Camelot finally creaks to an end

posted at 9:30 am on February 12, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Last week, I wrote that the loss of the “Kennedy seat” in the Senate to the Republicans in Massachusetts could be followed by the loss of the “Kennedy seat” in the House for Rhode Island.  Apparently, Patrick Kennedy must have thought the same thing.  In a surprise leak last night, Kennedy will not seek re-election in 2010:

The decision by the eight-term congressman comes less than a month after a stunning Republican upset in the race for the Massachusetts Senate seat his late father, Edward Kennedy, held for almost half a century.

Patrick Kennedy has been in and out of treatment for substance abuse since crashing his car outside the U.S Capitol in 2006. Still, he has been comfortably re-elected twice since then, after making mental health care his signature issue in Washington.

Kennedy plans to air two-minute commercials about his decision to air on three Rhode Island TV stations on Sunday night.

Kennedy did win re-election afterward, but those elections came in 2006 and 2008, at the height of anti-GOP sentiment in the nation.  Times have clearly changed, although it did take Kennedy a little time to realize it.  Just a few days after Scott Brown won his father’s seat in the Senate, Kennedy called it “a joke”, as the boss recalled last night.

Kennedy will no doubt have other reasons to offer for his withdrawal, but people in his district seemed ready for a change.  According to a poll reported by WPRI, Kennedy had lost his traditional bases of support:

  • Majorities in every age demo give Kennedy either “fair” or “poor” job approval numbers
  • Only 40% of women give him “excellent” or “good” ratings, with 57% negative
  • 59% of union households rate him fair or poor
  • Democrats approve of Kennedy 57%/40%, while independents show 25%/72%
  • On ObamaCare, the overall mood of the state is significantly negative, 38%/50%

More to the point, though, the Kennedys represent the past, and not just because of their family name.  For the first time in post-WWII history, the Democrats have a progressive in the White House while Democrats control both chambers of Congress.  But when Democrats tried to force a progressive agenda of government control of health care, energy, and manufacturing through Capitol Hill, a funny thing happened: the country didn’t thrill to the dawning of Camelot Aquarius.  Instead, the lurch leftward prompted a nationwide reaction of opposition to government control and skyrocketing debt and federal spending.  Barack Obama has tried to pass himself off as a return to Camelot (with the help of certain so-called journalists eager to do the same), but as it happens, the country not only didn’t want a return to Camelot, they didn’t want to turn into Europe, either.

The Kennedy name no longer carries the cachet it once did, and the progressive agenda their family espoused has been exposed as the same old Euro-style socialism that failed over the last few decades on the Continent.  Patrick Kennedy’s exit will be just the acknowledgment of a legacy long ago run down to empty.

Update: Jules Crittenden evokes TS Eliot in “Out with a whimper.” This is the way a dynasty ends, this is the way a dynasty ends …


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Well the Kennedy’s can either go out and get real jobs (good luck on that) or they can just live off their trust funds. And Hope Barry doesn’t tax the hell out of them.

GarandFan on February 12, 2010 at 11:26 AM

I always had a theory about Kennedy popularity. It was based on martyrdom. But I am amazed that I was right. Maybe we can start to figure out if all those people who call themselves Democrats are really Democrats or just Kennedy loyalists.

petunia on February 12, 2010 at 11:33 AM

OH and political leadership seldom turns out to be hereditary.

It is strange that aristocracies didn’t figure that out. But they seldom had two generations in a row of good leadership.

Henry VIII and Elizabeth I are exceptions… not that Henry was a “good” leader but he was a strong leader and his daughter proved both strong and good. More or less.

petunia on February 12, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Camelot finally creaks staggers to an end

ya2daup on February 12, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Fascinating that the term ‘camelot’ was pasted onto this crew after JK’s death. Nobody called it that during his term.

LimaLimaMikeFoxtrot on February 12, 2010 at 11:42 AM

There was only one Kennedy I had any real respect for, and that was Rose. Thru all of her husbands philanderings, and abuse, to the antics, and corruption her children perpetrated..this woman stayed in the back ground, trying to hold onto any shred of dignity she had. She stayed strong, and outlived several of her children, and stayed true to her faith. I remembered hearing at Teddys funeral, that Rose wanted the Kennedy compound to be donated to the church, and used as a monestary. Teddy had her will changed, to keep the compound in his name, to later be turned into a museum.

She wanted something for her church, and he wanted something so self serving, it’s sickening. Like the Kennedys don’t already have enough monuments for themselves?

Yup! Rose held strong, being a gracious, decent, faithful woman, while her sons, became clones of their father. Thru it all, and it had to pain her….she held strong, and fast. She did what mothers are supposed to do. Stay quiet, and just love her kids unconditionally. And she did, til the end. So for that, she gets my respect. But the rest? They can go, and without fanfare for all I care.

capejasmine on February 12, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

ya2daup on February 12, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Finally. Praise the Lord.

Dominion on February 12, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Joey Ramone only has one thing to say to Patches.

Alden Pyle on February 12, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

ya2daup on February 12, 2010 at 11:49 AM

That is good…

Seven Percent Solution on February 12, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Another member of Congress looks at their execrable performance ratings and decides it is time to quit.

Based on their miserable ratings, the whole of Congress should sit back, take a deep breath, wipe out all the crap they have passed in the last two years and restart. Or follow Patches.

Harry Schell on February 12, 2010 at 12:06 PM

The decades long Kennedy infestation is finally coming to an end. That family did more damage to this nation than they could ever make up for.

neurosculptor on February 12, 2010 at 10:31 AM

“Kennedy infestation” – the best name for this criminal bunch I have heard.

silvernana on February 12, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Goodbye and good riddance. The Kennedy clan was as corrupt as nearly all the ‘nobles’ in the Middle Ages they so ignorantly reference.

Dark-Star on February 12, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Two prominent irish american senators of the 20th century were Ted, “the lion
of the senate” Kennedy, and Joe McCarthy, a boorish, wrongheaded drunk, (according to the MSM). And yet, who was more right about the direction of our country and the infiltration of our government and media.
There is no way to diminish the MSM’s complicity, (for decades) for our current predicament.

ontherocks on February 12, 2010 at 12:14 PM

The Kennedy name no longer carries the cachet it once did, and the progressive agenda their family espoused has been exposed as the same old Euro-style socialism that failed over the last few decades on the Continent.

H*ll, that Euro-syle socialism is failing right now! Watch and observe the dissolution of yet another failed Leftie pipe-dream……

Bloomberg: Euro Area Headed for Breakup, SocGen’s Edwards Says (Update2)

When even Europe doesn’t want to be Europe……

dmh0667 on February 12, 2010 at 12:26 PM

“The dream will never die.” – Ted Kennedy circa 1980.

My collie says:

Scam-a-lot? This too shall pass. The wisdom of ancient Jewish folktales once again TRUMPS the inane ramblings of a fat, drunk, stupid politician.

CyberCipher on February 12, 2010 at 12:26 PM

About 40 years late!

lonestar1 on February 12, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Good riddance, Patches.

crazy_legs on February 12, 2010 at 12:49 PM

More great news!

rbj on February 12, 2010 at 12:58 PM

I think he’s always been considered part of the “troubled” branch of the family.

AnninCA on February 12, 2010 at 10:21 AM

“branch”? That whole family is troubled leaf-stem-trunk-to-root. And they’ve troubled this country for too long.

sawbuck on February 12, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Fascinating that the term ‘camelot’ was pasted onto this crew after JK’s death. Nobody called it that during his term.
LimaLimaMikeFoxtrot on February 12, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Thank you! A little movie blooper on this subject: at the end of Animal House, during the parade scene, one of the floats has ‘Camelot’ written across the front of it. The film supposedly took place in 1962, before JFK was assassinated. I’m not at all suggesting that National Lampoon has to be the conerstone of historical accuracy, but is interesting to see how the Camelot myth is another blank slate that some folks use to write their own version of events.

joejm65 on February 12, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Heh!!! Nuf said.

yoda on February 12, 2010 at 1:37 PM

KENNEDY (D-RI) WILL NOT RUN FOR RE-ELECTION
RI’s Liquor Stores and Pharmacies Brace for Impact

wildweasel on February 12, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Patrick is my Congressman — I have been smiling all day.

The handwriting was on the wall for this dim-witted clown. Good riddance.

cruadin on February 12, 2010 at 2:11 PM

This is the way that Camelot ends…
This is the way that Camelot ends…
This is the way that Camelot ends…
Not with a bang but a whimper.
(well, no bangs since 1968 anyway)

Extrafishy on February 12, 2010 at 2:17 PM

capejasmine on February 12, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Eunice gets my respect as well. Other than them, yes.

T.D.D. on February 12, 2010 at 2:39 PM

There was only one Kennedy I had any real respect for, and that was Rose.

capejasmine on February 12, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Very true… but remember, she wasn’t born a Kennedy!

Mary in LA on February 12, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Fascinating that the term ‘camelot’ was pasted onto this crew after JK’s death. Nobody called it that during his term.

I’ve read that the “Camelot” schtick was Jackie’s attempt to salvage JFK’s legacy. John Kennedy was assassinated on my birthday. I was in high school at the time. I always been amazed that Kennedy was deified, because I lived through his time in office. The only thing he accomplished was cutting the top marginal tax rate from 91%, yet he still polls as one of the greatest presidents in US history. But when you ask someone to name what JFK accomplished, all you get are blank stares.

oldleprechaun on February 12, 2010 at 6:20 PM

Alert for all New England drivers. “Patches Kennedy will be on the highways/streets of your community. Be very careful.

Your career as a congressman was a joke Patches.

*Another one that really, really needs more play was his little encounter at LAX on March 26, 2000. An airport screener (an elderly black woman) tried to stop him from boarding a plane because his carry-on was too large. The Congressman, in a manner that would do Cynthia McKinney proud, shoved past her and boarded the plane anyway. Fortunately for him, this was before 9/11, so he didn’t get prosecuted as thoroughly as he should have.

http://wizbangblog.com/content/2006/05/05/patches.php

D84 on February 12, 2010 at 9:56 PM

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