I’m not sure how the politics work here. My sense is as follows: The media’s allowed to mention Chappaquiddick in its obits of Teddy in the interest of completeness, but references should ideally be buried near the end of the piece under plenty of “health care was the cause of his life” pap. Kennedy is not, however, to be “attacked” by conservatives intent on reminding people that progressives’ newest secular saint left a woman to drown in his car, as this would be disrespectful to the dead (Teddy, that is, not Mary Jo). Where does Rollins fit, though? He’s no man of the right and Vanity Fair ain’t the Weekly Standard. Is the “unpleasantness” at the lake fair game for lefties or is She Who Shall Not Be Named off limits to them too?
I am very well known, a United States senator. My family is incredibly powerful. There are allegations that I had been drinking heavily hours up to the time I got into the vehicle with the passenger. I deny this for the rest of my life. That at no point did I make an attempt to call for rescue would probably be considered by many people to be outrageous and horrible, perhaps a crime that would carry a prison sentence. Can you imagine what the parents of the deceased would be going through when they found out that their 28-year-old daughter died alone in total darkness? I serve no time. Not inconvenienced by the burdensome obstacle of incarceration, I seek to maintain my elected position. I am successful and remain a senator for the next four decades. Would any deed I performed in that time, besides going to prison for the negligent homicide I committed all those years ago, be enough to wipe the slate clean? After my passing, would you fail to mention the incident and the death of this innocent person in reviewing the events of my long and lauded life? You wouldn’t forget about her, would you? That would be negligent.
Thus does Rollins become one of the few liberals apparently more exercised at Kennedy for what happened at Chappaquiddick than at Andrew Breitbart for insisting on bringing it up. As a supplement to the Kennedy reading list in last night’s Quotes of the Day, I offer you two pieces in juxtaposition: Michael Kelly’s harrowing 1990 piece for GQ describing the great feminist’s sexual assault of a waitress and E.J. Dionne’s insulting paean to Teddy’s alleged “empathy” in today’s WaPo. The title of his piece, no joke: “Ted Kennedy’s Humanity.”