold)

For all his failings, and they are legion, he is a complicated man. I find his incipient passing no greater comfort than I felt at the last days of Richard Nixon. He is the last of an era, and for good or ill, he is a personification of the American Dream.

I wouldn't wish this death on anyone, even someone who came up with No Child Left Behind.

Mary Jo will soon rest in p... (Below threshold)

Mary Jo will soon rest in peace and her family will finally see some justice ... I believe Ted was driven to his strong defense of liberalism out of his sense of guilt for what he had done to Mary Jo ... he did try to make up for his failing in that case ...

May he rest in peace and may the end come swiftly with as little pain as is possible ...

Mr.Kennedy has been given a... (Below threshold)

Mr.Kennedy has been given a grace period
to tend to his business and make all of his
goodbyes. Most don't get this opportunity.
He should be thankful, and should make it
his priority to make amends with God and
all those he crossed paths with.
Most importantly is the state of his soul,
and we should all find a message from this.
My prayer is he finds grace and salvation.

"If you don't have anything... (Below threshold)

"If you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all," might be appropriate at this time.

I basically agree with Yogurt. Generally I loathe the man, his entire family and their little dog toto to. The Kennedy's have been a blight on this nation for to long. Overall, his illness and pending death should not be seen as a tragedy, except for himself and his family of course. He is 76, has lived a full life on more or less (moral-less?) his terms. He won't live forever and knowing you are going and can get your affairs in order (including atonement) are possibly preferrable to dropping dead without notice.

Finally to give the devil his due,
He has always been loyal to himself, his family and his party.

Anything negative one would... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Anything negative one would say about another human being facing their own mortality can only seem classless.

I will only say that the Mary Jo incident, perhaps the most infamous of the Senator's scandals, is but one of a long string of reasons why I cannot understand the fawning. He HAS damaged America.

As a person, (except for the Mary Jo incident), I do not know him and I wish him well. As a politician, I don't feel a great sense of loss.

"I don't think you are capa... (Below threshold)

"I don't think you are capable of that. But I'm willing to risk finding out."

A poor risk analysis, as always. I guess you didn't see the first round of comments either - hopefully they have been scrubbed.

jp2, not a single comment o... (Below threshold)

jp2, not a single comment on this thread has been altered or removed in the slightest way. Before I posted it, I sent out an e-mail to my colleagues essentially saying "this one's mine and mine alone to police."

I also get e-mailed copies of each and every comment, and not one of them differs in the slightest from what the public sees. Further, the count of e-mail notifications I have received matches precisely the numbers of comments posted.

So far, my gamble appears to be paying off.

Present company excepted, of course.


Jay, I have no wish to say ... (Below threshold)

Jay, I have no wish to say anything catty about Ted Kennedy. But I must confess that my reaction was similar to one you mention above, I said to myself: "Damn, that was one organ he didn't abuse."

We see the Kennedy political dynasty coming to a sad close.

But to atone for that first thought above, I'll sincerely wish his family well in the months ahead.

May God comfort him and his... (Below threshold)

May God comfort him and his family.

As a Christian, I believe t... (Below threshold)

As a Christian, I believe that nothing happens to us that we do not need to get our soul right with God. This can come in the form of a tragedy or a blessing, but all that happens to us, is a process we use to grow.
That said, sometimes the tap on the shoulder turns to a slap upside the head and still the message is not received.
We are all mortal and we will all die. This time of acute awareness of Ted Kennedy's mortality is a gift. I hope he uses it wisely.

I don't get the point.... (Below threshold)

I don't get the point.

The man is a murderer, that... (Below threshold)

The man is a murderer, that's not up for debate.

The man is a hypocrite, that too is not up for debate.

Let's not make him out to be a saint, or, for that matter even a good man. He could have done so much good, but, he chose the easier path, and did what he did. He could have been a hero, instead he is what he is.

My only wish is that the left doesnt use his illness as a rallying cry for more socialist issue.

Whatever the Kos crowd wished for men like Heston, Snow, and Reagan, this man deserves tenfold.

John was shot dead by a Com... (Below threshold)

John was shot dead by a Communist.
Bobby was shot dead by a Palestinian terrorist.
Ted left a girl in his car to drown while he rushed to call his lawyer. The police weren't contacted for 10 hours.

Ted Kennedy then rode his brothers' legacy to push destructive policies upon this country his famous brothers would have fought against.

In sum... he is everything that is wrong with the (D)emocrats, who spout populist platitudes, they don't really believe in, claim historical legacies they fought against, and dismiss the damage to they do in pursuing those destructive policies with the aid of their masters in the MainStreamMedia.

Sometimes bad things happen to bad people.

Sen. Kennedy is hardly one ... (Below threshold)

Sen. Kennedy is hardly one of my favorite people - I disagree with his policies, abhor many aspects of his character, and am shocked by several of his past actions...

But, as Jay says, I do not consider him "my worst enemy." I do believe he loves this country, and I do believe he acts as he believes he should - although that may come via a large truckload of practical cynicism.

Nevertheless, he is still a man, created in the image of God. It is not my place to judge his final destiny, and I would not be so crass or unChristian to wish him to go to hell.

Instead, I will pray for health and strength, both for him and for his family. I will pray that God gives them a special time of blessing and unity as Sen. Kennedy battles this foe. And, if he hasn't already, I pray that he will turn to the Great Healer so that he may be healed of the worst sickness: a sinful nature which separates us all from God.

I pray that, with whatever time he has left (days, months, years, it doesn't matter), that Sen. Kennedy uses this time to deepen his knowledge and love of Jesus Christ - because Heaven awaits all sinners saved by the grace of God.

Best blessings, Sen. Kennedy. God bless.

Present situation aside - I... (Below threshold)

Present situation aside - I will merely offer that I was a resident of MA for 25 years. I still have family there. I have never heard, in person (that is, not on TV, radio, or in the paper), a single person say anything positive about Ted Kennedy or that he did anything for them or their state. That's just my quarter century of experience with Ted as Senator. And I'm not just talking about family, friends, people I know well - this is NO ONE - not people in the street having a discussion, not co workers, not people in a store.

Yet he kept getting elected (cue the Kennedy swoon that does still afflict those in MA). Democracy - go figure.

I wish Senator Kennedy a sp... (Below threshold)

I wish Senator Kennedy a speedy recovery, or if that is not possible, an easy passing from this life. As for his fate in the great beyond, that's between him and God.

I agree with JT on this one. I don't see Ted Kennedy as an enemy but as a rival.

My greatest fear is that his party will take his decline and eventual passing and turn it into something that will make the Wellstone memorial look a somber and reserved affair.

JT says regarding Kennedy: ... (Below threshold)

JT says regarding Kennedy: "...I do not regret a single one of them, will not retract a single word of anything I have said about him."

Umm...once again, dead wrong. From YOUR OWN COMMENT:


You called the man a "wetback," remember? Classy.

"jp2, not a single comment on this thread has been altered or removed in the slightest way."

"So far, my gamble appears to be paying off."

Really, smart guy?

Here is a sampling of the Wizbang class since Kennedy died:

"Sometimes bad things happen to bad people."

"Whatever the Kos crowd wished for men like Heston, Snow, and Reagan, this man deserves tenfold."

"I don't believe in the power of magical thinking, so wishing he would go away, and take Jimmah Carter with him, is not actually hurting anybody. But he has been a cancer on this planet for too many decades for me to lament his demise."

"I'm quite certain there is a stool and a hooker at a well stocked bar in hell waiting for him. Alas, only the good die young, so it'll be awhile."

And those are the ones that were not deleted.

I'm nutpicking here - no doubt. But it is hilarious that in several posts you HAVE to remind people that "This is not dailykos or HuffPost." It's not worth the effort of pretending, you know.

jp2,No comments ha... (Below threshold)


No comments have been deleted nor unpublished
from this thread.

What, are you admin now Mag... (Below threshold)

What, are you admin now Maggie?

Also - I never said, nor implied - that comments were deleted from this thread. This is the 4th or 5th thread regarding the unfortunate senator. All have had vile comments, like the first one here:

"Liberalism is a mental disorder.

Ted Kennedy just proved it."

1st class.

jp2,Comment Sec... (Below threshold)


Comment Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

That is located over in the right hand side
bar, under Credits

Straight lines make for clearer communications

So, whats so bad about me p... (Below threshold)

So, whats so bad about me posting:"Whatever the Kos crowd wished for men like Heston, Snow, and Reagan, this man deserves tenfold."

If Kos-kooks wished these men God-Speed, and sent thoughts n prayers to his family, I wish them tenfold for him.

If, on the other, you are upset because you feel I wish him harm by referencing the far left, well, that makes you a hypocrite.

And besides, liberalism IS a mental disorder. That's settled science!

This is a little more compl... (Below threshold)

This is a little more complex than it seems...

The individual HUMAN factor vs the consequences of actions and influence on political direction/values of American lives.

Ted Kennedy simply being human such as a hypothetical John Doe would of course be given great sympathy and best wishes.

The tricky part comes about from HOW the man lived his life, and how negative of an impact it had on others lives or in some cases deaths.

What also has to be factored into the equation is the ideological (WAR) between the lefty socialist liberals and their mission to change/destroy the American way of life as we know it.
Teddy is the elder of this movement,
after seeing the debacle the liberals made of Sen. Wellstone's death, one can only cringe as to what kind of spectacle will be created by this unfortunate situation.

I frequently refer to Ted as gasbag etc., as I despise ALL liberals. In this instance, I will not be hypocritical nor will I go negative.

I'll just settle for indifference, to the human factor and the way of life/political perspective.

Maggie - welcome! I missed ... (Below threshold)

Maggie - welcome! I missed the announcement!

I don't envy your job - I've seen such horrible comments that I can't imagine what you have had to delete over the past few days.

Still waiting for your response JT. Still think Ted Kennedy is a "wetback?"

Actually jp2, you actually ... (Below threshold)

Actually jp2, you actually did imply that comments were deleted:

... And those are the ones that were not deleted.

jp2 Thanks.I've been... (Below threshold)

jp2 Thanks.
I've been comment section
editor since last year.

I am unmoved by this; the m... (Below threshold)

I am unmoved by this; the man was absolutely merciless against Judge Bork and trashed Bork's record, and his life.

That he has this ailment is lamentable, but the man is appalling on so many levels; I'll save my kind words for a man of depth, and honor.

My only comment is that if ... (Below threshold)

My only comment is that if there is an afterlife, I hope he is greeted by Mary Jo and is forced to defend his choices, his actions and his life.

Leave it to jp2 to be not o... (Below threshold)

Leave it to jp2 to be not only the most classless, but the most clueless commenter on this thread.

EVERYON ELSE understood that the special rules and the bit about "no comments edited or deleted" applied to this article and this article only. Only jp2, didn't get it, and refuses to get it.

Then, showing that jp2 has an obsession with me that borders on the obsessive, finds a single remark I made once that I expressed some doubts about -- one that I had forgotten, as it was a single tossed-off remark over two years ago that, now that I reconsider it, I don't really regret. It was a bit of punny temptation that I probably should have resisted, as it diverted from the point I was trying to make.

But then again, that whole piece was nothing but a cheap shot (spared from "gratuitous" because, when Ted is concerned, I don't consider any cheap shot gratuitous), so it fit in, thematically. Whether it was appropriate or not, I'm not sure. And I certainly don't care any more.

But gosh, I'm so flattered that jp2 keeps such thorough account of my works. On most people, the creepy psycho obsessed stalker thing comes across as disturbing, but jp2 really pulls it off...







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