It is the end of an era. Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) is dead at 77.
For at least a generation, Ted Kennedy symbolized what it meant to be a liberal: fighting injustice with government programs.
Historians may say that Kennedy spent his life fighting injustices that were already well on their way to solution before he was born, but that is not the point.
Ted Kennedy was a man who believed in the liberal faith of using government to help poor people and the disadvantaged, and he lived his faith every day. As a senator who was well liked across the aisle, he was reportedly highly effective in advancing his faith. He used his position and his seniority to pile government dollars into social programs of all kinds, especially health care and education.
Ted Kennedy's personal shortcomings are legendary, of course. So would the shortcomings of meny men if they were to be illuminated by the light of day. But, sinner as he was, he kept the liberal faith.
Our task, of course, now that Ted is gone, is to right the grievous injustices and cruelties that now lay heavily on the nation after a century of progressive politics. But that is a task for the morrow.
Today we celebrate the life of Edward Kennedy, American and statesman.