Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Kennedy Ted

Tireless crusader for liberal causes Sen. Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy (D-MA) is dead at 77 from complications of a cancerous tumor in his brain. From a wealthy, famous, and well-connected family, Sen. Kennedy was perhaps one of the last practitioners, both personally and politically, of ‘noblesse oblige’ in America, the concept that those who have been fortunate in life have a moral obligation to be generous and kind to those less fortunate. (Literal French translation to English: “Nobility obligates.”)

“From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.”
— Jesus, Luke 12:48.

Over the next few days you’ll hear all sorts of eulogies and encomiums to Kennedy, but the best way his colleagues could honor him would be to pass a health care reform bill with a public option covering those who can’t afford insurance, something he strongly advocated during his more than 40 years in politics.

U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy Dies at 77
NBC News & news services


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Ana Grarian
14 years ago

““From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.”
– Jesus, Luke 12:48.”

A portion of the Bible that so many Limbaugh fans apparently don’t read.

RS Janes
14 years ago

I think the conservative fundamentalists experience temporary blindness whenever the Bible tells them to help others without judging them first; whenever it tells them to be humble and forgiving; whenever it tells them to pursue peace rather than war. (“Thou Shalt not Kill” doesn’t seem to register with them.) Here’s the latest crazy craze on the right:

“Onstage before thousands of believers weighed down by debt and economic insecurity, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland and their all-star lineup of “prosperity gospel” preachers delighted the crowd with anecdotes about the luxurious lives they had attained by following the Word of God.”
— Laurie Goodstein, “Believers Invest in the Gospel of Getting Rich,” NY Times, Aug. 18, 2009.

Well, so much for for this:

“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
— Jesus in Matthew 19:24.

They believe every word in the Bible is the ‘Living Word of God’ except when it’s inconvenient. I’m reminded of that oxymoron, ‘Christian Capitalism’ — just like ‘Jumbo Shrimp,’ ‘Exact Estimate,’ ‘Alone Together’ and ‘Fox Facts.’

The All-Mighty Webmaster
14 years ago

I hate to detract here, but I can’t share in the celebration of this man’s life.

A horrible tragedy occurred in July of 1969 and it was forever compounded by the actions of Edward Kennedy AFTER his car drove off the bridge into the water, leaving a young woman to drown in the car.

Now I don’t know the exact circumstances that led up to his car driving off the bridge into the water, but the main and accepted explanation was that he was drunk. Bad as that was, it is not quite as bad as it ended up.

I know it was dark at night and the likelihood of Kennedy being able to dive down in the water and somehow get Mary Jo Kopechne out of a submerged car by himself was slim, if not impossible. Still, he walked past four houses on the way back to his motel and didn’t once think about stopping to get help.

Even at the motel, he changed his clothes and chatted with the motel clerk, never once mentioning the pertinent information that there was a young woman trapped underwater in his car.

Instead, he called his attorney, who advised him to lay low for several hours and then at ten o’clock the next morning, presented a dictated statement to the police department insisting he hadn’t been drunk but had been lost and drove off of the bridge into the water.

He would change his story several times in the week before he quickly plead guilty to leaving the scene of an accident on a sealed, stipulated plea agreement that would bar any further investigation or charges. For which he received a two month suspended sentence and a year after that, the charge was expunged from his record.

Now I am all for the idea of redemption. But it has to start with the truth. It had to start from a point where Kennedy came clean about the entire incident. He never did. It doesn’t matter that he devoted the next forty years to doing good things — he never left the sin of July 1969.

So I am sorry, I cannot in good conscience turn the man into a saint, as I see some trying to do. Yes, he was an icon in our history. He spend approximately one-fifth of our American history in public office, and he was a very influential man that did actually do a lot of great things for the ordinary people. But ALL of that is deeply tarnished by the darkness of his sin and lie.

And for what? Because his family wanted to preserve his chance of becoming president in 1972 and therefore bringing Camelot II?

It was never going to happen.

He should have done the right thing from the start — get help. So what if he was drunk? If there was a chance of saving Mary Jo Kopechne then simply being drunk was not a big deal. If she was dead by the time help had gotten there, then at the most he was looking at a charge of vehicular manslaughter — which at that time was a misdemeanor, and he probably would have received a suspended sentence for.

It probably would have scuttled his plans to become president in 1972 — but the incident itself made sure that wasn’t going to happen. By not coming clean, it surely prevented him from winning the primary in 1980 against Jimmy Carter.

And so what if his political career ended by coming clean? He was a Kennedy — he never had to work a day in his life. He could have very well gone into something that influence public policy. He could have easily bounced back.

But he took the coward’s way out. He lived a lie for the past forty years and hoped that in his death he would receive the redemption he thought he “deserved”.

As a recovering alcoholic learns, the hardest step is the first one: admitting to the problem. In this case, it was admitting what he had done, including all of the details.

RS Janes
14 years ago

DJ, I agree. I don’t believe in elevating any politician to sainthood — that kind of integrity and honesty doesn’t come with the job of US Senator.

I haven’t been catching much news on the TV lately — it’s been Ted Kennedy almost all the time, and there are only so many eulogies I can take. At a certain point, it’s stops being news and becomes an obsession, and Kennedy’s death stopped being news after the first day.

The Chappaquidick thing is a quandary and, it’s true, had he been Joe Schmoe instead of a president’s brother from a wealthy family, he likely would have faced manslaughter/involuntary homicide and reckless driving charges, maybe with some jail time, although in Illinois in those days he would more likely have gotten five years probation and a large fine since he had no prior record.

The point of my post was that the mourners in Congress should save all the empty words and instead pass the kind of health care reform bill Kennedy wanted since he first spoke on the subject in 1959. And he did, generally-speaking, practice ‘noblesse oblige,’ although I’m sure the Koepecnne family wouldn’t see it that way. I should have been clearer — a wealthy man practicing noblesse oblige does not necessarily also make that man noble.

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