Short of not mentioning his death because if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all, conservative blogs are in something of a predicament: how to applaud a person's legendary service to the nation while applauding neither the person, whom conservative's have smeared for decades; the substance of that service, which represents everything they despise; or the legend, which overwhelms that of anyone they've given America? Here's a sample.
Hugh Hewitt gets the award for class with his short, simple statement:
Even casual readers to this blog will know that we have had many differences of opinion with the Lion of the United States Senate. That being said, we pause to remember the life and the career of Ted Kennedy, and prayers go out to his family.
At NRO, John J. Pitney Jr. is even generous:
Ted Kennedy did not go gentle into that good night. He fought for his beliefs as long as he could, and he struggled to stay alive when others might have given up. 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.
Bill Bennett and John J. Miller also speak well of him, but Kathryn Jean Lopez has to take a "love the sinner, hate the sin" attitude:
He’s responsible for things that are deeply offensive to my conscience and diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Catholic faith, and he probably led some people astray by his example. But our faith also teaches that we are all sinners and that there is redemption. He had some incredibly good forces in his life, not least among them his sister, Eunice, who just died. I pray for the repose of his soul and for his family.
Michelle Malkin goes further down this path, trying to stay classy in her short statement, but unable to not piss in the grave while mourning the body:
There is a time and place for political analysis and criticism. Not now.
Yes, there will be a nauseating excess of MSM hagiographies and lionizations — and crass calls to pass the health care takeover to memorialize his death.
That’s no excuse to demonstrate the same lack of restraint in the other direction. Not now.
Red State takes a similar tack, with Erick Erickson telling the story of how he spoke with Kennedy once and praising his openness and willingness to discuss issues on which they entirely disagreed, then he goes on the attack:
I can’t say that I’ll miss him. He, to me, represented all that is wrong with Washington — a kingdom of nepotism and worship at the alter of failed liberal policies that get repeated ad infinitum. He opposed school choice for the poor while segregating his kids from the poor in school. He supported policies opposed to life except when life could be advanced through the destruction of the unborn. He opposed a strong national security against even the evidence of its necessity during his brother’s Presidential administration.
Ted Kennedy supported the expansion of the welfare state and a culture of dependency on government, made all the more tragic given how ensnared his life was to dependency. He should have known better given his own life and that of his family.
And then there’s Mary Jo Kopechne. May she rest in peace.
Senator Edward Moore Kennedy of Massachusetts is dead at 77. John Kerry is now the senior senator. God help that state.
Then there are the reactions you might expect.
Liberally Conservative offers:
Ted Kennedy is dead. Long live the memory of Mary Jo Kopechne.
And he follows it up with an article called "Chappaquiddick Revisited."
The award for most classless note has to go to Debbie Schussel, whose headline says it all:
RIP, Mary Jo Kopechne: Ted Kennedy Dead at 77; Will His "Memorials" Include the Full Picture?
And this is how she ends the piece, so you can imagine what came before.
They mentioned John Dillinger’s crimes in his obits. Count how many obits for Club Ted mention Chappaquiddick. The one linked above certainly didn’t.
I predict the remembrances of Dear Old Ted will be even more bloated than he was.
I should add that Ann Coulter has no article on Kennedy's passing, but either presciently or wishfully offered two links on 8/23 which she called "Sen. Ted Kennedy's Legacy I" and "...II." They were for, respectively, an article in the New York Post headlined "Just 3½ Years for DWI Killer" and for a Wall Street Journal article headlined "Developing World's Parasites, Disease Hit U.S."