Sessions with Sweetie is a place for me to explore my thoughts and feelings - please take no offense to the following, but if you do, let's use this as an opportunity to rationally, calmly and cooly exchange thoughts! How fun, I've created my very own political pedastal!
It's no secret where my political leanings stand, and it's even less of a secret that I have always been completely mesmerized by the Kennedy family. My not-so-secret crush started while in junior high, I remember very clearly working on a report for school and reading about the assassination of JFK. I was by myself, sitting on the floor, book on my lap, sobbing as I imagined Jackie in her pink dress, bent over her husband in the backseat of that car. I was also 12 years old.
Fast forward the Democratic National Convention, summer of 2008, short months before President Obama was elected. I again found myself crying my eyes out while watching Caroline introduce her "Uncle Teddy," and a snip of Ken Burns documentary showed us a glimpse into Teddy's personal life. Ted Kennedy was fighting a losing fight against cancer, but he promised Barack Obama, and promised us, that he would be there to watch when Obama was sworn in. He was.
For as long as I've understood politics, I've appreciated politicians and Americans who fight for the weak and underpriviledged, who stand by what is right and work to make basic rights available to all - civil rights, women's rights, reproductive rights, the right to marry whoever we want, and the right to health care. Access to health care should not be something that any American goes without because they cannot afford it. We live in the richest country in the world, what a tragedy it is that so many Americans cannot access quality of life improving, and live saving medical treatment. Teddy Kennedy made it is political legacy to fight for health care for all, but died before he was able to see his dream become a reality. Today, I feel like we took one small step back in honoring Kennedy's life and legacy. The fight for health care reform is in an incredibly fragile place right now - politicians on both sides are slinging mud while the actual content of the bills on the table is hardly even being discussed. Both sides are attempting to use fear tactics to gain support. It's incredibly ugly, and so, so sad.
Today, Republican canidate Scott Brown won the late Senator Ted Kennedy's senate seat. Kennedy was the liberal lion of the senate, who fought his whole life for health care reform. Senator-elect Brown campaigned on the promise that he would fiercly oppose any health bill and vote against it. This one seat could very well be the tipping point for the health bill, it could very well not pass now without this one critical vote. Mud-slinging politics aside, I feel so sad for Senator Kennedy's family tonight, watching his fight, once again, slip away. RIP Ted Kennedy, thank you for your service.