Thursday, September 03, 2009

Wallis on Kennedy

Being God's Democrat seems to be paying off for Jim Wallis. He's today's featured HuffPo writer. I know I shoudn't, but I can't help it. The dude knows no bounds. Bold/unbold. Wallis/TPWK.

I have never really trusted those who are intolerant and condemning of other people's shortcomings.

This from a man who compared George W. Bush to the beast of the apocalypse, called Sarah Palin an embarrassment to the people of God, and who accused the Cambodian boat refugees of fleeing to support their consumer habits. Let’s put it more succinctly. Wallis trusts Democrats, and does not trust Republicans.

But it was the funeral on Saturday morning that most moved me. I don't know what I was expecting -- likely more speeches -- but not a traditional Catholic funeral liturgy, complete with the Holy Eucharist.

Really? Wallis did not expect a traditional Catholic funeral? For a Kennedy?

Of course, what else should I have expected from such a Boston Catholic family?

You’re asking me? I think you just needed a rhetorical excuse to discuss how religious and liturgical everything was.

At the funeral of the nation's most liberal political leader of the last half century, a watching nation was treated to a full Catholic mass.

Catholics are notorious for their arbitrary fidelity to pious traditions in all instances. Kennedys are notoriously Catholic. Again, why is Wallis surprised?

Then I watched the greatest collection of national political leaders in decades

I take it Wallis didn’t catch the Reagan funeral, then.

I started changing the channels then, just to see who was watching. CNN, MSNBC, FOX!, NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX again!

So moved was he by the proceedings, that Wallis felt compelled to channel surf. I love Wallis’ implication that FOX would fail to cover the event, for some reason. In his mind, the news producers possess neither reason or conscience. Joe Scarborough, after all.

Who could have brought about such a thing-

A Kennedy. Cripes, when one of their cats pass on it makes the NYT Obit page.

a man with serious personal flaws, who had experienced great pain in his life, had been the greatest political lightening rod of his time,

The greatest political lightening rod of his time? Not Goldwater? Hillary? Helms? W? Hell, Joe Lieberman? When did Ted Kennedy stake a controversial view on anything?

(ed. note: Wallis asks us to read some story about Ted Kennedy Jr. going up a hill, so you can go ahead and do that if you feel so inclined. I'm sure its charming and not at all embellished.)

Doris Kearns Goodwin quoted Hemmingway [sic] in saying "Everyone is broken by life. But afterward, many are strong in the broken places."

That’s a nice sentiment that doesn’t have much of anything to do with Kennedy. Also, I'm starting to perceive Team of Rivals as kind of a fluke, in a Sofia Coppola/Lost in Translation sort of way.

The letter from Kennedy humbly asked the Pope to pray for him as his health was declining, and he was preparing for "the next passage of life."

Is that really humble? Asking the Pope to pray for you via President of the United States? And making public the contents of the letter? That sounds like legacy preservation to me. Call me cynical.

President Obama's remarks at the funeral were almost pastoral in their tone

What does an "almost pastoral" tone sound like, exactly, and how is that different from an honest-to-goodness pastoral tone? I think what Wallis meant to say is “Obama spoke and I like Obama a lot and agree with him on things.”

and one could feel the emotion he was feeling for himself

Obama, the president who invites us all to feel his pain.

He spoke both of the long list of public accomplishments that will likely gain Ted Kennedy recognition as the greatest Senator in American history;

This is ridiculous. Henry Clay? Daniel Webster? For crying out loud.

Obama was almost nostalgic for an earlier time in Washington where adversaries still saw each other as patriots,

Obama was almost nostalgic for an era that never existed. Kennedy was as cut-throat as they come. Ask Robert Bork.

And from this weekend, I received a final insight: that the roles of being a prophetic advocate who stands passionately for social justice; and the vocation of also being a bridge-builder and convener who brings diverse people together -- are not, perhaps, so mutually exclusive after all.

That's a nice insight, Jim. Now go back to writing about how evil Sarah Palin is.

As many remarked over the course of this amazing weekend, Ted Kennedy was the classic American success story

Rich East Coast socialite trades on the family name to avoid accountability for his criminal acts and rise to power? Classically American, indeed.

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Blogger John Mulholland said...


You kill me.

It is a true joy to read your posts.

5:51 PM  

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