I don’t begrudge the left wanting to honor one of its political heroes in death, even if he was evidently a borderline sociopath, but let’s please temper the rhetoric to at least glancingly acknowledge the fact that he famously left a woman to drown and then “forgot” to tell anyone afterwards. Appropriate: Ted Kennedy was a highly accomplished senator. Not appropriate: Ted Kennedy was all about “sacrificing self-interest.”
Princes often have lives that are difficult, even within a context of wealth and privilege. They have to find ways to keep from being eaten alive by ambition that can never be requited. Some become sage counselors in the affairs of state; some become wastrels who lose themselves in women and booze; some fade away and become hobbyists who go off and pilot sailboats or collect butterflies or something. [And some commit criminally negligent homicide. — ed.] It’s fair to say that at various points in his life, Ted Kennedy tried all of these identities…
But we sorely miss Kennedy’s moral clarity. He believed our nation has the responsibility to ensure that every American has the right to affordable health care. Perhaps his life as an eternal prince taught him that happiness and salvation lie in sacrificing self-interest for the greater good.
This makes two insultingly tone-deaf pieces in the Post in as many days; yesterday it was E.J. Dionne singing hosannas to Teddy’s “empathy.” Serious question: Did they honestly forget Chappaquiddick when writing this crap? I don’t want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but waxing lyrical about Kennedy’s great human compassion is so glaringly offensive in light of his personal life that it makes the op-eds impossible to take seriously. Hard to believe Dionne and Robinson would consciously sabotage themselves that way. Maybe they really did forget; maybe decades of “Camelot” garbage and cocooning in lefty circles has finally washed Kopechne’s memory entirely away. It’s a fascinating, and depressing, psychological blind spot.
In other Kennedy hagiography news, you’ll be pleased to know that apart from committing the occasional sexual assault, he took his Catholic faith very seriously. Exit quotation from Andy Levy, summing up Teddy’s career: “Proof that if you believe the ‘right’ things you’re excused from doing the right things.”