It pains me to say this, but I’m starting to wonder if Ted Kennedy’s golden age as a senator is over. Don’t misunderstand me — unlike John Kerry, I believe Ted stands with me as a progressive Democrat.
That said, there’s a bit of a twilight zone effect going on at the moment. Kennedy appears ready to sell the farm to keep the house as it were on the subject of immigration. And it’s not the first time he’s done this lately.
As a dual citizen of Ireland and the US, I was brought up (like many folks around here) by a family that revered the Kennedys. And frankly I still do in some ways. However, this immigration bill taking shape leaves behind so much that is central to the progressive view of immigration.
I won’t detail it too much, aside from my own problem of “guest workers”. “Guest workers” are residents given little real security or invitation to our culture, left behind to form an underclass in a society, left without a real path to citizenship. I’m surprised we haven’t heard more about this movement to add more byzantine barriers to American citizenship. It gives lie to Emma Lazarus and our tradition as a melting pot to declare that one large set of American residents is banned from truly joining our community. For those who want more this is a good place to start.
But this betrayal of liberal ideals to get a bill passed in reminiscient of the disastrous education bill that Bush signed. I remember that I had the highest respect for Tony Blair before Bushie got his claws in him and dragged him along on his harebrained scheme. Is Bush doing the same with Kennedy?