The President, the Senator, and the Candidate

Today, as the severity of Senator Kennedy's condition became more apparent, I found myself, once again, back in seventh grade. I am in a large hall, waiting in line. I am not sure what the line is for, and for some reason the line can't seem to form properly. We seem to be waiting to go into an auditorium. Words are migrating from student to student. It is November 22nd, 1963. The President has been shot. Next to me stands a sweet looking young girl. Shoulder length dirty blond hair. Delicate features. And she says, "I hope that he dies." This was the President who had taken us through the Cuban Missile Crisis, who spoke of civil rights, and who had two young children. And she wanted him dead. Her hatred was palpable and irrational. In retrospect, given the times, I have always wondered whether her enmity was due to the fact that he was a Catholic, and one who supported civil rights.

At 12 years old, I couldn't fathom what I was hearing. I was struck dumb. I simply couldn't respond. I just stared at her and turned away. Now, of course, I know that it was not her wish, but her parents' or some relative's wish. But over the years this fact has only intensified the shock. Everyone says that they remember where they were when they heard that Kennedy was shot. I remember. But I also recall a young girl who believed that she wanted to see him dead.

Before I became fully aware of the deep divisions in the country over civil rights, Vietnam, or "values," I knew that if this young president could create such hostility, something was terribly wrong. And so it was. I suppose that this was my introduction to the 1960's. Every now and again this scene reappears. Sometimes it arises for no apparent reason. Sometimes it arises at appropriate moments, like today, when we have learned that Senator Kennedy is gravely ill.

I have not always agreed with the Kennedys. But I remember supporting Bobby. And of course I remember him being shot. I also remember Teddy trying so very hard, over four long decades, to do the right thing for the underprivileged and marginalized. I recently cheered as The Lion of the Senate passed the torch to Obama. He was aging. Now that he had found someone he trusted to carry on the Kennedy legacy, there was an arc from 1963 to 2008, an arc that the last eight years of Bush, Rove, Cheney, et al, seemed to have made impossible. But as I have watched the returns from certain states, such as Kentucky this evening, I return to that space in 1963, and I am afraid. I fear that as a nation we will fail to do the right thing because we are still too afraid of those who are "not like us."

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Sen. Ted Kennedy Diagnosed With Brain Tumor

From The AP:  

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor. Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat say tests conducted after Kennedy suffered a seizure this weekend show a tumor in his left parietal lobe. His treatment will be decided after more tests but the usual course includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy.

The 76-year-old senator has been hospitalized in Boston since Saturday, when he was airlifted from Cape Cod after a seizure at his home.

Keep Senator Kennedy and his family in your thoughts today.

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Senator Kennedy has Brain Tumor

Just in:

Kennedy has malignant tumor

Sen. Edward Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor. The hospital treating Kennedy released a statement today saying that the tumor was found during tests after the senator had a seizure Saturday. The tumor is in his left parietal lobe.


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Ted Kennedy Hospitalized

bumped - Josh

Reason for concern out of Hyannis:

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts was hospitalized in Boston Saturday after suffering stroke-like symptoms, according to a knowledgeable official.

There was no immediate word on his condition.

The official who provided the information declined to be identified by name, citing the sensitivity of the events.

Hyannis Fire Lt. Bill Rex told the AP a 911 call came in from the Kennedy compound at 8:19 a.m. EDT A male was transported to Cape Cod Hospital and was transferred by medflight at 10:10 a.m. from Barnstable Municipal Airport to Massachusetts General Hospital.

We will update this thread with more information as it comes in. But for now, please take a moment to pray for Senator Kennedy, who has worked so hard and for so long in service for his nation and who has helped bring so much good to this country.

Update [2008-5-17 13:6:28 by Jonathan Singer]: From The Boston Globe:

Doctors believe that Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts suffered a seizure at his home in Hyannis Port this morning, then a second seizure as he was being transported by helicopter from Cape Cod Hospital to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, according to an official briefed on the situation.

Update [2008-5-17 13:56:4 by Jonathan Singer]: The AP updates:

The Massachusetts Democrat did not appear to have had a stroke as initially suspected, Kennedy spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said. She said he is undergoing tests at Massachusetts General Hospital to determine the cause of the seizure.

"Senator Kennedy is resting comfortably, and it is unlikely we will know anything more for the next 48 hours," she said.

Update [2008-5-17 16:32:39 by Josh Orton]: Seemingly good news - the updated story at CNN adds:

Family members reported that Kennedy was well enough later in the morning to call to say he would not be able to join them for lunch.

They said they were guardedly optimistic that he would make a full recovery.

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CNN Exploits Ted Kennedy

We all wish Ted Kennedy a speedy recovery.

It is sickening to watch CNN use his illness as an excuse for
one long Obama commercial.

Obama is the choice of CNN corporate owner, AOL Time Warner,
because he will be easier for John McCain to pick off in the GE.

Obama is in almost every photo CNN shows of Kennedy.
All of the videos shown are Kennedy stumping for him.

Bill Schneider just stated that Kennedy's endorsement
of Obama was a milestone in American history.

They are making Kennedy's seizure into an Obama media event.

Earlier in the primary, CNN must have celebrated Dr. King's birthday
15 times.  

The latest media ploy is to give Clinton no coverage whatsoever,
despite that she has the majority of votes. Without a doubt, if Obama
is the candidate, CNN will instantly drop the tears of beatitude
waste no time  finishing him off.

On a side note, the NYT seems to on the receiving end of that green
Obama magic.  Without a doubt the Sunday front page will feature a color
photo of Kennedy and his legacy.

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