I’m watching the MSNBC coverage of the funeral and a lot of it is quite nauseating — “Teddy was a regular guy, most liberals aren’t”, etc. etc.
But Bill Russell, the great former Celtics center, described Kennedy perfectly (quote below approximate):
Coming from an Irish-Catholic background, Ted knew what discrimination was. And he decided that the people who had discriminated against him and his family weren’t going to be his role models.
That’s exactly it. The tragedy of American politics is that people who are shat upon too often aspire to get to a position where they can shit shit on others. People whose grandparents were called “micks” and “wops” are all too happy to call today’s immigrants “wetbacks”, people whose grandparents were poor white tenant farmers are all too happy to look down on people whose grandparents were poor black tenant farmers.
Not so with the Kennedies, whatever other flaws they might have.
Update. Here’s the interview with Bill Russell, thanks to commenter jfxgillis: