“Why Ted would want his death exploited”

August 29, 2009
The New York Post

…In March, [Rush Limbaugh] the talk-show host and bete noir of progressives everywhere said that the health-care bill wending its way through Congress would eventually be dubbed “the Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care Bill.” At the time, the official position of the Democratic Party was outrage and disgust. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee initiated a petition drive demanding that the Republican Party formally denounce Limbaugh for his “reprehensible” and “truly outrageous” comments.

Fast-forward to a few hours after the announcement of Kennedy’s death. Suddenly, naming the bill after Kennedy would be a moving tribute.

ABC News reports that “the idea of naming the legislation for Kennedy has been quietly circulating for months” but was kicked into overdrive by Sen. Robert Byrd, the Democratic Party’s eldest statesman.

Intriguingly, this suggests that either Democrats already had the idea when Limbaugh floated it, which would mean their protests were just so much opportunistic and cynical posturing — or they actually got the idea from Limbaugh himself, which would be too ironic for a Tom Wolfe novel.

But that Kennedy’s death should be marked by cynicism, opportunism and irony is not shocking, given that these qualities are now the hallmarks of the party he largely defined…

Jonah Goldberg’s op-ed continues here.

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