President Obama (who likely first met Edward Kennedy only five years ago when he was ordained Senator from Illinois) has earned this headline from Reuters:
Obama lauds Kennedy as voice of poor and powerless Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:44pm
The VDARE.com response of course is ”poor and powerless of which nationality”? Kennedy’s sponsorship of, and unrepentant attempts to expand the 1965 Immigration Act disaster has been an unmitigated catastrophe for the American Working class — particularly Blacks — in terms of income and quality of life. It has to some extent benefited Plutocrats like Kennedy and the upper class generally.
Counterpunch’s Alexander Cockburn, from the Left, puts forward an interesting hypothesis:
Teddy Kennedy the Hollow Champion CounterPunch Diary Weekend Edition August 28-30, 2009
Though the obituarists have glowingly evoked Kennedy's 46-year stint in the US Senate and, as 'the last liberal', his mastery of the legislative process, they miss the all-important fact that it was out of Kennedy's Senate office that came two momentous slabs of legislation that signalled the onset of the neo-liberal era: deregulation of trucking and aviation. They were a disaster for organized labor and the working conditions and pay of people in those industries.
The theorists of deregulation were Stephen Breyer who was Kennedy's chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee and Alfred Kahn, out of Cornell...
Did Kennedy fight, might and main, against NAFTA? No. As Steve Early relates in his piece on this site today, he was for it and helped Clinton ratify the job-losing Agreement...
The deadly attacks on the working class and on organized labor are Ted Kennedy’s true monument. But as much as his brothers Jack and Bobby he was adept at persuading the underdogs that he was on their side.
And it was Kennedy who was the prime force behind the Hate Crimes Bill, aka the Matthew Shepard Act, by dint of which America is well on its way to making it illegal to say anything nasty about gays, Jews, blacks and women. "Hate speech," far short of any direct incitement to violence, is on the edge of being criminalized, with the First Amendment going the way of the dodo.
To this day there are deluded souls who argue that Jack was going to pull US troops out of Vietnam...that Bobby...was really and truly on the side of the angels; that Ted was the mighty champion of the working people, even though he helped deliver them into the inferno of neoliberalism.
So who was Kennedy working for in his recent decades in the Senate? "NeoLiberals"? We will have to give that some thought.