The 'canonization' ceremonies are finally over.
The MSM and the left-liberals have adjourned their 'consistory' today
and now he has been consigned to his place in history.
I for one have no doubt that future writers,
freed from the heady air of Camelot will
breathe in a mind clearing view of his life
free from the sentiment and emotion
which characterized so much of the adulation
lavished on the Kennedys.
Mark Steyn, writing with the detachment
and objectivity that comes from not having
been a part of the era of Camelot
(he was living and working in Canada and Great Britain)
offers us an evaluation of Ted Kennedy's life
that will probably be more like history's verdict
than anything we read or hear today.
Jeff Jacoby offers us a comparison of
the two brothers:
JFK and Ted Kennedy.
- Leo Rugiens
We are enjoined not to speak ill of the dead.
But, when an entire nation
– or, at any rate, its "mainstream" media culture –
declines to speak the truth about the dead,
we are certainly entitled to speak ill of such false eulogists.
In its coverage of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's passing,
America's TV networks are creepily reminiscent
of those plays Sam Shepard used to write
about some dysfunctional inbred hardscrabble
Appalachian household where there's a baby buried in the backyard
but everyone agreed years ago never to mention it.
In this case, the unmentionable corpse is Mary Jo Kopechne,
If you have to bring up the, ah, circumstances of that year of decease,
keep it general, keep it vague.
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,
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."
Actually, Peter denied Jesus, rather than "betrayed" him, but close enough for Catholic-lite Massachusetts. And if Moses having a temper never led him to leave some gal at the bottom of the Red Sea, well, let's face it, he doesn't have Ted's tremendous legislative legacy, does he? Perhaps it's kinder simply to airbrush out of the record the name of the unfortunate complicating factor on the receiving end of that moment of "tremendous moral collapse." When Kennedy cheerleaders do get around to mentioning her, it's usually to add insult to fatal injury. As Teddy's biographer Adam Clymer wrote, Edward Kennedy's "achievements as a senator have towered over his time, changing the lives of far more Americans than remember the name Mary Jo Kopechne."
You can't make an omelet without breaking chicks, right? I don't know how many lives the senator changed – he certainly changed Mary Jo's – but you're struck less by the precise arithmetic than by the basic equation: How many changed lives justify leaving a human being struggling for breath for up to five hours pressed up against the window in a small, shrinking air pocket in Teddy's Oldsmobile? If the senator had managed to change the lives of even more Americans, would it have been OK to leave a couple more broads down there? Hey, why not? At the Huffington Post, Melissa Lafsky mused on what Mary Jo "would have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history … Who knows – maybe she'd feel it was worth it." What true-believing liberal lass wouldn't be honored to be dispatched by that death panel?
We are all flawed, and most of us are weak, and in hellish moments, at a split-second's notice, confronting the choice that will define us ever after, many of us will fail the test. Perhaps Mary Jo could have been saved; perhaps she would have died anyway. What is true is that Edward Kennedy made her death a certainty. When a man (if you'll forgive the expression) confronts the truth of what he has done, what does honor require? Six years before Chappaquiddick, in the wake of Britain's comparatively very minor "Profumo scandal," the eponymous John Profumo, Her Majesty's Secretary of State for War, resigned from the House of Commons and the Queen's Privy Council and disappeared amid the tenements of the East End to do good works washing dishes and helping with children's playgroups, in anonymity, for the last 40 years of his life. With the exception of one newspaper article to mark the centenary of his charitable mission, he never uttered another word in public again.
Ted Kennedy went a different route. He got kitted out with a neck brace and went on TV and announced the invention of the "Kennedy curse," a concept that yoked him to his murdered brothers as a fellow victim – and not, as Mary Jo perhaps realized in those final hours, the perpetrator. He dared us to call his bluff, and, when we didn't, he made all of us complicit in what he'd done. We are all prey to human frailty, but few of us get to inflict ours on an entire nation.
His defenders would argue that he redeemed himself with his "progressive" agenda, up to and including health care "reform." It was an odd kind of "redemption": In a cooing paean to the senator on a cringe-makingly obsequious edition of NPR's "Diane Rehm Show," Edward Klein of Newsweek fondly recalled that one of Ted's "favorite topics of humor was, indeed, Chappaquiddick itself. He would ask people, 'Have you heard any new jokes about Chappaquiddick?'"
Terrific! Who was that lady I saw you with last night?
Why did the Last Lion cross the road?
To sleep it off!
What do you call 200 Kennedy sycophants at the bottom of a Chappaquiddick pond? A great start, but bad news for NPR guest-bookers! "He was a guy's guy," chortled Edward Klein. Which is one way of putting it.
When a man is capable of what Ted Kennedy did that night in 1969 and in the weeks afterward, what else is he capable of? An NPR listener said the senator's passing marked "the end of civility in the U.S. Congress." Yes, indeed. Who among us does not mourn the lost "civility" of the 1987 Supreme Court hearings? Considering the nomination of Judge Bork, Ted Kennedy rose on the Senate floor and announced that "Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit down at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution."
Whoa! "Liberals" (in the debased contemporary American sense of the term) would have reason to find Borkian jurisprudence uncongenial but to suggest the judge and former solicitor-general favored resegregation of lunch counters is a slander not merely vile but so preposterous that, like his explanation for Chappaquiddick, only a Kennedy could get away with it. If you had to identify a single speech that marked "the end of civility" in American politics, that's a shoo-in.
If a towering giant cares so much about humanity in general, why get hung up on his carelessness with humans in particular? For Kennedy's comrades, the cost was worth it. For the rest of us, it was a high price to pay. And, for Ted himself, who knows? He buried three brothers, and as many nephews, and, as the years took their toll, it looked sometimes as if the only Kennedy son to grow old had had to grow old for all of them. Did he truly believe, as surely as Melissa Lafsky and Co. do, that his indispensability to the republic trumped all else? That Camelot – that "fleeting wisp of glory," that "one brief shining moment" – must run forever, even if "How To Handle A Woman" gets dropped from the score. The senator's actions in the hours and days after emerging from that pond tell us something ugly about Kennedy the man. That he got away with it tells us something ugly about American public life.
Things only a Kennedy could get away with
And by not calling his bluff on Chappaquiddick,
Americans became complicit in it.
Friday, 28 August 09
'Kennedy' once meant 'tax-cutter'
by Jeff Jacoby The Boston Globe August 30, 2009
HIS NAME WAS KENNEDY.
He was the preeminent figure in the Democratic Party.
And he was a resolute supply-side tax-cutter.
"It is a paradoxical truth," he once told the Economic Club of New York, "that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now." What he had in mind, he said, was not "a 'quickie' or a temporary tax cut." He wanted nothing less than "an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes."
Those were not the words of Senator Edward Kennedy.
The speaker – in December 1962 --
was President John F. Kennedy,
and his ringing call for tax cuts was no anomaly.
In a televised address from the Oval Office four months earlier, JFK had called high tax rates a danger to "the very essence of the progress of a free society: the incentive of additional return for additional effort." In his 1963 State of the Union message, he said his first priority was "the enactment this year of a substantial reduction and revision in federal income taxes." In the speech he was scheduled to deliver to the Texas Democratic State Committee on Nov. 22, 1963, Kennedy planned to report proudly: "We have proposed a massive tax reduction, with particular benefits for small business."
In recent days, Ted Kennedy has been justly acclaimed as a lion of the Democratic Party. But how different the party mourning Kennedy today is from the one that first nominated him in 1962!
The reversal on taxes is one vivid example. When Ted Kennedy entered the Senate in 1963, JFK was leading a campaign for sweeping tax relief that would eventually slash the top marginal rate by a huge 21 percentage points, from 91 to 70. But Democrats have long since become the party that resists lower taxes. In our era, it has been Republicans like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush who have championed JFK-style rate cuts -- cuts that Democrats now condemn as "tax breaks for the wealthy."
On civil rights, too, there has been a sea change.
Liberal Democrats in the 1960s upheld the colorblind ideal -- the conviction that Americans should be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Far from supporting racial quotas and preferences, civil-rights Democrats of that generation flatly rejected them. Senator Hubert Humphrey famously vowed that if anyone could find anything in the 1964 Civil Rights Bill that would compel employers to hire on the basis of race or national origin, "I will start eating the pages one after another, because it is not in there." In a 1963 press conference, President Kennedy explicitly opposed racial preferences: "We are too mixed, this society of ours, to begin to divide ourselves on the basis of race or color."
But in the years that followed, as such preferences became entrenched in hiring and education, liberal Democrats became their doughtiest supporters. Senator Kennedy was "a leader in congressional efforts to preserve federal affirmative action," his Senate website notes. When the Supreme Court ruled against the racial classification of schoolchildren in a 2007 case -- "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race," the court frankly advised -- Kennedy blasted the decision as one that "turns back the clock on equality."
Especially dramatic has been the Democratic Party's metamorphosis on foreign affairs.
"There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future: Let them come to Berlin," declared President Kennedy, a staunch Cold Warrior, in his great Berlin Wall speech in 1963. "There are some who say, in Europe and elsewhere, we can work with the Communists: Let them come to Berlin." But by 1987, when another American president journeyed to Berlin to challenge Moscow to "tear down this wall," such muscular anti-Communism had all but vanished from Democratic Party thinking.
JFK likewise spoke for mainstream Democrats when he asserted that America would "pay any price, bear any burden" to spread freedom and democracy in the world. He was a hawk who pressed for higher defense spending and American military superiority. The Democratic Party of more recent years -- the party of "come home, America" and a nuclear freeze -- was one he wouldn't have recognized.
All political parties alter over time, of course. Today's Republican Party is not a carbon-copy of Eisenhower's: It is more internationalist, more religious, more Southern. But a resurrected Eisenhower would still recognize the GOP, and still command its esteem.
The Democrats' transformation has been much more profound. Over the course of Ted Kennedy's long Senate career, his party's ideological center shifted hard to the left. It goes without saying that a JFK today could never be the Democrats' candidate for president. The question is, would he still be a Democrat?
(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe. To follow him on Twitter, click here.)
08/29/2009 (12:23 pm)
I have avoided the entire Edward Kennedy discussion, choosing instead to pray for the man’s soul. I detested his politics; I was incensed by his involvement in besmirching the reputation of Judge Robert Bork; I heard good things about his personal treatment of employees and constituents; his family has a big house a few miles from where I’ve been living for the past 2 years; he had a reputation as a philanderer and a drunkard; he was a well-liked power broker in the US Senate. That’s how much I know of the man, and I feel I’ve already said too much about a man whose funeral is proceeding even as I write this. He should rest in peace.
However, I’m incredulous after having read this misguided editorial by Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune, who wants us to consider what a shame it would have been if the accident at Chappaquiddick had been the subject of a 21st-century-style media feeding frenzy.
This disgusting piece implies that if it had taken place today, the media would have gone berserk over the accident, turning it into a circus and, in the process, ending Kennedy’s political career. It then simply assumes that nobody disagrees that the remainder of Kennedy’s life was such an unmitigated boon to the public good that we all would have been worse off for his career having ended.
What astounds me is how clueless Zorn is about the protection of privilege in America, particularly Democrat privilege, and how this protection by the press makes a mockery of the central requirement of a free society that every citizen must be equal before the law. The unequal treatment before the law rides on an awful inversion of morality: the bizarre notion that if a man’s politics are Democratic enough, no moral malfeasance, no matter how horrific, is sufficient to offset his virtue. Virtue is defined as “supporting Democratic party initiatives.”
It’s the same blindness that was exhibited as it was becoming embarrassingly obvious that President Clinton was a pathological liar, a perjurer, a grafter, and possibly even a serial rapist. Democrats simply closed their ears and eyes. How could somebody who supported welfare, ecology, and women’s rights be considered morally bad? He is such a good man, simply by virtue of his politics!
This substitution of political correctness for moral character is evil, and undermines our republic.
There is no legitimate doubt that Kennedy avoided serious investigation into the accident by virtue of the fact that he was, in effect, royalty. Whether there ought to have been a conviction, or even an arrest, is completely beside the point; there ought to have been an investigation, and there would have been… except that in Massachusetts, Kennedys are not the subject of investigations, because they’re Kennedys.
There are valid reasons to object to the manner in which media turn a tragedy into a circus. However, the process serves to ensure that no party is exempt from public scrutiny, and eventually from the law. Kennedy did plead guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, arguably because there was no way to avoid the public knowing that he had done so. He was sentenced to 2 months in prison, but the sentence was immediately suspended by the judge. Appropriate press attention could have served to ensure that a proper investigation took place.
So public scrutiny, and particularly press scrutiny, is a necessary goad to produce appropriate legal action, and protects our liberties — when applied in a fair and impartial manner.
The fact is, however, that press attention has long since ceased to be applied fairly and impartially.
In fact, it has become disturbingly common, in modern America, for Democrats generally to believe they are above the law, with good reason. Republicans who get charged with a crime step down; Democrats never do, and the press protects them. Try to imagine what a Lexis-Nexis search of the mainstream media articles would reveal of the $90,000 in Representative Jefferson’s freezer (D, La), the bribery tapes capturing Representative Jack Murtha (D, Pa) making deals, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D, Ca) shuffling of more than $1 billion in defense contracts to her husband’s company, Senator Harry Reid’s (D, Nv) profiting from land scams, or dozens of the scandals instigated by President Bill Clinton (try to find a discussion of the possible graft in declaring the Grand Escalante Staircase a national park, for instance). Compare them to the unhinged attempts to tie Abu Graib to high public officials who had nothing to do with it (43 days on the front page of the New York Times), the number of mentions of the Abramoff scandals, the coverage of possible indictments of Tom Delay, who, so far as we can tell, is guilty of no crime, and the unspeakable savagery aimed at Sarah Palin, who has not even committed the public appearance of a crime. The truth is, we rely almost entirely on conservative blogs and talk radio for information regarding violations of the law by Democrats, whereas the least foible of any Republican becomes a front-page story and headlines the 6 o’clock news. The Chappaquiddick accident would never become a feeding frenzy unless the Senator were a Republican.
This is not to say that there has never been an instance of Republicans currying favor so as to avoid prosecution; it happens. However, the imbalance between the way Democrats and Republicans treat felons within their ranks is stark, and makes it clear which party is currently a danger to the rule of law.
One wonders whether Mr. Zorn, or any other Democrat, would so blithely ignore possible disagreement over the value of a politician’s public service if that politician were not of their party. And then one realizes, there is no need to wonder; Ronald Reagan’s death did not benefit from this same assumption of positive feeling, and the deaths of such figures as Tony Snow and Jerry Falwell were used as excuses for rage-filled diatribes against the right. No, in the modern press, liberals are saints, and conservatives, devils. Consequently, the irresponsible killing of a young woman is treated as an unfortunate accident simply because the man who committed it has the right politics in the eyes of reporters. In such an environment, where correct politics are the only publicly-accepted measure of virtue, it is only a matter of time before a legislature passes laws to outlaw conservatism. Liberty is not safe where morality is measured by political correctness.
Zorn’s editorial is nonsense. If he has so little regard for equal protection and so little awareness of how he’s savaging it, he would serve the public better if he kept his mouth shut. However, it is because the law he treats as meaningless still has some power that he retains the right to publish his opinion. He may learn, soon enough, that if he continues to saw the limb of equal protection, it will not be conservatives alone who fall from the tree of liberty; it will be everybody, including himself.
BARRY SOETORO aka BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
He is not eligible to be
President of the United States
because he is not a Natural Born Citizen
as required by Article Two, Section One, Clause Five of the United States Constitution.
This is a fact REGARDLESS of
where he was born (Mombassa, Hawaii, Chicago, Mecca or Mars).
He is not eligible
because he was not born of
BOTH OF WHOM WERE UNITED STATES CITIZENS
AT THE TIME OF HIS BIRTH
as required by the Constitution.
Barack Hussein Obama Jr. is not eligible to be President of the United States because – according to public admissions made by him – his “birth status was governed” by the United Kingdom. Obama further admits he was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at birth.
Since Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was, if born in the state of Hawaii, a dual citizen, who – according to his own State Department – owed allegiance to the Queen of England and United Kingdom at the time of his birth – he cannot therefore be a “natural born” citizen of the US according to Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the US Constitution.
His father, who did not live in the United States for more than a couple of years, was a subject/ciitizen
of Kenya/Great Britain at the time of Barack’s birth and afterwards, AND further, as Barack himself admitted on his website during the 2008 campaign, Barack was therefore born SUBJECT TO THE GOVERNANCE OF GREAT BRITAIN.
Here is a direct quote from Obama's "Fight the Smears/Fact Check" 2008 website:
‘When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children…’ “
The FACT that he was not born of TWO US CITIZEN PARENTS is all that matters. The question of his birth certificate is a distraction (a distraction fostered by Obama’s supporters?) that ought not to occupy our time and resources.
Also, it is possible that he is not a United States
citizen at all through his mother if he was born in Kenya, as three witnesses have testified. The reason is because his mother could not pass her US citizenship on to her son because she did not live continuously in the United States for five full years after her fourteenth birthday as required by the US immigration law in effect during that period of time.
Check it out:
Also, an excellent introductory primer on Obama Presiidential Eligibility is to be found at:
His usurpation can only be corrected (1) by Congress through his Impeachment and Removal [something which will never happen in a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid], or (2) it can be
corrected by his resignation, which could happen if the public presssure on him to resign becomes great enough, or (3) by his removal by the United States Supreme Court affirming a Quo Warranto decision of the United States Federal District Court for the District of Columbia [which process Attorney General Eric Holder would never allow to even begin] or (4) by an amendment to the Constitution,
which will never happen because that again would require the agreement of a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid.
HERE IS THE QUESTION WHICH EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN SHOULD BE ASKING HIS OR HER CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS
“During the 2008 election, then Senator Obama published a statement at his website which said that his birth status was ‘governed’ by the British Nationality Act of 1948. Can you please tell me, and the American people, how a person governed - at birth - by British law, can be a natural born citizen of the United States and thus constitutionally eligible to be President of the United States?”
- Leo Rugiens