Thoughts from a Yellow Dog Democrat living in Olympia, in the great BLUE state of Washington

I am a liberal because it is the political philosophy of freedom and equality. And I am a progressive because it is the political path to a better future. And I am a Democrat because it is the political party that believes in freedom, equality and progress. -- Digby

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ted Kennedy

I loved Ted Kennedy. His speeches often brought me to tears. I've personally benefited from his work in the Senate through the legislation he pushed through and he was a real national leader.

But -- I find it interesting that the one event the talking heads keep pointing out as his biggest mistake in the Senate was his dressing down of Bork in 1987. The mainstream media keeps saying it was the tipping point for when supreme court judge conformations became politicized. My point of view is that it was Reagan's nomination of Bork that made it become politicized. Kennedy justifiably derailed that nomination. Reagan should have never nominated such a man so outside the mainstream.

I was very disappointed later in 1991 that Kennedy didn't challenge Clarence Thomas and we're stuck with this incompetent right winger because of it. At the time I blamed Kennedy's own perceived personal escapades with women that probably made him feel unable to appropriately question and point out Thomas' inappropriateness. I vividly remember Kennedy sitting there, not asking questions, looking circumspect. Women everywhere were disappointed and mad. It made many of us determined to make sure that more women would be in the Senate in the future. We realized we could not rely on the men to protect us.

My own Senators -- Cantwell and Murray -- have Kennedy to thank for making the rest of us so outraged that we insisted more women were elected.

I forgave Kennedy and I loved him but his actions concerning Bork wasn't his biggest failing -- his inaction on the Thomas hearing were.


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