ChicagoRay found this video. Ed Klein tells the story of Chappaquiddick being one of Ted Kennedy’s favorite jokes. Klein is a former Editor of The New York Times Magazine and currently the foreign editor of Newsweek. He is releasing a new book on Ted Kennedy, and the question is, who isn’t? If this is true, the joke is really on Ted Kennedy. He may be lionized today, but surely those hearing the “Chappaquiddick” jokes, had to wonder what kind of a sick joke Ted Kennedy was.
As he has been memorialized today, it is obvious that he was beloved by his family, that he stepped up for all the nieces and nephews who were fatherless, that his own children loved him dearly, and that he knew how to get done what he wanted to get done in the halls of the U.S. Senate.
What I remember about Ted Kennedy is the Kennedy-McCain Amnesty Bill – one of the most devastating Bills to ever hit Capitol Hill. I won’t forgive Kennedy or McCain for that one. I won’t forget what he did to Judge Robert Bork. It was cruel and contemptible and it all lies. For those who want to see as his pompous tirade about the Judge as merely political rhetoric, your political world is much different than mine. I didn’t know much about Robert Bork at the time, as most Americans didn’t, but Kennedy’s comments were uncalled for and only a black heart could stand in the Senate and rip a good man in this way:
Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is — and is often the only — protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy… President Reagan is still our president. But he should not be able to reach out from the muck of Irangate, reach into the muck of Watergate and impose his reactionary vision of the Constitution on the Supreme Court and the next generation of Americans. No justice would be better than this injustice.
This was not acceptable for the U.S. Senate, and he should have been excoriated by his peers, but he he was not – it’s just politics. And may we all be reminded that Ted Kennedy wanted no part of windmills or oil rigs off his Hyannis Port shoreline, but he didn’t mind if they were in your backyard.
I have no way to know whether Ted Kennedy had real remorse for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, but I feel he did. Who would not, but you can read what some of the locals had to say, as well as some astonishing, odd and unusual details of what really happened here.
Ted Kennedy’s real legacy is proof that we should make it unlawful to be a career Senator or U.S. Representative.