U.S. conservative talk radio: little fondness for Kennedy legacy

August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy’s polarizing political legacy was on full display on Wednesday as some U.S. conservatives showed little restraint in their hostility for the veteran liberal senator who died late on Tuesday. 


Conservative talk radio hosts blasted away at the policies of Kennedy, a towering figure in the Democratic Party and a standard bearer of liberal causes who died at age 77 after a lengthy battle with brain cancer.

Nationally syndicated talk show host Rush Limbaugh said the political left was “exploiting his death and his legacy” to advance President Barack Obama’s agenda for healthcare reform, which was also one of Kennedy’s signature issues.

“The greatest tribute would be that every American would get the same healthcare option that Ted Kennedy got. Ted Kennedy did not have to face death panels,” Limbaugh told his listeners, referring to persistent but incorrect rumours that, under the reforms now being debated, “death panels” would have a say in whether ailing senior citizens would get life-saving care.

Others took issue with a range of liberal causes linked to Kennedy, saying his policies had sullied his legacy in the conservative heartland.

“The entire Kennedy family was right on civil rights in the 1960s but ever since that it’s been about the perpetuation of the racism that is affirmative action,” said Mark Davis, a conservative talk radio host in Dallas.

“The Democratic Party has even gotten to the point now where they’re even wrong on civil rights so this is a tough legacy to muddle through.”

One woman called into his show asking if it was appropriate for Kennedy to have a “huge, Catholic mass” for his funeral because of his support for abortion rights.

In its article about Kennedy’s death, the Vatican newspaper praised him for his battles in favor of immigrant rights, gun control and higher minimum wages, but regretted his “unfortunate” support of abortion.

Other U.S. conservative responses took a distinctly different tone.

Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, said: “…by the end of his life he had become irreplaceable in the institution he loved and in the affections of its members. He grew up in the long shadow of his brothers, but found a way to be useful to his country in ways that will outlast their accomplishments.” 

Photo credit: Reuters/Micah Walter (Radio show host Rush Limbaugh)


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this country really has become a wad of ungovernable, proudly ignorant, hateful, hostile, venemous mouthbreathers who actually believe they are christians.

Posted by john paul | Report as abusive


All my heart-felt grief and condolences go out to the families and friends of US Marines buying it now in Afghanistan, for no other reason than perpetuating perpetual warfare and perpetual debt. Even if ordered into a hell-hole by some clown with a 55% vote mandate, they go. And they always do their best, because that’s what they swore they would do.

That’s true blue.

I have no sympathy left over to mourn the death of a 77-year-old politician.

Posted by dom youngross | Report as abusive

Such hypocrisy! Liberals were not so crass as to question Reagan’s legacy the very same day he passed on! I recall wall-to-wall over-the-top praise of Reagan as if he was being prepared for sainthood by the Vatican. Even the indirect attack on liberals for talking about his hope for universal health care is reminiscent of the screaming attacks against Democrats at Paul Wellstone’s funeral.
This is right wing vulgarity and raw politics at its worst–lionize your own and demonize your foes–never acknowledge their humanity. They have no shame.

http://www.albionmonitor.com/0406a/talkr adioreagan.html

Posted by ben | Report as abusive

How typical of today’s gutless Vatican to merely “regret”
Kennedy’s “unfortunate” support for abortion. Kennedy
should have been excommunicated years ago, along with
Pelosi and Kerry and all the other phony “Catholics” who
use the name to get the votes of clueless “Catholics”. If
Benedict and John Paul II were true and valid popes, they
would have excommunicated the whole lot of them, but they
were not and are not true popes. They are antipopes.

Constance Szefczek

Posted by Constance Szefczek | Report as abusive

I am an independent voter, who tends to vote Republican because I am pro-life. And yet, I respect Ted Kennedy’s life and work. He was a public servant, doing what he thought was right. I disagreed with him on some things. So what? Does that give me the right to blast him? No. Especially not at the time we should be mourning. People in this country have become so disrespectful, especially bloggers. The reason we have a Congress is so that no one individual can become all-powerful. Kennedy’s liberalism was checked by the conservatives. This is the beauty of our government. Let us just mourn the man with decent respect, and thank him for his many years of service to our nation.

Posted by Joan | Report as abusive

I am a 66 year old Canadian who has lived under Saskatchewan and then national medicare in Canada. I can get up very morning knowing that if I require medical care, I’m covered. I’ve had many operations; back operation to remove a ruptured disc, hernia operation, gall bladder operation, recently I was off five months with arm pains, I had an MRI and an ultrasound, being covered under medicare is a blessing, as I am just a regular wage earner. This isn’t all my operations but this is some of them. I was diagnosed with Chronic Lympsyctic Leukemia over five years ago, I have to go to a specialist in Calgary every six months, thanks to Medicare I am covered. Medicare needs adjustments from time to time, but any Canadian National Politician that advocated dismanteling Medicare, would be sent down the road kicking stones.

If there are 45 million Americans without any kind of medical coverage, shame on the Americans who are trying to kill medical coverage for all Americans.

This so called death panels, etc., are not worthy of this debate. Under any medical system, a decision has to be made how far a treatment can go, with or without Medicare. Rush Limbaugh is a wealthy American to needs to get down on street and talk to Americans who have no medical coverage who are hurting.

Posted by ralph jacobs | Report as abusive

One of the greatest strengths of the catholic church has been it,s stand for the unborn child,and it,s unwavering support for this tradition. Even the catholics who do not support this stand because of political affiliations should still be proud that the church has not wavered to accommodate political expediency. A test for all of us activists no matter what PARTY, does our faith take a back seat to party politics?Remember,”YOUR TREASURE IS WHERE YOUR HEART IS”

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

good show

Posted by harry b | Report as abusive

Ben~ you could not be more wrong. The post mortem criticizm of Reagan began the day of his death. If you listened to lefty talk radio, specifically Mike Malloy and Alex Bennett they were merciless. Go back and read Huffpo back then too. Then there were a few AP opeds that were ‘balanced’ they showed Reagan’s foibles ( Iran Contra ) just like they have with Ted ( mary jo k ).

simply put: you are incorrect in your assumption. Do a little more homework,please.

Posted by bens demise | Report as abusive

[…] reported on the Drudge Report, Reuters, and ABC, “Kennedycare” is fast becoming a conservative dysphemism for healthcare […]

Posted by “KENNEDYCARE” | Politicalicious.com | Report as abusive

Proves what I’ve thought all along, Limbaugh is a classless hack. I don’t listen to talk radio, left or right, but I don’t remember any news about Air America trashing Ronald Reagan when he passed away. I do remember the lovefest for Reagan when he died and remember holding my tongue when his name came up out of respect even though I was opposed to most of his policies.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

Why are so many Americans filled with bitterness and hatred? I would love to read a coherent, thoughtful discussion of that pressing question.

Is it a matter of economics? Perceived low status or prestige? Lack of upward mobility?

Posted by Ralph | Report as abusive

Ted Kennedy’s legacy has been devastating to the US, not to mention Mary Jo. He lied about the social and demographic effects of his 65 Immigration Law. He started the Judicial Cultural War by his ugly demonization of Bork and Thomas. He had no concern for the Constitution’s intention on restraining the scale and scope of the Constitution. He sought to change Laws for his party’s advantage, by having MA change the law about Senator replacement in 2004 and then wanting to change it again now.

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” – C.S. Lewis

Posted by VinceP1974 | Report as abusive

Senator Kennedy’s death has only awarded this right wing talk radio vermin with another opportunity to show all decent Americans how dispeakable they truly are.

Posted by Matt Thomas | Report as abusive

Ben, you have forgotten when Nixon died. It was worse than this, and that was even without the internet blogs all over. Reaganomics was brought up on the day Reagan passed, but he was not the same type of symbol of corruption/oppression to people as Nixon and Kennedy were to their opposing party followers. Carter’s passing will probably be more like Reagan’s.

Now they have two new polarizing figures, Bush and Obama to point fingers at each other over for the next thirty years.

Posted by Jasmine | Report as abusive

Speaking of Ted’s Legacy makes me think of three words Mary Jo Kopechne

Posted by Tiger | Report as abusive

“referring to persistent but incorrect rumours that, under the reforms now being debated, “death panels” would have a say in whether ailing senior citizens would get life-saving care.”

It’s a shame when reporting no matter what the subject is filled with lies and an agenda. I wish the very liberal media would become reporters and not supporters of EITHER side of an issue.

The left seems to go more for the celebrity then substance. And they are fed the hype by the very liberal media. It happened during the BHO campaign and it continues today. They want a Camelot and not a country. Unfortunately Camelot was run by a King and not a President and a representative government.

Posted by ItsPhilD | Report as abusive

John Paul: You’ve got that right. The idealogical right thinks they are right no matter how wrong they are.

Posted by thomas | Report as abusive

Constance: I agree with you about the effeminate Vatican failing in their job to excommunicate Ted Kennedy and his ilk, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say Pope Benedict and John Paul II are anti-popes.

My two cents.

Posted by HighPlainsDrifter | Report as abusive

To memorialize him they should name a bridge after him.

Posted by Barbara | Report as abusive

Out of the three Kennedy brothers Ted was the most controversial of all. John and Rob were center right politicians and they were a clear representative of what most American are regarding political views… Ted at the contrary went far to the left and he is well known of that, contradicting his own religion. Every one knows about Ted crazy life and many people in DC were in awe of his behavior … alcohol abuse and his clear behaving in regard woman… A conduct that the left punish hard when a GOPer get involved in that behavior but condone their owns.
Ted Kennedy was the one who clear the path to the left loons we have today in Washington… and the people of the USA aren’t crazy with that idea and it shows now.

Posted by Maria | Report as abusive

And then, Constance, when will the non-phony “Catholics” stand up and speak out against the abuse against so many children that was perpetrated and covered up by the leaders in the Catholic church? Maybe, they too should be excommunicated for their silence, which has permitted such shame to stain your church. Good luck in leading that outrage.

Posted by T. Auburn | Report as abusive

HAHAHA I guess Rush was right!

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/TedKenned y/story?id=8420408

Posted by Al Clearwater | Report as abusive

If you had a brain during the 1960’s, the realization
that politically speaking, that JFK from a fiscal stand-
point was “CONSERVATIVE”. He fought the DEMS in his own
party over civil rights and history has proven the country needed that push.
But on fiscal matters, JFK had so little in common with
his brothers the difference is astounding. Check it out:
The first post WWII tax cuts were proposed and most passed by JFK. The largest was a 10% investment tax credit for BUSINESSES to encourage private sector training. From a “Government cures all” standpoint, JFK
was closer to Reagan than his brothers.

Posted by D. A. – Houston | Report as abusive

Why does the media continue to put forth that there will not be “death panels?” They may not be called that but that is the ultimate outcome when we expand coverage. Simply supply and demand, moving the demand curve to the right holding supply constant always results in increased costs. To hold costs down, then we they have to introduce a cost ceiling below the new, higher cost. This WILL result in a shortage that will have to be resolved via rationing. So someone will decide that an older American will NOT get their life-saving surgery because it is too expensive. See Rahm Emanuel’s brother’s book.

Posted by S. Cozby | Report as abusive

T. Your comment is unfortunately true. The fact there is no outrage in the Catholic congregations about the abuse and cover ups is something I have struggled with for years. The subject is seemingly taboo to discuss. Everytime I bring it up, no one wants to talk about it. When I go to mass, and my kids go to CCD, my number one focus is protecting them from predators. Where is the outrage?! The ‘Non-Phony Catholics’ have their heads in the sand on this one..

Posted by C. Roanoke | Report as abusive

I have to wonder what JFK would have thought about the self avowed communists that surround our current president. How would he have reacted to his brother endorsing our current president? JFK was first and foremost a commie fighter. (back when it was fashionable)

Posted by Larry B | Report as abusive

In response to the ignorant ramblings of S. Cozby, kindly avoid applying any concepts of your obviously limited understanding of economics, macro or micro…Additionally you might find it beneficial to actually read the material upon which you heap your criticism. There is NO DEATH PANEL. Once again the Republican party has engaged their fear mongering machine to distort truth to win an argument rather than debating the facts involved. I guess you, like the rest of your fellow Limbaugh-conservatives, believe that the ends justify the means, even at the demise of this country you laughingly claim to love. On behalf of the true patriots, kindly either engage your brain or leave our country before the damage is beyond repair.

Posted by bmathie | Report as abusive

The end of an era…thank GOD! The fantasy of Camelot is finally over. While “Teddy’s” tenure in the Senate was something to marvel it does give credence to TERM LIMIT in the Senate.

Posted by Jim L | Report as abusive

“…referring to persistent but incorrect rumours that, under the reforms now being debated, “death panels” would have a say…”
In the same way liberals correctly link “creationism” to “intelligent design”, it is easy for me to associate “death panels” to “end of life counseling’. Duh!!!

In social medicine there will necessarily be tough decisions to be made about who gets, how much care. If you don’t think patient’s age and probability of outcome will be factors in making those decision you are seriously kidding yourselves. And in the end this may be the best reasoned solution. So stop trying to deny that.

Posted by larry b | Report as abusive

Yo, S Cozby… you don’t think there are bureaucrats making life and death decisions today? Talk to the thousands of people battling cancer whose insurance companies have either 1) cancelled their coverage, or 2) won’t cover needed medical procedures prescribed by doctors, or 3) the millions of people without insurance today. The point of view you, and others like you, ascribe to is so naive it defies description. To suggest that “expanded coverage” would create death panels is ridiculous.

Posted by Stuart | Report as abusive

The preponderance of money spent on healthcare goes to the sick and elderly. As more and more of the baby boomers go on Medicare, the system will become overloaded, and cost savings will need to occur, especially if a government option succeeds and money is taken out of Medicare. Government run healthcare will have a panel of experts deciding what care is to be withheld in the last stages of life, essentially deciding when the elderly must “die with dignity.” The left and the media don’t like the name, but it essentially is a death panel.

Posted by Nexialist | Report as abusive

This debate about the speculative future of “end of life care” has so very may ridiculous elements it is dizzying! First, the proposed legislation does nothing other than provide compensation for a doctor to sit down with a patient and discuss their options. Currently this dialog is a common discussion between a patient and their lawyer. I, for one, would prefer to know my options from someone who understands the facts at hand. Secondly , this slippery slope argument is by definition a logical fallacy! One measure does not automatically beget the next, any more than removing machine guns will lead to the abolishment of hunting rifles…Thirdly, this is like standing on the deck of a sinking ship at night and refusing a life-preserver because your afraid it might not be your favorite color. Just remember if you do nothing you’re going to go down with the ship. I would appreciate it if ALL OF US, from all political affiliations would start petitioning the failing purveyors of the news and demand some unfiltered factual dialog so that we-the-people can properly address this vital issue that consumes 1/6 of our economic machine.

Posted by bmathie | Report as abusive

To all bashing S. Cozby – sorry but he is right on the money. He is speaking fact and applying common sense. Something the left does not know how to do. If you plan on giving care to a larger number of Americans, plan on cutting costs, and don’t plan on increasing the number of doctors/hospitals, what do you think is going to happen? It does not get more basic than that. One question, if you cannot be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, why should anyone have coverage until you get diagnosed with something? Huh? This will bankrupt this great country and I thank all the great Americans coming out to speak the truth and kill this B.S. bill!!!!!!!

Posted by glen | Report as abusive

Thanks Rush – I needed my daily dose of how to think; and feel better about my greed, hate, and that compassion is for wimps! As an added bonus today…of how to covertly talk evil about the dead. See ,I’m just like all your listeners!

Posted by bczingo | Report as abusive

People of an english background have probably a better historical knowledge of the activities of the father of the kennedys,Joe kennedy.This attaches a stigma to the Kennedy family for many, which makes it all sound a little bit hollow.but considering what we see as the norm now in politics it now seems it was “par of the coarse”. But during this time of sad loss, my condolences go out to the family. You showed a bit class Eric h, we can take the gloves off tomorrow..

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

I love the canard of the “death panel”:

a) Bush instituted similar legislation when he reformed medicare in 2005.
b) is it any different from the status quo where a profit driven “death panel” of an HMO determines when your care runs out?

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

That Ted Kennedy had a remarkable tenure in the Senate cannot be disputed. However no matter how sincere a he was he was sincerely wrong on many of them. Judge Bork towers above Teddy in intellect and grasp of the law. Millions of babies will never be able to contribute their gifts to the world because he championed their deaths, and his legacy though perhaps great does not make the health care plan the government any less costly or right or acceptable. Enough with sentimentality. Facts are facts.

Posted by D Hallman | Report as abusive

Is anyone as sick and tired of all of this backstabbing and bitterness?
All politicians at all levels should be held to term limits.
Here in NY, the situation we had in our state government truly was ridiculous, they all should be voted out of office.
Where is the government by and for the people when only a elite handful hold on for life?

Posted by John K | Report as abusive

To memorialize him they should name a bridge after him.

– Posted by Barbara

Right after that they can rename the intersection in Midland TX where Laura Bush killed someone due to her negligence as well. People make mistakes.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

The D.A. – Houston poster summed up best why conservatives have a hard time embracing Ted Kennedy’s legacy. JFK was in fact closer to Ronald Reagan ideologically speaking, than his brothers. That said, Senator McCain struck a statesman-like, affectionate tone that bears testament that two sides don’t have to see eye to eye to appreciate the other. Civility is good. As the loss of Ted Kennedy sees one era winding down, perhaps it is time to recognize an urgent need in this country for a most needed reform… term limits. A President gets one – two four year terms pending performance. Senators get six year terms and congress people get two years (one of which they use to run for re-election!). If we want to see lobbyists go away and well-meaning public servants have their time on the stage for accomplishment before a mandated exit, we need to make all Senatorial and Congressional terms to be 4 years…with the same option as the executive branch… the potenial for one more four year term. Two terms maximum. The stench hanging over Washington, D.C. like a permanent fixture would finally disipate and the air will clear at long last.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

Ted was not the man his brothers were and i mean JFK And RFk and probably Joe the older brother who died in WW11.Abortion on demand and gay marriage issues are not issues you would stand up for if you claim to be a born again christian or a member of the catholic church. So he will stand before his God and will have to answer for that as well as for his neglience with Mary Jo kopechne.We should not make gods of people who are as fallible as we are. A true leader has a moral compass and lives by example so the rest of us can sleep easy at night knowing they are doing the right thing.

Posted by Jacky Ray | Report as abusive

Millions more will die from the denial of health care than any “death panel” Including Mr. Limbaugh, here are far more “death panels” in the groups that do not want us all to get the health care we need.

Posted by Bernie | Report as abusive

Once again, the author has claimed that there are no “death panels” in the current health care bill. It is absolutely true that there is no text anywhere in the bill calling for a “death panel.” However, the bill does call for a board of “health care experts” to decide what will and will not be covered by any government plan, and whether or not a person is eligible for any particular health care service. While this may not be referred to as a “death panel,” it does, in fact, have the power of life and death over every member of the government run health care plan. Health care cost cutting, which is one of the main claims of the whole bill, can only be accomplished by restricting health care options. By setting up a panel with the ability to decide that if a person has a “low quality of life” (by who’s standard?), that they can not get “expensive” medical procedures, you have created a death panel.

Posted by Norm | Report as abusive

To Jacky Ray above: Liberals don´t believe in God and Conservatives kill you in the name of God. Your call. Yet concerning Ted Kennedy, I will affirm I did not always agree with his choices. Nevertheless, I must say that in the history of american politics, in the history of America I dare say, no human being was so devoted to simply helping people simply because it is right. No american ever identified him or herself with the needs of those in need as wholeheartedly as Ted did. No american was ever so concerned with including as many people as possible in the american dream than Ted Kennedy. If I had a choice of standing before God in judgement in the shoes of Limbaugh or George Bush or any other conservative icon, I would unhesitantly stand in Ted´s shoes.

Posted by ramon | Report as abusive

Nationalized health care ranks as one of the stupidest ideas ever conceived by our bumbling government. John Mackey summed it up best in his op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. And Thatcher’s quote rings true–The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money. Don’t let the intellectually bankrupt left leaning group thinkers in this country convince you through their snide comments that they’ve cornered the market on “progressive” ideas. If the freedom loving, individual thinkers unite, we will crush the bureaucracy that Obama and his lemmings are trying to shove down our throats.

Posted by JP | Report as abusive

TK was a phony.
He avoided going to JAIL by having some of his Father’s friends write a confessional that he really should have and COULD NOT have written for himself.
From a Bootlegger Father, he was lucky to have stayed OUT.
I think his feelings of Guilt (as a Black Man, he would have been in jail for the rest of his life for killing Mary J K) caused him to over-react, and his legacy will be forever tarnished for that reason, alone.
I hope he found Jesus before going “over to the other side”.

Posted by Jerry Wilbeck | Report as abusive

Oh Please, Death Panels? The only real death panels are the ones that the private health care providers today inflict. Seriously folks, stop with this silliness. I think we all know that if the same Christ that most of you claim to worship were here today, in the flesh,he would side on the “health care for all” team. Not the “health care for profit” team. I tell you. If we don’t get this done, we are going to regret it until we all die… of denial of service… because we don’t have public health care. You are just one job away from being denied. Think about it.

Posted by R Jay | Report as abusive

Ted fought for the people and not for big business.
Nobody reading this has lived a life with no regrets, no mistakes so stifle already.
You ID10T’s keep talking trash about a dead man, and with that you show a definite lack of class.

Posted by RealNeil | Report as abusive

Ted Kennedy was a decent, although misguided, young man. When he KILLED Mary Jo Kopechne, then ran away until he was sober enough to avoid evidence of his drunk driving, he became a different person forever! This is a man who tried to drown his guilt in alcohol, divert his guilty conscience by pointing his crooked finger at the “guilt” of others, and make amends by dedicating his life to doing “good.” Unfortunately, the kind of “good” he advocated, was usually at the expense of the basic, fundamental principles of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that built this great nation. My sympathies go to his family, and I wish them peace-but it’s VERY sad to say the United States of America is a much better place with him gone. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

You had all better wise up. The Democrats don’t give two hoots about your health or well being, or if you live or die. This “Health Care” agenda is only about health care on the surface. It is a proven fact that if any government gains control of any society or nations health care service they have total control of all the people in it. This is not about health care, it’s about the Democrats desire to have total control the lives of the American people.

Posted by Glenn | Report as abusive

Radio Talk Show Host = Irrelevant, except for the enormous compensation afforded to stoke self important lynch mob mentalities. It could be construed from the content of this article that the radio personality is exploiting this event fully for personal gain.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

Jeez, the man is not even buried and we have all this back and forth.
If he was so awful, the people of Massachusetts would have gotten rid of him along time ago.

Posted by John K | Report as abusive

Rush Lim”nuts” will only be a very minor footnote in history while Ted Kennedy will hold a place of stature! Too bad that Medicare and the VA health care are so successful otherwise the “death panel” nuts might have a leg to stand on.

Posted by robert | Report as abusive

Norm, that so-called “death panel” of which you speak is nothing more than what private insurance companies already do. So just why are you for it when the insurance companies do it but against it if the public health care option ever gets passed?

Posted by borisjimski | Report as abusive

Right-o, Ralph Jacobs! Good job, john paul! dom youngross, I guess you missed that Kennedy was against the Iraq charade from the beginning; pity you don’t gain information before spouting an opinion. Bush’s mandate didn’t exist in 2000, and even in 2004 he didn’t get above 300 electoral votes and only won the popular vote by a few percent, not a 10% margin. bens demise, left wing talk radio has only a fraction of the audience share as right wing rant radio has, so comparing the effects of the two is scarcely a fair fight. ItsPhilD, same to you plus do you consider Fox to be part of this vast left wing media (excuse me, “ultra” left wing media) you keep propounding is out there? If there’s such a large left wing media supposedly in the tank for Obama, why is the health care reform issue in such trouble? No lie too big, no exaggeration too vile for the right wing true believers.

Posted by borisjimski | Report as abusive

“proven fact”? “total control”? Gee glenn, you should listen to yourself some time.

Posted by borisjimski | Report as abusive

I have had personal experience with people who have fought and died after being diagnosed with cancer. I can tell you of two who would have lived longer had their insurance companies not refused to pay for medicine and/or care. Only the most hard hearted people would allow someone else to suffer and die before their time. With regard to “death panels”, no one should be forced to pull the plug against their will, and insurance should pay for whatever it takes to respect the sick person and their families’ wishes. Regarding those who object to Medicare paying for care for the elderly, they have paid into Medicare and Medicare should pay for them. This whole thing is preposterous. Kennedy has worked for 40 years to improve health care coverage, do it already!

Posted by mom | Report as abusive

[…] U.S. conservative talk radio: little fondness for Kennedy legacy by Ed Stoddard of Front Row Washington via Reuters […]

Posted by Secularists Reaction To The Passing Away Of Ted Kennedy « The American Catholic | Report as abusive

For the last two days, Limbaugh has done nothing but besmirch the name of Ted Kennedy for the sole purpose of advancing his own twisted political (anti-healthcare reform) agenda. He was even on his show yesterday perverting about a Kennedy “waitress sandwich”. A man has died, yet Rush can’t resist spitting on his grave to make political cheapshots.

Limbaugh has proven to be a man of bad taste and flawed character — and he’s the mouthpiece for the GOP (go figure). THIS is what the republican party has regressed to?

It’s pathetically unAmerican and pathologically indecent. Yet Rush still has a bastion of dittoheads willing to defend his every insult to humanity. That says more about his listeners than it does about him.

Posted by JD | Report as abusive

Rush tries to make Kennedy out to be….well, Rush! Saying Kennedy destroyed people’s lives by attacking those who couldn’t fight back, making fun of Kennedy’s concern for the little guy while being fabulously wealthy and connected (as if they are mutually exclusive), and how Kennedy was the start of the “hate”…the public polarization we see now (I guess that’s what he means by “the hate’).

These are of course perfect descriptions of who Rush is, not Kennedy. All Rush EVER seems to talk about is himself, even when he thinks he’s talking about someone or something else!

Posted by AlbertCat | Report as abusive

As for Kennedy..WGAF? Obviously not most of you. It looks like highschool mudslinging over somones grave.

Posted by jon | Report as abusive

Yeah for the legacy of Ted Kennedy!
The bashers and the hashers of the far right are so busy with their bad mouths that they have no time for doing good or really caring about any thing other than lining their own pockets, for grandiose self indulgence.

Posted by glasshoe1 | Report as abusive

Legacy, you mean the legacy of self-indulgence, affairs, and lets not forget Chappaquiddick. I wonder if Mary Jane feels so nostalgic. Yeah for Rush, he says what thinks and tells it like it is. Put the cool-aid down and do your own research about what kind of man Kennedy really was. Don’t take Rush’s word for it.

Posted by Fred Jones | Report as abusive

Rush is an example of why the rest of the world view Americans as stupid, arrogant, deliberately rude, and condescending. “SHAME ON YOU” for your incendiary remarks against Ted Kennedy. Do you need help remembering that you were an admitted Oxycontin addict who plea-bargained his way out of a drug conviction, who mocks the less fortunate, who was detained on a Dominican Republic vacation for carrying Viagra without a prescription?
It would be nice to see Rush bouts of intergity and courage that lasted more than three hours daily!

Posted by Peter K | Report as abusive

Ted Kennedy was a rich guy who didn’t need to work yet he got up every day and went to work for nearly 50 years to help the little guy. Ted Kennedy supported a woman’s legal right to an abortion yet was part of a family that’s produced scads and scads of kids. Ted Kennedy was supposedly this horrible human being but the teetotaling Mormon Sen. Orrin Hatch absolutely loved the man.
Rush Limbaugh is a rich guy who gets up every day and goes to work for the $50 million dollars he gets paid yearly to convince little guys to support rich guys. Haven’t seen many kids from the Limbaugh clan. Don’t know any screaming liberal, Senator or not, who loves Rush Limbaugh, the human being.
Wake up and smell the hateful snow job from the Right, folks. And if you believe in redemption, give Ted some credit and some respect; stop being so ruthlessly petty. Because in the end, Teddy Boy turned out to be a pretty amazing man who touched an incredible number of people with his kindness, his thoughtfulness, his compassion, his decency. It took a while, but he sure got there. RIP EMK. Thanks for not giving up.

Posted by Stormin Norman in AZ | Report as abusive

I am guessing that the friends and family of Mary Jo Kopechne have little fondness for the Kennedy legacy. He caused the death of a 28 year old woman in Chappaquiddick and he never apologized for it, in fact he acted like he was some kind of victim for driving while intoxicated and going off a bridge into the water where he escaped, but didn’t call for help to try and rescue Mary Jo. He is not a man who deserves our fond memories.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

Dear Jason: Yes, you are guessing, and you guess as you do because it serves your purpose of using a dead 28-year old woman as a prop, a club, with which to bash a dead Ted Kennedy, forty years on. You don’t know anything about what apologies Ted Kennedy made or did not make to the poor woman’s family, only that he didn’t apologize adequately to *you*, whoever you are and whatever your standing in the matter is/was. Probably none, based on your ‘guessing’ comment; *my* guess is you weren’t even close to being born yet in 1969, as your judgmental post has the ring of youthful and indignant self-righteousness. Despite your closing sentence telling us all how we should approach it, there are millions — that’s a number followed by six zeroes — who will forever carry fond memories of Ted Kennedy and feel gratitude toward the man. Some people are reluctant to reduce a 77-year life to the events of one awful night. Go figure, Jason.

Posted by Stormin Norman in AZ | Report as abusive

Ted Kennedy as a champion of the little guy? What hypocrisy, Ted Kennedy was a champion of any cause which would keep him firmly in office and would be the first to do a 180 degree turn if required to keep himself seated. The character of the man was in clear public display on the morning after Chappaquidick. We as Americans will continue to pay dearly for the damagaging bills chaampioned by ol Teddy. What about the thousands of voices stilled by the abortion doctors, another cause “Championed” by Teddy. He will not be missed.

Posted by john | Report as abusive

I am with John Paul that “this country has become wad of ungovernable, proudly ignorant, hateful, hostile, venemous mouthbreathers who actually believe they are christians”. What ever happened to intelligent debate and meeting in the middle? What ever happened to truth and plain old doing what is right?

Posted by Ellie | Report as abusive

To bensdemise:
I did my homework and it appears that my gut recollection regarding the uncritical coverage in the two weeks following Reagan’s death was exactly right.

An exhaustive analysis of media coverage by Fairness and Accuracy in the Media shows that the mainstream media tiptoed around any potential landmines of Reagan’s legacy including the support of Right Wing governments in Central America in spite of their murdering of tens of thousands of their own citizens, his silence during the early part of the AIDS epidemic, his honoring of Nazi soldiers, his involvement in trading arms for hostages (which his mind, if not his heart, admitted to on TV), his passing on of huge deficits (doubling the existing deficit) to future generations, etc. All of these things were given a pass in the mainstream news by former friends–including the media elite reporters themselves.

Compare this to round table discussions on Fox on Kennedy’s legacy accompanied by video reminders of Chappaquiddic and the lack of reticence of any of the networks to mix criticism along with praise of Kennedy.

Clearly, Reagan’s death was politicized (Nancy wanted to support stem cell research) just as Kennedy’s was regarding health care. Reagan supporters also jumped at the chance to mythologize his life, and ensured a glowing and uncritical legacy in the American mind.

And what’s the counter evidence? Mike Malloy and Alex Bennett and an article in the Huffington Post? If you want to be honest, provide a link and explain how these guys (never heard of them) are representative of the mainstream media (e.g., ABC NEWS, CNN, FOX) echo chamber that represents what most Americans actually hear or read on a given news story.

Here’s my link to some people who actually did extensive research on this point.
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Ronald _Reagan/Reagan_Myth_Lives_On.html

Posted by ben | Report as abusive