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