I am a Massachusetts native. So, on this day of news of Ted Kennedy's death I feel devastated, as though I have lost a good friend. I never met the man but I always knew what he was about. No matter where I lived, Kennedy was always my Senator.
There will be those who denigrate Kennedy, personally or as a Senator, but I'd say they should look to the myriad of do-nothings who have been and still are in the Senate and compare their records to his. A few may have done more, most have literally done nothing but obfuscate, delay and offer nothing of any consequence to make US citizens' lives easier. I do not condone, nor does anyone else, his actions at Chappaquiddick. But I'd say this Senator has done more good during his lifetime than bad and those who belittle his accomplishments are angry, bitter curmudgeons!
Here are just some of Kennedy's accomplishments:
More than 300 bills that Kennedy wrote have been enacted into law, and he is known for his ability to work with Republicans and to find compromises among Senate members with disparate views. Kennedy has played a major role in passing many pieces of legislation that have affected the lives of all Americans, including the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the National Cancer Act of 1971, the Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1974, the COBRA Act of 1985, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Ryan White AIDS Care Act in 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, the Mental Health Parity Act in 1996 and 2008, the State Children's Health Insurance Program in 1997, the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, and the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009. During the 2000s, he was a leader of several failed efforts at immigration reform. (with help from Wikipedia)
May he rest in peace.