Friday, August 28, 2009

Brooks: The GOP Made Teddy Great

David Brooks says the Republicans deserve credit for making Ted Kennedy the great leader in the Senate.

American voters welcome politicians who propose reforms that smooth the rough edges of the system. They do not welcome politicians and proposals that seek to contradict it. They do not welcome proposals that centralize power and substantially reduce individual choice. They resist proposals that put security above mobility and individual responsibility.

In 1980, Kennedy proposed an agenda that jarred with the traditions of American governance. In the decades since, a constrained Kennedy and a string of Republican co-sponsors produced reforms in keeping with it. The benefits are there for all to see.

It’s one thing to honor a man’s memory and his life’s work even if you disagreed with it. But to claim you enhanced his legacy is a little much.

As Jimmy Durante once said, “Everybody wants ta get inta the act!”