Makes sense. He was an archetypal tax-and-spend liberal and the living symbol of dynastic politics. What better way to mark the passing of a royal than to deplete the state treasury erecting a monument to his greatness?
Just as Limbaugh predicted, incidentally.
Jennifer Duffy, a senior editor at the Cook Political Report, said the news will strengthen Democrats’ resolve to get a bill passed. But it’s unclear whether they will work harder to get a bipartisan bill that can pass the Senate or decide to go it alone.
“Maybe, at least within the Senate, it takes on a more civilized and bit more somber tone,” Duffy said…
Now, it’s possible congressional negotiators could invoke his memory to convince some of those wavering senators.
“I’m sure this is going to come down to cloture votes,” said a health care source. “That is one place where his ghost, so to speak, in the chamber could have enormous impact.”…
[A] former Democratic Senate staffer turned health care lobbyist said Kennedy’s death could bring [Orrin] Hatch back to the Senate Finance Committee’s negotiating table that he recently left.
In theory it’ll be harder to pass ObamaCare without Kennedy since the filibuster-proof majority is momentarily gone, but either (a) the left will use that as moral cover to invoke reconciliation and pass it with 51 votes (“we wouldn’t have had to do it if Ted was still here!”) or (b) the very principled nonpartisans in Massachusetts state government will let Deval Patrick quickly appoint a successor, a power that was removed from the governor in 2004 — on Kennedy’s urging — so that Mitt Romney couldn’t appoint Kerry’s replacement if he won the presidency. In the meantime, the exploitation’s already begun: Madam Speaker was out of the chute at 2:30 a.m. this morning in politicizing Teddy’s death to serve the cause of ObamaCare, and no doubt we’re in for a humdinger of a commercial at the memorial service later this week. I wonder who’ll be tasked with the red-meat “do it for Teddy” eulogy? The One likes to stay above the fray in delicate situations so I’m guessing Kerry will do it; he’s always been politically tone-deaf so he should be an easy sell.
Exit question one: Will the media’s “do it for Teddy” narrative going forward touch on any of the inconvenient facts about Kennedy’s politics, like, say, that he opposed universal health care when Nixon pushed it or that he was rather a stickler about government regulation of medicine when it came to abortion? Exit question two: What’s the statute of limitations on “do it for X” appeals to public sentiment? I can think of a few programs — missile defense, social security privatization — that Reagan would have loved to see. How about a “block it for Ronnie” campaign against ObamaCare on the right?