Via RCP, a line from today’s dedication of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate whose joke potential is so high that it practically qualifies as a palate cleanser. Before I let you have at it, though, an obvious point: The fact that Obama feels comfortable offering Kennedy as a role model in terms as broad as this is a testament to just how completely he’s been absolved of his sins by America’s governing class for having the right politics. Even if you lay aside Chappaquiddick, even if you lay aside the “waitress sandwich” — although why would you? — you still run into, oh, say, things like this which tend to undermine Teddy’s image as the great bipartisan bridge-builder. If Tom Cotton “carried himself” like Kennedy, he’d be sending secret communiques to Vladimir Putin offering to arrange propaganda opportunities for him on American television ahead of the 2016 election. As it is, most of the left has never heard of Teddy’s approach to the Soviets 30 years ago even though they think Cotton’s open letter/press release to Iran about Congress’s treaty obligations is some form of treason. That’s what it means to be a member of the political-media elite as exalted as Ted Kennedy.
As you watch, remember that Obama’s lip service to Kennedy’s spirit of comity and dealmaking know-how in the Senate comes just three days after he paid equally effusive lip service to Harry Reid, a guy who did everything he could as majority leader to marginalize the opposition, even at the price of wrecking partisan relations. Obama himself unilaterally rewrote parts of ObamaCare and swaths of U.S. immigration law after he gave up on compromise with the GOP and decided that that should be no impediment to his agenda. Unconstitutional executive action, not Kennedyesque grand bargains between Democrats and Republicans in Congress, will be his legacy. The people who worship Ted Kennedy will never be reminded of any of this either.