Early responses are starting to come in...

...from the wingnutosphere. Malkin:
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.
Oh c'mon now, Michelle. We don't just want health care reform. We want the frickin' Red Sox to win the world series now that our beloved lion is dead. We deserve no less!

Meanwhile, Gateway Pundit and Erick Erickson both highlight the Chappaquiddick incident. An interesting side-note to that is that some locals tell me they believe it wasn't Ted Kennedy who caused the accident, but someone else in the family who Rose was grooming for higher political office. Ted in the eyes of Irish-Catholic Dorchestah and Southie voters simply took the blame. The Kennedys are immensely popular up here and it will be interesting to sit around on our neighbors' porches in nights to come to hear what they have to say. So please, conservatives, pwutty pwueeze, keep talking about Chappaquiddick. It's how you'll gain so many votes across the country.

The Anchoress takes a slightly different spin on things:
Given a grim diagnosis in May of 2008, Kennedy managed, with the help of some of the best care available, to see another Christmas, another spring and even another summer. It’s entirely possible that what Kennedy’s death will really do is bring into stark relief the fact that under Obamacare, this overweight 77 year-old man with liking for the drink would probably have faced treatment rationing and an offer for “physician aid-in-dying”. Kennedy’s death will emphasize yet again that our elected “public servants” enjoy one of the best health insurance plans in the world, while they are trying to force something much less comprehensive (and life-affirming) onto their constituents.
Yes, Ted Kennedy would not have survived the very death panels he served on. Another winning argument to give up health care reform now, lest Washington politics become too political. But in one respect the wingnuts are correct here: we will not get healthcare reform until Massachusetts has another senator. Local NPR interviews this morning re-stated what we've already known: Barney Frank will not run for this seat. But Ed Markey did not emphatically deny his interest. I'm sure we can all agree that this would be great news for Republicans.

Tigerhawk calls Kennedy a sohhhhshalist:
But Ted Kennedy did more to push American government and civil society toward a European social welfare model than any politician of the post-war era, with the possible exception of LBJ. By my reckoning, he left the country worse off than he found it, and to the moment of his death supported legislation that, if enacted, will make it a lot harder for the generation of my children to succeed, thrive, and reach for their own stars.
And on and on... Wingnuttia's greatest fear ought to be that a not-batshit-crazy Republican runs in MA for Kennedy's seat. Of course this candidate would lose to whoever wins the Democratic primary (or however else we'll decide to do things up here), but if he/she can gain enough votes--maybe scooping up some Irish-Catholic soohhhshalists voters along the way--chances are the national spotlight will shine on this candidate, marginalizing the crazies even more. Not saying that would happen, but though it's fun to laugh at them I've gotten rather tired of batshit-crazy Republicans.