The GOP Has It Backwards About Ted Kennedy

Via tweet from Kyle Moore, comes this op-ed from Geoff Garin about which political party most needs another Ted Kennedy:

Ted Kennedy’s voice and leadership will be sorely missed in the effort to pass health-care reform. But when Republicans say that Democrats don’t have anyone to take his place in achieving a bipartisan compromise, they are either missing, or deliberately obscuring, the relevant lesson of Kennedy’s example.

The truth is that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, with the support of the White House, has worked hard for months to reach consensus with Sens. Chuck Grassley, Olympia Snowe and Mike Enzi on a health-reform bill — incurring, for his trouble, more than a little heat from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. But so far, the Republicans haven’t had the will, courage or independence to strike a deal. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been doing his best to end the negotiations, apparently agreeing with Jim DeMint’s political assessment that health care could be President Obama’s Waterloo. And now Chuck Grassley says he could sign only a compromise that a majority of the GOP caucus would support.

The problem is not that there is no Ted Kennedy among the Democrats who understands the art of compromise. The problem is that there is no Republican willing to provide, for health reform, the kind of bold leadership that Kennedy provided to help pass controversial legislation when George W. Bush was president.

  

Author: KATHY KATTENBURG

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16 Comments

  1. No one needs another Ted Kennedy. He was overrated, now that he is out of the way, made some real moderates can take over bi-partisan talks on the Democratic side. Kennedy might have been more of a pragmatist than the rest of the far-left fringe but he was still of the far-left.

  2. “Time for the moderates of both parties to step up “

    dear Leonidas, from your keyboard to Creator's monitor.

    thanks.
    dr.e

  3. This is an example of the liberals falling for their own propaganda. Just because a few Republicans were nice and said some nice things at his funeral does not mean most Republicans or even Independents think highly of Kennedy. Showing respect for the dead should not be confused with a desire to emulate their faults. If the Republicans do not have a Kennedy, that is a plus for Republicans.

  4. One other note, at least for now, Filibuster is now in play for the GOP, Game on.

  5. The PROBLEM is, there are no republicans that give a damn about the American people. THAT is the problem.

  6. Kennedy might have been more of a pragmatist than the rest of the far-left fringe but he was still of the far-left. Time for the moderates of both parties to step up and take over leadership from the Progressives and the Religious right, with Kennedy gone, this comes one step closer to happening.

    Elected Republican Moderates? Please make a list of them, I want to meet these rare and fabulous creatures..

    Elected Far Left Democrats? Please make a list of them, I want to meet these equally rare and fabulous creatures..

  7. Far-left Dems:

    Diane Feinstein
    Barbara Boxer
    Al Franken
    Barack Obama
    Dennis Kucinich
    Barney Frank

    That's just off the top of my head.

  8. Since the healthcare legislation has stalled as a result of inability of the Democrats to find consensus within their own party, none of it has anything to do with the Republicans, nor Kennedy's previous examples of working across the aisle. It has to do with a Democratic leadership that is too far to the left even for their own party.

  9. Senator Kennedy was as much a problem as he was a solution to problems. His legacy will be very mixed. Personally, he had many delightful characteristics. He also had some rather ugly elements. As a politician it was much the same. he could work with the opposition on occasion, he could also contribute to exacerbating partisan gridlock.

  10. To the extent Kennedy was able to reach compromises, yeah the GOP could use someone like that. To the extent he was fairly extreme politically and lived a very questionable personal life, the GOP already has a lot of those and hardly needs more.

  11. The PROBLEM is, there are no republicans that give a damn about the American people. THAT is the problem.

    The PROBLEM is there are no progressives willing to sacrifice for a better furure for their children. Spend on us NOW! screw the deficit is their motto.

    See we can all play the rhetoric game FT.

  12. You are very wrong. Consider the massive debt our nation is in. Created, as is traditionally done, by republican Borrow and Spend end of future politics. As is during every republican controlled government period in our history, republicans damage our economy by spending more than they tax by selling government securities. These securities we the People have to pay back with interest. Tax and spend is Much better than borrow and spend because it leaves a net gain in the government coffers. Borrow and spend leaves debt.

    Republicans put us into this deficit mess in a vain attempt to prevent any social progress and justice. They made a mistake. Now we will take it out of the pockets of those that support the republican party. Greed is what greed does.

  13. Father_Time,
    Tax-and-Spend is only marginally better than borrow-and-spend, or even inflate-and-spend.

    The problem is the spending — just — the spending. They spend too much on the military and wars. They spend too much on farm subsidies, which only makes the worst foods cheaper and ends up hurting the family farmer that it was meant to protect. They spend too much on corporate bailouts, which protects the worst managed companies from being replaced by better ones. They spend too much on Medicare, which is going bankrupt shortly. There's much more.

    It's like giving blood: it doesn't matter so much where you get it from, as it does the amount that you take.

  14. Far-left Dems:

    Diane Feinstein
    Barbara Boxer
    Al Franken
    Barack Obama
    Dennis Kucinich
    Barney Frank

    That's just off the top of my head.

    Far right Dems, and Far Right Republicans, and one Far Right Former Democrat Now Independent

    Michelle Bachmann
    John Boehner
    Ben Nelson
    Chuck Grassley
    Joe Lieberman
    Newt Gingrich
    Rush Limbaugh (not in Congress but may as well be)
    Eric Cantor
    Virginia Foxx
    Mitch McConnell
    Saxby Chambliss
    Jim DeMint
    Bob Corker

    This is just what I could come up with off the top of my head. Should I continue?

  15. Kennedy flirted with post-60s radicalism (one reason he killed his Presidential prospects) but he was actually more reasonable, and “safe and sane” in his willingness to compromise, than the lib Dems who have increasingly misbehaved, and childishly demand their wrong way or no way. Worse still, much still depends on how Obama chooses act and behave with respect to these Dems, and he has displayed a regessive, disturbing, divisive alliance with these disburbing Dems lately, rather than muzzling them.

  16. “The PROBLEM is there are no progressives willing to sacrifice for a better furure …”

    The most idiotic as well as childish thing I heard today on NPR was the claim that the public option in fact constitutes a generous compromise and sacrifice of a “single-payer” effort instead, and these childish people are angry and feel they've compromised more than enough already.

    It reminds me of the “far right” and other delusional nonsense we're encountering from these people.

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