Health Care and Edward Ted Kennedy

At a Town Hall meeting with Representative Moran in tow with Howard Dean, Randall Terry shouted out from the crowd, “BABY KILLER!”, letting the world know that he did not like Howard Dean.  I have a flashback to 2005, and the parade of the political odd who poked their heads into the Terry Schiavo picture.  That was a sharp puncture at the tiny re-election bubble enjoyed by President Bush.  In the case of the Town Hall meetings, we have this mass of instant celebrities, “movement conservtive” cause celebres slotted into cable talk show slots and radio shows, your “Joe the Plumber” regular folk with grave concerns expressing YOUR anger.  It is that odd sort of American Exceptionalism which has a ranting about the threatened destruction of, against all available evidence, “The Greatest Health Care System in The World!”  I very much doubt that the party of this (and this quad-team ) will win the White House in 2012.  Anyways, the last development was the mobilization of shouting matches between two polarized sides of the Health Care debating — such as this is.

There have been actual non-sensational town hall meetings that have played out without too much of a hitch, and furthermore town hall meetings that have played out with general agreements, as is the wont for our “Safe District”ing nature of the Congress, the lack of confrontation making them essentially rallies.  But in terms of reasonable challenges reasonably framed, unless it happened toward Obama himself, the media (and me) has gravitated to “the Crazies”.  They are things cable news networks can loop that help fill their long void of emptiness, and youtube will get hit upon hit off of.

The weird reality is that this is the most liable way to defeat a Health Care program whole masse, or to stream it over to its most industry-favorable manner where the “Progressive Champions” are left championing industry profiteering protections.  See, for instance, this Wall Street Journal editorial on “Saving the Obama Presidency ala what “Saved the Clinton Presidency” by way of finding the minimal, an editorial which, incidentally, contradicts the William Kristol memo of the time.

On the crass political calculation front, Ted Kennedy’s Death, in the grand scheme of this all, may be awash, or if the whole Democratic Caucus can be swayed by a “Legacy” project it’d be a spurring to the end of passing something.  I just sense that “On guard” posture against any hint of referencing The Kennedy and “The Cause of Ted Kennedy’s Life” and picking up his “Mantle” to invigorate the moribud process (thank you very much, Senator Baucus.)  I picture a Fox News — talk radio controversy enflaming some comment or other out of proportion to something crass — think Wellstone Memorial.

Regarding Kennedy, I have little to say.  Look around the Internet and you’ll find a mass of eulogizing of one type and another  (ie: this warning).  In terms of his career finale of import, endorsing Obama — and without his endorsement it’s hard to picture that “Super Tuesday tie” with Clinton that propelled him to victory (and this suggestion which looks like a bit of wishful haliography, until Obama lives up to a promise).  In that sense, Kennedy edged forward Obama / Biden instead of Clinton / Obama.

I do have one random thought.  In 1980, as he ran to usurp the incumbent Carter for the presidential nomination, somebody asked him the very simple question “Why do you want to be president?”  He fumbled the answer to that basic question and said something fairly stupid, which had the effect of unsettling his chances at the nomination.  Yet at the same time, the fumbling of that question betrays the real reason anyone wants to be president: kinda cool, you’ll be remembered — even a John Tyler gets some mention in the History book above and beyond all but a few Senators.  The added reason was that he had a brother who was president, and another president who ran for president, and thus “President Kennedy” rang well in a lot of people’s ears.  But those two reasons would not make a good answer.

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