My Disagreement With the Kennedy Narrative
posted at 1:57 am on August 30, 2009 by Doctor Zero
After five days of flood-the-zone news coverage, eulogies, and encomiums, filled with hundreds of op-ed pieces and blog posts, the Democrats have made their vision of Senator Edward Kennedy’s life and career crystal clear. I’ve had some fun at their expense, but the late Senator has now been returned to the earth at Arlington, and fun time is over. I have some serious disagreements with the things I’ve heard from the Left over the last few days.
I do not believe a political career is worth a young woman’s life. Period. I don’t think Mary Jo Kopechne was proud to die for Ted Kennedy. I don’t think her horrifying death was a necessary human sacrifice to enable his “fortunate fall.” Ted Kennedy was not the victim of Chappaquiddick. Anyone who believes those things is a degenerate who should be shunned by civilized people.
I disagree with the notion that any aspect of Kennedy’s life “redeemed” him for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Redemption requires contrition, an admission of guilt. Kennedy never admitted responsibility or guilt for what happened at Chappaquiddick. I wish he had, because the idea of so many people rushing to grant him undeserved absolution is nauseating.
I disagree that the world will “sorely miss” the “moral clarity” of someone who enjoyed jokes about the woman who died because of his cowardice and lust for power. The human race will be greatly improved when it is infested by fewer such creatures.
I disagree that we should be more eager to pass an increasingly unpopular, blatantly unconstitutional, ridiculously expensive bill that would destroy the health-care industry, just because a dead politician from a wealthy and powerful family would have wanted it.
I don’t believe that destroying the reputation of a judge, through insane and reckless allegations that challenge his very humanity, represents great statesmanship. He tried the same slimy tactics he used on Robert Bork against Clarence Thomas. I don’t think the legacy of personal destruction Ted Kennedy inaugurated during the Bork confirmation hearings has been a plus for America.
I don’t believe that a man who worked with the Soviet Union to undermine American policy, slandered American troops while they were fighting battles in the streets of Iraq, and helped abandon the Cambodians to genocide was either a patriot, or a noble citizen of the world. His loyalty was to his own ambitions, to his Party, and to the country he thought America might become, if it would submit to his ideas. The loyalty of an arrogant man is always diluted by a measure of treachery.
I don’t believe a man fighting for his life against a brain tumor should be denied care under a quality of life formula, in a rationed government health-care system. I also don’t think those quality of life spreadsheets should add a million extra points for being a powerful politician. The idea that Senator Kennedy would have been denied the care he needed, to gain his extra year of life, under socialized medicine is ridiculous – the government will never apply rationing to its ruling elite, or make them wait in line. The idea that everyone else should be expected to surrender in their struggle for life is monstrous.
I disagree that the architect of the “Big Dig” debacle, who saddled the country with trillions of dollars in debt, and tried to change the rules of Massachusetts senatorial succession in an embarrassingly transparent bid to keep those seats permanently in his party’s hands, is “the greatest legislator of our time,” as President Obama called him. If he is, then his career is proof that we need fewer “great legislators.” We can’t afford them any more. Did he support some important legislation? Certainly. The most indisputably noble bill he was associated with was the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Mary Jo Kopechne died in 1969. That should have been the end of him.
I don’t think a man who lied to the police, and dispatched henchmen to destroy the reputation of the victim, to help his nephew beat sexual assault charges is any sort of feminist hero. Let me know when the feminists think it’s okay for a Republican to be one of the slices of bread in a waitress sandwich. The idea that political positions convey a supreme virtue, trumping abhorrent personal behavior, should be buried with Kennedy.
I disagree that someone’s party affiliation, position in the government, or last name should put them above the law. I disagree that four decades of squatting in a safe Senate seat is admirable, for anyone of any political party. I don’t see anything to applaud about a notorious womanizer with a spotless record of abortion extremism. I don’t find anything noble about a man born to wealth and privilege seeking moral authority by socking struggling middle-class businessmen with the bill for his high-minded social programs… especially when he took every opportunity to shelter his own income from taxes.
Many reasons have been offered for Ted Kennedy’s long, expensive, debased career: He was trading on his family name. The voters of Massachusetts thrust him on the country by perpetually re-electing him. It was America’s collective fault for letting him get away with Chappaquiddick. The media loved him because they love epic tales of heroic liberal politicians. We can learn not to repeat all of those mistakes.
When you go into the voting booths next year, remember what the past week has taught you about the Democrats. It would have been one thing to offer a salute to the parts of his political agenda they agreed with, while acknowledging the dark side. The full-on hagiography, coupled with the disgusting attempts to dismiss Mary Jo Kopechne’s life as a small price to pay for political power, reveal that this party knows nothing about the meaning of redemption, responsibility, and the value of individual human lives. The rest of us can neither afford nor tolerate anyone like Ted Kennedy, ever again.