Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy Dies at 77

Ted Kennedy certainly lived a full life. Dying today at 77, he leaves behind a family, a number of grandchildren, and millions of dollars. He also leaves with a reputation as a statesman and a champion of "health care reform," a bill of which will likely bear his name when it comes to the floor of the Senate.

But in the midst of the sadness for a man who lived to three score and seventeen, we shouldn't forget Mary Jo Kopechne, dead 40 years now. Her life ended at ust 28 years old, and the main reason is Edward Moore Kennedy, who cravenly left her to drown as he swam to safety. A diver sent into the car believed she was alive up to 2 hours after the Senator drove off of a bridge. Had he been Edward Smith or Jones, he likely would have done a nice stretch of time in a penetentiary for his conduct. However, as one of our exalted elites, he was allowed a slap on the wrist. For his negligence, his driver's license was suspended for six months.

Six months of being driven around by other people for killing someone.

So weep for Teddy Kennedy, Lion of the Senate. Weep harder still for the young woman whose life ended because she trusted him, who has been largely forgotten today. It is she, not his years in Washington, that he should be remembered for.


Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

It has been said too many times that he never lived up to his potential, that he will forever be overshadowed by his two brothers. I disagree. Given the limited time that fate would allow them, their legacies are decidedly eclipsed by their little brother's. As John Meacham said this morning on the Morning Joe program, "He certainly belongs in the company of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster." As legislators, Jack and Bobby aren't even in Teddy's league. It's not even close.

So many "red state Americans" who regarded him with suspicion if not outright hatred, will probably never even realize how much they owe Senator Kennedy. It's kind of sad that a lot of the people Kennedy worked the hardest for despised him with a passion born of decades of anti-Kennedy propaganda. Nothing was handier for a Republican running in a conservative district than the image of Bogeyman Ted in a campaign ad. It usually worked.


I wonder how these people would react if tomorrow - just for a day, mind you - every law Teddy Kennedy is responsible for were made null and void. Call it a hunch but I have a strong feeling that more people than you might suspect are going to miss him now that he's gone.

Teddy, they hardly knew ye!

We're a better country because for seventy-seven years Teddy Kennedy walked amongst us. His impact on the country he loved so much will be felt for generations. The loss his passing means to progressive politics in the United States is incalculable. We need him at this moment in history more than we ever needed him before. It's so unspeakably sad. He's gone and he's not coming back. Now he belongs to the ages.

In the good old Irish Catholic tradition, tonight I'll be drinking a toast or two (or twelve) to you, Ted. Sleep well and thanks.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

The Commander said...

Ah, the point was about the short life of Mary Joe Kopechne, a fine Catholic girl, who Teddy DID get.

However, as I am of the opinion that most of the laws passed in the last 80 years are useless, I really don't think Kennedy's "accomplishments" matter a hill of beans. He was responsible for No Child Left Behind, the 1965 and 1986 Amnesties (and the abortive 2006 Amnesty), and much of the general expansion of government into our lives over the past 40 years. He never met a tax increase he didn't like. Let us not forget he is also responsible for the verb "Borking" in which an emminently qualified jurist was subjected to more character assassination than Teddy himself ever had to face...and he killed someone.

(By the way, it turns out that for the last 40 years, Kennedy loved hearing Chappaquiddick jokes. What a saint!)

Am I suspicious of the Kennedys? With all the shady dealings, mob ties, and moral failings, the better question is...why isn't everyone?