Thursday, August 27, 2009

Obsidian Wings’ publius on Ted Kennedy

Probably the best single paragraph that Spot has seen written about Ted Kennedy:

What's most striking about Kennedy is that he dedicated his life to helping people who he had no reason to help.  As russell noted in the comments yesterday, he could have had a very nice life yachting, and reading books, and traveling.  But he didn't do that.  He spent decades in the Senate fighting -- truly fighting -- for people who most needed help, who most needed a voice.  Unlike so many legislators, he wasn't the voice of the already-enfranchised.  He was, in this sense, a universal Senator for those with no champion, with no lobby.  Those people were the focus of his efforts.

This, Spot submits, describes the essence of being a liberal: helping people who he had no reason to help.

Jesus’ General had a list of legislative initiatives of Ted Kennedy’s:

  • The Mental Health Parity Act of 1996
  • State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP)
  • Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009 (Americorps)
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • The Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
  • Fair Housing Act of 1968
  • Handicapped Children's Protection Act of 1986 (overturning a SCOTUS decision)
  • Ryan White Care Act of 1990 (AIDS care)
  • Americans with Disability Act of '90
  • Civil Rights Act of 1991
  • Minority Health & Health Disparities Research & Education Act of 2000
  • National & Community Service Trust Act of 1993 (Americorps)
  • Mammography Quality Standards Act of 1990
  • Military Child Care Act of 1989
  • The WARN Act of 1988 (60 days notice prior to plant closings)
  • Employment Opportunities for Disabled Americans Act of 1986
  • Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 (vetoed by Reagan)
  • Job Training Partnership Act of 1980
  • Refugee Act of 1980
  • Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980
  • Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act - 1975
  • Title IX of Education Amendments of '72 (bans sex discrimination by schools getting Fed $)
  • Establishment of Women, Infants & Childrens ("WIC") Nutrition Program at USDA
  • Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Act of 1970
  • Older American Community Service Employment Act of 1970
  • Occupational Safety & Health Administration Act of 1970
  • The Voting Rights Act amendments of 1970
  • The Bilingual Education Act of 1968
  • The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 (War on Poverty: Head Start, Job Corps)

Pretty good epitaph.

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