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franklin county times

Saint Teddy

By By Zeke Calhoun / guest columnist
Nov. 24, 2002
Zeke Calhoun is Craig Ziemba's liberal cousin from Boston.
After the disgusting Republican victory in the mid-term elections, my friends and I can find solace in one thing: We in Massachusetts still have Ted Kennedy as our "Senator for Life." Frankly, when Teddy (or any of his family members) is on the ballot, there's no need to hold an election. We, his grateful, loyal constituents, will never forget Camelot, never lose sight of all we have received at his (dare I say) royal hands, and will overwhelmingly return him to power as long as he wishes to rule.
Truth is, we feel unworthy of the Kennedy greatness and want to do everything in our power to show our adoration for all that Ted has graciously condescended to do for us. We currently are in the process of naming every bridge, road, military facility and industrial park in the state after Ted Kennedy.
It's not enough that he has enjoyed national exposure and lucrative employment for life. We feel it our duty to emblazon his name across everything in sight.
Ted Kennedy is the champion of the poor and the defender of women's rights. That's why it angers us so when the press brings up Mary Jo Kopechne or questions the private life of the senator in any way.
After all he has done to guarantee the right of a woman to have an abortion, how could any woman think of accusing him of sexual harassment? How dare any woman question a man who has done so much for so long for the National Organization of Women? Where would women be without his constant care?
As if being the benefactor of women were not enough, Ted Kennedy has also become this generation's protector of the poor. Our senator understands that the only way to help the poor is to increase government handouts through welfare, that the only way to improve education is to increase federal control, and that the only way to pay for all of this is to tax those middle class families who voted for the evil Republican tax cuts.
We in Massachusetts are proud to pay some of the highest taxes in the Union and opposed the recent tax cuts. We don't even look at taxes the way the rest of the nation does. We prefer to think of them as "contributions" to use one of Bill Clinton's favorite terms.
As long as we are allowed to keep a small portion of what we make, we are happy knowing that the government will have the rest to invest in important programs like the National Endowment for the Arts.
We don't see Ted Kennedy very often. He's pretty busy in Washington, but occasionally he flies home to ride at the head of a parade or cut a ribbon on some new structure named in his honor. On holidays, he can be photographed shaking hands with Cardinal Law in Boston. No one is more devout than the Kennedys. I wouldn't be surprised if one day St. Paul's cathedral were renamed Saint Teddy's.
As a lawyer, I feel qualified to become a member of the ruling class myself, and am considering a run for the legislature, but I haven't landed a spot yet on the senator's staff. No one would dare think of running for office in Massachusetts without having first served on the senator's staff, or at least without being an active fund-raiser for the Kennedy foundation.
My backwoods conservative cousin from Mississippi says it's disgusting the way citizens bow and scrape before their legislators ("kissing the ring" as he calls it.) He's just jealous.

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