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    Senator Kennedy worked behind scenes — but today scene is different

    The Globe’s excellent series, “Broken City,” opens an important window on the state of governance in Washington. The recent piece by Michael Kranish comparing the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 with the defeat of the international treaty on disabilities in 2012 is particularly insightful about the changed mores of the Senate (“A lesson for Dole: old rules no longer apply,” Page A1, March 24).

    For example, Massachusetts’ own Senator, the late Edward Kennedy, managed the ADA’s journey through a divided government in 1989. Kennedy spearheaded negotiations on the bill with the White House of George H.W. Bush despite their being fierce political rivals.

    Kennedy would have been delighted to note how much praise is given to Bob Dole for a bill Kennedy was instrumental in passing because the late senator’s commitment to his party did not prevent him from working with his political opponents to advance a good idea. He also never worried about to whom credit was given.


    These are lessons the current Senate sorely needs.

    Peter Ubertaccio


    The writer is the director of the Joseph Martin Institute for Law and Society and chairman of the department of political science and international studies at Stonehill College.