Sadly, Ted Kennedy passed away this week and just like Ronald Reagan before him we are only allowed to say nice things. Perhaps in 10-15 years we'll be allowed to criticizes some policies of these men. Of course, publicly, we'll always have to show respect for the offices and not be too harsh.
US President and US Senator should be held in high esteem? Why? Harry Truman one of my favorite US Presidents was a failure at every profession he tried until he stumbled upon politics and public office. Congress has it fair number of actors counted among its members. Actors! People best known for their ability to wait tables and temp. Most politicians are lawyers. They are lawyers who do to the over saturated market of lawyers can't get other jobs as actual lawyers. Of course these people misspend our tax money, they misspent their graduate school money.
Now dictator is not an esteemed position. In fact when a dictator dies we can curse him the moment he drops dead. We never had to hold our tongues for respect of the dead when Hitler and Mussolini, died. I'm not saying we should. These dudes were responsible for mass atrocities but is that the line. If your policies in public office only amount to thousands dead than we must honor you in death,but once your death toll reaches a million we no longer have to pretend we ever respected you. (Of course the million number is adjusted for inflation of population. I don't know if Ghangis Kan killed a million people but it was a lot relative the population of the world at the time. And he wasn't technically a dictator, but we don't have to respect war lord either, unless of course, their sons take over immediately following the death of their brutal father.)
I'm just saying if you were a schmuck in life we should be able to talk about it when you're dead. If you want to be there to defend yourself out live your critics. (How's that for a health care plan?)