Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Truth About Teddy

Mary Jo Kopechne would have been 65 years old this year. Remember the following, sent to me by one of my in-laws, as the senior U.S. senator from Massachusetts weighs in on various issues:

When Sen. Ted Kennedy was merely just another Democrat bloating on Capitol Hill on behalf of liberal causes, it was perhaps excusable to ignore his deplorable past. But now that he's become a leading Republican attack dog, positioning himself as Washington's leading arbiter of truth and integrity, the days for such indulgence are now over.

It's time for the GOP to stand up and remind America why this chief spokesman had to abandon his own presidential bid in 1980 - time to say the words Mary Jo Kopechne out loud.

As is often the case, Republicans have deluded themselves into thinking that most Americans already know the story of how this "Conscience of the Democratic Party" left Miss Kopechne behind to die in the waters underneath the Edgartown Bridge in July 1969, after a night of drinking and partying with the young blonde campaign worker. But most Americans under 40 have never heard that story, or details of how Kennedy swam to safety, then tried to get his cousin Joe Garghan to say he was behind the wheel.

Those young voters don't know how Miss Kopechne, trapped inside Kennedy's Oldsmobile, gasped for air until she finally died, while the Democrats' leading Iraq war critic rushed back to his compound to formulate the best alibi he could think of.

Neither does Generation X know how Kennedy was thrown out of Harvard on his ear 15 years earlier -- for paying a fellow student to take his Spanish final. Or why the US Army denied him a commission because he cheated on tests.

As they listen to the Democrats' "Liberal Lion" accuse President Bush of "telling lie after lie after lie" to get America to go to war in Iraq, young voters don't know about that notorious 1991 Easter weekend in Palm Beach, when Uncle Teddy rounded up his nephews for a night on the town, an evening that ended with one of them credibly accused of rape.

It's time for Republicans to state unabashedly that they will no longer "go along with the gag" when it comes to Uncle Ted's rants about deception and moral turpitude inside the Bush White House.

And if the Republicans don't, let's do it ourselves by passing this forgotten disgrace around the Internet to wake up memories of what a fraud and fake Teddy really is.

The Democratic Party should be ashamed to have the national disgrace from Massachusetts as their spokesman.


At 7/13/2005 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People make mistakes. This is not that kind of an issue. The issue is that when "normal" people make mistakes, they are expected to pay for those mistakes. It is called, "being held accountable." In such cases, we hope, most people learn from their mistakes and they go on to become better people. In this case, Ted didn't pay for his mistake, either under the law, or politically. Rather than becoming a better person, he's become (if this is possible) worse. He is rude, and he is arrogant. Indeed, the people of Messachusetts ought to be ashamed of themselves for keeping this man in his lofty position for so long. Makes you wonder, huh?

At 7/13/2005 9:29 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

On one occasion on a broadcast by C-Span, I saw Kennedy crying "Shame! Shame!" He so often cries similar boo-hoos on so many occasions that I can't now recall what the topic was.

Another Senator (again, I can't recall who spoke up) finally got the floor and said something like "The good Senator from Massachusetts has no room to cry 'Shame!' And I have a bridge that he can buy."

A low blow? Maybe. But I compare the above barb to Cheney's telling off of Sen. Leahy.

BTW, some of us in Northern Virginia who live close to the Kennedys' McLean Compound feel sorry for his first wife Joan. She was a lovely woman until the bottle got a grip on her. She is, of course, responsible for her own drinking habits, but living with Teddy was no picnic. She suffered humiliation after humiliation because of his various escapades.

And, Mustang, you are correct when you say "People make mistakes....Ted didn't pay for his mistake, either under the law, or politically." And there's a problem with Kennedy's mistakes--he made so many, though Kopechne's death was the worst.

In fact, Ted's father had little use for his youngest son. Old Joe always felt that Teddy wasn't playing with a full deck. Worse than that, Ted is lacking in character. His self-righteousness infuriates me because he, of all people, has no room to pretend that he is an icon of virtue.

Why the people of Massachusetts keep re-electing Kennedy stumps me. But, then again, they've elected John Fonda Kerry as well.

At 7/13/2005 9:47 PM, Blogger Regular Ron said...

I friggin hate Ted Kennedy.

AOW...You're goin on the blog roll brotha.


At 7/13/2005 10:42 PM, Blogger LA Sunset said...

I met someone a few years ago that lived down the street from Teddy's home on Martha's Vineyard.

One morning (she did not say how long ago it was) she woke up to find her fence down and on further inspection, her (grown) children determined that it had been run over by a car.

After being disgusted for a little while (while discussing who to call), they heard a noise outside. They looked outside and there was a whole team of fencing specialists, fixing the fence.

You can accurately surmise what happened.

At 7/13/2005 11:14 PM, Blogger Warren said...

I quit wondering long ago!

Like Mustang said:
The issue is that when "normal" people make mistakes, they are expected to pay for those mistakes. It is called, "being held accountable."

Instead, we see that among the Democrats, those making mistakes are not only unaccountable they seem to be rewarded.

There should be many other names added to Teddy Kennedy's.

Among them are:

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy:

The one-time vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who had to resign the post in disgrace 14 years ago after acknowledging he divulged secret information to a reporter.

the San Diego Union-Tribune in a 1987 editorial criticizing Congress' penchant for partisan leaks.

"The intercept, apparently of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's telephone conversations, made possible the capture of the Arab terrorists who had hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered American citizens," the paper said, adding, "The reports cost the life of at least one Egyptian operative involved in the operation."

In July 1987, the Washington Times reported that Leahy leaked secret information about a 1986 covert operation planned by the Reagan administration to topple Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

"I thought [the operation] was probably the most ridiculous thing I had seen, and also the most irresponsible," the then-leading Intelligence Committee Democrat allegedly said of the secret plan.

Unidentified U.S. intelligence officials told the Times that Leahy, along with Republican panel chairman Sen. Dave Durenberger, communicated a written threat to expose the operation directly to then-CIA Director William Casey.

Weeks later, news of the secret plan turned up in the Washington Post, causing it to be aborted.

Leahy vehemently denied he talked to the press about any of the Reagan administration's covert operations, saying, "I never have, and I'm not going to start now."

But just a year later, as the Senate was preparing to hold hearings on the Iran-Contra scandal, the Vermont senator had to resign his Intelligence Committee post after he was caught leaking secret information to a reporter.

The ranking Intelligence Committee Democrat decided to let an NBC reporter comb through the committee's confidential draft report on the scandal. The network aired a report based on the inside information on Jan. 11, 1987.

After a six-month internal investigation, Leahy "voluntarily" stepped down from his committee post, releasing a statement calling his resignation "a suitable way to express ... anger and regret" over his lapse.

Leahy's anger, he said, was at himself, "for carelessly allowing the press person to examine the unclassified draft and to be alone with it."

The Vermont Democrat's Iran-Contra leak was considered to be one of the most serious breaches of secrecy in the committee's 10-year history.

Senator Leahy, is now the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd,

Via Michelle Malkin

This ex-Klansman wasn't just a passive member of the nation's most notorious hate group. According to news accounts and biographical information, Sen. Byrd was a "Kleagle" -- an official recruiter who signed up members for $10 a head. He said he joined because it "offered excitement" and because the Klan was an "effective force" in "promoting traditional American values." Nothing like the thrill of gathering 'round a midnight bonfire, roasting s'mores, tying nooses, and promoting white supremacy with a bunch of your hooded friends.

The ex-Klansman allegedly ended his ties with the group in 1943. He may have stopped paying dues, but he continued to pay homage to the KKK. Republicans in West Virginia discovered a letter Sen. Byrd had written to the Imperial Wizard of the KKK three years after he says he abandoned the group. He wrote: "The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia" and "in every state in the Union."

The ex-Klansman later filibustered the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act -- supported by a majority of those "mean-spirited" Republicans -- for more than 14 hours. He also opposed the nominations of the Supreme Court's two black justices, liberal Thurgood Marshall and conservative Clarence Thomas. In fact, the ex-Klansman had the gall to accuse Justice Thomas of "injecting racism" into the Senate hearings. Meanwhile, author Graham Smith recently discovered another letter Sen. Byrd wrote after he quit the KKK, this time attacking desegregation of the armed forces.

The ex-Klansman vowed never to fight "with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."

If this ex-Klansman were a conservative Republican, he would never hear the end of his sordid past. "Ex-Klansman who opposed civil rights and black justices" would appear in every reference to Sen. Byrd. And even the "ex-" would be in doubt. Maxine Waters and Ralph Neas and Julianne Malveaux and Al Sharpton and all the other left-wing bloodhounds who sniff racism in every crevice of American life would be barking up a storm over Sen. Byrd's latest fulminations. Instead, the attack dogs are busy decrying latent racial bigotry where it doesn't exist, while the real thing roams wild and free in their own political backyard.

Presently the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations

If the Democrat Party ever had any sense of propriety or feelings of shame, these people would have been ran from their midst's long ago.

At 7/14/2005 7:09 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

LA Sunsett,
Some years ago, my husband was the service manager at an automotive-repair shop. One day, Teddy's car, driven by his chauffeur, came in. The vehicle was taken care of, in turn, but there was a delay in getting the car out the bay doors because the power went out. The chauffeur didn't seem to recognize that the power was off, became irate and said something like this: "You'd better get this car out right away. Don't you realize that this car belongs to Senator Kennedy?" My husband's reply: "I don't care whose car it is. We'll get his car out when the electricity comes back on."

In general, the Kennedys seem to feel that they are above the rest of us and that the rest of us are their lackeys, who should "hop to it." The truth is that many in the Kennedy Family are beneath us, as far as character is concerned.

By the way, many other luminaries, political and otherwise, also brought their vehicles into that shop. None of the others ever showed arrogance like that of the Kennedy chauffeur.

At 7/14/2005 7:11 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Thanks for those additions, which add more proof of the character-decline of the Democratic Party.

At 7/14/2005 8:03 PM, Blogger GNN Staff Writer said...

I've always wondered why some filmmaker (sp?) didn't feel inclined to dramatize that event. But perhaps, shooting it through gauzey close-ups, saturating it wiyh inappropriate music, and portraying MJK as a gold-digging hussy could turn Teddy into a folk hero. Never mind.

At 7/15/2005 12:19 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Teddy's dad was no prize either. I believe John and Bobby crusaded against the mob to try to make up for the hidious excuse of a father they had -- a bootlegger during prohibition. And of course, Joe Sr. wasn't fond of Jews (

At 7/15/2005 7:36 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Yes, Joe, Sr., was no prize. But I have a different take on the family dynamics.

After his support of the Nazis and the resulting rejection by FDR and the Democratic Party (I believe the issue was an ambassadorship), Joe, Sr., was intent on establishing a political dynasty, beginning with Joe, Jr. When Joe, Jr., died in WWII, the task of fulfilling the dynasty fell to John, the next male in line. Some political analysts/historians believe that the old man's connections to the mob were used to get JFK elected to the Presidency. Of course, I agree with you that once JFK was in office and appointed Robert as attorney general, the mob came under investigation; this investigation may have heated up after Old Joe had his stroke. Also, some conspiracy theorists believe that such an investigation may have led to JFK's assassination, but that theory is mere speculation as far as I know.

I clearly remember John's tipping his hat to the old man during the 1961 Inauguration Parade as if to say, "Are you satisfied now, Dad?" I've watched that old videotape many times, and JFK's facial expression is interesting to read. Personally, I've always felt that John would have preferred NOT to have been President. His health was always very poor, and perhaps he'd have been a happier man if his father had allowed him to be a lawyer or a teacher. Robert, on the other hand, always had political ambitions, I think. But Old Joe was determined that each male take office in correct order, according to dynastic rules.

A factoid here...John came to visit the compound, Joe, Sr., lined up the clan and had each member bow to John as if he were king. I've read that JFK was uncomfortable with that kind of attention.

The Camelot legend was a conscious creation of Jackie Kennedy and an author, whose name escapes me at this early hour. This legend was quite a pr move and was used to further more political ambitions on the part of the Kennedys.

Here's another factoid...Much has been made of the fact that the Kennedy men didn't wear hats to JFK's funeral. Apparently, Teddy, ever the bumbler and frequently an embarrassment to the family even from his young days, couldn't find his hat, so the rest of the men in the family chose not to wear their hats so as not to embarrass Teddy.

Had it not been for his older brothers and all the sympathy generated for the "Kennedy family curse," perhaps Teddy would never have gained the position he has today. Just speculation on my part, of course.

Some of the above information is my recollection of what I read many years ago in a book written by Old Joe's nurse. I wish that I could recall the title because her firsthand account was quite interesting. Even with all their money, the Kennedys didn't want to pay her for her services.

Bottom line: the Kennedys' idea that they were better than other folks led to much grief in the family.

At 7/15/2005 7:37 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

The Old Man didn't much like women either, except as sexual objects.

At 7/16/2005 4:13 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Fascinating stuff, AOW. Thanks for writing that! Right now, I'm obsessed with the JFK assassination as it pertains to Dorothy Kilgallen, the late journalist and "What's My Line" panelist (I watch her on that show every night on Game Show Network's Black & White overnight). FASCINATING stuff. Just to whet your whistle, in case you don't already know, Dorothy died under mysterious circumstances -- claimed as an OD (the exact same way Marilyn Monroe went, whom Dorothy had reported her affair with a Kennedy, with MM dying either the next day or close to it), soon after Dorothy supposedly interviewed Jack Ruby and said she had the info to blow the lid off the investigation. Her manuscript of that chapter of it was never found. She also gave a copy of it to a good friend, who was found dead 2 days after Dorothy, the exact same way... and her copy of Dorothy's chapter was never found either. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

At 7/16/2005 5:16 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I had forgotten about the "Kilgallen connection." What sources are you using in your research?

As to the death of MM, Peter Lawford, who often served as the Kennedys' lackey, never got over her death and carried a burden of guilt until the day he died; it is said that he had to go to MM's house on the night of her death and clean up the scene a bit. I seem to recall something about a missing diary. Seems to be quite a coincidence, considering the missing Kilgallen chapter. The History Channel and/or A&E have broadcast some interesting aspects of MM's death. I believe that the coroner (Noguchi?) wasn't very satisfied with the autopsy. The first doctor on the scene has also expressed concern over certain discrepancies he noticed at the scene.

Last November, I visited Hollywood and spent some time in the Max Factor Museum, where MM's death certificate is on display. I believe that it read "probable suicide due to overdose," but one coroner has stated that the levels of barbituates in her system did not correlate with her stomach contents, which contained few capsules. One has to wonder if she was injected with downers. Certainly, MM had a problem with substances, but there may also be secrets which will forever remain hidden. Also, I've read that MM was absolutely convinced that JFK would divorce Jackie and marry her. MM wasn't well grounded in reality when it came to romantic entanglements.

Because of the time lapse between MM's time of death and the notification of the authorities, her body was very discolored from the pooling of blood; this discoloration could have masked any injection site(s).

Do you also remember hearing that, back in the early days of JFK's administration, a young woman was found dead along the C&O Canal tow path in Georgetown? I believe that woman worked for JFK.

At 7/17/2005 2:19 AM, Blogger Esther said...

No, I hadn't heard that (your last part)! I still say the mob has their hand in this somewhat. But my focus is mainly on Dorothy.

As for my research, I did a lot on the net, and now I'm reading this juicy bio of DK by Lee Israel, simply called Kilgallen. She did exhaustive research. I know many poo poo her hypothesis on the death (mostly due to DK's substance abuse problems) but a lot of it is very hard to argue.

At 7/17/2005 6:36 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

JFK had some substance problems, too, in the form of prescribed medications for his chronic problems and Addison's Disease. I've often wondered how much those steroids played into some of his behaviors.

Didn't JFK and Sam Giancana share a mistress or two? The name Judith Exner Campbell comes to mind.

I'll see if my local library has the Kilgallen book.

At 7/17/2005 4:05 PM, Blogger Esther said...

I'm not sure if they shared a mistress but it sure as heck wouldn't surprise me.

DK was fascinating on so many levels. She did this trip 'round the world when she was 23. She got supportive notes from Eleanor Roosevelt, just to name one. But she was on the last successful trip of the Hindenberg. She turned down a chance to have lunch with Hitler (she was in a hurry, I think), all sorts of really wild, odd things. Almost like a Forrest Gump type...she was where history happened a lot. She was the reason Sam Shepherd got a new trial (the case that "The Fugitive" TV series was based on). Just a bigger than life character.

At 7/17/2005 7:46 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Now that you mention it, I remember her push for Shepherd's new trial. And she was right, too.

BTW, the public library doesn't have the book. What's the publicaton date?

At 7/17/2005 10:09 PM, Blogger Esther said...

It's like 1979 for the first printing; the book I bought on was a reprint from 1980. If you want, I can mail it to you when I am done (though I think I want to keep this one for the collection and future research, so I would probably arrange to get it back from you when i'm in town over Thanksgiving or something).

At 7/17/2005 10:44 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Thanks for your offer to mail the book, and I may take you up on it if I can't get a copy through inter-library loan.

Funny that you should mention coming this way for Thanksgiving! My husband and I may be going to Southern CA for Thanksgiving this year, as we did last year. My mother-in-law (in early-stage Alzheimer's) lives on Hollywood Boulevard, my brother-in-law in Duarte, and my sister-in-law in Altadena.

At 7/18/2005 8:39 PM, Blogger Esther said...

That's hysterical. Normally we'd go for a week but since my boyfriend has a new job, my guess is we'll do a quickie. Would you be out here for longer? Maybe we can do the book handoff out here instead? LOL.

At 7/18/2005 9:10 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/26/2005 2:57 PM, Blogger jlesseig said...

Ted Kennedy is the sole beneficiary of this country's remorse over his brother's deaths.

We, as a nation, feel sorry for his family and he has taken full advantage of it.

At 7/27/2005 8:12 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

J Crue,
Yes, the American guilt complex, completely unwarraned in this case, is an operative factor in the constant re-election of TK. Also, a Massachusetts friend of mine says that there's never a viable opponent in the primary or election processes.

Therefore, TK is allowed to spout off his lunacy--unbridled. I turn off the sound when His Bloatedness appears.

At 7/27/2005 8:44 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Another typo...I meant "unwarranted," of course.

At 1/13/2006 12:07 PM, Blogger The MaryHunter said...

AOW, this is great! And for the tip re Mustang. Please send a trackback. If you need help, there's the standalone trackback pinger:

My Teddy Boy post's Trackback URL:


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