Thursday, August 27, 2009

All Hype Aside, Let's Check the Facts

It would be unseemly of me, a conservative and a gentleman, to criticize the dead. Thus, in the aftermath of the death of Edward "Teddy" Kennedy (22 Feb 1921 - 25 Aug 2009) I will refrain from any editorial and simply state facts and facts only. I will not opine. I will not interject subjective comment.

Perhaps this will provide some very small counterweight to the effusive torrent of leftmedia veneration of the late Sen. Kennedy.

The following Facts come from the Patriot Post.

Kennedy's 47 years as a senator made him the third-longest serving senator in the US Senate, second only to Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Strom Thurmond (R-SC).

Edward Kennedy was born into great wealth, privilege, and political influence, the fourth son of Joseph and Rose Kennedy.

He never worked a day in his life in a private-sector job.

He held an established reputation as a serial womanizer in college.

Ted was kicked out of Harvard for cheating. A few years later, he was allowed to return to complete his undergraduate degree.

Ted was a life-long abuser of alcohol. [Incidentally, on the first cruise my wife and I took to the Caribbean, the captain of a vessel we were aboard told us a story of how a drunken Ted Kennedy nearly drove a speed boat into the side of his vessel and did succeed in swamping his boat and passengers with an enormous wave as he sped by. Fact.]

On the evening of July 18, 1969, a drunken Kennedy left a party with Mary Jo Kopechne, an attractive 28 year old intern (pictured above). Kennedy lost control of his car on a one lane bridge and the car landed upside down in the water. Kennedy freed himself from the vehicle and, after resting by the water's edge, walked back to the party. There, one of his political assistants took him back to his hotel. Kopechne remained trapped in an air pocket inside the overturned car. Nine hours later, after sobering up and conferring with political advisors and lawyers, Kennedy called authorities to report the incident. By that time, Kopechne's body had already been discovered.

With the help of his father Joe's connections, Kennedy was charged only with leaving the scene of an accident. In his testimony, Kennedy stated, "I almost tossed and turned. ... I had not given up hope all night that, by some miracle, Mary Jo would have escaped from the car." Kennedy was given a two month jail sentence, which, in fact, was suspended. He never served a day in jail for the crime.

Claiming that the charges of "immoral conduct and drunk driving" were false, Kennedy was re-elected to his second term in the Senate by a landslide 62% of the vote. [I'm still managing to bite my tongue and refrain from comment.]

When the scandal broke that President Bill Clinton had lied under oath about his sexual liaison with a Monica Lewinsky, Kennedy firmly backed the president.

President Clinton awarded Kennedy the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the U.S. which goes to individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution" to the United States.

During Clinton's years as president, Kennedy stated: "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."

In 1987, Ronald Reagan's nomination of Samuel Alito to U.S. District Attorney, Kennedy's vote was amongst the Senates unanimous consent. Once again, when Alito was nominated for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in 1990, he again received Kennedy's vote and unanimous Senate approval. However, during Alito's Supreme Court nomination hearings, Kennedy attacked Alito's character and his record. [A very interesting reading of Kennedy's political motivations can be found here:]

I could go on (and on and on...) but I want to go home and, frankly, I'm looking forward to the remainder of my life without this man staining my voting ballots, and without having to give further thought to the many political and social debacles this man contributed to in the Commonwealth and the country.

One final word from the Patriot Post worth quoting: "A man who can't govern his own life should never be entrusted with the government of others."

Noah Webster said, "The virtues of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities. ... In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate -- look to his character."

That's a lesson the people of the Commonwealth have yet to learn.

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