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August 26, 2009
Ted Kennedy dead (updated)
This will be a "just the facts, ma'am," post. Ted Kennedy succumbed to brain cancer at the age of 77.
Kennedy's home town Boston Globe has the obit by Martin Nolan:
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who carried aloft the torch of a Massachusetts dynasty and a liberal ideology to the citadel of Senate power, but whose personal and political failings may have prevented him from realizing the ultimate prize of the presidency, died at his home in Hyannis Port last night after a battle with brain cancer. He was 77.
I think it a fine epitaph that many, many conservative blogs repeat James Taranto's quip:
Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.Consider the rest of this post an open thread.
Thomas Lifson adds:
Ted Kennedy was the poster boy for redemption by liberal politics -- the sense that many on the left have that no matter how badly they behave personally, they have a claim on virtue because they support liberal policies. By mobilizing the power of the state to take money away from some to cater to the needs of others, they suddenly become great humanitarians.
Even the liberals on MSNBC this morning are framing their eulogies in temrs of Teddy's battle with his dark side (and concluding that in the end light won because he got the government to spend a lot more money).
But Ted Kennedy faces a Judge far more powerful than any pundit, or indeed the electorate now. What any other mortal thinks of him now is irrelevant to his fate.
C. Edmund Wright adds:
A couple things stand out this morning. First is the unspoken irony that a Senator being hailed today as a "lifelong champion of the poor and working people" passed away at his home in Hyannis Port." Enough said.
Second: As predicted many months ago by Rush Limbaugh, the left will use the death of their "liberal lion" to callously push health care reform in his memory. Already this morning one Democrat lawmaker has done just that. And I mean literally used his death for specifically that purpose.
Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York said on CNBC this morning that "I think his memory definitely will (play a role in the health care debate) .. and I would hope that this (meaning Kennedy's death) would cause us to sit down like never before to pass a bill -- and do it in a bipartisan way and do it in short order...that would be a fitting tribute to Senator Ed Kennedy."
You just can't make this stuff up.
Cliff Thier adds:
For those readers unfamiliar with the events at Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts in 1969, here are the salient facts:
After a party, Senator Edward Kennedy was driving a young staff worker, Mary Jo Kopechne somewhere late that night. He later said he was driving her to her hotel. She had, however, left her hotel key and pocketbook at the party.
Kennedy drove off the bridge and the car plunged into the Poucha Pond inlet.
Kennedy managed to extricate himself with the car which was filling up with water. Instead of immediately notifying the police he notified a "Kennedy advisor." Kennedy spent the rest of that night huddled with "Kennedy advisors" to come up with a story. Later, Kennedy and two "Kennedy advisors" went to the scene of the accident and tried to swim to reach the car. None of the men thought they should notify the police.
Later Kennedy went back to his hotel room where he complained during the night that he couldn't sleep because of a loud party. That next morning Kennedy chatted with the winner of a sailboat race and then met with the same two "Kennedy advisors" who had accompanied him the night before. The three men then went back to the scene of the accident. Still no one called the police. Kennedy did call friends asking their advice.
Around that time fishermen had spotted the car in the water and called the police. A police diver later testified that, "Had I received a call within five to ten minutes of the accident occurring, and was able, as I was the following morning, to be at the victim's side within twenty-five minutes of receiving the call, in such event there is a strong possibility that she would have been alive on removal from the submerged car"
Kennedy who was standing nearby at a pay phone and saw the police had discovered the body. The police had run the license plate and discovered that the car belonged to Kennedy.
At around 10:00 AM Kennedy presented himself (with "Kennedy advisors") at the police station.
By the time he presented himself to the police a sobriety test was impossible.
The judge at the inquest decided that some of Kennedy's testimony about the events that night were lies. Nevertheless he was no prosecuted for anything more than leaving the scene of an accident. He got a two month suspended sentence for leaving the scene of an accident. The judge said "Boyle referred to Kennedy's "unblemished record" and said that he "has already been, and will continue to be punished far beyond anything this court can impose".
A man whose shtick was about fairness and equality was only too happy to be treated by Massachusetts officials in a manner no person not named Kennedy would be treated. The rest of us would have been sent to jail for criminally negligent homicide (at the least).
July 18, 2009 was the 40th anniversary of Mary Jo Kopechne's homicide. She would have been 68 today.
Ed Lasky adds:
Yesterday, Randall Hoven pointed out that Barack Obama has insulted an amazing range of people. So it's no surprise to note that he insulted Ted Kennedy, too.
In late, 2003, this is what Barack Obama had to say of Ted Kennedy on Kennedy's efforts to pass a prescription drug bill:
Jack Kemp adds:
What is Dr. Ezekial Emanuel's position on the late Ted Kennedy's treatments?
As Noemie Emery states in the Washington Examiner about Sen. Kennedy:
My more-than-rhetorical question for Dr. Emanuel is this: Do you consider these expensive treatments given to the late Sen. Kennedy a waste of the medical resources? Ted Kennedy's Senatorial medical insurance was funded by the federal government. These days few private institutions do not benefit indirectly or directly from the federal governments expenditures on medical education, Medicare or other programs.
So I ask again, we know Dr. Emanuel's general position against using extraordinary and expensive measures to extend the life of senior citizens. Does his position also apply to Sen. Kennedy's situation and is he willing to say that in public?
David Jeffers adds:
After the lionization is over; the casket is removed from the Capitol Rotunda, and the senator is laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery next to his brothers, the Democrats at the prodding of Rahm "never waste a crisis" Emanuel will come out with a revised health care plan in honor of the late and "great" Ted Kennedy.
As Thomas Paine once wrote, "these are the times that try men's souls", our elected Republican representatives in Congress are going to be tested. Will they be able to stand up to the vitriol sure to come if they oppose TeddyCare? Will they be able to overcome the wave of emotion during the Teddy hero-worship that will no doubt come from the Democrats and their public relations firm, the mainstream media?
The Republican Party will no doubt crumble under the pressure if we the people are not there to man the ramparts of their crumbling spines.
We conservatives are going to have to be the badge of courage our Republican Cowardly Lions are going to need in the days ahead.