Okay, this is my favorite editorial cartoon of all time (Glenn McCoy is my favorite political cartoonist). I had this posted on my refrigerator for months. It took me forever to find this today but I had to have this for Kennedy's profile. "Bloated Hedonist pontificating about morality and human rights"--does this describe Ted Kennedy or what?? Classic!!
I had decided that a profile needed to be done on Kennedy. Why? Because a lot of us weren't even born when Chappaquiddick happened. My mother does a lot of reading and she's especially done a lot of reading on the Kennedys. So she was the first one to fill me in on the Kennedys and on Chappaquiddick. Then I did some research on my own and I was in shock that Kennedy not only didn't go to jail but that he got re-elected to his senate seat. Unbelievable!!
He was born on February 22, 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts to Rose & Joseph Kennedy. He was the youngest of 9 children. In my mother's reading she mentioned to me that she got the impression that because he was the youngest he was neglected, raised by nannies and sent off to boarding schools. He entered Harvard in 1950 but was expelled in 1951 for cheating. He then went into the Army for two years until he could re-enter Harvard and then graduated in 1956. He graduated from the University of Virginia Law School and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1959. His only political experience before becoming senator was that he managed JFK's 1958 senate re-election campaign and was an Assistant DA from 1961-62.
Kennedy was elected to the senate in 1962 to serve out the last 2 years of JFK's term since he was now President. Ted Kennedy has been in the U.S. Senate ever since and is the 2nd longest serving current senator behind Robert Byrd. If that isn't an argument for term limits or a mandatory retirement age I don't know what is :-).
As everyone knows both of Ted's famous brothers were assassinated in the 60's. JFK was assassinated in 63 and Robert in 68. Here is what Wikipedia says about the aftermath: "Kennedy was looked upon as a likely future presidential candidate. For about a year, the Democratic establishment began to focus attention on him as the new "carrier of the torch" for the Kennedys and the party."
And then July 18,1969 happened. Kennedy was attending a party on Chappaquiddick Island. After having a lot to drink he decided to leave the party (without his chauffeur who normally drove him everywhere) with Mary Jo Kopechne. There is a dispute about what time he left but it seems to have been sometime around 11:15. The accident didn't happen until around 12:40 so there is a lot of speculation on what happened in between. His account is that he made a wrong turn and ended up on Dike Bridge where he accidentally veered off into Poucha Pond. He was able to escape but unable to rescue Mary Jo. He went back to the party and got his cousin and friend who were both lawyers to come help him. They were also unable to rescue her. According to them they both wanted to report the accident but Kennedy didn't. Kennedy went back to his hotel and made numerous calls but none to police. He didn't talk to police until they contacted him around 10:00 the next morning after they found the accident scene.
Here is what Wikipedia had to say about it:
"The incident quickly blossomed into a scandal. Kennedy was criticized for driving drunk, for failing to come to Kopechne's aid, for failing to summon help, for contacting not the police but his lawyer first, and for failing to report the accident to the authorities. Because of a lack of evidence other than Kennedy's own word, allegations persist that he did not try to save Kopechne, and that he intentionally turned onto the road crossing the bridge going to the beach in order to have sex with her.
Kennedy entered a plea of guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury. He received a sentence of two months in jail, which was suspended. An Edgartown grand jury later reopened the investigation but did not return an indictment.
Kennedy's critics and political opponents question whether justice was served in this case. Rumors periodically surface of a conspiracy by Kennedy and his family to alter his driving record to obviate charges of negligent homicide, and to influence the Edgartown grand jury."
I have read Leo Damore's book, "Senatorial Privilege (The Chappaquiddick Cover-up)" and have seen an A&E documentary on Chappaquiddick. There are so many holes in Kennedy's story you could drive a truck thru them. It is unfathomable to me that at the very least he wasn't charged with involuntary manslaughter and how, how did he get re-elected after this? The only consequence he seems to have suffered is that his 1980 bid for the presidency quickly went down in flames.
So Kennedy has his moral failings but seems to think that by championing liberal causes all will be forgotten. Like the Clintons he seems to have no shame. He often has the audacity to lecture others on morality. What he has done to so many honest men and women of integrity is incomprehensible. Like the editorial cartoon at the top you have to wonder what goes through people like Gonzalez & Alito's minds when they have to endure the pontificating.
There is a website that is dedicated to exposing the truth about Ted entitled YTedK. On it they have a quote that I think sums up Ted Kennedy well:
"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."
- Plato -
Ted Kennedy's Official Website