“‘No matter where you watch television today – even if you turn on FOX – you are going to get the syrupy – everything they say is going to be predictable: let’s put aside our differences for today and respect the great work and achievements of Sen. Kennedy,’ Limbaugh said. ‘I am going to vomit and puke all over everyone with this analysis today.'”

***
“The legislation for which he will be remembered is precisely the sort of top-down, centralized legislation that needs to be jettisoned in the 21st century. Like Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) and the recently deposed Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Kennedy was in fact a man out of time, a bridge back to the past rather than a guide to the future. His mind-set was very much of a piece with a best-and-the-brightest, centralized mentality that has never served America well over the long haul.

Bigger was better, and government at every level but especially at the highest level, had to lead the way. In an increasingly flat, dispersed, networked world in which power, information, knowledge, purchasing power, and more was rapidly decentralizing, Kennedy was all for sitting at the top of a pyramid and directing activity. In this way, he was of his time and place, a post-war America that figured that all the kinks of everyday life had been mastered by a few experts in government, business, and culture. All you needed to do was have the right guys twirling the dials up and down. As thoughtful observers of all political stripes have noted, this sort of thinking was at best delusional, at worst destructive. And it was always massively expensive.”

***
“The idea that Edward M. Kennedy could be a viable national politician – let alone a much-admired and lionized political figure – has convinced millions of everyday citizens and succeeding generations of conservative activists that among the elites of academia, politics, and the media two standards of behavior exist: One for liberal Democrats and another for conservative Republicans. Along with sweeping changes in immigration law, soaring oratory, and strengthening the nation’s social safety net, this reservoir of class resentment is also part of Kennedy’s legacy…

It is an article of faith among conservatives that if a Republican senator had launched an attack this personal and vitriolic – not to mention wildly exaggerated – against a nominee named by a Democratic president that liberals would have gone ape and that the ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate would have made the intemperate conduct of the Republican senator the main issue. The point is that Ted Kennedy surely earned the accolades he is receiving today. He also earned the disapproval he is receiving among Americans who saw him only from a distance, who judged him by his words and deeds, and found him wanting.”

***
“Fifty years in office – or 47 plus, I think it was – but in any case, longer than the longest-serving tyrant-for-life in the worst third world dirt puddle you can think of. Whose fault is that? Ours, of course. We the people allowed the courts to give his homicide a pass – he got a two month suspended sentence for leaving the scene of an accident. We voted him back into office again and again, knowing what he was. Blame Massachusetts alone if you want to, but we, all of us, have failed to demand the term limits and the end to gerrymandering that would keep our representatives from devolving into entrenched toadies of special interests and unscrupulous slaves of their own ideologies. We have failed to demand the reforms that would keep our republic vital and true to its ideals. We get the leaders we deserve and God help us.”

***
“In his own right, Ted Kennedy was a legend, too – but for all the wrong reasons.”