The Spectacle Blog

Off the Deep End

By on 1.30.06 | 7:17PM

In my article on Ted Kennedy and the Alito nomination, I suggested that the senior senator from Massachusetts may not care enough mount to filibuster. Clearly I was wrong. But Kennedy's complete meltdown tonight takes his madness to a whole new level. So what's his method? A few theories:

-The nuts on the left needed a compelling performance, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-style. But a filibuster sufficiently pleased them. So the breakdown wasn't necessary.

-He needs it for re-election this year. But this one doesn't wash either: the highest percentage an opponent has ever garnered was 41 percent -- Mitt Romney in 1994.

-Kennedy really believes this stuff. I doubt it. If he did, he would have been this exercised about it every day from late October until now. No, this is a last-minute break. So unless I'm missing something, that leaves one possibility:

-He's lost it. Batty. Mad. Truly nuts. I've no other way to explain it. He became personally invested in the political (not principled) victory, and went way out on a limb for it. When defeat was apparent, he desperately denied it, thinking histrionics would work. And it only backfired. Seriously -- the man said "our founding fathers failed the test."

No matter why he went nuts, this will make great campaign footage -- for his opponent and for Republicans nationwide. Best of luck to his handlers.

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