Winger Note: Right-wing commentators and bloggers deserve some sort of doggedness award for their recurring attacks on Ted for the 40-year-old Chappaquiddick wreck that caused the death of campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne. As the driver, he did escape prosecution. This almost certainly cost him the likelihood of nomination and victory in 1980, when he contested with Jimmy Carter for President.
We can't know what kind of President Ted would have been, but his political corking has paid off in spades for us for decades. Throughout the nastiest and most regressive conservative fantasies and policies, he has stood loud and rational and firm for progressive and liberal values and specifics. I have no doubt that Barack Obama and many liberal members of Congress were able to make their cases for election in part because Ted has kept the important goals well defined and before the public.
So, what are we Ted adorers to make of his NIMBY efforts to queer a wind farm at a time when green, cheap and non-polluting energy has never been more important or possible? His statements this week were in line with previous ones…and just as dumb. The project has gotten one okay after another, with the current report from the Minerals Management Service saying it would cause no serious environmental problems.
Caution: The PDF report is 800 pages. You can nibble on pieces of it here.
Acting more like the skunk in the garden than the lion in the Senate, Ted blew off, if you pardon, the series of agency okays. He looks now to the Federal Aviation Administration's review for some thread to tie down this worthy demonstration of wind power. He said, “I do not believe that this action by the Interior Department will be sustained. By taking this action, the Interior Department has virtually assured years of continued public conflict and contentious litigation.”
Of course, that's true only if he and other reactionaries to this project make it so. He clearly doesn't intend to let reason trump his emotion on this. He may lose all appeals, or just perhaps, Obama may take the initiative and help him let go of this earlier.
The good result is that this silly and illogical crusade helps humanize Ted.
With all of his accomplishment, Ted slips far too comfortably into the Super-Lawmaker cape. Seeing him on the side of the imps and reactionaries seems to make him more approachable. He can be a jerk with a blind spot, just as I and likely you can.
Yet, were Ted to die today or in a year or ten years, the wind-farm opposition will not be his hallmark, any more than any other mistake, misjudgment or misstatement. As much as wingers try to smear and discredit him, he remains a hero with a long, deep and wide history of doing well for us since 1962.
He will lose this one. He really already has, although he's not ready to accept that and probably won't until he has no more appeals. This remains one of his few foibles and follies. How very human.
Cross-post Note: This appears also at Marry in Massachusetts.