The Real Ted Kennedy Legacy

I know that for the next several days that people are going to heap praise after praise on Ted Kennedy. They call him the “lion” (I would say “liar”) of the Senate and other such things, but what has he really accomplished?

Apart from being one of the most vocal proponents of just about every left-wing, socialistic policy ever put before Congress, there isn’t very much. Most of what he helped to put in place, for example the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act which resulted in toxic assets causing a credit market freeze, will be done away with over time as people come to realize that such policies do way more harm than good.

So, what will Ted be remembered for?

Writing for ABC News, Susan Donaldson James has this:

In the summer of 1969, consiglieres of the former John F. Kennedy administration — Robert McNamara, Arthur Schlesinger and Ted Sorensen, among others — convened in Hyannisport to write the apology that would save the young Sen. Ted Kennedy from himself.

Only days before, Kennedy had left the scene of a fatal car crash on the small island of Chappaquiddick on Martha’s Vineyard, taking the life of 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne.

The second-term senator waited nearly 10 hours to report the accident and offered virtually no explanation other than he “panicked.”

The details of the July 19 accident were salacious: a Regatta Weekend reunion party at a friend’s cottage with all married men (except one) and six women — the “boiler room girls” — who had worked together on Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign.

After a day of sailing and heavy drinking, Kennedy drove his black Oldsmobile sedan off a small wooden bridge into Poucho Pond, trapping Kopechne in seven feet of water.

Edward Moore Kennedy — only 38 and up for re-election the following year– had violated one of the cardinal rules in politics: “Never get caught with a dead girl or a live boy.”

Many details of the scandal remain unresolved. Why was Kennedy’s wife not allowed to hear the speech his handlers crafted for him after Kopechne was killed? Why was the Kopechne family paid off for their silence?

That is what Ted Kennedy will be remembered for. And it is a bad legacy that he leaves behind.

You can access the complete story on-line here:

Chappaquiddick: No Profile In Kennedy Courage
Susan Donaldson James
ABC News
August 26, 2009

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3 Responses

  1. The Real Teddy Kennedy

    *Since the seriousness of Teddy Kennedy’s illness has been made
    public, have you noticed the attempt at canonization of old Teddy
    by the main stream media.. They are saying what a great American
    he is. I say, lets get a couple things clear & not twist the facts
    to change the _real history_.

    1. He was caught cheating at Harvard when he attended it. He was
    expelled twice, once for cheating on a test, and once for paying a
    classmate to cheat for him.

    2. While expelled, Kennedy enlisted in the Army, but mistakenly
    signed up for four years instead of two. Oops, the man can’t count
    to four. His father, Joseph P. Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador to
    England (a step up from bootlegging liquor into the US from Canada
    during prohibition), pulled the necessary strings to have his
    enlistment shortened to two years, and to ensure that he served in
    Europe, not Korea, where a war was raging. No preferential
    treatment for him like he charged President Bush received.

    3. Kennedy was assigned to Paris, never advanced beyond the rank
    of Private, and returned to Harvard upon being discharged. Imagine
    a person of his coeducation NEVER advancing past the rank of Private.

    4. While attending law school at the University of Virginia, he
    was cited for reckless driving four times, including once when he
    was clocked driving 90 miles per hour in a residential
    neighborhood with his headlights off after dark. Yet his Virginia
    drivers license was never revoked. Coincidentally, he passed the
    bar exam in 1959, amazing!!!

    5. In 1964, he was seriously injured in a plane crash, and
    hospitalized for several months. Test results done by the hospital
    at the time he was admitted had shown he was legally intoxicated.
    The results of those tests remained a state secret until in the
    1980s when the report was unsealed. Didn’t hear about that from
    the unbiased media, did we.

    6. On July 19, 1969 , Kennedy attended a party on Chappaquiddick
    Island in Massachusetts. At about 11:00 PM , he borrowed his
    chauffeurs keys to his Oldsmobile limousine, and offered to give a
    ride home to Mary Jo Kopechne, a campaign worker. Leaving the
    island via an unlit bridge with no guard rail, Kennedy steered the
    car off the bridge, flipped, and into Poucha Pond.

    7. He swam to shore and walked back to the party, after passing
    several houses and a fire station. Then two friends returned with
    him to the scene of the accident. According to their later
    testimony, they told him what he already knew, that he was
    required by law to immediately report the accident to the
    authorities.. Instead Kennedy made his way to his hotel, called
    his lawyer, and went to sleep. Kennedy called the police the next
    morning and by then the wreck had already been discovered. Before
    dying, Kopechne had scratched at the upholstered floor above her
    head in the upside-down car. The Kennedy family began calling in
    favors,ensuring that any inquiry would be contained. Her corpse
    was whisked out-of-state to her family, before an autopsy could be
    conducted. Further details are uncertain, but after the accident
    Kennedy says he repeatedly dove under the water trying to rescue
    Kopechne, and he didn’t call police because he was in a state of
    shock. It is widely assumed Kennedy was drunk, and he held off
    calling police in hopes that his family could fix the problem
    overnight. Since the accident, Kennedys political enemies have
    referred to him as the distinguished Senator from Chappaquiddick.
    He pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, and was given
    a SUSPENDED SENTENCE OF TWO MONTHS. Kopechnes family received a
    small payout from the Kennedys insurance policy, and never sued.
    There was later an effort to have her body exhumed and autopsied,
    but her family successfully fought against this in court, and
    Kennedys family paid their attorneys bills a token of friendship.

    8. Kennedy has held his Senate seat for more than forty years, but
    considering his longevity, his accomplishments seem scant. He
    authored or argued for legislation that ensured a variety of civil
    rights, increased the minimum wage in 1981, made access to health
    care easier for the indigent, and funded Meals on Wheels for
    fixed-income seniors and is widely held as the standard-bearer for
    liberalism. In his very first Senate role, he was the floor
    manager for the bill that turned U.S. immigration policy upside
    down and opened the floodgate for immigrants from third world
    countries.

    9. Since that time, he has been the prime instigator and author of
    every expansion of and increase in immigration, up to and
    including the latest attempt to grant amnesty to illegal aliens.
    Not to mention the Pious grilling he gave the last two Supreme
    Court Nominees, as if he were the standard bearer for the nation
    in matters of right. What a pompous ass.

    10. He is known around Washington as a public drunk, loud,
    boisterous and very disrespectful to women. JERK is a better
    description than “great American.

  2. […] there are those like Hollywood film star George Clooney and Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy who today have their own takes on Decatur’s words. … In a recent interview for the […]

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