Patterico's Pontifications

8/29/2009

“Moral Clarity” My Foot

Filed under: Current Events — Jack Dunphy @ 12:41 pm



[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

The Latin admonishment regarding speaking of the dead (nil nisi bonum de mortuis dicere) is one best followed in most circumstances, but some of the paeans being lavished on the late Sen. Kennedy are such appalling whitewashes of history that a bit of record-correcting is called for. In Friday’s Washington Post, for example, Eugene Robinson closed his encomium to Kennedy as follows:

But we sorely miss Kennedy’s moral clarity. He believed our nation has the responsibility to ensure that every American has the right to affordable health care. Perhaps his life as an eternal prince taught him that happiness and salvation lie in sacrificing self-interest for the greater good.

Mary Jo Kopechne would have benefitted from some health care, affordable or not, on that night in 1969 when Mr. Kennedy swam away from his sunken car and left her to die. Where was that “moral clarity” and “sacrifice of self-interest” then?

–Jack Dunphy

50 Responses to ““Moral Clarity” My Foot”

  1. They just cannot bring themselves to say “I liked his politics, but he was an appalling person.”. I wonder why that is?

    Eric Blair (a71690)

  2. The best evidence for “death panels” I know of is this adulation for a man who would let a young woman die and then go on as if nothing had happened but an “inconvenience.” As usual, Mark Steyn has it about right.

    As Kennedy flack Ted Sorensen put it in Time magazine: “Both a plane crash in Massachusetts in 1964 and the ugly automobile accident on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969 almost cost him his life.”

    That’s the way to do it! An “accident,” “ugly” in some unspecified way, just happened to happen — and only to him, nobody else. Ted’s the star, and there’s no room to namecheck the bit players. What befell him was . . . a thing, a place. As Joan Vennochi wrote in the Boston Globe: “Like all figures in history — and like those in the Bible, for that matter — Kennedy came with flaws. Moses had a temper. Peter betrayed Jesus. Kennedy had Chappaquiddick, a moment of tremendous moral collapse.”

    Pardon me while I run to the head to throw up.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  3. Democrats are such lying hypocrites.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  4. Mark Steyn at National Review Online has a good column on the way that Kennedy’s “failings” have been “airbrushed” away:

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MjZlNjA1MTRmYWViNjMwMDUyNjc1ZTg0NDQwZjk2ODc=

    Another writer at National Review noted the following entry from Huffington Post:

    “…It doesn’t automatically make someone (aka, me) a Limbaugh-loving, aerial-wolf-hunting NRA troll for asking what Mary Jo Kopechne would have had to say about Ted’s death, and what she’d have thought of the life and career that are being (rightfully) heralded.

    Who knows — maybe she’d feel it was worth it.”

    UNBELIEVABLE!

    Bubba Maximus (456175)

  5. I remember a story my pastor said many years ago. I will make some obvious changes in the story:

    Ted Kennedy was approaching his death and his newly-adopted brother, Barack Obama, went to the priest to talk about his eulogy.

    “I will give you fifty grand if you call my brother an angel at his eulogy.”

    So, at the eulogy, the priest had this to say: “Ted Kennedy was a liar, a murderer, a drunk, a womanizer, a sexual predator and a thief. But compared to his brother, Barack Obama, he was an angel.”

    And thinking about this post, I was reminded of a small article in an Ohio newspaper about America’s oldest practicing attorney, a Texas centenarian. This attorney has a highly visible quote on his desk, which reads:

    Live your life in such a way that the preacher doesn’t have to lie at your funeral.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  6. […] Let the discussion commence, over at Patterico’s.  Jack Dunphy weighs in, also at Patterico’s. […]

    Gazzer’s Gabfest » Remember to tip (over) your waitress…* (b98ad6)

  7. #4-

    Melissa Lafsky: The Footnote Speaks: What would Mary Jo Kopechne Have Thought of Ted’s Career?

    We’re comfortable with moral relativism in this country — or, at least, we love us a good “sinned and redeemed” narrative. And, for the most part, we realize that there are few lives on which we can slap a “Good” or “Evil” label and expect it to be accurate.

    Which, let’s face it, is one of the reasons the Ted Kennedy story is so fascinating. The huge achievements, weighed against the huge sins. Forty-six years of history-book accomplishments on everything from Civil Rights to the Americans with Disabilities Act to gender equality. Disabled? Poor? A member of any minority group? Then chances are your life is at least somewhat better because of Ted Kennedy. And for anyone who started to lose faith in the left’s seeming impotence over the past decade (cough cough) he provided a pretty strong reason not to throw in the towel.

    So now he’s dead, and we do what we do when a Kennedy dies: read and write obsessively about him. Some of the obituaries are point-counterpoint parallels of sin with salvation. Then there are obsequious, grandiose bromides like:

    He was a Rabelaisian figure in the Senate and in life, instantly recognizable by his shock of white hair, his florid, oversize face, his booming Boston brogue, his powerful but pained stride. He was a celebrity, sometimes a self-parody, a hearty friend, an implacable foe, a man of large faith and large flaws, a melancholy character who persevered, drank deeply and sang loudly. He was a Kennedy.

    Good grief.

    But in all the florid or scalpel-sharp prose, there’s one constant: Peeking out from the center of the story is the matter of his playing a major part in the death of a 28-year-old woman.

    Mary Jo wasn’t a right-wing talking point or a negative campaign slogan. She was a dedicated civil rights activist and political talent with a bright future — granted, whenever someone dies young, people sermonize about how he had a “bright future” ahead of him — but she actually did. She wasn’t afraid to defy convention (28 and unmarried, oh the horror!) or create her own career path based on her talents. She lived in Georgetown (where I grew up) and loved the Red Sox (we’ll forgive her for that). Then she got in a car driven by a 36-year-old senator with an alcohol problem and a cauldron full of demons, and wound up a controversial footnote in a dynasty.

    We don’t know how much Kennedy was affected by her death, or what she’d have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history. What we don’t know, as always, could fill a Metrodome.

    Still, ignorance doesn’t preclude a right to wonder. So it doesn’t automatically make someone (aka, me) a Limbaugh-loving, aerial-wolf-hunting NRA troll for asking what Mary Jo Kopechne would have had to say about Ted’s death, and what she’d have thought of the life and career that are being (rightfully) heralded.

    Who knows — maybe she’d feel it was worth it. – Melissa Lafsky 8/27/09

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  8. I guess one way to read people is how they think of Kennedy.
    A minor caveat to the theme of the post. For Eugene Robinson and others like him, this is, really is, it’s how they see, moral clarity.
    They ain’t bullshitting.
    Given the opportunity, they’d do the same and expect plaudits as exemplars of moral clarity.

    Richard Aubrey (52c024)

  9. Nice cut and paste job, Von Braun. What, didn’t they teach you reading comprehension skills during your time with CBS?

    I guess hardly anyone in the MSM is impolitic enough to challenge this inane and insulting ongoing hagiography. But if they think they’re doing a great service to the Dem cause overall, they’re sorely mistaken. Outside of the beltway, MA, NYC and LA, the rest of flyover country feels quite differently about the amoral and disgusting Senator.

    Didn’t he visit Mary Joe Kopechne’s gravesite a few months ago? Funny, but you didn’t see much MSM analysis of that inconvenient truth.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  10. We know how he was affected by her death, troll. He was on the phone to his lawyers when her body was found. He had tried to get Joe Gargan to say he had been driving the car. The fact that he is being eulogized by the left while this crime is ignored tells us as much about the left as about him. Remember, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.” Who said that ?

    A hint: Teddy was meeting with his successor trying to help the Soviets defeat Reagan (and our country) in arms control talks. Sort of like Kerry was meeting with the NVA in paris while a commissioned officer in the navy. It seems to be common with Democrats.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  11. It’s like IMP didn’t even get the last sentence of his cut and paste job. Reading is tough, I know.

    When someone suggests that maybe the dead person wouldn’t have minded dying so that the Great One (who joked about the jokes about her death) could be lionized…well, I suggest that trolls like this jerk (remember his McCain comments?) take it up with her relatives.

    Or offer up the life of one of his own relatives, so that a drunken groper of women can look cool.

    Oh, but that’s so very different.

    The trail of IMP droppings continues. What a horrid little man.

    Eric Blair (a88004)

  12. Treachery appears to go along with narcissism. Who knew?

    Mary Jo knew. She knew for the entire 12 hours it took her to die underwater waiting for that baboon to return.

    Vivian Louise (e35449)

  13. The thing that rankles me, VL, is how incredibly hypocritical these jokers are.

    Bringing up Ted’s aquatic ballet, or Dodd Sandwich, or similar things, is all “mean spirited” and “a long time ago.”

    But we have read endless blathering—from these same people—about Reagan! That’s different!

    Just alphabetists. Heck, I doubt any of them could even name any of the legislation that Kennedy was involved with. I mean, without consulting wikipedia.

    Eric Blair (a88004)

  14. Richard Nixon was royally reamed thoughout the period of his passing and interment in the press and popular media in spite of his life and politics in his career before, and 20 post Watergate years. As distasteful as that was, it beared being aired then in context when summing up Nixon just as Chappaquiddick does in the equation when calculating Ted Kennedy’s legacy before and 40 year after. But to trumpet a summation of Kennedy in a nutshell with Chappaquiddick would be as unfair as to sum up Nixon’s life with one word, Watergate.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  15. #1-They just cannot bring themselves to say “I liked his politics, but he was an appalling person.”. I wonder why that is?

    Comment by Eric Blair — 8/29/2009 @ 12:49 pm

    Rest easy. Condescension and projection may very well be covered when the Kennedy National Health Care Reform Bill is passed.

    ‘Absoluts’ are a vodka which no doubt Teddy tried. But it’s quite easy to say ‘I liked most of his politics but many of his traits as a person were appalling.’ For RMN and EMK.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  16. I read that Laughsky piece yesterday, and it is not the least bit surprising that the International Man of Parody shares such noxious amoral views.

    Couple that with the fact that the Kennedy’s had a grandchild pushing national healthcare during Mass, and this is quickly making Wellstone’s political rally/funeral seem restrained.

    IMP and its ilk disgust me.

    JD (6286a6)

  17. Mary Jo was never given the option to determine if she wanted to be the fucking “catalyst” for this anvil-headed gin-soaked Seantor’s career.

    DCSCA is a disgusting person too.

    JD (6286a6)

  18. “The Mass of Christian burial weaves together memory and hope.”
    -Rev. Mark R. Hession, parish priest at the church where the Kennedy service was held.

    Seems like a hard lesson for some to grasp.

    Sunburn (5d93e3)

  19. “We know how he was affected by her death, troll.”

    Absolutely, he went back to the party he and Mary Jo left, passing a number of opportunities to phone for help along the way, told the guys what happened and told them not to tell the other women because it might get them upset. They went back to the bridge to take a look, did nothing then Ted swam back to Edgartown promising to let the authorities know what happen, which he didn’t do until he came to the next morning.

    DCSCA – This thread isn’t about Nixon or Republican presidents.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  20. I like how the Leftists actually did pimp out a grandchild to push national healthcare, during Mass.

    JD (6286a6)

  21. There were a few Republicans at Kennedy’s lie-along that belong in the crapper along with him.

    Give ’em all enemas when they die and they can be buried in matchboxes.

    tmac (f9e092)

  22. “moral clarity” = taking other people’s money and claiming credit for it.

    “sacrificing self-interest for the greater good” = ibid.

    The bar for left-wing sainthood is set awfully low . . .

    Bradley J. Fikes, C. O.R. (a18ddc)

  23. The bar for left-wing sainthood is set awfully low . . .

    And yet it’s the right that thinks the rules of decent society should only apply to them when they are easy to follow.

    a bit of record-correcting is called for

    I blame Lee Atwater for the long decline in Republican decency.

    Sunburn (5d93e3)

  24. But to trumpet a summation of Kennedy in a nutshell with Chappaquiddick would be as unfair as to sum up Nixon’s life with one word, Watergate.

    Comment by DCSCA

    I don’t recall anyone dying in Watergate, troll. Lots of people died when the 1974 Democrat Congress reneged on Kissinger’s promises to the south, though.

    Sunburn wouldn’t know decency if it bit him.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  25. But to trumpet a summation of Kennedy in a nutshell with Chappaquiddick would be as unfair as to sum up Nixon’s life with one word, Watergate.

    Comment by DCSCA

    I don’t recall anyone dying in Watergate, troll. Lots of people died when the 1974 Democrat Congress reneged on Kissinger’s promises to the south, though.

    Sunburn wouldn’t know decency if it bit him.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  26. Always being one willing to lob a grenade in the port-a-potty.. wait till you get so see Carter’s funeral. I watched Reagan’s and was very moved by it. None of it was over the top and more importantly really fit the man being laid to rest.
    I didn’t know that presidents outline those plans years in advance.
    Given Carter’s opinion of himself you can bet that whatever he has planned will try to trump Reagan’s and leave most conservatives reaching for the barf bag. Lots of expected comment on how he restored America after Nixon, etc.
    When that day comes I think I’ll take a root canal over watching the spectacle.
    And I hope that Obama’s death panel makes the call for me before him. His ceremony will be out of control sickening.

    voiceofreason2 (cfab95)

  27. Okay, folks, this guy is just a troll. Really. I mean consider this quote:

    “..And yet it’s the right that thinks the rules of decent society should only apply to them when they are easy to follow…”

    Wow. I would argue that this character seems to believe that no rules of decent society should ever apply—so long as a “D” is associated with a name.

    Seriously, that quote above needs to be part of the Troll Hall of Projective Fame (sort of like “I work here is done”).

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  28. According to Ace of Spades, Mary Jo Kopechne was an only child.

    dchamil (ca7622)

  29. Hey daley:

    “…DCSCA – This thread isn’t about Nixon or Republican presidents….”

    Is the International Man of Parody still carrying on about Nixon? Heck, IMP was just a boy when Nixon was President, but he sure gives a different impression. No surprise there, given his history of self-important puffery/lies.

    And besides….wasn’t Nixon..well… a long time ago? Didn’t IMP just criticize the Right for obsessing over long-ago things?

    Heck, to show his class (regarding Kennedy), IMP actually used the expression “water under the bridge.”

    What a prat.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  30. And he repeated again the whole “condescension can be treated meme” in a condescending tone! What an idiot: repetitive and insulting.

    No worries. He’ll be off to detox again soon enough.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  31. “The Mass of Christian burial weaves together memory and hope.”
    -Rev. Mark R. Hession, parish priest at the church where the Kennedy service was held.
    Seems like a hard lesson for some to grasp.
    Sunburn

    Sunburn is apparently as ignorant of Christian theology as he is of history and economics. The “memory and hope” of the Mass of Christian Burial is about the memory of Jesus’ resurrection and the hope of our own – NOT the memory of Ted Kennedy’s wonderful deeds and the hope of a massive new government program.

    Gesundheit (254807)

  32. This “new” troll is typical: just popping off to sound contrary and smart. Gesundheit, are you surprised that he or she is misquoting doctrine?

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  33. A blogger said it best: “I hope that if I ever murder someone, my worst punishment is that I don’t get to be President.”

    Sen Kennedy was scum, and I’m watching his burial just to make sure they actually stick his sorry ass in the ground.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  34. I’m also a little disgusted at the Catholic Church for performing the Mass for a man that stood opposite several key parts of Church Dogma.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  35. “But we sorely miss Kennedy’s moral clarity.”

    To paraphrase Mike K, excuse me while I vomit.

    Dave Surls (5896ee)

  36. I’m also a little disgusted at the Catholic Church for performing the Mass for a man that stood opposite several key parts of Church Dogma.

    Which is why I refused to watch it, Scott.

    Paul (creator of "Staunch Brayer") (a98ec3)

  37. Am I the only one that thought that using a grandkid during Mass to beg for universal healthcare was disgusting?

    JD (c87796)

  38. JD, all this child pandering reminds me of this:

    http://alignmap.com/wp-content/Graphics/lampoon-dog-big.jpg

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  39. I read elsewhere today that Barack Obama carried a sealed letter from Teddy Kennedy for hand delivery to the Pope. Obama did not know what was in it. The Pope accepted it, but apparently didn’t open it–or if he did, it’s been resealed and put back in the Papal archives. One supposes that it was a request from a dying Catholic for a Papal blessing. Apparently none was forthcoming; Teddy had strayed very far from the path of doctrine.

    Another official at the Vatican was saying that Teddy Kennedy was “nothing to us. He and the rest of the Kennedy’s had had some importance in the Boston Diocese but even that had gone away.”

    Ah shucks, as Henry Gates might say, “Don’t those nudniks at the Vatican know who they’re dealing with?” A pox on all their houses.

    Mike Myers (674050)

  40. My late stepfather said that Mary Jo Kopechne unwittingly gave her life for her country, in that her death prevented Teddy Kennedy from becoming president.

    dchamil (ca7622)

  41. Sunburn even gives us the Lee Atwater line. Sheesh, what a twit Sunburn is. Atwater never came close to the dirty tricks Democrats engaged in before, during and certainly since his time.

    Sunburn does not even know who Atwater was.

    Moronic trolls.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  42. “We’re comfortable with moral relativism in this country”

    “Libturds are comfortable with moral relativism in this country”

    DCSCA – Fixed the beginning of that innaccurate Melissa Lafsky cut and paste for you.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  43. I don’t begrudge the guy forgiveness and a Mass. He could have confessed and been given absolution. That’s what being a Catholic means but you have to promise to sin no more. I expect he waited until the last minute before doing so, just in case he had a remission.

    True story: I once had a patient who was an old reprobate. He was in ICU and dying. His younger wife asked the priest, an old friend of mine, Mike Hughes, to come to the hospital and give him absolution. Mike came to see him and the old reprobate said, “No thanks father, I think I still have a good chance to make it !”

    Now, there was an honest man. The priest went away and a few days later, the old man lost consciousness. The wife now wanted the priest to come back and give him absolution under the theory of implied consent. Mike Hughes, another honest man, said no. He said the man made his decision when he was in control of his faculties and he would abide by that decision. The wife was furious and went to the bishop about it but he would not over rule the parish priest.

    I was thinking of that guy as Kennedy was dying. However, I doubt Teddy was as honest as my patient.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  44. “But we sorely miss Kennedy’s moral clarity.”

    Moral clarity, my ass. You cannot miss what you’ve never had in the first place.

    What’s stunning about women (such as the HuffPo writer) on the left is their complete acceptance and willing whitewashing of Kennedy’s sexism and usery of women. Of course the value he placed on them was completely evidenced by leaving Mary Jo to die but even that is excusable. It certainly does make us appear the weaker sex.

    Dana (0f0b2e)

  45. This is an honest to God real question, so please take it at that, because I’m not Catholic. But I do have a question for the Catholics on this site.

    I watched a bit of today’s funeral and it looked as if Kennedy was afforded full Catholic funeral rites. And I don’t really have a problem with that.

    However, how does that jibe with his support of abortion. I know the Pope and College of Cardinals are opposed to abortion?

    Also, if you support abortion as a politician and a Catholic, such as Kennedy, Kerry and Pelosi, can you receive communion? For that matter, can you support abortion or have an abortion and receive communion without absolution?

    Again, I ask this as someone who honestly does not know. When I was a kid, I dated a Catholic girl and went to Mass with her once and she wouldn’t allow me to take Communion because I had not been to Confession, despite the fact that I was a Christian.

    As a raised Baptist and a converted Presbyterian, I haven’t had the chance to learn much about Catholicism.

    Thanks.

    Ag80 (fc6fd8)

  46. Also, if you support abortion as a politician and a Catholic, such as Kennedy, Kerry and Pelosi, can you receive communion?

    You aren’t supposed to be able to, no.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  47. “Eternal prince”? Ha Ha Ha. Once again reinforcing the very American idea that we HATE F**king monarchies. Joseph Kennedy, Sr. was a fierce hard charging nasty motherf***we – he was the last Kennedy worth a shit. Oh, and Joe Sr. was mostly a self-made man – no prince bullshit for him, he was all deals and sharp-elbows.

    Californio (ea00ee)

  48. Joseph Kennedy, Sr. was a fierce hard charging nasty motherf***we – he was the last Kennedy worth a shit

    He also benefited from illegal booze, and was so pro-Nazi that England sent him back to the US saying “Yes, we’ve rather had enough of this Ambassador, would you kindly send us a fresh one?”

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  49. Moral Clarity: POWER CORRUPTS and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Travis Monitor (e991bc)

  50. <>

    Do any of us really know who Lee was? All we see now are his pale imitators. I saw an awesome Atwater film last fall which has won a bunch of awards.There are some cool links on this site where you can suggest your local public library or university library buy it.

    http://www.BoogieManFilm.com/educational/

    Red State, Purple State (465db6)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.3188 secs.