Well, it would appear as though Ted Kennedy’s death has sent enough spikes through the internets that there has been an upswing in views of a Teddy-hater site which, in turn, led to an upswing in views of a piece I – a hater-of-Teddy-for-a-very-specific-reason – posted a while back.
So be it.
I wasn’t going to say anything about the death – and, even now, I’m going to try to be brief and quasi-respectful.
To the folks who are referring to him as a ‘murderer’, get over yourselves. You’ve got the facts on your side, but don’t overplay them.
Did he get away with ‘it’?
But ‘it’ was, at most, vehicular manslaughter – serious shit which would/should have ended his political career – with a ‘leaving the scene’ chaser.
It wasn’t ‘murder’.
But, as I noted a few weeks ago:
[L]ets be honest. The D and R are irrelevant to this; Teddy survived it the same way that another snot-nosed rich Yankee brat was able to cover up a DWI (and, if J.H. Hatfield was right, a cocaine bust): Undeserved inherited wealth and influence – everything that collectively is the antithesis of what this nation is supposed to stand for and be.
For me, this is the bigger issue that people are going to feel compelled to not ‘go there’ on right now.
Yes, everyone is talking about his ‘life of public service’ that he didn’t have to live that way – that he could have just lived the life of a rich kid, outsde of the public eye.
Both Teddy and Dubya exemplify one of America’s worst untamed sicknesses: inherited political power.
I’m sure folks will say the same thing about their money – and I’m not saying I ver have. But neither of them – nor any of the Kennedys or the Bushes – could help being born to who they were born to. Shit happens.
But it doesn’t have to be put into power.
Make no mistake, even at his worst, Teddy was no real-life American equivalent of the fictional Brit Piers Fletcher-Dervish (clearly, that equivalency goes to Dubya – particularly given that Piers as a Tory.) And, aside from ENDA, he’s someone who I tended to agree with on most issues.
But he was where he was for the last 47 years solely because of who he was.
I said this when I was on Trans FM a few weeks back, and I’ll repeat it here.
Take Dubya (please! <rimshot>).
Assume that he turned out to be a Manhchurian Liberal Candidate, becoming the ultimate liberal – championing a real ENDA, healthcare, elimination of unconstitutional influence of religionism on government, etc.
All else from Nov. 2000 to Jan. 2009 being equal, there would still be one problem with that photo-negative version of the Bush Junta.
Its that last word.
It would still have been an illegitmate presidency – for I said all other things from Nov. 2000 to Jan. 2009 being equal, meaning that he didn’t win in either 2000 or 2004, yet still controlled the federal government.
No, I’m not saying Teddy was illegally occupying his Massachusetts senate seat.
But he didn’t earn it either.
Prior to the 2000 election I added to a previous description of Dubya – that of being born on third base but acting as though he got there by hitting a triple – by saying he was trying to get balked home.
Well, he ended up on third. One could say he was born there – though, to continue to abuse baseball terminology, it might be more accurate to say that he got there courtesy of being put in to pinch-run after three hit batsmen.
Well, I’m sure you’re saying, that sounds like a legitimate turn of events.
True enough. As I said above – Teddy couldn’t help being born into the family he was born into, and he couldn’t help being the last surviving brother.
And I have no doubt that he had strong feeling about the way that the Irish were treated in America as immigrants and that that informed his liberalness.
But the Irish were treated like shit in Ireland too…
by British nobility.
You know – those who live not only by inherited economic wealth but by inherited political power.