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RIP Ted Kennedy – A Conflicted Green Legacy

August 27, 2009
Ted Kennedy, Courtesy Obamas Hatchetman

Ted Kennedy, Courtesy obamashatchetman.wordpress.com

Ted Kennedy was a defining figure of the 20th century – wild white mane, the Kennedy myth, and a no-bullshit commitment to liberal ideals that didn’t get swayed by the politics of the day. According to the New York Times:

In 2002, he voted against authorizing the Iraq war; later, he called that opposition “the best vote I’ve made in my 44 years in the United States Senate.”

Treehugger has a great overview of Ted Kennedy’s work on green causes, which also rallied a lot of critics. Treehugger brought up his work on oil company accountability and improving energy standards.

Commenters brought up his opposition to the wind turbine farm that was slated to be set up off the coast of Nantucket and the Kennedy estate in 2006. You can find more details about that here.

Was his opposition to the wind turbines is a perfect picture of the clash between the Kennedy idealism and the Kennedy lifestyle? An ambitious project exemplifying a progressive approach to energy…encroaching on the glamorous Kennedy lifestyle.

The Kennedy legacy has always been fraught and hard to define – champions of progressive politics and racial equality, daring to brave the waters of unpopularity and opposition to make the changes they believed in, the Kennedys have also led checkered personal lives with dubious outcomes. The famed Chappaquiddick incident,  in which a young woman drowned apparently due to Ted Kennedy’s reckless and perhaps drunken driving, tarred Ted Kennedy’s reputation but added to the Kennedy fabulous and dubious playboy mystique.

Regardless, Kennedy’s voting history on key environmental issues were usually a reflection of his ideals and not his personal interest; Climateprogress.org details his specific votes, bills, and support, a long long list that demonstrates we have truly lost a powerful champion for the environment in losing Ted Kennedy.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. criscocorner permalink
    August 27, 2009 7:09 pm

    I totally agree with you. It is sad day when the American people have lost a person that voted in their interests instead of the corporations. The right is resorting all sorts of vile personal attakcks without using specific proofs to undermine his legacy. It is shame that people have such vile and fail to root out of the hate and judgementalness in their soul.

  2. August 30, 2009 11:13 pm

    RIP … You’ve made several excellent points. Nice to know this reference. Thanks

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