'The Work Goes On, The Cause Endures, The Hope Still Lives, and the Dream Shall Never Die.'

From Michael Kelley’s legendary GQ profile, “Ted Kennedy On the Rocks”:

Even a partial listing of the major bills in whose passage Kennedy has played a part is impressive. Whether you admire them or not, these are the measures that transformed—mostly liberalized—America in our time: the first Immigration Reform Act; the Voting Rights Act and its extensions; the Freedom of Information Act; the Gun Control Act; the Campaign Financing Reform law; the Comprehensive Selective Service Reform Act; the Eighteen-Year-Old Vote law; the Occupational Safety and Health Act; the War on Cancer bills; the recodification of federal criminal laws; the Bilingual Education Act; the Fair Housing Acts; the Age Discrimination Act; the Airline and Trucking Deregulation bills; the Job Training Partnership Act; the South African sanctions; and the Grove City Civil Rights Restoration Act.

Far more than either of his brothers, who were lackluster senators, Kennedy, over the past three decades, has been responsible for changes in the complexion of this country and in the lives of its citizens. He has been an ally of blacks, American Indians, the poor, the sick, the aged, the mentally ill, starving refugees worldwide and immigrants. He has been an outspoken liberal, unafraid to take the controversial positions—on issues such as busing, abortion, gun control, the Vietnam War (late but forcefully), the nuclear freeze and capital punishment—that other senators clearly avoided.

In a rare moment of irritation with the American Civil Liberties Union, the senator once said, “The ACLU thinks that it defines liberalism in the country. *I* define liberalism in this country.”

No quibbles here.

UPDATE: blackink has a good roundup of links.

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Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs about race and ethnicity for National Public Radio. He is a native of South Philly and reads and writes and runs and rants. You can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to him on Facebook.

12 comments to 'The Work Goes On, The Cause Endures, The Hope Still Lives, and the Dream Shall Never Die.'

  • blackink12

    Indeed. They really don’t make ‘em like Ted Kennedy anymore. And by ‘em, I mean liberals.

  • paradigm7

    The end of a dynasty…
    So sad he could not see his life’s work passed. RIP, Senator Kennedy.

  • R.

    r.i.p. Teddy. Let’s hope we can make your dream a reality.

  • I totally respected what he did for immigrants and immigration reform. My parents and the parents of lots of my peers became citizens after IRCA in ’86. His record there was solid, better than solid. We need another champion like him.

    RIP, Senator Kennedy.

  • ladyfresh

    R.I.P. Senator

  • storm

    Senator Kennedy will be missed. I had much respect for him as a politician — and a man. He managed to turn misfortune — the untimely death of his relatives (brothers and nephews) and personal scandal — into a remarkable record of public service.

    He will be missed. (Will there ever be another like him?)

  • It’s amazing that one man was able to do so much by basically throwing his weight around. Meanwhile dems today tiptoe and hope for the other side to be bipartisan.

    Thank you, Senator.

  • quadmoniker

    He was also a really big champion of head start, which I went to at 4 and 5 and to which I attribute everything I’ve done since. So thanks, Sen. Kennedy.

  • Molly

    I was an intern handling immigration issues in Senator Kennedy’s office in college and it was one of the best jobs I ever had. He was a lovely person and the care and empathy that he extended to his constituents and to all residents of the US was omnipresent in that office. He surrounded himself with thoughtful, humanistic people who were careful to respect the integrity of each and every individual who requested their assistance. I do not think the era of the strong, resolute liberal is over–it is up to those who can see to take up his legacy.

  • ladyfresh

    My mom as well.

  • [...] long Senate career, Kennedy’s obituaries also talked about his legislative accomplishments, which were formidable. Byrd’s obituaries, on the other hand, discuss the fact that other lawmakers held him in high [...]

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