Taking our political temperature


Normally, I don’t bother too much with the writings on political blogs, but yesterday’s announcement that Sen. Ted Kennedy has brain cancer, and today’s analysis that he likely has less than a year to live has put some focus on conservative-leaning blogs. Why? Because nobody can get a conservative’s dander up more than Ted Kennedy and the reaction to his imminent demise is one of those opportunities to take the temperature of political discourse in the country. More directly: Can we maintain our humanity while still being aggressively partisan?

Judging by the comments of Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch on NPR this morning, yes:

“All I can say is he’s a great legislator, he’s a great human being, a person who always has that sense of humor, and that will pull him through, between you and me. And I’ll be praying for him, too.”

But, generally speaking, the silence on the blogs about Kennedy is deafening. There are a few — anti-Strib, for example — that played it the way one would normally expect during such times — by separating politics from the individual.

Setting aside any personal feelings and ill will towards Senator Kennedy and his past, I must say that I find this to be absolutely terrible news (and it is an incredibly frustrating malady). I would never wish this on anyone.

Powerline, perhaps the most influential conservative blog in these parts, had nothing to say on the subject. I sent an e-mail to Scott Johnson, asking if that will change anytime soon.

Apparently it will:

“I am planning on writing about Senator Kennedy’s contribution to the lowering of the level of poltical discourse, but will probably wait til tomorrow morning to do so, if I don’t change my mind. “


Update 11:31 a.m.Thurs – The article has been posted. Respectful in tone, I’d say.

For sheer bad taste, nobody beats talk show host Michael Savage, who on Tuesday acknowledged Kennedy’s illness by playing music from the Dead Kennedys.