Patterico's Pontifications

8/31/2009

The unspoken legacy of Ted Kennedy

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:46 am

[Posted by Karl]

This weekend, another member of the Kennedy clan was buried with a liberal application of liberal myth-making. Jacqueline Kennedy begged historian-journo Theodore M. White to rescue JFK’s legacy. White obliged by regurgitating her Camelot myth, knowing it to be a misreading of history.

The death of Ted Kennedy unavoidably exposed a new generation to Kennedy’s many sins — including, but not limited to Chappaquiddick — which tend to get glossed over or unmentioned in public education and the establishment media. Accordingly, those who have spent decades enabling the Kennedys rolled out yet another myth: that Ted Kennedy “redeemed” himself after leaving Mary Jo Kopechne to drown (perhaps to slowly asphyxiate), failing to report it to authorities for ten hours, and by most accounts lying to the authorities about the event.

We can never know whether he privately confessed his sins. Nor can those peddling the redemption myth over the weekend. We do know that Ted Kennedy never showed any contrition or publicly admitted guilt. We know that he privately found Chappaquiddick a source of humor. We know that for decades afterward, Kennedy still engaged in grossly inappropriate, occasionally criminal behavior with younger women while binge drinking.

Of course, the better Kennedy myth-makers do not stretch so far as to claim personal redemption. Instead, they claim Ted Kennedy redeemed himself through his public career. This defense can extend only as far as the appeal of his politics, but it too is a myth. Consider the case made by Joyce Carol Oates:

Yet, ironically, following [Chappaquiddick], Ted Kennedy seemed to have genuinely refashioned himself as a serious, idealistic, tirelessly energetic liberal Democrat in the mold of 1960s/1970s American liberalism, arguably the greatest Democratic senator of the 20th century. His tireless advocacy of civil rights, rights for disabled Americans, health care, voting reform, his courageous vote against the Iraq war (when numerous Democrats including Hillary Clinton voted for it) suggest that there are not only “second acts” in American lives, but that the Renaissance concept of the “fortunate fall” may be relevant here: one “falls” as Adam and Eve “fell”; one sins and repents and is forgiven, provided that one remakes one’s life.

This is a myth because Ted Kennedy did precious little refashioning after Chappaquiddick. According to Americans for Democratic Action, the only times Ted Kennedy’s “Liberal Quotient” slipped below 90% before Chappaquiddick related to absences from the Senate. Indeed, in 1969, Kennedy racked up a perfect 100% Liberal Quotient from the ADA before driving off that bridge. By that time, Sen. Kennedy had been responsible for creating Head Start, radically reforming immigration law, and pioneering bilingual education. And he was already looking for an exit from Vietnam. The notion that Ted Kennedy was not already a tireless advocate for liberal causes in 1969 strains credulity.

It would be fair to say that Chappaquiddick did nothing to alter Ted Kennedy’s leftward trajectory. He flip-flopped on the issue of abortion, becoming a 100% NARAL voter. He became the kind of Democrat who offered to help Soviet Union fight Pres. Ronald Reagan. And his grotesquely unfair attacks on Robert Bork (whose first amendment jurisprudence bothered me) were a milestone — and perhaps a pioneering effort — in what Democrats would later call the “politics of personal destruction.”

The post-Chappaquiddick Ted Kennedy alienated the socially conservative and hawkish members of the Democratic Party, driving many of them into what ultimately became the Reagan coalition. He preserved Massachusetts liberalism as a Democratic ideal that failed every time it ran for the presidency. And that is a legacy Democrats want to discuss even less than Chappaquiddick.

Media morons like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews may have rushed to cast Pres. Obama as the last Kennedy brother. Pres. Obama was smart enough to call Ted Kennedy’s death the closing of a chapter in our history. The last thing Barack Obama needs is to be cast as Curly Joe Besser in the Kennedy family drama, for there is no political advantage in it for him.

–Karl

69 Responses to “The unspoken legacy of Ted Kennedy”

  1. There are two types of people: those who either lionized or hated Kennedy and everybody else, most of whom haven’t spent ten minutes thinking about Kennedy. The second group dwarfs the first. Some in the first group hopes Kennedy’s death leads to all sorts of liberal advances while the others in that group fears such happening. Those in the second group have already moved on to thinking about football, baseball pennant races and getting kids back to school.

    Seriously, you can’t believe that the Kennedy fans are going to convince people who didn’t care to start caring? Or anyone who thought him a bum to change their mind? (gee, I hadn’t known Ted Kennedy was such a saint, I’m going to call my Congressman and tell him to support Obamacare).

    While Kennedy’s fans are hoping to do more, they’re just preaching to the liberal choir… they’re not going to convince America as a whole that Kennedy was what they’d like him to be…. any more than Michael Jackson’s fans were able to convince people that he wasn’t a freak.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  2. steve sturm,

    Agreed. And I think Obama gets it, too.

    Karl (f07e38)

  3. Ted Kennedy’s death sets a fine example for so many other senators I think, both Democrats and Republicans. Faster, please.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  4. Hahahahaaaa @ HappyFeet.

    Tough but fair.

    KingShamus (fb8597)

  5. He was the greatest Senator and swimmer EVAH, you racists !

    JD (33d9a9)

  6. I think I like the Curl Joe possibilities here for Obama – even better than Urkel.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  7. Perhaps instead of Curly Joe Besser, Obama will parallel the career of Beatles drummer, Pete Best.

    Neo (7830e6)

  8. Which is more nauseating? Days and days of Kennedy kudos or days and days of Kennedy-bashing?

    I guess it depends on where you sit on the political spectrum.

    Hopefully, everyone will return to something else shortly.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  9. I think the relevance of Kennedy-bashing is to remark on, or wonder at, what it says about American political culture. Or American culture.
    Or the Lame Stream Media.
    Or the punditocracy.
    If he’d been a bozo, known as such by all, with no important institutions covering for his sorry ass, recapitulating a miserable career would be meaningless.
    Problem is, he was not known as a bozo by all, and in part by those whose responsibility was to inform the rest of us but who kept quiet, or actually lied.

    Richard Aubrey (a9ba34)

  10. While Kennedy’s fans are hoping to do more, they’re just preaching to the liberal choir. . .

    Steve Sturm, I think you are onto it. Attaching Kennedy’s name and legacy to the ObamaCare bill isn’t about getting moderates and independents to support it, it is about trying to hold on to the liberal base. I think the Obama-Pelosi-Reid calculus now is to browbeat 218 Representatives (all Democrats) into voting “aye,” to pass it in the Senate via reconciliation with 50 votes (all Democrats unless they get the Maine airhead twins aboard), and for Obama to quickly sign it. They probably that this will rally the left flank to show heavy support in the 2010 midterms, and that enough moderates and independents will cool down by then and not raise too much hell.

    JVW (d1215a)

  11. What is more nauseating? I think the 11 year old being pimped out to pray for universal healthcare during a funeral Mass was the runaway winner in this category.

    JD (25da56)

  12. Here’s a fun story about the white trash douchebag they’re going to replace the dead white trash douchebag with.

    Is that not the white trashiest story ever? It’s at least the trashiest story since that one fat rich dude picked up that one peasant chick at a party and accidentally drownded her in a drunk driving accident before he could boink her peasant ass.

    Hey. That dead peasant chick coulda been this one’s momma if you think about it, except for the part where she got drownded before the fat white trash guy could boink her.

    Small world.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  13. Oops. I said momma didn’t I? I meant aunt. It’s hard to keep relations in these sorts of family straight. Usually they have caseworkers for that.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  14. Well it is now for the man to meet his marker, and we can hope that his “legacy” will die with him.

    http://theblackcommenter.wordpress.com/

    [note: fished from spam filter]

    theblackcommenter (e4c0a2)

  15. Ted Kennedy did, radically reform the Immigration Law. That is,to exclude Western Europe and include the Third World. More good Progressive Policy from a Limousine Liberal.

    Robert L (4e0dda)

  16. Ted was a foul cowardly murderer. But that personal fact did not disqualify him from prominence in life and hagiography in death. The Kopechne killing served to improve his Democrat political chops since it proved a Kennedy political career could survive anything, a lesson used to great effect by his extended family ever since. The events surrounding her death perversely improved his moral standing in the eyes of Oates, Matthews and others, since it became a powerful symbol for redemption in America. How weird is that! In the end Chappaquiddick turned out to be a great career move for a man interested more in forever haunting the capital barrooms than doing actual work, but that hasn’t stopped these silly media types.

    Kennedy worship has got to go.

    MTF (551a4b)

  17. Compound. Compounding a BS story. The Kennedy’s lived at a Six+ Acre Estate in Hyannis Port Ma. Not in a Dog Com-pound. The MS Media conveniently refused to identify the Kennedy’s as wealthy and living on an exclusively private Estate.

    Robert L (4e0dda)

  18. I think one thing that has happened is to unleash some of the stories the liberal press thought were safely buried in the trash bin of history.

    Ruth H (b7a50d)

  19. Off to join the Rethuglican evil-mongering mob at Jan Schakowsky’s Town Hall

    daleyrocks (718861)

  20. Daley – Be nice to that shrill harpy, racist.

    JD (aeb697)

  21. Which is more nauseating? Days and days of Kennedy kudos or days and days of Kennedy-bashing?

    Neither bender truly amounts to much. Both sides will miss him.

    While those 30 or so cousins and 56 grandchildren will provide years of aversion therapy.

    steve (b9c806)

  22. And, lets not forget Kennedy’s effort to sell us out to the KGB. There’s one story that was buried in the “trash bin of history” that will hopefully now get to see the light of day.

    MTF (551a4b)

  23. “…Which is more nauseating? Days and days of Kennedy kudos or days and days of Kennedy-bashing?…”

    You left out the option of “days and days of Kennedy hypocritical apologists singing hosannas of praise.”

    Far more nauseating.

    It is fine to laud the legislation you seem to like, Myron. But making a hero out of that awful man is nuttier than a Payday bar. I notice his staff (who do the actual work) don’t get much credit. Instead, I hear you breathlessly relate heroic exploits like Kennedy walking up to Nelson Mandela’s prison to demand his release.

    Two responses: I sure hope you supported the “Tear down this wall” speech. Or was that just grandstanding for you?

    Second, I think a more heroic exploit would have been for Kennedy to call for help after getting out of the sunken car, rather than try to get his flunkies to take the blame, try to establish an alibi, and get a good night’s rest while a woman drowned in the dark.

    Owning his error would have been heroic.

    I’m not surprised you don’t think so.

    Eric Blair (57b266)

  24. The future legacy of Ted Kennnedy, if ObamaCare passes?
    Prisoners have a better diet than Health Service hospital patients, scientists warn
    By Daniel Martin
    Last updated at 4:20 PM on 31st August 2009
    Patients in Health Service hospitals are far more likely to go hungry than criminals in jail, scientists warned yesterday.
    They say frail and elderly patients do not get the help they need with meals, and nobody checks whether they get enough to eat.
    Despite years of Government promises to tackle poor hospital nutrition, food still arrives cold, and patients often miss out because meal times clash with tests and operations. . .
    The latest figures show 242 patients died of malnutrition in NHS hospitals in 2007 – the highest toll in a decade. More than 8,000 left hospital under-nourished – double the figure when Labour came to power.

    H/t to Don Surber

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (ac619e)

  25. I guess it depends on where you sit on the political spectrum.

    Here’s what you and your fellow leftists simply cannot grasp, Myron, so devoted to your company line are you, is that if Kennedy had an R after his name, I would be just as repelled by his actions, and would have just as little respect for him as I do with the D after his name.

    You may be first and foremost bound to your politics and apparently will go to nth degree with your loyalty and defense of such a person and your politics, and perhaps that is why you cannot fathom others judge a man by his actions.

    That liberals cannot bring themselves to declare the disgrace that Chappaquiddick was and is, simply speaks to the zealou fealty to the party, no matter the price to one’s integrity.

    A man stands or falls by his deeds in this life. As far as eternity, that is certainly up to God to decide.

    Dana (863a65)

  26. Be nice to Moron, he just beclowned himself on the last thread, where he actually attempted to imply that the GOP was not instrumental in passing the Civil Rights Bill. Most ignorant post evah.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  27. Dana, I think that this is more projection. I agree with you completely: the measure of a person is their deeds. To be sure, a person can overcome their past—but there was SO much nonsense from Kennedy, over SUCH a long period of time.

    But the Left seems to be about heroes or devils.

    During the last election, there were plenty of Republicans who voted for McCain while holding their noses. Me among them.

    How many people on the Left sounded that way in November, about their candidate?

    There was some noise from the PUMA people, but not much.

    Most of the Left was in lock-step toward the current occupant of the White House—without knowing very much about him, as we are all discovering.

    Same thing with Kennedy. Again, I could understand their admiring his politics while criticizing their person. But they just can’t do it.

    He must be a hero and the greatest Senator in American history.

    Oh, come on.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  28. “Ted Kennedy did, radically reform the Immigration Law. That is,to exclude Western Europe and include the Third World. More good Progressive Policy from a Limousine Liberal.”

    You have a wonderful definition of “exclude.”

    imdw (b34d3e)

  29. And you have the mind of a Tsetse Fly.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  30. Stephen Green on his video PJTV “Hair of the Dog” piece for today actually used the old National Lampoon Volkswagon commercial.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  31. Protezzzzzt to the Human Dmac,

    We deeply rezennntt your invidiouzz comparizzzzon of uzzzz to the humanoid imdw. It izzzzzz your own zpeciezzzzz fault, not ourzzzzzzzz!

    Millionzzzz of Outraged Tsetse Fliezzzzz (0ea407)

  32. While I do not wish EMK ill, I don’t think it’s appropriate to whitewash his life. He was a child of supreme privilege, and given how he handled that privilege he was a hypocrite.

    Care for the poor? Let’s look at his personal charity.

    Care for women? Let’s look at his many incidents of bad behavior.

    Care for the law? Let’s look at how he handled his drive off the bridge.

    Care for the dignity of the Senate? Let’s look at how he disgraced the Senate with his personal, crazy denunciations of Robert Bork.

    EMK has gone to a place where no man or woman can effectively criticize him, so talking about him dispassionately isn’t disrespectful nor is it distasteful.

    steve miller (c5e78c)

  33. “Care for the law? Let’s look at how he handled his drive off the bridge.”

    Dude didn’t care for the law at all. That’s why he spent 40-some years writing them.

    imdw (e6c812)

  34. Dude didn’t care for giving charity out of his own pocket. That’s why he spent 40-some years giving away other people’s money.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  35. Karl,

    This was the best comprehensive piece I have read about that scumbag. Kudos.

    bigcity (a79735)

  36. Ironic. EMK had a large group of staffers to write those bills. But when Ted had to make decisions on his own, look at what happened. Over and over again.

    Hero? Hmmmm.

    Eric Blair (72cf0d)

  37. “Dude didn’t care for giving charity out of his own pocket. That’s why he spent 40-some years giving away other people’s money.”

    The guy was catholic.

    imdw (f41ee5)

  38. “Dude didn’t care for giving charity out of his own pocket. That’s why he spent 40-some years giving away other people’s money.”

    The guy was catholic.

    Comment by imdw — 8/31/2009 @ 7:42 pm

    In much the same way as the Sicilian mafia is catholic. (I like the lowercase “c” you used, fitting.)

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  39. Go f*ck yourself, imdw.

    JD (cb9226)

  40. “The guy was catholic.”

    imdw – When was his last confession?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  41. His nephew, Joe Kennedy, is manfully accumulating a record to qualify him for the “Kennedy seat” in the Senate.

    Kennedy married Sheila Brewster Rauch (born 22 March 1949),[12] daughter of Rudolph Stewart Rauch and Frances Stuart Brewster, on February 3, 1979 in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. The couple had twin sons, Matthew Rauch Kennedy and Joseph Patrick Kennedy III. Kennedy and Rauch divorced in 1991. Two years later, Kennedy asked the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston for an annulment of the marriage on the grounds of “lack of due discretion of judgment”, meaning that he was mentally incapable of entering into marriage at the time of his wedding. An annulment would give the marriage the status of never having existed, and allow Kennedy to marry his former staff member Anne Elizabeth Kelly in a Catholic ceremony, as well as allow him to participate in other sacraments of the church such as Holy Communion not available to a divorced person who remarries.[13][14] Rauch refused to agree to the annulment, and Kennedy married Kelly (b. 3 April 1957)[12] in a civil ceremony on October 23, 1993.
    The Boston Archdiocese did grant Kennedy the annulment, a fact discovered by Rauch in 1996. Rauch, who is not Catholic (she is Episcopalian), wrote a book titled Shattered Faith: A Woman’s Struggle to Stop the Catholic Church from Annulling Her Marriage[15] explaining that she was opposed to the concept of annulment, because it meant in Roman Catholic theology that the marriage had never actually existed, and claiming that the Kennedy family influence made it possible to unilaterally “cancel” a 12-year marriage. She appealed to the Vatican to overturn the annulment.[16]
    The annulment was overturned by the Vatican in 2005.[16] On 19 June 2007, Time magazine reported that the Roman Rota reversed the declaration of annulment made by the tribunal of the Boston Archdiocese.[16] As the Rota was sitting for that case as a second-instance appellate court,[17] Kennedy could appeal the decision to another Rotal panel

    Maybe he’ll write a letter to the Pope, too.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  42. “In much the same way as the Sicilian mafia is catholic.”

    In much the same way that the catholic church is rich.

    “imdw – When was his last confession?”

    I have no idea.

    imdw (e6c812)

  43. imdw, your #34,#38 and #43 are simply incoherent.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  44. “Ironic. EMK had a large group of staffers to write those bills. But when Ted had to make decisions on his own, look at what happened. Over and over again.”

    You’re right. It’s inaccurate to simply say he “wrote” them.

    imdw (e4be7d)

  45. JD – The shrill, harpy, racist’s town hall meeting was held at a high school the next town over. I only got there 45 minutes early and the school parking lots were full. The SEIU grassroots supporters in matching T-shirts and homemade preprinted were lining the street chanting at cars and waving their signs. There were a few brave souls amongst them – one with an “A vote for HR3200 is a vote for death” sign. I had to park about a half mile away.

    The line to get in the school was at least 200 yards long at 6:00 for a 6:30 start. Organizing For America (OFA) and Health Care for America Now grassroots (HCAN) supporters were actively working the line with matching shirts and trying to get people to sign petitions. Shortly after 6:00 an announcement came over the public address system that the auditorium was full and that no more people would be let in. I was still at least 150 yards away, unfortunately.

    People outside did not want to leave immediately. The Zombies protesting for health care reform were there. The LaRouchies with the Obama pictures with Hitler mustaches were there. People protesting vaccines causing autism, greens complaining about something or other poisoning the earth were around.

    The evil-mongering corporate sponsored mob was not concentrated in one place. After all, Schakowsky has a safe seat and it was truly more of a moronic convergence of the left. It was good street theater milling around outside, though. Dumb as rocks grassroots lefties spouting talking points they didn’t understand holding preprinted professional homemade signs. Unorganized conservatives holding cardboard and foam getting yelled at by moonbats, but eventually congealling into groups.

    Some conservative signs noted:

    Abortion is not health care

    Change for the worse is still change

    You can’t kill us all by 2010, vote ’em out

    Socialism is for losers (the moonbats really hated that one)

    It was a fun way to spend some time, but I was disappointed I did not make it inside. I feel dirty being around so many stupid people, but I feel that way when I go to vote anyway.

    Zombies prote

    daleyrocks (718861)

  46. i finally get to speak on something that i know about. joe besser was the fifth stooge, curly joe de rita was the sixth stooge.

    cts22 (8e3471)

  47. Glad to hear you admit it, imdw. While his staff worked, good old Ted got to sound sanctimonious by day, while making Chris Dodd sandwiches at night, and drinking himself insensate.

    I’m not even talking about letting a woman drown while he tried to cajole some friends into claiming that they drove, made weird phone calls at the motel (while the woman floated dead in the darkness)

    Sounds to me like you ought to cheer the staff, not the figurehead.

    Camelot! “Lion of the Senate” indeed.

    Eric Blair (a88004)

  48. daleyrocks, appreciated the first-hand report of the rally from the outside. If it was that bizarre outside, can you imagine what it must have been like inside?

    It would seem the opportunity for any coherent conversation and debate between either side is long gone at this point in time. No one is going to convince anyone differently. It’s too late for that.

    Dana (863a65)

  49. “Sounds to me like you ought to cheer the staff, not the figurehead. ”

    I do. But the skills of a senator are more than just picking a good staff.

    imdw (5f60be)

  50. I agree with imdw, it’s also important to know the bars with the hottest barmaids. Sorry, Ms. Perlman, you’re not it.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  51. Dana – I think portions of the outside crowd were rooting for some action. At one point we almost had some chick on chick, heavyweight division action. An Obama supporter and a conservative started arguing about health care reform rather loudly, the Obamabot had a couple of friends but nobody else was close by. Fingers started getting pointed, then poked in chests because neither was letting the other finish, especially three on one. People were turning to look because it looked like it might get interesting since it was getting very heated. Then the conservative woman walked away with a “you’re not listening to me, anyway” comment. She was right.

    There was another good one where a liberal man in a crowd of liberals was telling a conservative in a crowd of conservsatives to go fuck herself, repeatedly. One of the conservative men eventually decided he didn’t like it and told the guy to shut up which generated a predictable, what are you going to do about it, response. The conservative guy started wading into the crowd after the liberal but was stopped by friends and reminded that his reaction was exactly what the liberals wanted to catch on tape, since all the violence at these things so far has been on the part of liberals. I can’t tell you if it was definitely a set up or not.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  52. Dana – It felt like going to a hockey game once you knew you couldn’t get into the auditorium.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  53. “it’s also important to know the bars with the hottest barmaids”

    John – Second that. They don’t teach that in school either.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  54. “…But the skills of a senator are more than just picking a good staff….”

    Oh, please. He was such a genius at picking staff, just like his expertise at driving while drunk.

    Next you are going to claim that Mary Jo might have not minded dying in exchange for Kennedy’s career…

    Oh, wait.

    Eric Blair (a88004)

  55. Looks like a fun little blog fight between Glenn Greenwald and Joe Klein:

    http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/08/31/glenn-greenwald/

    daleyrocks (718861)

  56. So it is, what, five against one?

    Eric Blair (a88004)

  57. “Oh, please. He was such a genius at picking staff,”

    I’ve read that his staff was basically the training ground for a lot of the democratic party staff. But I don’t think all his skills were in just picking staff. When he made legislation, that wasn’t just his staff. That took working with other senators. I guess its just their staff too.

    “Next you are going to claim that Mary Jo might have not minded dying in exchange for Kennedy’s career…”

    I think its impossible to compare the two.

    imdw (c5488f)

  58. You know, you go right ahead idolizing the man. You are hopeless. As for the last bit, some of your fellow Leftists are so besotten with his “image” that they actually have made that claim. Joyce Carol Oates, for one.

    They are your fellow travelers. Have fun with them.

    It’s nice that you support the work of such fine, fine men. Keep in mind when you get all high and mighty about Republicans.

    Eric Blair (a88004)

  59. EB, it’s okay for my senator to be rubbish because he’s my kind of senator. But when your senator acts slightly like my kind of senator, I can attack him because you already said you don’t want rubbish.

    Is there a doctor in the house? My tongue-in-cheek syndrome is getting chronic.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  60. Comment by daleyrocks — 8/31/2009 @ 10:24 pm

    Klein vs. Greenwald? I think back in the schoolyard we used to refer to this as a “bitch fight.”

    JVW (d1215a)

  61. Liberals are not expected to act responsibly or be guided by any moral compass. Their standard for political acceptance is that they win and avoid most felony convictions. This rule, of course, does not apply if the liberal is a Kennedy. To a Kennedy, winning is everything.

    arch (6ebeba)

  62. I have big problems with JFK.

    First, he became a war hero when a less well connected officer would have been relieved. On a night patrol in the Solomon Islands, he shut down two of his three engines, separated from the rest of the patrol, got lost and blundered into the channel. He then mistook a Japanese destroyer for an PT boat. When he realized his error did he maneuver to launch a Mk VIII torpedo or rake the bridge with 20 MM canon fire? No. He turned across the enemy vessel’s bow like a deer in the headlights until PT109 was cut in half, killing two of his crew.

    The survivors managed to get ashore survive and evade until they were discovered by a native. An Australian maritime observer arrived shortly thereafter with orders to get JFK back to base. Did Jack refuse to abandon his men, two of whom were wounded or demand that they take injured sailors instead? No. He left them. For this action he accepted the Navy Cross, a medal second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    Second, he stole the election in 1960. The Daley machine delivered Illinois and Jack was in the Oval Office.

    Third, he botched the liberation of Cuba. Although the invasion had been planned and rehearsed for Trinidad, a port city with anti-Castro sentiments, with only a month’s notice Kennedy had it changed to the beaches of Las Villas Province in order to gain plausible deniability. Two years earlier, three members of Brigada Asalto 2506 had been my fellow cadets at Culver. Mario, Tito and Jorge landed on Playa Giron at dawn on April 17th. Their 1,400 infantrymen faced 95,000 Cuban troops with armor, artillery and air support.

    By the next evening, 2506’s situation was grave. The US Navy had a carrier task force offshore. JFK and Jackie were dancing at a black tie ball in Washington when the Chief of Naval Operations appeared uninvited. He begged the president to authorize an intervention. Kennedy told him, “We can’t get involved.” I hope they had a nice evening. My friends did not.

    Mario and Tito were ransomed for tractors. Jorge, 19, oldest of the three, was executed.

    Finally, in October 1962, Kennedy nearly started a thermonuclear war and stopped it by making concessions to the Soviets and guaranteeing the future enslavement of the Cuban people. I watched this debacle as a midshipman 4th class at the US Naval Academy. It wasn’t a pretty picture.

    arch (6ebeba)

  63. “You know, you go right ahead idolizing the man. You are hopeless.”

    It’s a weak form of idolatry though. I just know we can thank him for helping bring a lot of good things to this country: getting rid of a racist immigration law, passing the ADA, getting rid of robert bork, etc… That wasn’t even enough for me to watch the funeral. But it seems like people around here were into it.

    “As for the last bit, some of your fellow Leftists are so besotten with his “image” that they actually have made that claim. Joyce Carol Oates, for one.”

    Take that up with them.

    imdw (4a4b1f)

  64. I’ve read that his staff was basically the training ground for a lot of the democratic party staff.

    IOW, his staff was trained in the art of covering up for their douchebag of a boss, and the women were expected to submit when their boss got a woody at all times of the day, and any and all complaints about sexual harassment were summarily silenced by large pay – outs and/or threats of retribution by the Kennedy family’s lawyer goons. Additionally, any and all mentions of the unfortunate “swimming accident” were not to be brought up, and the staff was trained in the new and exciting art of the politics of personal destruction.

    Thank you for perforning the public service of outlining everything that’s wrong with the Dem party today.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  65. “performing.”

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  66. Karl, the ObamaCare engine is starting to turn over again. Ambinder says

    This time, the President is going to be specific. Next week, President Obama is going to give Democrats a health care plan they can begin to sell.“.

    Lefties want to honor the dead barfly, errr Senator, with the impoverishment of the country.

    Couldn’t we just open a museum someplace?

    MTF (551a4b)

  67. I just know we can thank him for helping bring a lot of good things to this country: getting rid of a racist immigration law, passing the ADA, getting rid of robert bork, etc… That wasn’t even enough for me to watch the funeral. But it seems like people around here were into it.

    That immigration law was a disaster on this country.

    Michael Ejercito (833607)

  68. “That immigration law was a disaster on this country.”

    Yeah we’ve already heard that it “excluded” western europe.

    imdw (490521)


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