Green Room

Ted Kennedy Memorial Stand-Up Routine: One Man’s Well-Earned Legacy of Ridicule

posted at 1:04 am on August 29, 2009 by

Edward M. Kennedy became a laughingstock the old-fashioned way: He earned it.

Pompous blowholes like Bill O’Reilly want to lecture us about “vicious postings on the Internet about Senator Kennedy [that] are disgraceful,” as if there could be anything more disgraceful than Senator Kennedy himself. Tell you what, Bill: Why don’t you fly off to Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend and get all “melancholy” with sob-sisters like Matt Cooper and leave journalism to people who remember that journalism should concern itself with things like facts and truth.

The facts and the truth are that no “vicious postings on the Internet” could ever begin to describe what a loathsome excuse for a human being Ted Kennedy actually was. If Orrin Hatch feels obligated to say nice things about Ted, OK — Orrin’s a politician and, as Mencken said, the only way a journalist should ever look at a politician is down. And they don’t make them any lower than Ted.

Michelle Malkin warned conservatives against a “lack of restraint,” and maybe I should have listened, but I didn’t get this far by showing restraint when I knew what the facts were: Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

I thought I’d stolen that line from Ann Coulter, but a friend told me it actually originated as a Chevy Chase punchline on “Saturday Night Live” back in the ’70s. Either way, it was what I always said whenever I saw Ted Kennedy on TV, lecturing America about “social justice” and our “moral obligations” blah blah blah.

Like we need lectures from Ted Freaking Kennedy about “justice”? If there were any justice in this world, Teddy would have been drummed out of the Senate as a disgrace as soon as the facts were known about what happened at Chappaquiddick on July 19, 1969. If there were any justice in the world, Ted Kennedy would have gone to prison for vehicular manslaughter. Instead, because he was born with the right last name, he was allowed to cop a plea to a misdemeanor charge of “leaving the scene of an accident.”

Oh, yeah, he left the scene, all right: While Mary Jo Kopechne was still alive, trapped inside the Oldsmobile that miserable drunken coward drove off the Dike Bridge. Facts, as John Adams said, are stubborn things. And any defense of Ted Kennedy’s actions that night can be demolished with two stubborn facts:

  • Mary Jo didn’t “drown,” but died of asphyxiation. The passage of Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption dealing with Chappaquiddick (pp. 38-43) was researched and written by my co-author Lynn Vincent, who was emotionally traumatized to discover this reality. Mary Jo did not drown, a horrific enough experience, but one which would have killed her in barely a minute. Rather, she remained alive, underwater in Teddy’s Oldsmobile, breathing the oxygen trapped inside an air pocket at the rear floorboard of the upside-down car. So, while Ted walked back to the regatta party at the Martha’s Vineyard cottage and tried to concoct an exculpatory cover-story (as his own cousin, Joe Gargan, later explained), Mary Jo was still alive, frantically hoping for a rescue that never came, until finally she breathed her last.
  • Mary Jo Kopechne was a dedicated young liberal woman of tremendous potential. This was pointed out by Jimmie Bise’s co-blogger Paula at the Sundries Shack. Mary Jo had gone to Alabama during the civil rights era, having the courage to live out her own convictions. You don’t have to be a liberal to say of her that, at least, she was neither a hypocrite nor a coward. Nor could anyone rightly describe Mary Jo Kopechne as a lightweight bimbo, just another bit of womanizer Ted’s incidental arm candy. Had Mary Jo lived . . . Well, the women’s movement was just then coming into its own, and one could easily imagine an experienced Democratic political operative (for that’s what she was) enjoying a long and successful career in her own right.

This is one of the most astonishing things about the reaction to Ted Kennedy’s death: The silence of the feminists, while cable TV news overflows with weepy tributes to the “Lion of the Senate.” Who can blame women like Tammy Bruce and Phyllis Chesler for renouncing the soi-disant “Women’s Movement,” which requires that its members ignore O.J.’s murder of his wife and the brutal misogyny of Sharia law?

Now the “Women’s Movement” expects its membership to remain respectfully silent during, or even compels them to join in, the apotheosis of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. (Who shares, along with that fine feminist hero Chris Dodd, credit for inventing the “waitress sandwich.”)  And not one of these “Women’s Movement” leaders will say a word in rembrance of Mary Jo Kopechne?

What we should be asking is not Joyce Carol Oates‘s moronic question, “What is one to think?” Rather, it is Tammy Bruce who calls our attention to the question the liberal feminists don’t want to answer: Where’s Mary Jo Kopechne’s Eulogy?

It just goes to show once again why you can’t spell “liberal” without L-I-E.

Yesterday, some left-wing fool tried to portray Teddy as the victim of “a right-wing smear campaign . . . an orchestrated movement” on the part of “ghoulishly insensitive right-wingers.” We must, perhaps, suffer fools, but why must we suffer them gladly?

Even as MSNBC’s Chris Matthews twisted himself into ridiculous knots to declare Obama “the new brother…of the Kennedy tradition,” liberals fumed over the “right-wing smear campaign” which reminded America that Teddy’s most memorable contribution to that tradition was to get drunk and drive an Oldsmobile off a bridge.
Whatever liberals want to blame on “ghoulishly insensitive right-wingers,” we have yet to match that.

Like the crooked swindlers they are, liberals keep trying to change the subject. Whenever anybody brings up Mary Jo Kopechne, liberals want to talk about Teddy’s wonderful legacy in terms of “issues.” OK, fine, let’s talk foreign policy:

  • Ted Kennedy led the movement in 1973 to deny U.S. assistance to the pro-American government in Saigon, abandoning a U.S. ally to whom leaders of his own party — remember JFK and LBJ? — had solemnly pledged our support. The result? Not only the communist conquest of South Vietnam, and the exodus of thousands of desperate refugees, but also the collateral damage in neighboring Cambodia, bringing to power the Marxist maniac Pol Pot. The infamous “killing fields” — the mountains of skulls of innocent civilians slaughtered by the brutal Khmer Rouge death squads — there is the legacy of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
  • As noted Wednesday, every patriotic American should remember Ted Kennedy as a subversive traitor who tried to aid the Soviet Union by thwarting Ronald Reagan’s policies. In fact, as Connie Hair of Human Events explains, Teddy’s treasonous dealings with the Kremlin began under Reagan’s Democratic predecessor: “Kennedy’s private outreach to the KGB Soviet intelligence agency in attempts to undermine first President Jimmy Carter then President Ronald Reagan say as much as Chappaquiddick did about the man who appeared to have no moral restraints whatsoever on his personal pursuit of raw political power.”

Oh, yes, please, liberals, let’s do talk about Senator Kennedy’s fine “legacy.” And while you’re at it, why don’t you go ahead and lecture us some more about “civility,” too? Because you arrogant creeps think the rest of us are too stupid to remember the tremendous civility the Lion of the Senate showed toward Judge Robert 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, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of the government …”

Of that notorious example of Kennedyesque rhetoric we might say, as Mary McCarthy famously said of pro-Communist playwright Lillian Hellman, every word was a lie, including “and” and “the.”

How did such a reprehensible “pile of human excrement” — really, Mr. Breitbart, do you think it fair to call Ted Kennedy human? — become so powerful and exercise such a disastrous influence over U.S. policy for 46 years? Right Girl finds one clue at the scene of the crime:

The death of Mary Jo Kopechne was an accident, but his actions at the time of and in the weeks following the accident were beyond the pale. Poor, scared rich kid gets strings pulled to make the whole thing go away.

Yes, Teddy was a “rich kid,” but other evil rich kids — Lyle and Erik Menendez come to mind — were not repeatedly re-elected to the Senate. What made Ted different? Well, he was a Kennedy from Massachusetts, and a liberal Democrat. No Democrat with any ambition would dare speak the ugly truth about a Kennedy, nor would any of the Democratic Party’s dishonest stooges in the media.

And somehow, somewhere along the way, Teddy’s enablers in the Democratic Party and the party’s media franchise decided that to report the truth about Teddy would be a disservice to the memory of his slain brothers. This is a specimen of illogic so transparently absurd that it should cause any bright fifth-grader to say, “Huh?”

It was Ted Kennedy’s own disgusting decadence which was the true disservice to the more honorable reputations of JFK and RFK. This is why I felt the need to protest about the term “accident” being used to describe the events of July 19, 1969:

“Accident,” yes. Yet when a man guzzles booze all day and then drives off a bridge, it is certainly not an unavoidable accident. The idea of Chappaquiddick as a “tragedy” whose main victim was Ted and the “Kennedy legacy” . . . is the manure load Ted’s MSM hagiographers are now peddling.

At some point, a decent respect for truth requires that we stop pretending chicken manure is chicken salad. If honest and intelligent people cannot summon the courage to call a lie a lie, who is really to blame when lesser minds are deceived by the dishonest?

What power on earth can prevent a courageous people from repudiating a scoundrel? How can those who know the truth be respectfully silent while craven idiots like Chris Matthews and equally craven politicians like Nancy Pelosi sing the praises of this vile creature, as if there were anything about Edward M. Kennedy that respectable parents should want their own children to emulate?

It seems some people have failed to grasp the moral significance of public rhetoric. When a famous person is publicly praised, this amounts to a moral lesson, a sermon urging others toward emulation of the person praised: “Ted Kennedy was a fine example — be like him!”

So what was there in Sen. Edward M. Kennedy worthy of emulation? Let one of his freinds now praise the recently departed:

“I think he’d be the last person who would want us — those he left behind — to be morose and full of bathos. . . . He’d probably have a joke to tell.”

Ah, so it is the late Senator’s sense of humor that his friend Ed Klein urges us to emulate now. And what do you suggest we might amuse ourselves with, Mr. Klein?

“One of his favorite topics of humor was indeed Chappaquiddick itself.”

Well, then! As my own dear friend Jimmie Bise says:

Just call that a green light for tasteless Kennedy jokes, if you like.

So, welcome to The Ted Kennedy Memorial Stand-Up Routine and now, at last, it’s my honor to introduce a very special guest to the Green Room. It’s his first time here, but his fans know him as the man who has brought the Borscht Belt to the blogosphere, the Old School comedy king of New Media vaudeville. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the one, the only “Shecky” McCain!

God bless him, but ol’ Teddy was the life of the party, even if he was also the death of partygoers. Hey, did you folks hear this one yet?

Q. What’s the difference between Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan?
A. As a young man Ronnie saved girls from drowning
Oh, I got a million of ’em, folks. I just swam in from Chappaquiddick, and boy, are my arms tired.

I tell, ya, Ted Kennedy gets no respect, no respect at all. Why, when Ted Kennedy came out in favor of abortion, his own mother said, “Oh, now he tells me!” . . .

Seriously, folks, appropriate tributes to Ted Kennedy’s legacy are a bipartisan obligation. As a matter of fact, the Republican National Committee is now raising money to fund the Edward M. Kennedy Memorial on the national mall in Washington. A leading sculptor has already been commissioned to create a monumental statue of an inverted Oldsmobile . . .

Let’s hear it for Shecky, ladies and gentlemen! He’s a man after Ted Kennedy’s own heart. The main difference between Shecky and Teddy is this: Shecky doesn’t like to share waitresses with Chris Dodd, so he always orders the open-faced sandwich!


Why am I stealing Shecky’s jokes? To be honest, folks, Shecky’s never met a tasteless Ted Kennedy joke he wouldn’t steal in a New York heartbeat. Fat jokes! Drunk jokes! Any joke that makes Ted Kennedy look like the lying, lecherous liberal he was, you can bet Shecky’s going to steal it. So if you’ve got a real knee-slapper — the kind of joke even that corpulent, cowardly boozehound Ted would appreciate — please feel free to leave it in the comments.

Democrats are trying to use Teddy’s bloated corpse to pass health-care reform — man, what a joke that is! Yet we must pay tribute to his real legacy, the way that womanizing old alcoholic would want to be remembered. Don’t be “melancholy” like that wuss Matt Cooper. We’re not laughing with Teddy. We’re laughing at Teddy.

Go ahead and laugh — Ted’s earned it!

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Great encapsulation that overlaps quite well with my complete raw contempt for that piece of s…, developed over my entire life.

What SHOULD be said.

Sapwolf on August 29, 2009 at 3:49 AM

Gotta love the fearlessness of Stacey McCain! I wonder how the Other McCain’s ratings compare with the Other-other McCain aka AllahPundit on HA????

el Vaquero on August 29, 2009 at 8:19 AM

Ted Kennedy is ONE shovel-ready project the Obama administration can claim to have finished by Saturday.

Televised, too.

bradley11 on August 29, 2009 at 8:31 AM

I dunno…

In Dallas, we can definitely notice the uptick in speeds for drivers coming up from the south shore and the kep through the big dig into bahstun. We are also enjoying the harmony that has been resurrected between Asian, Irish, Italian, and black neighborhoods since I93 went underground.

Tell me that’s not billions well spent.

ericdijon on August 29, 2009 at 8:32 AM

And another thing.

Won’t his internment be a big dig in and unto itself?

ericdijon on August 29, 2009 at 8:33 AM

This just in.. Teddy Kennedy.. Now four days sober..

DaveC on August 29, 2009 at 8:58 AM

This is the first time in 70 years something other than alcohol has been in his bloodstream

DaveC on August 29, 2009 at 8:59 AM

Hunting with Dick Cheney… STILL safer than having Ted Kennedy drive you home.

DaveC on August 29, 2009 at 8:59 AM

The embalmers didn’t have to do too much work on the corpse.

He was already pretty much pickled.

DaveC on August 29, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Parents of DC area waitress had a collective sigh of relief of hearing about his passing.

DaveC on August 29, 2009 at 9:02 AM

Was Mary Jo worth the sacrifice? Puff Ho answers..

Yes. (safe link to The Corner)

DaveC on August 29, 2009 at 9:07 AM

True story:
When photos of Teddy cavorting with a bikini babe in a yacht appeared in the National Enquirer, a fellow senator (I think it was Fritz Hollings) quipped, “It would appear that the senior senator from Massachusetts has changed his position on offshore drilling.”

jgapinoy on August 29, 2009 at 9:20 AM

Add Teddy to the long list of hypothetical “If a Republican had done those things…”

jgapinoy on August 29, 2009 at 9:25 AM

WTF!?!?!? There’s no facebook tag on here..

DaveC on August 29, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Stacy – Great work here and at your blog. I just got done vomiting my breakfast after a brief stint watching his funeral on Fox.

Saul Alinsky on August 29, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Teddy the red-nosed senator
had a very shiny car,
and if you ever saw it
you were prolly at a bar….

Can’t take credit for this myself, it’s from a Twisted Christmas CD of the very funny Bob Rivers.

TeeDee on August 29, 2009 at 10:07 AM

A good summary of Teddy’s “accomplishments”. And the willingness of the Left Wing Media to sweep them under the rug.
I want to barf when I think of him being buried in Arlington National Cemetary next to the many real American heroes buried there. They sacrificed much for their country–Teddy was a traitor to real American ideals in many cases. The American Flag on his coffin should be replaced with the Hammer and Sickle flag.
John Bibb

rocketman on August 29, 2009 at 10:52 AM

The tax evasion goes on,

the hypocrisy endures,

the unmitigated gall still lives,

and the supply of mindless fawning sheeple shall never die.

MB4 on August 29, 2009 at 12:55 PM

This is an excellent — EXCELLENT — post, “The Other McCain”; extraordinary, in fact.

I’ve stepped aside the advice by O’Reilly and Michelle Malkin and just stated a few of my opinions about Ted Kennedy on twitter and intend to do likewise on my own website, with a “who cares” attitude about whoever advises me otherwise.

I understand how it is that the Left will jump on any criticism about Ted Kennedy — however accurate and appropriate it is — and then pummel the Right for being “hateful” (or “racist” or astroturf or Neanderthal or whatever else they can come up with, none of it, by the way, lucid nor appropriate), but I disagree that criticism of Ted Kennedy should be silenced. The man has not earned the respect of humanity and it’s embarrassing to watch continued efforts by many on the Right and worse, on FOX News (to my disgust), making him out to be some heroic dude (which he certainly was not).

This is an excellent post, should be held in perpetuity somewhere on this site, not left to be relegated to mere archives, but maintained somewhere “up front” and quite personal.

Lourdes on August 29, 2009 at 5:44 PM

I want to barf when I think of him being buried in Arlington National Cemetary next to the many real American heroes buried there. They sacrificed much for their country–Teddy was a traitor to real American ideals in many cases. The American Flag on his coffin should be replaced with the Hammer and Sickle flag.
John Bibb

rocketman on August 29, 2009 at 10:52 AM


Lourdes on August 29, 2009 at 5:46 PM

I think there needs to be a public demand honored where Kennedy’s burial is concerned and if it’s inevitable or not arguable that he’ll be buried (soon) in Arlington, the American public should demand that a plaque or some headstone content be rendered there along with his grave, that declares how Ted Kennedy commiserated with then-Communist-U.S.S.R. in his efforts (Ted Kennedy’s efforts) to punish or harm his political adversary in the American Presidency.

Ted Kennedy blackens Arlington with his burial there, it disgusts me.

Lourdes on August 29, 2009 at 5:48 PM

I want to cast my vote as ‘post of the year’.
Thanks, other McCain guy.
I’m glad someone said this.

Lanceman on August 29, 2009 at 7:57 PM

Q: What do you call Ted Kennedy’s burial?
A: The only successful example of The Big Dig in Boston.

PackerBronco on August 29, 2009 at 9:53 PM

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. It displays the true legacy of Edward Kennedy, the one least likely to succeed at anything…..

maggieo on August 29, 2009 at 11:07 PM

Who can blame women like Tammy Bruce and Phyllis Chesler for renouncing the soi-disant “Women’s Movement,” which requires that its members ignore O.J.’s murder of his wife and the brutal misogyny of Sharia law?

The Tammy is a national treasure. Today her vocal outrage was the perfect tonic for the numbness one can get surrounded by normalized depravity.

Thanks, The Other McCain. It’s a dirty job, but bloggers are doing it.

Feedie on August 30, 2009 at 12:54 AM

“Even as MSNBC’s Chris Matthews twisted himself into ridiculous knots to declare Obama “the new brother…of the Kennedy tradition,””

Is Chris Matthews calling for an assassination?

DSchoen on August 30, 2009 at 4:27 AM

Ted Kennedy is ONE shovel-ready project the Obama administration can claim to have finished by Saturday.

Televised, too.

bradley11 on August 29, 2009 at 8:31 AM

+25!!! Primo stuff !!!

Dopenstrange on August 30, 2009 at 9:50 AM

This post is unquestionably the best item I have ever read on Hot Air.

bluetick on August 30, 2009 at 11:52 AM

HotAir — Politics, Culture, Media, 2017, Breaking News from a conservative viewpoint
Top Pick

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I could think of someone else you might want to ask about…

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You know, I may have cracked the case for you, guys

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Allahpundit Jun 21, 2017 11:21 AM


Physician, heal thyself

Maybe we’ll stay home and watch.