Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) was direct in opposing the idea:
Certainly people honor Sen. Ted Kennedy for all of his work, but at the end of the day, this is a democracy, and I think the voice of the people have [sic] been heard quite loudly in the month of August.
Michelle Malkin was a little more oblique, merely accusing the Democrats of planning to do it:
[T]here will be a nauseating excess of MSM hagiographies and lionizations — and crass calls to pass the health care takeover to memorialize his death.
Ann Althouse said the same:
Teddy Kennedy's death will be used to rekindle the old argument that we need to shut up and hurry up about health care reform.
So I assume.
There's some projection there. They wouldn't hesitate to use a death for political advantage, so they assume we will. I only hope we will, but fear the usual Democratic death wish will make our leaders decide it would be unfair to capitalize on the moment.
John J. Pitney, at National Review's "The Corner," managed to use Kennedy's death to bring up the specter of death panels:
He and the other Kennedys loved one another and looked out for one another. There was no cost-benefit analysis in their family life, no sense that age, illness, injury, or disability would diminish their value.
Scott Johnson at Powerline managed one of the least gracious editorials. He follows a pro forma "We extend our sympathies to his family upon his death" with "In one respect, Senator Kennedy's contribution to our public life has been indisputably negative." he then goes on for 657 words to rant about Kennedy opposing the Bork nomination which he calls "a template for liberal attacks" which "we have seen ... on display this month in the White House/Reid/Pelosi attack on the opponents of Obamacare."
Ed Driscoll complains that "ABC ... attempts to spin Kennedy’s passing as an advertisement for socialized medicine," and then whines that they didn't give enough prominence to Chappaquiddick.
We crazy bloggers are allowed to be a gracious or ungracious as we want; that's the prerogative of having your own site. We should, however, expect a little more class from people who position themselves as serious pundits or who are office holding politicians. Of course, the right has reason to fear the effect Kennedy's death might have on the healthcare debate. Kennedy spent his entire public life pushing for national healthcare. The proper way to honor him is to pass a good bill. No amount of sentiment or refocusing of the debate is going to budge the Republicans. The real hope for Kennedy's legacy is that it will budge the right wing of the Democratic Party to act like Democrats. It's time to call, write, fax, or send smoke signals to every Democrat in Congress and tell them to stop compromising and do it for Ted.
Update: Kennedy's death brings out the conservatives who put the twit in Twitter.