Monday, June 2, 2008

Ponderings on Ted Kennedy

"Ted Kennedy Has Surgery For Inoperable Brain Tumor" proclaims the headline. Huh?! Surgery? Inoperable? Sounds like an oxymoron to me. But what do I know? "I'm not a doctor," and certainly not privy to the rarefied level of first-class health care to which his high-ranking position entitles him.

According to Dr. Allan Friedman, "...his patient was awake during the 3 1/2 -hour procedure...," suggesting, perhaps, that he is, ummmm...already brain-dead? There again, what do I know? I'm still not a doctor.

"Forty-six years is, indeed, a long time to be a senator," says Ron Mills, the Shoeshine Guy. Yeah, no kidding. Lots of people don't even live that long. Ted Kennedy has owned that seat in a way never intended by the founding fathers who set the whole thing up, which means that the man has never had time to hold an actual job. Imagine, a lifetime career on the dole. Now there's something for the whole family to be proud of.

"I might not be in the Senate had it not been for him...," Obama said on MSNBC...One more strike against Ted.

"Ted Kennedy and the Kennedy family have faced adversity more times in more instances with more courage and more determination and more grace than most families have to," said Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) Shame on everyone who thinks the Kennedys' hardships trump everyone else's hardships. The fact is that many, many families have faced similar adversities, with only their own private resources to depend on.

I don't actually wish this sort of misfortune on anyone, not even a Kennedy. I am not really happy that Ted has a brain tumor, but don't get me wrong, it's nothing personal. Just sympathy with a fellow human being who, despite every imaginable trapping of wealth and privilege, is now facing the uncertainty that ultimately comes to every human being. Everyone gets one turn, and no one gets more than one turn. At last, equality.

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