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Chappaquiddick And Us

Ah, you can always predict The New York Times;  from covering up the crimes of Stalin, courtesy of their Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Walter Duranty, their goal is to ever protect the left.  Thus, it is unsurprising that they published a hit piece on the movie Chappaquiddick (2018) by Kennedy biographer Neil Gabler:

The film, by the same name, opened Friday and retells the story of an accident in July 1969, on the titular Massachusetts island near Martha’s Vineyard, in which Mr. Kennedy drove off a bridge, killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, a campaign worker for his late brother Robert. It has been heavily promoted by conservative media outlets, and reviewers across the political spectrum have praised what they deem its damning but factual approach. Damning it is; factual it is not.

Let’s set aside the fact that, despite the film’s advertisements claiming to tell the “untold true story” of a “cover-up,” the story has been told plenty, and no one but the most lunatic conspiracy theorists see this as anything but a tragic accident in which nothing much was covered up. Let’s also put aside the skein of conjecture and outright fabrication that the film unspools — in one scene Joe Kennedy, the family patriarch, murmurs “alibi” to his son, like a Mafia don, when in fact he was so debilitated by a stroke that he could only babble incoherently. Setting all this aside, the movie nevertheless raises a serious issue.

Go here to read the rest.  I was heartened that even in The New York Times this was too much for some of their readers:

 

 

 

What a moving, convincing piece. We should turn aside from the “fake history” of holding the powerful accountable for those they kill in their youth. Some of them might eventually turn out to do good things! Don’t worry about a cover up, there’s no way to prove it happened. The fact that Ted Kennedy never faced legal consequences for his actions doesn’t mean anything.

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This attempt to apologize for what is unquestionably the most disgusting and disgraceful transgression in the sordid pantheon of Kennedy clan transgressions is embarrassing and the NYTimes should have declined to run it.

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I saw the movie. I though it was a little slow. Whatever liberties the movie takes, it is a fact Ted Kennedy walked away from the crime scene, did not call for help, no doubt seeking counsel or a type of cover-up. Perhaps, his hope was that the truth would go away in the confusion. Not until it became self-evident that it would not go away, did Ted report it. If Ted had called for real help right after the accident that night, perhaps she would have been saved. It’s possible she struggled for life for hours before drowning.

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I mean, really.

Bill Gates arguably has contributed far more to our society as well as to global prosperity than Ted Kennedy ever did — and he didn’t even need to help his father steal the 1960 election for his brother from Richard Nixon.

But if Bill Gates had negligently driven a young woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair off a bridge while drunk into a tidal channel, then fled the scene to save himself while she drowned, emerging only hours later once he’d realized he couldn’t avoid public blame … then Gates might still be in prison, and certainly would have an asterisk next to his name for all of history to compare to all the stupendous and positive things he’d accomplished.

Teddy’s actions were reprehensible, and the movie is no “distraction”.

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Can a person be both good and bad? Can a person ever atone for an outrageous act? Yes, and yes.

Disappearing for 10 hours after a fatal accident: a jury would have concluded he was sobering up to void a DUI which would be automatic manslaughter charges. He was not unconscious; he was gong back and forth meeting with everyone except the police/ambulance. That he was and remained an alcoholic supports this. That there were 6 unmarried young men with 6 married men (but one) supports more cover-up. Viewing his confession in which he avoids eye contact with the camera as he describes it all supports this.

Atonement? Yes he had a marvelous career and sobered up at the end of his life but if he never told the truth there can be no atonement of forgiveness. He killed a person and got away with it.

Democrats are just as able as Republicans to “see” what they want to see, and to spin this story politically is one more hallmark of a shallow and divided nation.

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The significance of Chappaquiddick goes way beyond the fact that Ted Kennedy committed crimes 49 years ago, that would have landed virtually anyone else in prison, and got away with them.  The importance of it really is that he was not shunned afterwards.  True, he never became President, but that was largely due to the fact that he was a lousy, and not infrequently incoherent, candidate on the national stage, who couldn’t even beat in the primaries Carter in 1980, who by that time was as popular as advanced leprosy.  If he had defeated Carter, Reagan would have eviscerated him in the general election.  In Massachusetts, however, he was treated like a hero and re-elected to the Senate seven times.  In the Senate he was very popular among almost all his fellow Senators, including Republicans.  When he died, the “Lion of the Senate”  received a virtual canonization Mass.  Cardinal O’Malley, who gives pusillanimous weaklings a bad name, sat by and did bupkis during the Mass, and only uttered a few words of mild criticism after outraged commentary forced him to do so.

No, the true and damning feature of the Chappaquiddick crimes is the unflattering mirror they hold up to a society which clearly values celebrity and politics far above justice and common decency.

 

 

 

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

14 Comments

  1. Not everybody tolerated him. My father was big time Democrat. But in 1980 he sadly told me that while he was sick of poor Jimmy Carter he couldn’t vote for Teddy Kennedy because of Chappaquidick. Teddy did not get the nomination probably because a lot of people were like my dad.

  2. I’ve come to believe that most journalists don’t have any integrity. The man who was state’s attorney in Barnstable County, Massachusetts has admitted publicly that he caved in to pressure from the Massachusetts Democratic establishment and did not do what he ordinarily would have done: secure an indictment for vehicular manslaughter. No cover-up? Gabler has a quantum of audacity that most of could only shoot for in vain.

    Kopechne’s parents foolishly declined to have an autopsy performed and one of our robed masters later scotched an effort to have her body exhumed for further examination. Our single best guess from the account of the diver who pulled her body out of the water is that she died from asphyxiation; she’d located an air pocket and made use of it for a period of time and then ran out of oxygen. The diver retrieved her body in a matter of minutes and offered the opinion that she lived for hours after the accident (while Kennedy and his camarilla were shlepping about putting together a cover story). The term ‘tragic accident’ does not mean what Gabler thinks it means.

    The Democratic Party is institutionally sociopathic. That’s one of the horrors of our time.

  3. Carter had a brief rally-round-the-flag burst of public approval in November 1979 consequent to Iran’s seizure of American embassy personnel as hostages. That wore off after 5 months, but by that time, Kennedy was too far in the hole to make up the difference.

    Also, almost coterminous with the seizure of the hostages and quite soon after declaring his candidacy, he gave an interview slamming the Shah of Iran which seemed to offer an apologia for the odious Iranian government. In addition, he was interviewed by Roger Mudd (in November 1979, IIRC) and asked point blank why he was running. He entered a syntactical labyrinth from which he never emerged! The broadcast media always favored the Democratic Party, but incidents like that remind you that they once had some critical distance from it. It wasn’t until some time around 1992 that they turned into an extension of the DNC press office.

    Another thing about Kennedy and the Presidency: it’s doubtful that he ever wanted the job. His candidacy in 1979 was instigated by a group of Congressmen called the DrafTed Committee. I’ve never heard the Kennedy operation was prodding them; they were prodding him. When it came time to run again (contra Walter Mondale), his children, ages 15 to 23, talked him out of it.

    From a distance, Kennedy has long seemed like a man playing a role: the role his staff expected him to play, the role his public expected him to play, the role his brothers and their retainers expected him to play, the role his father expected him to play. “Ted Kennedy, Liberal Icon” was performance art which dragged on for decades. One of his more vigorous opponents over the years, Raymond Shamie, pointed out that his signature issue was ‘national health insurance’, but that his proposal had never got out of subcommittee, and he was chairman of the subcommittee. Maybe all along what he really cared about was making waitress sandwiches.

  4. Another thingy he pushed was so-called “Immigration Reform.” Why in 1986 Reagan went along I cannot tell.

    I will not say Teddy was sufficiently far-sighted or so smart as to see that democrat conspiracy for what it is: The solution to two problems. One, a non-democrat majority; two, the solution to the crisis of too many Americans in America.

  5. Immigration bills have been attributed to him. IIRC, the primary sponsors of the 1965 law were Emmanuel Celler and Philip Hart. Those of the 1986 law were Alan Simpson and Romano Mazzoli.

  6. Art,

    I can’t determine his motivations.

    Was it to build a secular, democrat voting majority?

    Was it to resolve America’s dire crisis: too many Americans in America?

  7. My guess would be that he voted the way the floor whip told him to or voted the way his staff told him to. I think the man passed the Massachusetts bar exam without incident (his nephew required 3 attempts to pass the New York bar) so he had adequate general intelligence, Not sure how much of it he ever used, nor how much he lost from heavy drinking. He practiced law for all of five months.

    One curio about Clan Kennedy is that they’ve been, outside the Boston media market, barely salable since 1968. In 1980, Kennedy prevailed in the BosWash corridor; around Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco Bay; and, curiously, in the Dakotas and the far southwest. Since then, one Kennedy scion has sat on a municipal council in Southern California, one has sat in the Maryland legislature, and one has sat in the Connecticut legislature. That pretty much exhausts their successes. Kathleen Townsend waged a misbegotten effort over 17 years to build a career in Maryland politics. None of these people were tainted, so that doesn’t explain why their careers were truncated. OTOH, Massachusetts and Rhode Island voters were willing to accept, respectively, Robert Kennedy’s oldest son and Edward Kennedy’s youngest, the manifest mediocrity of both notwithstanding, the loutishness of the one notwithstanding, and the alcoholism of the other notwithstanding. They don’t call ’em ‘Massholes’ for nothing.

  8. “drove off a bridge, killing his passenger,”
    A better statement would have been, “drove off a bridge, trapping his passenger alive underwater, who suffocated hours later, while he made no effort to rescue her or to send help.”

  9. Btw, with a name like mine, I’ve suffered numerous comparisons over the years to that branch of the family / clan. Ted Kennedy was only the last successful public member of that local family to disgrace the greater family name and the Faith of which they publicly claimed to belong. Both my name sake and RFK’s character and morality were well represented by Ted.

  10. Joseph P. Kennedy was a genuine monster, quite unscrupulous generally and a gross sexual adventurer to boot. John Kennedy had a phenomenal case of satyriasis, Edward was a serial adulterer and a lushington if not full blown alcoholic, Peter Lawford was a polysubstance abuser and sexual transgressor, and Joan Bennett Kennedy has been a hopeless drunk as well. Robert Kennedy and Steven Smith weren’t any of these things, just b**tards who ran over people in their way.

  11. Art, don’t forget Joseph and Rose had their inconvenient daughter Rosemary lobotomized.

  12. Ted Kennedy was caught cheating in college, cheating on his wife during their marriage, photographed in a restaurant in a state of near undress, killed a girl and was more interested in his image than her life, got an anullment because he said he didn’t mean his marriage vows to his first wife, opposed abortion before he supported it, and voted against health care when Nixon supported it. I’m over bad behavior celebrities, sports star, the wealthy.

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