Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RIP Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy succumbed tonight after his battle with brain cancer, the same disease that took the life of political columnist Robert Novak last week. The Washington Post describes him as "one of the most powerful and influential senators in American history." He should also be remembered, however, for the man who took the life of 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne. Forty years ago, a drunken Sen. Kennedy drove his car off a bridge at Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts. Kennedy saved his own skin and left his female passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, behind to drown in his submerged Oldsmobile. Kennedy never called for help. Instead, he returned to his room at a nearby guesthouse and called his attorneys and powerful friends to plan the coverup of his horrendous crime. "The tragedy had a corrosive effect on Kennedy's image and eroded his national standing," the Post writes. Sen. Kennedy's life was saved by Indiana Sen. Birch Bayh (D), who pulled him from the wreckage of the plane on which both were passengers after it crashed near Springfield, Massachusetts in 1963. Kennedy suffered a broken back. It's quite a tragedy that he couldn't extend the same courtesy to Kopechne six years later. He won his first election for the U.S. Senate based on his family's name despite his young age and a damaging disclosure that he had been kicked out of Harvard for cheating on an exam. While many will be praising the life of Sen. Edward Kennedy, I will not be among them.


Indy4U2C said...

Well said, Gary!

That is exactly how I remember the lush.

Patriot Paul said...

Both JFK and Ed Kennedy led morally bankrupt lives, despite whatever political contributions they offered.

Grumpy Old Man said...

Well said.

Unknown said...

I certainly did not agree with many of his views nor do I approve of many of his actions. But, I think that he did some good things and he was civil at least to those who disagreed with him and was known to be a considerate man who had many conservatives as his friends. You can point out his flaws in a few days.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

The Indy Red Star Rag reports: "his career was punctuated by a series of personal setbacks and humiliations..."
PERSONAL SETBACKS! I guess you could call killing a young woman by leaving her in a car and saving your own ass could be called a "personal setback!"

Gary R. Welsh said...

The news media coverage of Chappaquidick has always been sympathetic to Kennedy. They used the excuse that his family had sacrificed three of his brothers while serving their country. Let's forget that the married Kennedy and his playboy friends were out boozing it up that night with the so-called "boiler room" girls who had kept the married Kennedy men entertained during Robert's presidential campaign.

Downtown Indy said...

"Democrat." in two sentences:

The poor shouldn't have to pay for their healthcare.

The rich shouldn't have to pay for their crimes.

artfuggins said...

I respect your right not to celebrate his life. I am disgusted at those who are delighting and laughing at his death. Shame on them. Thank you, AI, for your tasteful post. There are many of us who are truly mourning the loss of this great American hero.

interestedparty said...

R. I. P. Senator Kennedy. May the good you did live on and may you receive God's mercy for your flaws.

artfuggins said...

Interestedparty...I think your thoughts apply to all of us. You stated it well.

Anonymous said...

Rest in peace. He was very gracious when Reagan died, recalling the personal kindness that the President had shown to his family.
The Bridge at Chappaquiddick
by Jack Olsen

I tend to believe the theory proposed in the above book -- that Ted bailed our of the car when the cops approached, and was unaware of the drowning until next morning. NOT a flattering alternative to the standard belief. It means that he went out to get some tail, and ran like hell to save his reputation -- Mary Jo took off and drove off the bridge alone. We'll never know now, but Olson manages to write a scenario covering the known facts.

jabberdoodle said...

I will be mourning his passing and celebrating his life. We should all be so successful as to be true to our personal philosophy and to try to improve the lot of others in this land of plenty.

I lived in Massachusetts and it was an honor to be able to vote for Ted Kennedy for Senate. An honor I have rarely found in the voting booth.

Hopefully the quest for a decent life for all Americans regardless of birth serendipity will not falter because he is no longer with us.

Lets not pretend that life is simple for anybody, just because someone of the 'other' party was somebody special to so many regular people just yearning to be free. The freedom yardstick is personal and I measure it in what I can do and think and be in this Country. Ted Kennedy didn't sit idly by and cash his fat paycheck like so many of both parties. He tried and succeeded to improve real everyday freedom for so very many Americans; whether they want to celebrate his life or not.

Indy4U2C said...

I noticed the immediate attempt at the "canonization" of old Teddy Kennedy by the mainstream media.

1. He was expelled twice from Harvard, once for cheating on a test, and once for paying a classmate to cheat
for him.

2. While expelled, Kennedy enlisted in the Army, but mistakenly signed up
for four years instead of two. His father, Joseph P. Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador to England, pulled the
necessary strings to have his enlistment shortened to two years, and to
ensure that he served in Europe, not Korea, where a war was raging No
preferential treatment for him! (like he charged that President Bush

3. Kennedy was assigned to Paris, never advanced beyond the rank of
Private, and returned to Harvard upon being discharged. Imagine a person of his "education" NEVER advancing past the rank of Private!

4. While attending law school at the University of Virginia, he was cited
for reckless driving four times, including once when he was clocked driving
90 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood with his headlights off
after dark.. Yet his Virginia driver's license was never revoked.
Coincidentally, he passed the bar exam in 1959. Amazing!

5. In 1964, he was seriously injured in a plane crash and hospitalized for
several months. Test results done by the hospital at the time he was admitted had shown he was legally intoxicated. The results of those tests remained a "state secret" until in the 1980's when the report was unsealed.
Didn't hear about that from the unbiased media, did we?

6. On July 19, 1969, Kennedy attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts . At about 11:00 PM, he borrowed his chauffeur's keys to his Oldsmobile limousine and offered to give a ride home to Mary Jo Kopechne, a campaign worker. Leaving the island via an unlit bridge with no guard rail,
Kennedy steered the car off the bridge, flipped, and into Poucha Pond.

Indy4U2C said...

7. He swam to shore and walked back to the party passing several houses and
a fire station. Two friends then returned with him to the scene of the accident. According to their later testimony, they told him what he already knew - that he was required by law to immediately report the accident to the authorities. Instead Kennedy made his way to his hotel, called his lawyer, and went to sleep. Kennedy called the police the next morning and by then the wreck had already been discovered. Before dying Kopechne had scratched at the upholstered floor above her head in the upside-down car.
The Kennedy family began "calling in favors", ensuring that any inquiry
would be contained. Her corpse was whisked out-of-state to her family
before an autopsy could be conducted. It is widely assumed Kennedy was drunk, and he held off calling police in hopes that his family could fix the
problem overnight. Since the accident Kennedy's "political enemies" have
referred to him as the distinguished Senator from Chappaquiddick. He
pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, and was given a
Kopechne's family received a small payout from the Kennedy's insurance
policy and never sued. There was later an effort to have her body exhumed
and autopsied, but her family successfully fought against this in court, and Kennedy's family paid their attorney's bills.... a "token of friendship"?

8. Kennedy has held his Senate seat for more than forty years, but considering his longevity, his accomplishments seem scant. He authored or argued for legislation that ensured a variety of civil rights, increased the minimum wage in 1981, made access to health care easier for the indigent, funded Meals on Wheels for fixed-income seniors, and is widely held as the "standard-bearer for liberalism". In his very first Senate roll he was the floor manager for the bill that turned U.S. immigration policy upside down and opened the floodgate for immigrants from third world countries..

9. Since that time, he has been the prime instigator and author of every
expansion of an increase in immigration up to and including the latest attempt to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. Not to mention the pious grilling he gave the last two Supreme Court nominees, as if he was the standard bearer for the nation in matters of "what is right" What a pompous ass!

10. He is known around Washington as a public drunk, loud, boisterous, and
very disrespectful to ladies. JERK is a better description than "great
American". "A blonde in every pond" is his motto.

Let's not allow the spin doctors to make this jerk a hero -- how quickly the
American public forgets what his real legacy is.