Congressional Democrats need to name the health care reform bill after Ted Kennedy. That bill represents the culmination of decades of work by Kennedy, who devoted much of his life to making health care better, cheaper, and more accessible.
Of course, conservatives won’t like that. In fact, some of them are preemptively criticizing progressives for ‘politicizing’ Kennedy’s death in order to pass health care reform. The right is going to be poised like vultures over Kennedy’s funeral, ready to pounce on anything at all they can twist into some kind of undue ‘politicization’ of Kennedy’s memory.
But it goes without saying that Kennedy was a politician who spent his life fighting political battles for political causes—you would have to ignore his life’s work in order to avoid being political when discussing his life.
And it’s hard to believe that conservatives care about Ted Kennedy’s legacy–they mercilessly savaged him in life but we’re supposed to believe they want to protect him in death? Please.
Plus, since when do Republicans care about politicization? Republicans have no problem politicizing anything and everything under the sun in order to serve their ideological agenda.
In addition, it’s not like Democrats would be slapping Kennedy’s name on a bill that he wouldn’t have supported—universal health care was one of the great causes of Ted Kennedy’s life. Naming the bill after Kennedy would be doing justice to the battles he fought throughout his political life.
Let’s be honest about why the GOP is trying to keep Ted Kennedy’s memory as far as possible from the health care debate—they’re worried that Kennedy’s death will turn the tide of the health care battle.
Think about it—he town hall protests, the carefully-crafted astroturf, the misinformation, the talking points, all the time and effort and money invested in killing health care reform is on the verge of being completely overshadowed by Ted Kennedy. If the health care battle becomes about fulfilling Ted Kennedy’s dying wish, how could the right possibly hope to kill it?
So beware of Republicans crying crocodile tears about the politicization of poor Teddy Kennedy’s memory. Ironically enough, the right is trying to use Kennedy to smack Democrats into submission and prevent them from passing health care reform, even though health care reform is something Kennedy himself spent decades fighting for.
And let’s name the bill after Ted Kennedy and then pass it. Let’s get universal health care in America. It’s what he would have wanted, and I think his memory deserves at least that much–Kennedy wouldn’t have rolled over for Republicans; in honor of him, we shouldn’t either.