Saturday, August 29, 2009

Does the Truth about Ted Kennedy matter?

We aren't supposed to speak ill of the dead, or so some people say. Yet many people are speaking ill of the living, about those who don't think Ted Kennedy was such a good man. Here is some typical nonsense from USA Today:

Kennedy funeral rings with hope, Twitter with vitriol
Are you and I the judges of atonement? How much is good enough?

Today at Ted Kennedy's funeral Mass, one priest said, wove together "memory and hope." But what of the judge on high -- if you, like most Americans, believe in a God who makes final judgment?

Like most Americans, you may believe all good people go to heaven. So who is good enough? Was he a good enough Catholic? (Although Pope Benedict XVI has so far made no public message of sympathy for his passing) A good enough Christian? A good enough man in the end? Not to judge by the vitriol on Twitter ... [...]

There are a whole bunch of people who want to ignore many things Kennedy did in his life, just white-wash it away like it never happened. Those who don't go along with that, are being targeted as unkind and mean spirited at best; as bitter, judgmental, unfeeling Monsters at worst.

But what about the plain facts?

In the comments section of the above article, someone posts the inconvenient facts that the Left wants to whitewash:

As soon as his cancer was detected, I noticed the immediate attempt at the "canonization" of old Teddy Kennedy by the mainstream media. They are saying what a "great American" he is. I say, let's get a couple things clear & not twist the facts to change the real history.

1. He was caught cheating at Harvard when he attended it. He was expelled twice, once for cheating on a test, and once for paying a classmate to cheat for him.

2. While expelled, Kennedy enlisted in the Army, but mistakenly signed up for four years instead of two. Oops! The man can't count to four! His father, Joseph P. Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador to England (a step up from bootlegging liquor into the US from Canada during prohibition), pulled the necessary strings to have his enlistment shortened to two years, and to ensure that he served in Europe, not Korea, where a war was raging. No preferential treatment for him! (like he charged that President Bush received).

3. Kennedy was assigned to Paris, never advanced beyond the rank of private, and returned to Harvard upon being discharged. Imagine a person of his "education" NEVER advancing past the rank of Private!

4. While attending law school at the University of Virginia, he was cited for reckless driving four times, including once when he was clocked driving 90 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood with his headlights off after dark.. Yet his Virginia driver's license was never revoked. Coincidentally, he passed the bar exam in 1959. Amazing!

5. In 1964, he was seriously injured in a plane crash and hospitalized for several months. Test results done by the hospital at the time he was admitted had shown he was legally intoxicated. The results of those tests remained a "state secret" until in the 1980's when the report was unsealed. Didn't hear about that from the unbiased media, did we?

6. On July 19, 1969, Kennedy attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts . At about 11:00 PM, he borrowed his chauffeur's keys to his Oldsmobile limousine and offered to give a ride home to Mary Jo Kopechne, a campaign worker. Leaving the island via an unlit bridge with no guard rail, Kennedy steered the car off the bridge, flipped, and into Poucha Pond.

7. He swam to shore and walked back to the party passing several houses and a fire station. Two friends then returned with him to the scene of the accident. According to their later testimony, they told him what he already knew - that he was required by law to immediately report the accident to the authorities. Instead Kennedy made his way to his hotel, called his lawyer, and went to sleep. Kennedy called the police the next morning and by then the wreck had already been discovered. Before dying Kopechne had scratched at the upholstered floor above her head in the upside-down car.

The Kennedy family began "calling in favors", ensuring that any inquiry would be contained. Her corpse was whisked out-of-state to her family before an autopsy could be conducted.

Further details are uncertain, but after the accident Kennedy says he repeatedly dove under the water trying to rescue Kopechne and he didn't call police because he was in a state of shock. It is widely assumed Kennedy was drunk, and he held off calling police in hopes that his family could fix the problem overnight. Since the accident Kennedy's "political enemies" have referred to him as the distinguished Senator from Chappaquiddick. He pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, and was given a SUSPENDED SENTENCE OF TWO MONTHS.

Kopechne's family received a small payout from the Kennedy's insurance policy and never sued. There was later an effort to have her body exhumed and autopsied, but her family successfully fought against this in court, and Kennedy's family paid their attorney's bills.... A "token of friendship"?

8. Kennedy has held his Senate seat for more than forty years, but considering his longevity, his accomplishments seem scant. He authored or argued for legislation that ensured a variety of civil rights, increased the minimum wage in 1981, made access to health care easier for the indigent, funded Meals on Wheels for fixed-income seniors, and is widely held as the "standard-bearer for liberalism".. In his very first Senate roll he was the floor manager for the bill that turned U.S. Immigration policy upside down and opened the floodgate for immigrants from third world countries.

9. Since that time, he has been the prime instigator and author of every expansion of an increase in immigration up to and including the latest attempt to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. Not to mention the pious grilling he gave the last two Supreme Court nominees, as if he was the standard bearer for the nation in matters of "what's right". What a pompous a**!

10. He is known around Washington as a public drunk, loud, boisterous, and very disrespectful to ladies. JERK is a better description than "great American".. "A blonde in every pond" is his motto.

Let's not allow the spin doctors to make this jerk a hero -- how quickly the American public forgets what his real legacy is.

If Ted Kennedy did some good things in his life, fine. But the truth is the whole story, not just the cherry-picked good parts. No one is perfect, we are all flawed, yet some people's lives lean more in one direction than the other. The Kennedy fans want us to forget or not speak about his flaws, so they can stack the good side of the scale in his favor.

I don't particularly enjoy speaking ill of the dead. I just happen to care about what the facts are, what the truth is. The Left is now pissing in the soup, and trying to vilify those of us who won't drink it.

I say, no way, no white-wash. The truth is what it is. Deal with it.

If that makes me mean-spirited in some people's eyes, so be it. I can only say that, leaving Mary Jo to suffocate to death, clawing at the floor in his upside down submerged car, while he phoned his lawyer and then went to bed, could be interpreted as far more "mean" than anything anyone could say about him now.

It's a travesty that Kennedy was ever allowed to serve as a senator after what he had done was known. If the majority of people in this country now think he was a great man, they are either ignorant of the facts, or we, as a nation, are in big trouble.

As for comments like this, from the USA Today article:
Are you and I the judges of atonement? How much is good enough?

I'm not the judge of his soul. I liked what The Anchoress said about the life and death of Ted Kennedy on her blog:
[...] Some will focus on his personal sins -the assumed repentance or lack of same (of which they will likely have no real knowledge, just hunches) and some will presume to know the state of his soul, but those will be the inveterates, working from long-habit. Most Christians will, I think, understand that “the favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies not over and done” and will simply pray in hopes that Kennedy had made a contrite and humble confession of his failings and sins.

Others, of course, will suggest that Kennedy’s pro-abortion positions, in and of themselves, should damn him forever in the eyes of God.

Thankfully, God knows more, and sees more, than the rest of us, because eventually we’ll all need to count on his mercy, as we face his justice. For all that we know of Kennedy, there is much we do not know. A family member who works with the very poor once told me that when he was in a real fix and unable to find help for, for instance, a sick child in need of surgery, a phone call to Kennedy’s office would set the “Irish Mafia” of professional people -doctors, lawyers, pilots and such- into brisk motion. I think an examination of the life of every “great” person (and I mean “great” in terms of power and influence) will expose deep flaws and surprising episodes of generosity. [...]

She says a lot of thoughtful things on the topic, follow the link if it interests you.

Here on my blog, I'm just wanting to provide the complete picture that the Media won't give you. At best, Ted Kennedy was a mixed bag, a man with serious character flaws. At worst... well, you decide.

Related Links:

Kennedy's Kopechne jokes

What About Questioning A Kennedy?

Ted Kennedy is dead. Now, "Chappaquidicare"?

Youtube: Kennedy liked to joke about Chappaquiddick?

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