Taking care of his own

Obviously, Rep. Patrick Kennedy should resign his seat in the House of Representatives.

Regardless of what one may think of the Kennedy clan and the ridiculous cut—and—paste articles that have been flitting about describing Rep. Kennedy's dangerous cocktail of prescription medicine and getting behind the wheel as just another chapter in the 'Kennedy Curse,' the man needs professional medical assistance. He is not cursed — he is sick. Hopefully he will get the professional care he needs and will get well. If being able to afford the best health care money can buy is a curse, we should all be so tormented by curses.

In the meantime, he should do the honorable thing and resign from the House. If he is as truly troubled as he has indicated and as his friends and associates in Washington claim, then he has no business walking the precarious tightrope between health and destruction every day as a representative of the people of Rhode Island.

The other night on 'Special Report,' Boston Globe reporter Nina Easton focused on the fact that Rep. Kennedy 'takes care of his constituents' as a sign of his effectiveness in Congress. Her addled point was that Rep. Kennedy is attentive to constituent inquiries and has always been respected for that. Rep. Kennedy may well declare that the needs of his constituents are of utmost importance — but that is something he declares to his staff. His staff make the calls, write the letters and turn the grinding wheels of the federal bureaucracy to get things done for the people in Rep. Kennedy's district. Ms. Easton seemed to suggest that if Rep. Kennedy resigned, all of this would disappear in a puff of smoke. What nonsense.

They won't say it out loud, but perhaps Ms. Easton and the rest of the media wish Rep. Kennedy to remain in office so that they can claim they are 'protecting the public's right to know' when they stake out whatever hospital or clinic in which he is admitted for hourly updates on his condition. Another Kennedy in trouble, another Kennedy life on the line, another chance to relive the myth of Camelot. Let's roll out the black—and—whites of Jack and Jackie at the inaugural ball, John—John underneath the desk in the Oval Office, Bobby throwing the football, John Jr. announcing his mother's death just five years before his own. All this reveals is that the media are just as sick as Rep. Kennedy — just in a different way.

No, the best thing for Rep. Kennedy as a person would be to resign. Then he can quietly seek and receive the treatment he needs as a private citizen. Yes, there will be media interested in Patrick Kennedy if he does not have a title by his name, and there will be folks who eat up any scrap of gossip about him and his treatment. But as the days and months pass, and he is hopefully getting better, the coverage of him will fade away — as it should. He is in trouble and his disease and struggles need not be played out in the national press.

Congress will always be there for a young, rich person with Kennedy on the campaign button. But is this current struggle not more important than holding down a seat in Congress with all his might? Does he not owe his constituents — these same constituents that it is claimed he serves so well — the chance to be served by a full—time representative? What does it say about how seriously he is taking his recovery if he remains in the House and is out campaigning in this election year when he should be treating his illnesses? What does it say about the voters of Rhode Island if they return this troubled young man as their representative?

In their fascinating book on the Kennedy family, authors David Horowitz and Peter Collier quote one of Ted Kennedy's sisters when confronted with a wayward Kennedy youth in trouble again. While the exact quote is not on hand, paraphrased it says everything about the Kennedy myth they want you to swallow and the truth behind the matter: 'We're so great at taking care of everyone else's problems but can't do a damn thing about our own.'

Patrick Kennedy has a chance to do something about his own. We wish him the best.

Contact Matt May. His website is here.

Obviously, Rep. Patrick Kennedy should resign his seat in the House of Representatives.

Regardless of what one may think of the Kennedy clan and the ridiculous cut—and—paste articles that have been flitting about describing Rep. Kennedy's dangerous cocktail of prescription medicine and getting behind the wheel as just another chapter in the 'Kennedy Curse,' the man needs professional medical assistance. He is not cursed — he is sick. Hopefully he will get the professional care he needs and will get well. If being able to afford the best health care money can buy is a curse, we should all be so tormented by curses.

In the meantime, he should do the honorable thing and resign from the House. If he is as truly troubled as he has indicated and as his friends and associates in Washington claim, then he has no business walking the precarious tightrope between health and destruction every day as a representative of the people of Rhode Island.

The other night on 'Special Report,' Boston Globe reporter Nina Easton focused on the fact that Rep. Kennedy 'takes care of his constituents' as a sign of his effectiveness in Congress. Her addled point was that Rep. Kennedy is attentive to constituent inquiries and has always been respected for that. Rep. Kennedy may well declare that the needs of his constituents are of utmost importance — but that is something he declares to his staff. His staff make the calls, write the letters and turn the grinding wheels of the federal bureaucracy to get things done for the people in Rep. Kennedy's district. Ms. Easton seemed to suggest that if Rep. Kennedy resigned, all of this would disappear in a puff of smoke. What nonsense.

They won't say it out loud, but perhaps Ms. Easton and the rest of the media wish Rep. Kennedy to remain in office so that they can claim they are 'protecting the public's right to know' when they stake out whatever hospital or clinic in which he is admitted for hourly updates on his condition. Another Kennedy in trouble, another Kennedy life on the line, another chance to relive the myth of Camelot. Let's roll out the black—and—whites of Jack and Jackie at the inaugural ball, John—John underneath the desk in the Oval Office, Bobby throwing the football, John Jr. announcing his mother's death just five years before his own. All this reveals is that the media are just as sick as Rep. Kennedy — just in a different way.

No, the best thing for Rep. Kennedy as a person would be to resign. Then he can quietly seek and receive the treatment he needs as a private citizen. Yes, there will be media interested in Patrick Kennedy if he does not have a title by his name, and there will be folks who eat up any scrap of gossip about him and his treatment. But as the days and months pass, and he is hopefully getting better, the coverage of him will fade away — as it should. He is in trouble and his disease and struggles need not be played out in the national press.

Congress will always be there for a young, rich person with Kennedy on the campaign button. But is this current struggle not more important than holding down a seat in Congress with all his might? Does he not owe his constituents — these same constituents that it is claimed he serves so well — the chance to be served by a full—time representative? What does it say about how seriously he is taking his recovery if he remains in the House and is out campaigning in this election year when he should be treating his illnesses? What does it say about the voters of Rhode Island if they return this troubled young man as their representative?

In their fascinating book on the Kennedy family, authors David Horowitz and Peter Collier quote one of Ted Kennedy's sisters when confronted with a wayward Kennedy youth in trouble again. While the exact quote is not on hand, paraphrased it says everything about the Kennedy myth they want you to swallow and the truth behind the matter: 'We're so great at taking care of everyone else's problems but can't do a damn thing about our own.'

Patrick Kennedy has a chance to do something about his own. We wish him the best.

Contact Matt May. His website is here.