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I Come Not To Praise Teddy, But To Bury Him

Well, it appears that Ted Kennedy's recent medical crisis isn't immediately life-threatening, so it's time to put the hagiographies back in storage. The man hasn't died yet, so telling truths about him falls under "kicking a man when he's down," and not "speaking ill of the dead." And as James Carville so eloquently put it, "when your opponent is drowning, throw the son-of-a-bitch an anchor."

It's said that just before you die, your entire life flashes before your eyes. I dunno if that's true, but when I heard reports that Teddy had been rushed to the hospital, his life flashed before my eyes. And it was not a pretty thing.

Ted Kennedy is the closest thing to a true Falstaffian character in American history. He was never intended for the incredibly prominent role history has thrust upon him, and he's borne it up as well as can be expected -- in other words, not well at all.

Old Joe Kennedy (Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.) had a plan for his family all laid out. His first-born son would be the first Catholic president of the United States, with his second son ready to succeed him. The third would be the helper of the older two. To cement the family legacy, he named his first son after himself: Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr. The second and third sons -- John Fitzgerald and Robert Francis -- were given names to honor Old Joe's patrician father-in-law, John Francis Fitzgerald.

And then came along Teddy. It was obvious that Old Joe didn't expect much from him, because he named him after the family chauffeur (and, it is rumored, Joe's occasional procurer), Edward "Eddie" Moore.

Old Joe's plan hit a few roadblocks. He managed to achieve several prominent government positions, culminating in Ambassador to England -- something that suited the old Irishman just fine. But his respect for Hitler and belief that Nazism would triumph in Europe -- and the US jolly well better get used to that inevitability -- led to his recall.

No matter. He'd laid enough groundwork; now all his boys had to do was grab some respectable wartime records, and they'd be set for politics. So Joe joined the Army Air Force, and Jack the Navy.

Then came major setback #1: Jack was injured and nearly killed in the Pacific. But Joe managed to spin Jack's wartime mishap into a tale of great heroism and courage, and Jack became a genuine war hero. Young Joe, possibly motivated by jealousy of his younger brother's acclaim, volunteered for several highly dangerous missions -- and one of them eventually cost him his life.

After the war, the plan proceeded apace -- with adjustments made, so that Jack would be the first Catholic president, with third son Bobby as his right-hand man.

But what of Teddy? Was there a place for him?

Yes. Some adjustments would have to be made, and he'd have to grow up a bit, but there was room for him in Old Joe's grand scheme.

Unfortunately. Ted's weak character began showing up almost immediately. At Harvard, he was caught paying another student to take a Spanish exam, and he was expelled. Joe arranged for him to serve a stint in the Army (as an enlisted man, not an officer like young Joe or Jack). Rumor has it that Teddy managed to screw that up, too, signing up not for a two-year stint, but four years, and with a strong possibility of going to Korea. Old Joe called in a bunch of favors and got Teddy's term cut back to two years, and arranged for him to spend it assigned to SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) in Paris. (Oh, the burden that must have been.) Then, when he was discharged, he was re-admitted to Harvard and graduated.

In 1960, he helped Jack win the presidency, and saw Bobby be named Attorney General. That left Jack's Senate seat open, and Old Joe wanted him to fill it. Unfortunately, he couldn't find a way to bribe or blackmail his way past the Constitution, and Teddy was two years too young to serve in the Senate. So Old Joe did the next best thing -- he got Jack's college roommate appointed to the seat to "keep it warm" until Ted could turn 30 and run for it directly.

Shortly after getting elected for a full term in 1964, Teddy made what is probably his single greatest contribution to America: he was one of the main backers of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. This attempt at immigration "reform" was partly aimed at addressing the problems of illegal immigration -- then, a major concern, as there were an estimated 1,000,000 illegal aliens in the United States. Teddy was abundantly clear about just what the measure would -- and would not -- do:

"First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same ... Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset ... Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia ... In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think ... The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs."

I find myself torn between two possibilities. Was Teddy so stupid that he actually believed that, or was he lying? I find either entirely plausible.

Anyway, let's fast-forward a few years to the incident everyone knows Teddy for: his little adventure in submarine racing in an Oldsmobile. Specifically, his mother's.

If Ted could be considered depressed through much of the 60's, it's more than understandable. Losing his oldest brother in World War II was bad enough. Then his father has a massive stroke and is rendered speechless and utterly infirm. Then his older brother -- the President of the United States -- is assassinated. Then his last brother was also gunned down, while seeking the presidency. So by 1969, Teddy had had his share of problems.

But now it was time for the single biggest screw-up of his life, the one that will most likely be the single thing he is most remembered for: Chappaquiddick.

Teddy was hosting a party on the island off Cape Cod for Kennedy supporters and folks who had worked on Bobby's presidential bid. He left with one of the young ladies, Mary Jo Kopechne, heading for the ferry. He didn't arrive, though; he drove the big Olds right off the bridge, where it flipped over in the water.

Teddy -- despite his bad back from a 1964 plane crash that broke it -- escaped the sinking car and swam for shore. After going back to the party and notifying his lawyers about the crash (who went to the scene and attempted to rescue Mary Jo while Ted watched), he went to an inn, chatted briefly with the clerk (establishing that he was there at 2:25, two hours after the crash) and went to bed. In the morning, he reported the accident to the police -- two hours after the car had been discovered by fishermen, and after the police had already recovered Mary Jo's body.

(An excellent, highly-detailed account of the whole incident can be found here.)

Teddy's presidential possibilities pretty much died with Mary Jo. He ended up pleading guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and had his license suspended for two months. The Kennedy family power couldn't make it all go away, but they did manage to minimize the personal cost to Teddy.

A few months later, Old Joe finally died. He'd lived just long enough to outlive three of his sons, and see his fourth and last son utterly destroy any chance to fulfill Old Joe's dream of a dynasty.

Teddy cruised along for several years, and then in 1980 he figured enough time had passed and he couldn't avoid his "destiny" any longer -- and he ran for president, challenging incumbent Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination. He was a long shot to begin with, but he was completely and utterly sunk when CBS's Roger Mudd ambushed him with a truly low-down, deceptive, unfair question: "why do you want to be president?"

Teddy's answer puts Miss South Carolina's infamous ramble to shame:

EDWARD KENNEDY: Well, I'm - were I to make the announcement to run, the reasons that I would run is because I have a great belief in this country that it is - has more natural resources than any nation of the world, has the greatest educated population in the world, the greatest technology of any country in the world, the greatest capacity for innovation in the world and the greatest political system in the world. And yet I see at the current time that most of the industrial nations of the world are exceeding us in terms of productivity or doing better than us in terms of meeting the problems of inflation, that they're dealing with their problems of energy and their problems of unemployment. It just seems to me that this nation can cope and deal with its problems in a way that it has in the past. We're facing complex issues and problems in this nation at this time, but we have faced similar challenges at other times and the energies and the resourcefulness of this nation, I think, should be focused on these problems in a way that brings a sense of restoration in this country by its people to - in dealing with the problems that we face, primarily the issues on the economy, the problems of inflation and the problems of energy and I would basically feel that it's imperative for this country either move forward, but it can't stand still or otherwise it moves backward.

Never in the annals of human history has so little been said at such length by such a large, small man.

In what has to be one of the must humilating moments in political history, Kennedy got his clocked cleaned by a president who would go on to lose 44 of 50 states.

Since Teddy finally got that out of his system, he's been content to just cruise along. He divorced his wife, earned a stupendous reputation as a boozing womanizer, then got remarried (but don't you dare question his status as a good Catholic, and especially don't bring up his staunch opposition to Church doctrine on abortion and birth control!) and focused on being the best darned Senator and family man he can be.

And that latter part has been especially taxing. It seems that the younger generation of Kennedys has largely chosen to follow Ted's example (and who can blame him? At least he's still alive!) and indulge in all sorts of vices and peccadilloes. Like alcoholism. Drug addiction. Drug overdoses. Car crashes that leave a young woman crippled for life. Fireworks mishaps that nearly blow off children's hands. One nephew is a convicted murderer. Another barely escaped a rape conviction from a night out partying with Uncle Ted. Another was caught nailing his underage babysitter.

Today, Teddy is seen as the "lion" of the Senate, and a champion of liberalism. And now that he's hospitalized with unexplained seizures, there is a huge rush to canonize him, to whitewash his lifetime of reprobation and sweep his multitude of sins under the carpet.

Sorry, but I'll pass.

I don't hate Teddy Kennedy. Part of me wants to, but I find myself more pitying him than hating him. He never had a chance to be his own man; he was shacked into his father's grand plans for over 37 years, never given the chance to find his own way in the world and do what he wanted to. He eventually managed to convince himself that his fate demanded public service, and he's done the best he can (albeit incredibly wrong-headedly and championing so, so many of the wrong causes and ideals, wreaking great harm on the nation in the process), but it's really not his fault that he never grew up and became his own man. Instead, he's now a fat, old, drunken sot who has convinced himself that this was his destiny, that this was the course his life was fated to take, that he has lived his life well and served his nation to his fullest.

I suppose it's never too late to hope for a change of heart, that he might some day realize the tremendous damage he's done to this nation, that he might actually own up for the first time to his own responsibilities and be a man.

But I sure as hell don't bet on it actually happening.

Nor do I expect him to resign his office for reasons of health. Teddy has chosen to make the Senate his life; I strongly suspect he has absolutely no idea what he'd do without his office. He has chosen to define himself as "Senator Kennedy," and the only way he'll ever give up that identity is when he dies.

And at that point, the beatification will commence in full, and literally dozens of buildings, schools, projects and other government projects will be named in his honor.

I intend to call out sick for at least one of those days. My stomach will be in full churn mode.

I might even have to get drunk -- for the first time in my life -- just to get through it all.


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Comments (47)

I am writing in respons... (Below threshold)
Mark Giolli:

I am writing in response to this article written about Senator Kennedy which was released today on May 19th, 2008. Senator Kennedy has been a champion of all in this country for almost 46 years now, since he was elected United States Senator representing the state of Massachusetts in November of 1962.
This article shows the lack of respect some people have towards a great man of Senator Edward M. Kennedy's fiber. I have noticed this sort of disrespect from conservatives ever since the 1980's, when the right wing started to talk like Jerry Falwell and preach to everyone about how they were the victims of the unjust left, which then led to the conservative factions demoralizing the left wingers and their causes. It does not help now that a cable television channel like Fox Network is so subjective and biased in their reporting that it makes me and others question thier objectivity-which is the basis for good reporting I think. Or have the conservatives and right wingers changed the definition of objectivity or for that matter good reporting?
This article is correct, Ted Kennedy went through some hard times in his life especially in the 1960's. In that decade he lost his father and his two remaining brothers (after losing his oldest brother in 1944 in Europe, as well as his sister Kathleen in 1948), and yet he persevered and tried to help others less fortunate than himself. He could have retired and committed his life to sailing in Cape Cod and eating fine foods at the family home at Hyannis Port,Mass.; but he didn't. The Kennedys are not like that. They persevere and like I said they try to help those less fortunate then themselves. That is admirable, and that is why we hold the Kennedy family in such high esteem.
I suppose the writer of this article Jay Tea does not see these qualities as admirable. Yet he sees the insulting of an icon of American politics as admirable and correct, and gives no credit at all but to say that Senator Kennedy was given a role which he had to live up to- as though he had no choices, and that his father held the strings to his career. I think that is very simplistic and wrong. Many people said the same thing about his older brother Jack. Their father might have given them the avenue to walk on, but they kept on walking on their own.
I have read many books on Senator Kennedy's life, and I suggest Mr. Tea read about the time when Senator Kennedy was recuperating from the plane crash in 1964. Quite revealing indeed, and it will put an end the question of Senator Kennedy's own commitment to being a United States Senator. I am not sure how that can be questioned after almost 50 years.
All this article does is demonstrate to the country how disrespectful and rather cold the right wingers have become in America. I think that is why Senator Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama. He has faith in the belief that Senator Obama can bring together everyone in this country in a sort of cohesive unity which has not been seen since the early 1960's. It has been said that Senator Kennedy has been an encompassing force and figure in this country. That is true. The fact is that his legislation over the last almost 50 years has affected every american now living in one way or another; this fact is significant to his effectiveness and his commitment to legislation, and how he feels about the Senate as a tool to make this country greater. This article questions his character. I am not sure the writer knows the definition of character.
Whether it is being fair to immigrants and not being hypocritical, or helping to raise the minimum wage, Senator Kennedy is a hero to all Americans whether they know it or not. His legislation on immigration did not start in the last few years, it started in the 1960's. He is not a "Johnny Come Lately" on social security or health care or minimum wage. These issues are nothing new to Senator Kennedy. And if you do not believe it now, history books many years from now will note his impact on the legislative ventures of his times, and the writings will be very generous. Respectfully, Mark Giolli

I am pretty much in agreeme... (Below threshold)

I am pretty much in agreement with this post; one minor correction - I believe that Joseph P Kennedy Jr was a Navy pilot, not AAF as stated.
While Chappaquiddick defines Edward Kennedy for many, and I agree that it certainly shows the man's character (or lack thereof), for me the defining Kennedy moment came in the Robert Bork Supreme Court nomination hearings. His utterly false and reckless character assassination of Judge Bork - "Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, children could not be taught about evolution." - marked a new low in the left's assault on the constitution, and set the tone for the bitter partisan divide that continues, with his active participation, to this day. When you hear the vicious and hateful rhetoric from today's politicians, just say, "Thanks Teddy, for all that."
What a legacy.

If you're going to get load... (Below threshold)

If you're going to get loaded when Teddy cacks it, make it a good brand of Scotch. It's what he would want.

Mark - it is telling that y... (Below threshold)

Mark - it is telling that you make no comment on Teddy's criminal or at very least immoral actions(or lack of action) in respects to Mary Jo Kopechne.

Beatitude # 119I s... (Below threshold)

Beatitude # 119

I screwed Mary Jo, but I never hurt Her.

R.I.P. jacass

Mark, obviously you are a K... (Below threshold)

Mark, obviously you are a Kennedy "groupie". Talk about the lack of objectivity, you personify it. Even to working in how you hate Fox News. The Kennedy's have been rolling over "everyday" people more then 50 years. Kennedy started the division in this country as an above commenter so ablily pointed out. Kennedy is what is wrong with america, not what is right. Yes, what Kennedy has done does effect everyone, especially working people who pay way to much taxes to pay for the people the can't or won't work for a living. It is always easier to give someone elses money away, but his is locked up in trusts and off shore accounts to minimize his tax burden. How hypocritical, pathetic and expected. Mark, you need to wake up. ww

A well written, concise ess... (Below threshold)

A well written, concise essay about the pathetic Teddy Kennedy, Jay. Nicely done.

What I find saddest about the Kennedy saga is the next generation of drug abusing, drunk driving, womanizing Kennedy kids. I hope Maria Shriver out in California is raising some good Republican kids. Arnold seems like a dedicated father and family man, so here's hoping he can terminate the curse of the Kennedys.

Yes, perhaps Arnold the Rep... (Below threshold)

Yes, perhaps Arnold the Republican family man can teach his children how to grope every available woman in sight.

Stay classy, JFO. ... (Below threshold)

Stay classy, JFO.

And Arnold has four children, two of each. I presume, in the spirit of non-discrimination, the daughters should be taught proper groping techniques?

I'm sure you're aware his daughters are 19 and 17, and his sons are 14 and 10? So delighted you're continuing the fine tradition of liberals in using the absolutely non-politically-active children of politicians as legitimate targets for your partisan spewing.

Like I said, JFO... stay classy. Wouldn't change you if I could.

Although, like a diaper, you really do need it...


Wizbangers, isn't it nice t... (Below threshold)

Wizbangers, isn't it nice to have someone like JFO commenting to constantly remind us of how unable the left is to stay focused and comprehend a post. Having a debate with JFO is like JFO taking a knife to a gun fight. He is way out of his league. ww

Geez Jay Tea do you even re... (Below threshold)

Geez Jay Tea do you even read the comments here? You might try and look at the one right above mine. It was the right winger lady who brought up the issue. Take your blinders off Jay and work on that intellectual honesty mentioned before.

Always great to get a histo... (Below threshold)

Always great to get a historical lesson from someone who has a long and clear hatred of their subject.

Stay classy Wizbang.

Some of my favorite Kennedy... (Below threshold)

Some of my favorite Kennedy moments

Ted Kennedy, 1978:

"As the author of the first HMO bill ever to pass the Senate, I find this spreading support for HMOs truly gratifying. Just a few years ago, proponents of health maintenance organizations faced bitter opposition from organized medicine. And just a few years ago, congressional advocates of HMOs faced an administration which was long on HMO rhetoric, but very short on action.

"The current revival of the HMO movement should come as no surprise. HMOs have proven themselves again and again to be effective and efficient mechanisms for delivering health care of the highest quality. HMOs cut hospital utilization by an average of 20 to 25 percent compared to the fee-for-service sector. They cut the total cost of health care by anywhere from 10 to 30 percent. And they accomplish these savings without compromising the quality of care they provide their members. "

Ted Kennedy, 2001:

"Today, if your child has a rare congenital heart defect and no specialist in the plan is equipped to treat it, your [HMO] plan can condemn your child to second rate care from the doctor who happens to be on the plan's list....

"Today, if you have incurable cancer and your best hope of a cure is participation in a clinical trial, your [HMO] plan can deny you access to that trial....

"Today, your doctor can be financially coerced by your HMO into giving you less than optimal care....

"Today, if you need an expensive drug that is not on your plan's list, the [HMO] plan can make you pay for it yourself or go without....

"The list goes on and on....

"It is time to end the abuses of managed care that victimize thousands of patients each day. It is time for doctors and nurses and patients to make medical decisions again, not insurance company accountants. The American people deserve prompt action, and we intend to see that they get it."

Cape Wind:

Environmentalists ripped into U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, usually a staunch ally, after the Massachusetts Democrat acknowledged yesterday he encouraged a Senate colleague to file a measure to kill a windmill project off of Cape Cod.
One critic said Kennedy - whose family's famous Hyannis compound is just miles away from the proposed offshore Cape Wind project - has seriously harmed his reputation among environmentalists.

Big Dig:

A decade later, though, President Reagan didn't care to give Massachusetts Democrats billions for what skeptics considered a "highway beautification project." When Reagan vetoed a 1987 highway bill that contained the Big Dig's first significant federal funding, the real politics started. Tip, and Ted Kennedy in the Senate, garnered enough supporters, including 13 Republicans, for an override.

Iraq, 2002:

I do not accept the idea that trying other alternatives is either futile or perilous - that the risks of waiting are greater than the risks of war. Indeed, in launching a war against Iraq now, the United States may precipitate the very threat that we are intent on preventing -- weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists. If Saddam's regime and his very survival are threatened, then his view of his interests may be profoundly altered: He may decide he has nothing to lose by using weapons of mass destruction himself or by sharing them with terrorists.

Iraq, 2004:

...In the march to war, the President exaggerated the threat anyway. It was not subtle. It was not nuanced. It was pure, unadulterated fear-mongering, based on a devious strategy to convince the American people that Saddam's ability to provide nuclear weapons to Al Qaeda justified immediate war...

...America went to war in Iraq because President Bush insisted that nuclear weapons in the hands of Saddam Hussein and his ties to Al Qaeda were too dangerous to ignore...

Using the name "James Carvi... (Below threshold)

Using the name "James Carville" at the beginning of the piece kind of puts a coat of slime on it. Feel like I need a shower and a bar of Lava.

I don't want to wish ill on... (Below threshold)

I don't want to wish ill on anyone, but when he does pass, they should turn his body to biofuel. At least it would be a useful contribution for a change.

And that stuff would probably burn like nitrous.

Good post, J. And you can ... (Below threshold)

Good post, J. And you can tell by the responses from such illuminarie as JP2 and JFO.

And here's a thought that should warm the hackles of any conservative's heart - If Ted Kennedy were not around, John Kerry would become the Senior Senator from Massachussettes.

So Jay uses the fact that K... (Below threshold)

So Jay uses the fact that Kennedy survived a stroke as an excuse to assassinate his character and busts JFO's chops for making a snarky joke about Ahnold? I'll give you credit, Jay. Your brain can hold an amazing amount of cognitive dissonance.

Stay independent, Jay, you partisan hack, you.

"So Jay uses the fact that ... (Below threshold)

"So Jay uses the fact that Kennedy survived a stroke as an excuse to assassinate his character"

Kennedy doesn't have any character left to assassinate. He killed it off all by himself back in the 1970s.

They're saying it wasn't a stroke. Apparently, his conscience finally caught up to him all at once...

Max"assassinate hi... (Below threshold)


"assassinate his character"???? You gotta be sh&tting us. Maybe we could get comments about Teddy's character from Mary Jo or 3 million of Pol Pot's and Uncle Ho's minnions.

You're right. Shame on Jay.

Before any moonbats open a ... (Below threshold)

Before any moonbats open a vein over a post on their favorite conservative blog let me say Uncle Teddy is in a category all by his pathetic self. There are liberals whose lives were cut short who had personal integrity. Paul Wellstone comes to mind. To the left of middle America but genuine in his beliefs.Then there's The Swimmer.
I suspect when Ted does keel over it'll be because he realised he was a lying murderer who comfortably slept if off KNOWING there was a drowned woman in his car. Maybe that's why, subconciously, he ruined his wife's life, his country's immigration policy, the standards of his guilt ridden constituents and his liver.
Yeah, and his treatment of Robert Bork shows the hubris this walking contemptuous spoiled drunk has lived his life by.
The Mark Foley's of this world resign or are defeated but only Massachusetts would give us Teddy and Barney.

Hey JayTea,I actua... (Below threshold)
frank rizzo:

Hey JayTea,

I actually thought you were talking about the Bush family, given they made their fortune, by doing business with the nazi's. Certainly it is a family of high expectations where the father took reckless action (George Seniro letting himself get shot down in wwII) while his son was a drunk who did his turn in the guard ran a few business in the ground and is proceeding to ruin this country... Yep, lots of similarities.

Fox News was doing eulogies... (Below threshold)

Fox News was doing eulogies for Teddy on Saturday afternoon, including praise from Republicans like Trent Lott (not quite effusive as his praise for Senator Thurman). I have no like for Senator K's politics or his personal behavior re: M.J. Kopeckne or his legendary drinking. But it's hard to deny that he has worked hard for his chosen causes in the Senate, he supports lots of worthwhile charities, and he is not as liberal as BH Obama. Further, he inspired the character of Mayor Quimby on The Simpsons, which is probably his most lasting legacy. Anyway, it's bad form to wish your domestic political enemies ill health. While I wish he would retire into deep seclusion, I hope Teddy recovers from his current illness. You'll eventually get the opportunity to bury him - just not right now.

If you cats can't bring you... (Below threshold)

If you cats can't bring yourselves to hate Teddy K, I'll do it for you.

One word about Teddie--PUKE... (Below threshold)

One word about Teddie--PUKE!!

Max, I've never concealed m... (Below threshold)

Max, I've never concealed my disdain for the Senior Senator from the Bay State. For me to change that now would be hypocrisy.

And I did NOT condemn JFO for his attack on Schwarzenegger. Arnold's a big guy; he can take it. I called him out on using Arnold's CHILDREN as a method of attack.

Other than that, your comment is truly valued and appreciated.

Um... did your comment have anything in it besides that?


It looks like Frank Rizzo (... (Below threshold)
Dodo David:

It looks like Frank Rizzo (Post #21) is also guilty of bringing a knife to a gun fight.
Notice that he didn't try to refute anything that Jay said about Kennedy. Instead, he changed the subject.

"He is not a "Johnny Co... (Below threshold)

"He is not a "Johnny Come Lately" on social security or health care or minimum wage."

He wasn't a "johnny come lately" on leaving a girl to die in his personal transportation either.

It's not fair to accuse the... (Below threshold)
Master Shake:

It's not fair to accuse the lefty trolls of bringing a knife to a gun-fight. Everyone knows they don't let patients at the Femtoencephally Research Institute have sharp objects....

Frank #21Congratul... (Below threshold)

Frank #21

Congratulations! That post belongs in the Wizbang Hall of Fame.

These are such gems:

I actually thought you were talking about the Bush family, given they made their fortune, by doing business with the nazi's...perhaps old Joe Kennedy made the introduction for them, given his well known support of Hitler. You did read Jay's post didn't you?

Certainly it is a family of high expectations where the father took reckless action (George Seniro letting himself get shot down in wwII) while his son was a drunk .....ya think? Even Mary Mapes would struggle with that assertion. Was W in the bottle when GHWB was shot down in the Pacific? Come on, you can tell us. Your Bill Burkett, right?

who did his turn in the guard ran a few business in the ground ....repeating those popular KOS talking points again, Barney, err, I mean Frank? Are you talking about Harken Energy and the Texas Rangers ball club? I sure wish I could have been in on those deals that were run into the ground.

Jay, we're all painfully aw... (Below threshold)

Jay, we're all painfully aware of your obsessive hatred of Ted Kennedy. I don't question that, only the timing of this particular diatribe.

Yeah, JFO mentioned Arnolds kids, but Arnold was the obvious target of the joke.

As for your appreciation of the rest of my comment, does that mean you are finally owning your partisanship and ditching the disingenuous "independent" label?

Jay Tea you are too funny. ... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea you are too funny. You write an entire paragraph gratuitously sliming just about every known relative of Kennedy and then you get your panties in a wad when I make a snarky comment about Arnold teaching his children bad habits.

Was there some point to bringing Kennedy's family into your diatribe of hatred? How does it support your post? What does it offer the reader about Ted Kennedy other than gratuitous vomiting of your venom about the family? Ever have an alcoholic in your family Jay Tea? Ever have someone with an addiction or mental health problem in your family? Or are you just a smug, morally superior, pure as the driven snow right winger?

You can't help yourself can you? You hate him and them and apparently any and all things and people of Massachusetts which is evident from the numerous diatribes you treat the readers to. And you have the stones to criticize my one liner which was in response to the ass ahead of me who was extolling Arnold's Republican family values?

JFO, I can see you're playi... (Below threshold)

JFO, I can see you're playing your standard game of "let's make the subject Jay, and not what he wrote about," but I'll play along with you just this once.

I come from a long and distinguished line of alcoholics. You'll note I said at the end something about "getting drunk for the first time in my life." I don't drink alcohol -- period. I have no interest in finding out if I am a latent alcoholic or not, so I simply don't drink.

The story's similar when it comes to drugs. I've never used any illegal drugs, because -- like alcoholism -- I've seen, very up close and personally, what it can do, so I simply don't.

The reason I bring up Teddy's weaknesses is that they are simply not his private matter. Or his family's. He -- and most of his family -- have a huge support network of enablers called "the voters," and Teddy's weaknesses have, I believe, led him to enact some of the most onerous, most loathsome, and most wrongheaded laws and policies that exist today. As I and others have noted, Teddy's fingerprints are all over immigration policy, tax policy, health care, organized labor, foreign policy, and a host of other key issues.

If Teddy would just go away, and not hold such a powerful position in our government, I'd be thrilled to never write, speak, or even think of him again.

But he won't. And as long as he is in office, continually causing harm to our nation, I'll keep denouncing him and slamming him by speaking the truth about him.

And I still find it remarkable that only one commenter thought Teddy worthy of defending -- albeit in an incredibly weak way. The rest of my critics just want to desperately want to change the subject to anything else -- the Bush family, me, anything.

Far, far too transparent, schmucks. You'll have to try harder.


I have no problem with you ... (Below threshold)

I have no problem with you writing your opinion about Kennedy. Some of it is true, some of it is hyperbole. But that's to be expected. You detest his policies. Apparently the people who matter the most in that regard (his constituents) support them.

But what's the point about the family? How does that support your (incredibly skewed) view of HIS politics and HIS work as a Senator? You, rightfully and forcefully, call people out here when they gratuitously attack someone's children or family. Why is that standard not good enough for you? Why are you different? If you can't see the difference between my snarky comment about Arnold and your list of all the evils and weaknesses of his family then your judgment is questionable.

It is you who is transparent on this one Jay and it it is you ought to look in the mirror.

JFO, Teddy's family members... (Below threshold)

JFO, Teddy's family members have many of the same failings he does. Whether there is a causal relationship -- they are "inspired" by Teddy -- or they simply add to his own burdens -- is for those better qualified than I to judge. I bring them up to show that far from being the "black sheep" of his family, he's a role model for the generation that followed his.

And not a good one, either.

As I said, Teddy's status and power guarantee that his problems will be ours.

And no matter what you say about me, that won't change.


"JFO, I can see you're play... (Below threshold)

"JFO, I can see you're playing your standard game of "let's make the subject Jay, and not what he wrote about," but I'll play along with you just this once." - JT

Funny you should say that Jay, since you were the first to lob personal attacks in this thread.

Stay hypocritical, Jay.

JFOHow can anyone ... (Below threshold)


How can anyone with an informed opinion discuss the life and career of Edward Kennedy without including in the discussion some reference to his family?

The Kennedy family has publicly embraced their epic lives and deaths in a way no other American political family has. The MSM, which is indisputably liberal, embraces it, indeed profits from it regularly. If Edward Kennedy's last name was Smith, or better yet, O'Callaghan, he would not be a Senator. And yes, please make the Bush comparison, I'll not object.

Edward Kennedy has both suffered and benefited from the fact that he is a Kennedy. To claim that some discussion of his career must be done in some editorial political vacuum that excludes mention of his family is ridiculous. As to his constituents, whom you claim matter most, Jay discusses them regularly here and usually with no mention of Kennedy.

"I don't hate Teddy Kennedy... (Below threshold)

"I don't hate Teddy Kennedy. Part of me wants to, but I find myself more pitying him than hating him."

There's your whole problem. Pitying Fat Teddy is kind of like pitying cancer. Neither deserves it. The M$M has shamefully given the whole Kennedy family a break they never deserved.

He -- and most of his fa... (Below threshold)

He -- and most of his family -- have a huge support network of enablers called "the voters," Posted by Jay Tea | May 19, 2008 6:34 PM

You might want to include the Mass. Bishops of enablers.
What other family of philandering, "pro choice" misogynist white trash princes could so easily procure annulments from the women who made the faustian deal of matrimony with their likes?

And I did NOT condemn JF... (Below threshold)

And I did NOT condemn JFO for his attack on Schwarzenegger. Arnold's a big guy; he can take it. I called him out on using Arnold's CHILDREN as a method of attack.

Umm, but apparently missed his post where he pointed out he was responding to another post that first brought up the Kennedy and Schwarzenegger kids. A post, by the way, whose author you did not call out for using "children as a method of attack".

I can see Mr. "I OWN what I write!" is playing your standard game of "ignore all posts from the right no matter how heinous, but attack all posts from the left (even if they say the same thing)."

There's your whole probl... (Below threshold)

There's your whole problem. Pitying Fat Teddy is kind of like pitying cancer. Neither deserves it. The M$M has shamefully given the whole Kennedy family a break they never deserved.
37. Posted by RKV

Exactly. And by today's MSM cheesy standards, the family (except for JFK's) has an inbred royal family type of esthetic appeal.
Although, Teddy does have the nicest boobs of the lot.

"If you can't see the di... (Below threshold)

"If you can't see the difference between my snarky comment about Arnold and your list of all the evils and weaknesses of his family then your judgment is questionable."

I'll tell you the difference. The difference is that the other members of the Kennedy clan that Jay so "gratuitously attacked" (by your definition) were not simply non-political children of politicians, nor were they simply non-political family members of a politician. The Kennedy family members he talked about were quite political. They were "adult" members of the same family who felt they were eminently qualified to make policy and laws governing us:

Joseph Kennedy
Edward Kennedy (US Senator)
John Kennedy (US President)
Robert Kennedy (US Attorney General and Presidential candidate)

And the one's not mentioned by name, but rather only by deed:

Patrick Kennedy (U.S. Representative)
Michael Kennedy (campaign organizer political adviser)
Joseph Kennedy (U.S. Representative)

And more....

That is fair game. Your snarky comment had not even the slightest commonality to the discussion. It was merely an assumption about Arnold's raising of his minor children. It had no bearing on truth or fact. And to head of any semantics you might try to draw into the discussion, yes, I'm aware that one of his children is barely an adult. Your comment was nothing more than snark to head off what you saw as a slight against documented and factual behaviors committed by political members of the Kennedy family.

ol jabba will probably drow... (Below threshold)

ol jabba will probably drown in his own noxious bodily fluids--some say that's justice--I will agree. That tub o goo will no doubt burn brightly in Hell with his siblings...heh heh....

My attitude - let the Lord ... (Below threshold)

My attitude - let the Lord judge him. And sooner rather than later, if only for the sake of his family. I have a good friend whose husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor several months ago. The enormous toll being taken on the extended family is tremendous. So I will pray for their strength, but leave Senator Kennedy to God's mercy. As far as I'm concerned, he deserves whatever the good Lord metes out to him!

Too bad the Kopechne family... (Below threshold)

Too bad the Kopechne family has to wait more than 39 years to see justice served. A murderer free to roam for that long is beyond the pail.

You left out the lobotomy J... (Below threshold)
Dr. Himmel:

You left out the lobotomy Joe Kennedy had done on Ted's sister Elizabeth because she was too much of a nuisance around the house. They made her a complete vegetable for the next 65 years.

Hey Himmel...she kept break... (Below threshold)

Hey Himmel...she kept breakin the Hummels!!

Now that Teddy is Dead I wa... (Below threshold)

Now that Teddy is Dead I was so pleased to read this accurate and pitying account of this reprobate of a Senator.
It never ceases to amaze me that this man after killing a girl then trying to cover his tracks could be reelected by the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
But, considering they changed and re-changed the succession law to reappoint the successor to this liberal lion.
Ted is Massachusetts and they all should be proud of reelecting this stain on America.






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