Sunday, August 30, 2009

In Memoriam: Sen. Edward M. Kennedy

"The victory for Edward Kennedy is demeaning to the dignity of the Senate and the democratic process."
-- New York Times, editorial in response to
Kennedy's first Senate election, 1962

"Kennedy and Kopechne were part of a group of 12 that had come to Chappaquiddick for the Edgartown Regatta and a private barbecue afterward. Half the guests were married men, half were single women in their 20s. Kennedy and Kopechne left the party at some point that evening and ended up driving off the bridge."
Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, 1994

" 'Accident,' yes. Yet when a man guzzles booze all day and then drives off a bridge, it is certainly not an
unavoidable accident."
Robert Stacy McCain

"Though Kennedy managed to extricate himself from the car and get back to his motel that night, Kopechne remained in the car until her body was recovered by a Fire Department diver at 8:45 the next morning. To the diver, Capt. John Farrar, it was clear that she had neither drowned nor died quickly. Kopechne survived for some time by breathing a pocket of trapped air, finally suffocating to death when the oxygen ran out. When Kennedy reported the accident to the Edgartown police, it was 9:45 a.m. -- some nine or 10 hours after he left Kopechne in his car."
-- Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, 1994

Capt. John Farrar, interview with Howie Carr, 1994:

"Mary Jo Kopechne wasn't a scion of one of American's wealthiest families; she was just a girl from an average, middle class family, whose idealism led her to Birmingham, Alabama, during the Civil Rights era . . . We'll never know, of course, what direction her life would have taken, but given her apparent passion for politics, she might have become a powerful political figure in her own right."
-- Paula, The Sundries Shack

"I think he’d be the last person who would want us -- those he left behind -- to be morose and full of bathos. . . . He’d probably have a joke to tell . . . One of his favorite topics of humor was indeed Chappaquiddick itself."
-- Ed Klein, friend and biographer of Ted Kennedy

"On this day, every patriotic American should mourn the death of a liberal activist who diligently labored to continue the Kennedy family's noble legacy of public service. Until the day she died in 1969."
-- Robert Stacy McCain

"This letter which details Senator Edward Kennedy's offer to help the Soviet Union defeat Reagan’s efforts to build up the nuclear deterrent in Europe was unearthed . . . after the KGB files were opened . . .
"Kennedy believes that, given the current state of affairs, and in the interest of peace, it would be prudent and timely to undertake the following steps to counter the militaristic politics of Reagan . . . In this regard, he offers the following proposals to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Y.V. Andropov . . ."
-- Committee on State Security of the USSR, May 1983
"When President Reagan chose to confront the Soviet Union, calling it the evil empire that it was, Sen. Edward Kennedy chose to offer aid and comfort to General Secretary Andropov. On the Cold War, the greatest issue of his lifetime, Kennedy got it wrong."
Peter Robinson, Hoover Institution

"Edward M. Kennedy became a laughingstock the old-fashioned way: He
earned it."
-- Robert Stacy McCain


  1. Stacy:
    What is despicable is that he is buried at Arlington. Shit, my dad flew 35 missions over Germany as a tail-gunner in a B-17, earning four bronze service stars, distinguished flying cross, air medal with 3 oak leaf clusters and he probably could not have been buried in Arlington, but that halfwit philandering self-embalmed murdering traitor is. The world is turned upside down.

  2. Watching George W. Bush at the funeral of Teddy Kennedy on Saturday was, to say the very least, amusing. It's always great fun to witness the members of the vast right wing conspiracy confronted head-on with the theological flaws that are inherent in their philosophy. Watching that event with my pal, Kevin Swanwick, we both were mesmerized and just slightly overjoyed to be reminded yet again that the basic tenets of Liberalism are in perfect harmony with our Christianity - our Catholicism: feed the hungry, shelter the poor and clothe the naked. Oh, how I wish the camera would have cut to Bush's face the moment he was confronted with the most famous line (and justly so) from the Gospel according to Matthew:

    "I tell you this: whatever you did to the least of these brothers of mine, you did to me."

    Jesus of Nazareth

    One can only imagine how uncomfortable that passage from the scriptures must have made him feel. Or how about the Sermon on the Mount?

    "Blessed are the peace makers
    For they shall be called Sons of God."

    I imagine being confronted with the words of Jesus Christ might make old George just a tad uneasy. The prayers that were offered up by the youngest members of the Kennedy clan, in Teddy's own words, were the most touching part of the entire day:

    "That human beings be measured not by what they cannot do. That quality health care becomes a fundamental right and not a privilege. That old policies of race and gender die away. That newcomers be accepted, no matter their color or place of birth. That the nation stand united against violence, hate and war. That the work begins anew, and the dream lives on. We pray to the Lord."

    Lord hear our prayer.

    After the mass had ended, and Kevin and I headed into town to get a cup of coffee, I was almost stunned by the good cheer I felt. Ted Kennedy's funeral was truly a joyous event. Truth be told, it was damned-near therapeutic! The politics of joy as opposed to the politics of fear. There ain't nothin' like it in the world, Baby!

    The stark contrasts between the ideals of the Progressive movement and the right wing's backwards and greedy ideology were out in public yesterday for all to compare and contrast at Our Lady of Perpetual Comfort Church in Boston. The differences were so obvious, you could not have missed them had you tried.

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

  3. Tom:
    There is a big difference between Ted and Jesus. One, Jesus never killed anyone. Two, Jesus never asked that we use the government to to promulgate christian values. He asked us to act as individuals (When we are judged in the end, is it as individuals or as a collective?). Using the government as a power to enforce such values shows how weak the church is in promulgating it's values. In the end, people will realize that "why should I financially support the church if the government takes my money and does some of the same things" and the church will go away. It's already happening.

    I don't intend to make any excuses for Bush, but I won't make any for Ted or the rest of that dysfunctional and hypocritical Kennedy clan.

    BTW, no one can be turned away from receiving healthcare in this country. Making someone else pay your bills is thievery.

  4. Between the accolades for Michael Jackson and burnishing the image of Ted Kennedy we know the nation is truly drinking jim jones's kool-aid.

  5. I would like to know the names of the other attendees. It might prove to be very interesting.

  6. There is a major difference between Ted Kennedy and Jesus:

    Most of Jesus' followers don't think he's Ted Kennedy.

  7. And incidentally...would Jesus consider Mary Jo Kopechne as at least as worthy of life and sustenance (both physical and spiritual) as "the least of these brothers of mine"?

    Why, I do believe He would. Which, if I remember that passage from Matthew (and I do) would bode...poorly...for Senator Kennedy's afterlife.

  8. I'm curious. The one time I've ever been to DC I didn't have the time to get to Robert E. Lee's plantation turned military cemetery. I'm sorry my three tours in Viet Nam don't qualify me to lay with heros like Teddy K. but there it is.

    My question is simple, is the security there tight enough to keep us from peeing on that particular grave?