On MSNBC Tuesday afternoon, Camelot was, understandably, taking over. Stories of the Kennedy brothers. The father. Kids. That late nephew. That niece. Kindnesses to strangers. Across-the-aisle pals. If it was someone with something nice to say about Senator Edward M. Kennedy, there was airtime for it on MSNBC.
And then the screen-frame went to the Capitol building, where Republican and Democratic senators were meeting in their separate conferences. Suddenly minority leader Mitch McConnell and his team approached the mic set-up. Prayers for Senator Kennedy were, of course, and appropriately, the first point of order.
But then McConnell started talking about, among other pre-Memorial Day priorities, troop funding. Ted Kennedy might have been appalled, if he was watching, by the Republican position. But he might also be delighted that Senate business was going on. He has been, after all, an effective member of the body for 45 years now. And he might have appreciated that, in our celebrity-obsessed culture, even a Kennedy could be a lead-in to an important conversation about war and congressional duty.
Naturally, MSNBC cut away.
Our editorial advice to Congress before Memorial Day recess: Clean it. Clear it:
Harry Reid should send the president a war-funding bill that actually funds the war — as opposed to one that funds domestic pressure groups — and should do so before Memorial Day. If he wants to have a legislative fight over Planned Parenthood, there’s a time for that. This isn’t it.