Patterico's Pontifications

7/19/2009

Remember Mary Jo

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 9:07 pm



[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

People of a certain age will certainly recall where they were when they watched those flickering images of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong taking his small step and Giant Leap on the surface of the moon, which occurred 40 years ago tomorrow. Less remembered is the event that occurred 40 years ago yesterday, when Senator Edward Kennedy left 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne to drown after driving his car off a bridge on Martha’s Vineyard. In a piece on Examiner.com, writer Dave Gibson informs those who may have forgotten or never learned of Kennedy’s execrable behavior that night, which can be summed up in this sentence from the column: “It was obvious to most people that Kennedy had allowed a young girl to drown, in a desperate and self-serving attempt to protect his political career.”

Forty years have not erased the shame.

–Jack Dunphy

50 Responses to “Remember Mary Jo”

  1. Kennedy’s are kind of scummy I think, but also I think it pretty likely that they were scummy even before this Chappaquiddick thing happened. Scummy to where you wouldn’t want to get in a car alone with one.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  2. Jack:

    Thank you so much for this post.

    I’m so old that I remember both events.

    As a little kid, I was so excited about the Moon landing that I made my parents watch on a small TV at my grandmother’s house.

    I remember going outside to look at the Moon and gaze in wonder as someone, another human like me, was actually taking a step on it.

    I also remember JFK’s pledge to go the Moon and LBJ’s commitment to make it happen.

    But, I also remember the Kopechne incident because it was on the news. I remember seeing a broadcast with the Senator apologizing for his actions. I was too young to really understand what was going on at the time.

    Now I’m old and I do understand what happened to that poor woman.

    And, soon, we’ll have the celebrate the life of a rich, cowardly bastard who did nothing for this country except being re-elected time and again by the good people of Massachusetts.

    Ag80 (a71b80)

  3. With BHO in Martha’s Vineyard at the end of August, is it possible Teddy can give him a midnight tour of Chappaquiddick?

    I will even offer my free tire deflation services by the bridge.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  4. I’ve sometimes wondered what kind of bad karma has hovered over the Kennedy family for several decades. Perhaps a bit of payback for all their nonsensical, phony-baloney liberalism, exemplified by one of the two most famous Kennedy brothers being murdered by an ultra-leftist (Oswald) and then the other brother being killed by a person attached to a cause so many liberals weep for nowadays (if not also back in 1968), namely Sirhan Sirhan and Palestinians. And then, of course, the son of one of those two brothers, known for getting a buzz in pursuing risky stunts (ie, delighting in potentially very foolish, bad judgment), going down in a small aircraft.

    Mark (411533)

  5. Does anybody remember what Walter Cronkite had to say about the incident?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  6. I fell bad for the Kennedy women personally. To see your male heirs go down in such spectacular fashion must be hard.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  7. And who could forget the story at The Dublin Times:

    “God Saves Senator Kennedy While Pour Girl Drowns.”

    “Senator prays by accident scene for 9 hours.”

    “Devout pair believed to be en route to midnight mass.”

    (yes, this is a spoof)

    Steverino (1b3695)

  8. Ted, I think I’m pregnant.

    Mary Jo, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  9. #8, I thought it was …

    (Thick Irish Catholic Guilt)

    “But, Ted, what if I get pregnant?”

    “MaryJo, we’ll cross that bridge if we get to it.”

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  10. Kennedy driving off a bridge? Nah, don’t remember that. I do remember helping two DI’s set up a small black and white tv under an opensided mess tent so that a company of recruits (including me) in bootcamp could watch the landing. Dim, flickering, I had had to make an antenna out of some scrap 14 gauge wire … but it worked! Yea USA!

    htom (412a17)

  11. #10, Liberals just think MaryJo was a really really late term abortion anyway. So he is like, a Liberal Icon.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  12. jarjar should go for a ride with Kennedy.

    JD (f303d4)

  13. Forty years have not erased the shame.

    Only because he never felt any in the first place, Jack…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  14. Actually, we can expect people like Fary Garber to tell us how great of a Senator Sen. Gin and Tonic is. Maybe he would like to go for a ride with Swimmer.

    JD (72046a)

  15. Jack said, “Forty years have not erased the shame.”

    Unfortunately, being re-elected over and over since 1970 has turned this crime into a triumph.

    tyree (d539f4)

  16. Mr Dunphy wrote:

    Forty years have not erased the shame.

    Why, yes, they certainly have! Senator Kennedy is now one of the Elder Statesmen of the Democratic Party, the Lion of the Senate, and the respected Battler against Cancer.

    Please make a note of it.

    The realistic Dana (3e4784)

  17. As a believer in spiritual redemption, I think Kennedy should strongly consider fessing up publicly before it is too late. No excuses, just the admission.

    voiceofreason2 (10af7e)

  18. Ted Kennedy is going to Hell. A fate he richly deserves. God does not accept Kennedy Express.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  19. There is a report that he visited her grave recently. One of the best political cartoons of all time was one of Kennedy driving Carter with Carter in the back seat wearing a diving mask. It was in 1980 when Kennedy was contesting the nomination with Carter.

    Mike K (90939b)

  20. Ah yes, the senior partner in the estimable law firm of Dinem, Dickem and Dunkem still bloviates in the Senate 40 years after the firm was founded.

    Mike Myers (674050)

  21. Chappaquiddick effectively eliminated Ted Kennedy as a candidate for his party’s presidential nomination. That left Jimmy Carter as the last horse standing for Democrats in 1969, and all but assured Tricky Dick an easy walk to the White House.

    Ropelight (bb3af5)

  22. Hard as it might be for people under the age of 50 to believe, but the media was as far in the tank for Ted Kennedy in the first months of 1969 as they’ve been for Obama the past 20 months. Due to the assassinations of his brothers, the media assumed it was a given that Teddy would run against Nixon in 1972 and take back the White House that was wrongfully taken from the family, in a repeat of the 1960 election.

    It was that attitude, combined with a feeling that Teddy had suffered emotionally enough already with the death of his brothers, his sister’s problems and his own near death in that 1964 plane crash, that basically gave Kennedy a “Negligently Let One Girl Drown for Free” card. They were already so invested in the Kennedy II Administration taking over on Jan. 20, 1973 and felt so sorry for Kennedy, they couldn’t bring themselves to do any in-depth reporting on a story that could ruin his career. And once they and he thought the coast was clear a decade later, most would have had no problem shilling for Ted in 1980 when he challenged Carter from the left in the Democratic Primary (the problem ended up being not so much Roger Mudd’s questions as the fact that Kennedy himself had bought into the myth, and could think of no other reason he wanted to be president other than he was entitled to it).

    John (f82202)

  23. Ted’s swimming back to the mainland (and his hotel) instead of seeking immediate help from the locals should have been enough to end his career.

    Ditto Barney Frank and the teen boy-toy service running out of his house.

    And now the Sotomayor hearings are being treated as a last-ditch effort by white men to maintain their hegemony.

    The msm train keeps rolling along.

    harkin (3769c8)

  24. Chappaquiddick effectively eliminated Ted Kennedy as a candidate for his party’s presidential nomination. That left Jimmy Carter as the last horse standing for Democrats in 1969, and all but assured Tricky Dick an easy walk to the White House.

    What? Can you say anachronism?

    quasimodo (4af144)

  25. #21 If memory serves, it wasn’t a “Jimmy Who” situation until after the ’72 elections. In my college years, I was flirting with liberalism with other dope, but until about March 72, Ed Muskie was the man to beat. He imploded and McGovern got the nomination and then imploded…

    Red County Pete (abe6c4)

  26. Why, yes, they certainly have! Senator Kennedy is now one of the Elder Statesmen of the Democratic Party, the Lion of the Senate, and the respected Battler against Cancer.

    Please make a note of it.

    Comment by The realistic Dana
    ——
    Politicians of both parties used to say that politics stops at the waters edge, but the Democrats spent the 8 years of the Bush administration proving that wrong.

    I guess privilege & political opportunism don’t stop at the water’s edge, either.

    Steve (89f020)

  27. #21, et al, thanks for the corrections. I’ve got Jimmy Carter on the brain today. My mistake. It was LBJ’s VP Hubert Humphrey who lost to Tricky Dick, after Robert Kennedy was killed in LA.

    Ropelight (bb3af5)

  28. #23, correct me if I am wrong but the bridge he drove off is fairly shallow water. He could have walked off — no swimming needed.

    He drove his car off a bridge linking Chappy to Chappy’s beach. It is an inlet which during low tide you can see the bottom of the inlet.
    He did not drop his car into the channel between Chappaquiddick and Edgarstown.

    Is my recollection incorrect?

    This is why so many people were disturbed by the accident. It was not like the water he dropped the car in was deep at all.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  29. When Ted dies, I suspect I’ll be told that I’m immoral if I condemn his memory. But the truth is that I’ll feel immoral if I don’t.

    Mary Jo is not just one detail… it’s exactly what the different is between ‘them’ and us. I don’t subscribe to the birther idea, but we can see how Obama didn’t have to release his transcripts or even really explain what’s he’s been doing all his life. He doesn’t condescend to give the American people basic information about himself. Even though I would have to provide a lot of credentials at some point in my career, he didn’t. Because he’s ‘them’.

    It’s not really a left or right thing. Ted killed a woman and he will be honored when he passes away, and that’s just strange.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  30. I’ve never been able to figure out how the people of Mass. managed to blind themselves and elect that alcoholic killer all these years. I’ve got no respect for them either.

    Vivian Louise (eeeb3a)

  31. Comment by The realistic Dana — 7/20/2009 @ 3:37 am

    Not a particularly flattering portrait of the Democrat Party, is it?

    From the “Party of the Working Man”, to the “Party of Ted the Swimmer”!

    AD - RtR/OS! (083442)

  32. >> who lost to Tricky Dick <<

    Since I’m always beating up on Democrats, I guess it’s only fair that I also set aside a bit of time to beat up on a Republican. Mainly because your evoking that nickname reminds me of something I read about the guy forever associated with the Watergate scandal.

    Back in the early 1960s, Nixon apparently became incensed because the Los Angeles Times did not blatantly favor him, and lashed out at its new publisher. IOW, Nixon wasn’t resentful because the paper opposed him or said bad things about him. He was resentful because it wasn’t ooohing and ahhing over him.

    From that one insight, one could determine there was a potential problem with the guy — a sort of flakiness or neurotic ego — which would come to full manifestation over 10 years later. I’d like to say that perhaps was a major reason some of the policies enacted by the Nixon White House that were quite pleasing and warm-hearted to liberals (eg, price controls, affirmative action, the underpinnings of a major new federal agency, the EPA, going beserk) were enacted in the first place.

    Mark (411533)

  33. I’ve never been able to figure out how the people of Mass. managed to blind themselves and elect that alcoholic killer all these years.

    You get that much more from people — from voters — on the left than on the right. That’s why I believe corruption and a lot of dumbing down of standards in general tend to flourish when a majority of people in an organization (including government) or society are “progressive” or fall for the belief that liberalism places a special halo around politicians and situations. That being of the left, or favoring and enacting “lefty” ideas, means never having to say you’re sorry.

    No surprise, therefore, that countries like a Mexico or much of inner-city America is dominated by a liberal mindset.

    Mark (411533)

  34. Rest In Peace, Mary Jo.

    Pons Asinorum (829f65)

  35. The Cowardly-Lion-of-the-Senate who caused her death escaped justice in this world. I wonder how he will fare in the next?

    Pons Asinorum (829f65)

  36. Drown? Guess again. She was found in the backseat, face toward the highest point in the car, as if trying ro scavage what little air remained. Mary Jo suffocated, many minutes after the future Lion of the Senate was walking past houses with lights on to get back to his friends to establish an alibi.

    Chris (d098d0)

  37. chris, was there any evidence explaining why Mary couldn’t exit the car? If she was breathing when it filled up, and the lake was so shallow, I have to wonder about it.

    Perhaps she was under the influence of a drug or booze, since she was with Ted.

    It just bothers me that her situation didn’t seem quite so deadly… except that she died.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  38. In a time when “gentlemen” took their responsibilities more seriously, Teddy would have committed himself to a self-exile mission bringing civilization and learning to some dark corner of the world as a penance for escaping the reach of Justice.
    But, since it has always been just about him, he imposed himself on the American Public in a position of great privilege and notice, and we have not been the better for it.

    AD - RtR/OS! (083442)

  39. It is not easy to get out of a sunken car like that. The car was upside down and she would have to have held her breath and rolled the window down to escape. Ted had the instincts of a hyena and got out but the poor girl was not able to do it herself. The diver who found her felt she had lived for over an hour and maybe several hours.

    The book about it is Senatorial Privilege which was written at the time Kennedy was running for the D nomination. I have a copy of the first edition.

    MIke K (90939b)

  40. Mike, that’s sad to think about. I might have to look for that book, because I think this is an interesting case. What’s truly astonishing is the epilogue for Ted.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  41. It did not stop with Mary Jo. Does anyone remember the famous “Latina sandwitch?” The distinguished Senator Dodd on th bottom, an upset tean-aged Latina waitress in the middle and the distinguished Senator Kennedy humping away on top. Except for a few obscure reports in the media – it was the usual “Nelson’s eye” from the main stream media, the National Organization of Women, all Latino organizations and Liberal groups. It was once said that being found in bed with a dead girl or a live boy was political suicide. Ted Kennedy and Barney Frank(and, at least two other Liberal Democrats) have shown that it is not political suicide if you are a Liberal Democrat.

    Longwalker (996c34)

  42. […] the other red fella down below, where he will receive an unlubricated anal rogering for eternity.  Patterico has more, plus a lively […]

    Gazzer’s Gabfest » A remarkable anniversary goes unremarked upon by the nation’s press (b98ad6)

  43. The real obscenity is that her death is now referred to as “a Kennedy tragedy.”

    It’s sickening.

    mojo (8096f2)

  44. When Ted dies, I suspect I’ll be told that I’m immoral if I condemn his memory. But the truth is that I’ll feel immoral if I don’t.

    When Senator Ted Kennedy passes away, I will mourn the death as far as it relates to his family – whatever his faults (and he has a great many), and however I may disagree with his views and politics (and such are legion), they love him, and they will feel his loss.

    I will not, however, mourn the man, nor shall I feel any shame or regret as I imagine him standing before the Pearly Gates, with St. Peter standing there with Mary Jo by his side, informing him that sadly God decided to give her a vote, and she was the only one who thought he should get in…

    “And in a split decision, it’s 50% voting ‘No’, 50% voting ‘Fuck No’, with Mother Teresa voting ‘Only if we get to beat the bastard’s head in…’, and no… there’s no recount…”

    Scott Jacobs (ed2c09)

  45. #41, that story is also referred to as the “waitress sandwich” story. It involved an Irish cottage owner and fat boy. Anybody seen the photos of Ted naked with the girl in the speedboat off the Riviera ? They were in Vanity Fair, as I recall, before the mag did a sharp left turn off a cliff. Ted, otherwise known as 200 pounds of condemned veal straightened up after that, I hear.

    Mike K (90939b)

  46. It is not easy to get out of a sunken car like that. The car was upside down and she would have to have held her breath and rolled the window down to escape. Ted had the instincts of a hyena and got out but the poor girl was not able to do it herself. The diver who found her felt she had lived for over an hour and maybe several hours.

    I’m not familiar with the specifics of the crime scene, but there’s something about your description that doesn’t scan.

    If Ted got out, then he would have had to close the door behind him, or roll up the window after he got out. Which is impossible. So, why would Mary Jo have had to roll down a window to escape? And how could she have lived for over an hour? The water would have rushed in the opening Ted escaped through.

    Unless Ted wasn’t in the car at all when it went into the drink…..

    Steverino (69d941)

  47. This is why so many people were disturbed by the accident. It was not like the water he dropped the car in was deep at all.

    He was obviously four sheets to the wind – when you look at the bridge it appears almost impossible to drive off it. It’s quite short and certainly wide enough – he really must have been hammered.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  48. #44 — LOL !

    Pons Asinorum (829f65)

  49. There is only shame if you are sorry. Uncah Teddy ain’t sorry one bit. Nope. Nevah. Not even with his rotting brain.

    PatriotRider (eaf999)

  50. I could see JFK and RFK waiting for Teddy in the afterlife to beat the crap out of him for a 1000 years or so before God gets to judge Teddy on his wickedness, blasphemy, and all around sinning.

    PCD (02f8c1)


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