Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ted Kennedy, Flawed & Imperfect, Dies of Brain Cancer

Ted Kennedy, youngest brother of John F. Kenney, who was assassinated in 1963, has died of brain Cancer, according to a News Alert issued by Fox News.

Ted Kennedy, Senate Lion and Liberal Champion, Dies

Breaking news last night, as we saw and today, the fawning and gushing over his passing commences. Even the Drudge Report lists his death as “End Of Camelot.”

Most people today do not even realize the “Camelot” description of the Kennedy dynasty was a fabrication of Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of assassinated president John F. Kennedy, after he was killed in Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963.

How it now encompasses his youngest brother, Ted, escapes me.

The Kennedy clan enjoys near royal status in America, although they are as troubled as any other. The excessive wealth of the family was gained under questionable means, with ties to organized crime during the Great Depression. For all the claims from the left over “rich fat cat Republicans,” somehow this family is not ever included.

I recall how the country literally shut down from the time JFK was cut down that Friday long ago, until his State funeral on Monday. I recall also as news broke in 1968 of his other brother, Robert, being shot in Los Angeles and dying days later.

Regardless of wealth, that has to hurt and leave a lasting impression on surviving family. While not accounting for all troubles that plagued Ted later on, I’m sure it at least somewhat contributed to his many misguided steps.

He was born into incredible wealth and privilege and along the way, misused it. Many credit him for efforts to make up for that by his congressional work, presumably for the less privileged. That he never gave up his own unearned wealth and life of excessive privilege doesn’t figure into that gushing.

Teddy Kennedy today will be described as “iconic,” a “Liberal Lion,” and all sorts of undeserved depictions, ignoring several acts that would have landed you or me in the unemployment line or jail.

Most notable in those acts was the 1969 death of a young 28 year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, left to drown in the upside down Oldsmobile driven by Ted Kennedy after he drove it off of a narrow bridge in the small island of Chappaquiddick on Martha's Vineyard. The subsequent actions of Kennedy, indicating incapacitation from excessive alcohol and the rumor of Mary Jo possibly being pregnant, although never confirmed, forever haunted Kennedy’s quest for higher office.

How it didn’t bring about his expulsion by voters from the Senate remains a mystery to me.

His reputation for heavy drinking and womanizing followed him all of his life, often making public statement nearly indiscernible from slurring. He was often seen stumbling around Palm Beach Florida after a heavy night of partying.

The country saw this in the 1991 trial and acquittal of nephew William Kennedy Smith in Florida. Ted was a material witness as he was out partying with his nephew that night.

In his youth he was expelled from Harvard for cheating on an exam. He then put in a two-year hitch in the U.S. Army, serving in Paris during the Korean War. Somehow, he was readmitted to Harvard after his Army enlistment, graduating in 1956.

Acting against his Catholic faith, he adopted a strong pro-abortion position and had his marriage to Joan annulled by the Catholic Church after divorcing her in 1981. In 2005, Joan was found lying in the street injured.

His vitriol against conservatives was handily seen as he almost single handedly wrecked President Reagan’s 1987 nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court when within 45 minutes of the announcement he stood on the Senate floor and said,

“Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is -- and is often the only -- protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy... President Reagan is still our president. But he should not be able to reach out from the muck of Irangate, reach into the muck of Watergate and impose his reactionary vision of the Constitution on the Supreme Court and the next generation of Americans. No justice would be better than this injustice.”

Of President Bush’s 2003 nomination of minority candidates to Federal Court positions, he referred to them as “Neanderthals” with impunity for such a racist slight.

Of late he is credited for his hard fight to impose Universal Healthcare on the nation. Since his death, proponents are using his death to further promote this flawed notion, slobbering all over Kennedy for his efforts.

Missed, or ignored, is that the final year of his life was spent seeking and taking medical treatment from a health program that regular citizens would not have access to. He did not receive a copy of “Your Life, Your Choices” booklet that is not passed out to Veterans to ascertain if their life is still worth living.

In 2004 he was instrumental in having Massachusetts law changed, preventing the governor from appointing a Senatorial replacement in case the Democrat candidate that year, fellow Democrat John Kerry, won. With a Republican governor, Ted feared a Republican might be appointed. Instead of an appointment by the governor, any replacement would be selected by a special election.

In the days preceding his death, he again was lobbying to change the law back now that a Democrat governor is in office and he fears such a special election could result in a Republican replacement due to the waning popularity of the Democrat led Congress and seeing the poll numbers of Obama sliding downward.

To Ted Kennedy it is “Republicans need not apply.”

Prior to his bother Robert’s murder, Ted jumped on the anti-war bandwagon helping undermine our efforts against communist forces in Viet Nam and was often seen cavorting with the traitorous John ‘F’in Kerry in the lead-up to Kerry’s infamous lies to the Fulbright Commission in 1971.

He seemed to oppose every effort at protecting freedom and liberty around the world, if initiated by a Republican President. Yet, he seemed to readily accept and support when President Clinton set about bombing in Kosovo or launching missiles into Iraq.

Although he supported the removal of Saddam Hussein during the Clinton years, he staunchly opposed it once President Bush undertook the task after September 11, 2001.

And now, as if to add insult to injury, we hear that plans are underway to bury this man amongst the fallen heroes in Arlington National Cemetery. That his efforts at undermining their mission, his votes against funding or approving updated weapons to support them may have resulted in the deaths of many is an affront to those real heroes buried there who fell in service to our country.

DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen has sent out an email today saying, “With the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy, a family lost its patriarch, the U.S. Senate lost its most gifted legislator, and America lost an unparalleled leader.”

Robert Reich, Clinton Labor Secretary, says, “His passing is an inestimable loss.”

As the leftist media tries outdoing each other in their slobbering and gushing reports on this flawed man, I can only recall a portion of Ted’s own words in the eulogy he gave at his bother Robert’s funeral, “[He] need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life.”

No comments: