The lion is gone.
I was once a democrat -- I was raised a democrat. I still believe in the (former) ideals of the party; but I no longer believe that the party believes in them.
The current demcratic party lacks a rudder -- lacks any real belief in the ideals that were once their strength against bullies, and their rallying cry with the American people. They cower in the face of oposition because they don't really believe in the tenets they represent. Like all modern politicians, they spend their time with lobbyists. They are... influenced. They are hopelessly conflicted, and so they fail time and time again when everything is on the line and they are asked to represent the voters against the wishes of the corporate. They now enjoy a majority in the Senate, the House and they occupy the presidency -- and still they are hesitating, cowering before the media and backing down from every fight. The media they do NOT own; that is owned by big money interests, and used to its full advantage. The democrats in congress cower before it. If they actually believed... in anything... there would be no cowering. They would stand tall and fight back.
I see no real difference between the two parties of today. One party serves the lobbyists in the open; the other in secret. One claims that it will fix health care (while wining and dining with insurance lobbyists;) and the other openly denounces it and dreams up ridiculous catch phrases like 'death panels' to scare the gullible and the fearful... as though the current insurance company policies aren't already death panels for thousands if not millions of premium paying citizens.
The lines have blurred. But Edward Kennedy had a firm line and he defended it from all comers, all bullies, and he never backed down. He saw more tragedy in his life than most of us will ever know, and this made him stronger. It also made him compassionate. He fought for the poor, the disenfranchized, the middle class and the American workers. He fought for us -- whether we appreciated it or not. Now that he is gone, I can't imagine anyone (especially in the senate) that could possibly take up his mantle. The senate is full of millionaires. Few of them have any reason to care about the middle class or the poor. For some reason... Edward Kennedy and his brothers did care. Now they are gone. God help us.
My condolances to the Kennedy clan, and for all of us who lost a great champion today.