Sad, disappointing, heartbreaking. Such adjectives don’t do justice to the Liberal Lion. I have to defer to Michael Long of the National Review, whose story speaks louder than any words I can summon:

A few days after my father died, I received a note from Kennedy’s office — a place I called maybe once a month to swap topics for the radio debate. I was touched, even though Cynical Me knew that it was probably just smart staff work. Still, sending me any acknowledgment at all, given the distant connection, was generous.

But at the bottom of the note, and in a unique hand, was a small personal line from Kennedy — So sorry, Mike.

I’ve always believed he was, in fact, sorry. Given the man’s life, I can imagine that these things matter to him.

Call me a sucker if you want. Sure, it was only a few seconds out of his day, and maybe my note was just one more in a stack of births and deaths and Chowder Festival Queens — but those were his seconds and he set them aside for me.

Not what I expected out of the Liberal Lion who — well, I’m not going to lay it all out again here. If you’re conservative, whatever you’re thinking right now about his politics and his policies and his personal life, I’ve thought the same thing. Still do.

But it occurred to me that day, and in a very personal way, that there is value — maybe to others, but certainly to the health of my own soul — in separating a man from his mistakes, and of being mindful, even when others are not, that disagreement should not be damnation.

You can read the entire piece here. I strongly suggest that you do.

I wish you the best, Ted.