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Remembering the Darker Side of Teddy Kennedy
Townhall.com ^ | August 28, 2009 | Mona Charen

Posted on 08/28/2009 3:30:58 AM PDT by Kaslin

The death of Sen. Edward Kennedy, we are being told, should strengthen our resolve to act in a bipartisan fashion. Many of the tributes, from former presidents and Republican colleagues, have stressed the late senator's willingness to find "common ground." Well, since ancient Rome we've been exhorted not to speak ill of the dead. But neither should we completely disfigure the truth.

Before offering some less than hagiographic reflections on the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (may he rest in peace), one pleasant memory: About a decade ago, I was late for a party in northwest Washington D.C. -- a neighborhood not known for abundant parking spaces. After circling the block several times, I spied a cramped space and determined that somehow I was going to fit my minivan into it. Just then, a large man approached walking two Portuguese Water Dogs. He stopped, saw my predicament, and proceeded to guide me into the space with lots of laughter, encouragement, and a little bit of teasing. I knew (obviously) that my Good Samaritan was the senior senator from Massachusetts. I have no reason to think he recognized me.

So I have personal experience of Teddy Kennedy's charm and affability. The many stories of his personal kindnesses to others (including those with whom he disagreed politically) speak well of him -- to a point. But Kennedy was a politician who too often permitted his own sense of righteousness to overwhelm the large reservoir of decency that he is reported to have possessed. He could trample on conservatives with, it seems, hardly a pang of conscience. He may have been the "great liberal lion" of the U.S. Senate, but some of us cannot forget that his tactics were often low and dishonorable.

Former President George W. Bush was characteristically gracious about Kennedy ("a great man") in his comments since his death, but Kennedy went after Bush utterly without scruple. Consider Kennedy's shrill attacks on President Bush's decision to invade Iraq. In 2002, Sen. Kennedy himself had said, "There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed." But just a year later, Kennedy was saying, "This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud." In 2004, Kennedy said, "Before the war, week after week after week we were told lie after lie after lie after lie . . . the president's war is revealed as mindless, needless, senseless, reckless."

Kennedy did not -- perhaps could not -- accept that the Bush administration had made a good faith decision to use military force (as his brother did in the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam). Instead, he contributed to conspiracy theories about Bush's true motives. Echoing the most inflamed leftist websites, Kennedy alleged that "the President and his senior aides began the march to war in Iraq in the earliest days of the administration, long before the terrorists struck this nation on 9/11."

When the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison came to light, disgust and abhorrence were expressed pretty universally and certainly bipartisanly. But Kennedy, unable to resist a cheap political shot, actually compared the U.S. to Saddam Hussein, saying, "Shamefully, we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management -- U.S. management."

Sen. Kennedy's rhetorical ruthlessness was perhaps most famously displayed within minutes of the nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. The world now knows that Bob Bork is one of the most intelligent, witty, reasonable, and civilized men in America. But at the time, few knew anything about him. Kennedy rushed to the Senate floor to introduce a grotesque bogeyman: "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."

Judge Bork recounted later that when he met privately with the senator, Kennedy mumbled, "Nothing personal." When you have calumniated a man before the entire world, you cannot claim that it isn't personal.

One hopes that the Kennedy family will find comfort in the days ahead. But I cannot join those who uphold Teddy Kennedy as a model public servant, far less as an exemplar of any sort of bipartisanship.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: monacharen; tedkennedy

1 posted on 08/28/2009 3:30:58 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Amen


2 posted on 08/28/2009 3:36:54 AM PDT by Edgar3 (America is suffering from "Sorosis" of the Presidency)
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To: Kaslin
disgust and abhorrence were expressed pretty universally and certainly bipartisanly.

Ms. Charen didn't proof her work before submitting it. This is an incredibly awkward phrasing.

Having said that, the headline is misleading. Talking about the darker side of Ted Kennedy implies that he had a lighter side. The man did more to harm this country than any single individual since the first white men settled here in 1607.

3 posted on 08/28/2009 3:38:11 AM PDT by Hardastarboard (I long for the days when advertisers didn't constantly ask about the health of my genital organs.)
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To: Kaslin

Ted Kennedy’s death has been too late in coming.


4 posted on 08/28/2009 3:41:35 AM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: Hardastarboard

He helped lead American Catholics straight towards abortion, too.


5 posted on 08/28/2009 3:41:46 AM PDT by donna (VA: Your Life, Your Choices - sends vets to the Hemlock Society when life is no longer worth living.)
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To: Hardastarboard

consider Nixon gave him Health care on a platter, but he was too drunk to see it in the early 1970’s.


6 posted on 08/28/2009 3:42:21 AM PDT by scooby321 (and)
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To: Kaslin
"I spied a cramped space and determined that somehow I was going to fit my minivan into it. Just then, a large man approached walking two Portuguese Water Dogs. He stopped, saw my predicament, and proceeded to guide me into the space with lots of laughter, encouragement, and a little bit of teasing."

Mona, he was only hoping to teach those mutts what 'doggie style' was all about.

You're lucky you escaped unscathed.
7 posted on 08/28/2009 3:47:32 AM PDT by mkjessup (Jimmy Carter is the Skidmark in the panties of American history, 0bama is the yellow stain in front.)
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To: Kaslin
I suspect there isn't enough computer space in the world to recount the evil perpetrated on humanity by this fat, drunken blob who was also a misogynist of clintonian proportions.

Affable? All I ever saw of this walking caricature of humanity was from afar. He may have been many things. He was never a good man. Nothing personal, you understand.

8 posted on 08/28/2009 3:50:22 AM PDT by stevem
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To: Edgar3
Tell it like it is, Mona.

The man was a craven political pig with the scruples of, well, a Kennedy. I know of no other more partisan, ugly, wanton, narcissistic, deplorable form of human life than was the idiot son of a mobster who traded on his family's political name and personal tragedy to such otherwise unjustifiable personal gain.

He spent his entire adult life sucking at the public tit like a tick, spewing venom for those with whom he disagreed, making his own life a poster-child for the old law school ethic, "If you have the Law on your side, pound the Law. If you have the facts, pound the facts. If you have neither the Law nor the facts, pound the desk!"

The alleged "lion of the Senate" was, in fact, the great, knuckle dragging, gin-blossomed, halitosis-blowing ape. He didn't, and dosen't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath with truly great men like George W. Bush or Robert Bork.

Good riddance to bad rubbish. He's where he belongs now.

;-/

9 posted on 08/28/2009 3:54:33 AM PDT by Gargantua (Sarah Palin: The only Republican to take on Zer0bonehead and WIN!)
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To: Kaslin
The saddest thing about all of the fake hoopla surrounding death of Ted the swimmer and his funeral is that it takes the focus off of Obama and his current scheme for destroying America. Liberals love him because he championed their causes.
He could afford to because he never had to work for anything.
He's now finding out if his money and power can buy eternal happiness and peace.
10 posted on 08/28/2009 4:09:29 AM PDT by bitterohiogunclinger (America held hostage - day 163)
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To: Kaslin

>>> So I have personal experience of Teddy Kennedy’s charm and affability. <<<<<

A former girlfreind had experience with his “charm and affability” when, as a young college intern to his Boston office, was told in her orientation to never, ever, under any circumstances get into the elevator alone with the fine affable late-40’s Senator.

It was not an office joke, it was a stern warning.

And so she did not.


11 posted on 08/28/2009 4:13:49 AM PDT by angkor (The U.S. Congress is at war with America.)
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To: Kaslin

Teddy’s darker side was his whole INside.


12 posted on 08/28/2009 4:22:21 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault
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To: Kaslin

The absolute worst of the Kennedy spawn seems to have outlasted all the rest of them.


13 posted on 08/28/2009 4:58:39 AM PDT by caver (Obama's first goals: allow more killing of innocents and allow the killers of innocents to go free.)
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To: Hardastarboard
The man did more to harm this country than any single individual since the first white men settled here in 1607.

Obama is quickly catching up.

14 posted on 08/28/2009 5:02:13 AM PDT by thethirddegree
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To: bitterohiogunclinger

Of course, the Kennedy political machine is seeking the next family member to justify its continued existence. Rumor around here in MA has it that Joe Kennedy is interested in Uncle Ted’s senate seat. Joe is not like Ted, though. He’s less affable and more arrogant.

I used to dream about the Red Sox beating the “Curse of the Bambino” and winning a World Series title within my lifetime. I still dream about living long enough to see MA rid itself of its “Curse of the Kennedys”.


15 posted on 08/28/2009 5:08:18 AM PDT by Senator John Blutarski (The progress of government: republic, democracy, technocracy, bureaucracy, plutocracy, kleptocracy,)
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To: Kaslin
I would like to have a sign in Boston, "The Good Die Young!" How long do you think I would last?
16 posted on 08/28/2009 5:25:45 AM PDT by SES1066 (Cycling to conserve, Conservative to save, Saving to Retire, will Retire to Cycle.)
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To: Senator John Blutarski
I still dream about living long enough to see MA rid itself of its “Curse of the Kennedys”.

Nothing is impossible. Up until the Great Depression, MA was solidly Republican, and many of those Republicans were not RINOs, but the likes of Calvin Coolidge and Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr., whose political ideals were closer to those of Ron Paul than to any other contemporary Republicans. The Ivy League schools were at one time bastions of Calvinist Christianity as they are now bastions of Marxism. The day may come when those institutions will abandon the false gospel as they formerly abandoned the Christian faith.

The Kennedy family, like the Adams line two centuries earlier, will fade into obscurity. The enormous wealth of the patriarch, Joseph Kennedy, Sr., is in the process of dissipating, much as the wealth of the great families of the 19th Century had done.

17 posted on 08/28/2009 5:38:24 AM PDT by Wallace T.
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To: Kaslin

let the devil has his way with TED


18 posted on 08/28/2009 5:39:51 AM PDT by Broker (Reward: $100.00 for the lost book of Islamic Praise Songs.)
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To: Kaslin

If Kennedy is some kind of mentor for the American people, we should all find an abandoned bridge to drive over.


19 posted on 08/28/2009 5:58:13 AM PDT by chainsaw (If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free! -- P.J..)
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To: Wallace T.

Wallace,

Thanks for the encouraging words. It’s too easy to get politically depressed living in MA.


20 posted on 08/28/2009 5:59:25 AM PDT by Senator John Blutarski (The progress of government: republic, democracy, technocracy, bureaucracy, plutocracy, kleptocracy,)
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To: donna
He helped lead American Catholics straight towards abortion, too.

Correction: He helped lead some American Catholics straight towards abortion, too.

21 posted on 08/28/2009 6:01:28 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: Kaslin
Ted Kennedy was morally bankrupt and a degenerate reprobate.

The only good thing is that this maggot will now be consumed by other maggots. And Satan has finally filled the last empty room in the Kennedy Wing of Hell.

22 posted on 08/28/2009 6:10:46 AM PDT by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: Kaslin

IMO, Bobby Kennedy may have been the most decent of the bunch . . . And, that’s not saying much.

The Kennedy “legacy” leaves a lot to be desired. I liked JFK on a personal level, but can’t understand how he could ever have cheated on someone as fundamentally decent as Jackie.

FWIW, Ted won’t ?e missed. He was a murdering pig whose victim never received justice . . . Until now.


23 posted on 08/28/2009 8:03:59 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: Kaslin
Headline / sub-head seen on yahoo just now:

Hundreds file past Sen. Kennedy's casket in Boston

Good to hear, just 'hundreds', not 'thousands'.

The last time Ginger Romano saw Sen. Ted Kennedy, she wasn't at her best.

And Teddy isn't now. Or is he? heheheheh

24 posted on 08/28/2009 8:07:45 AM PDT by Ready4Freddy (The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me.)
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To: Kaslin
The following "Item" will appear for sale at the Kennedy Compound Shrine and Museum:

The Official "Uncle Teddy Chappaquiddick Board Game"

(designed by Jmouse007 on 8/27/09, Patent Pending):

Game comes complete with dice, Teddy Kennedy face masks (which all players wear, I mean who doesn't want to be Ted Kennedy?), "official" Chappaquiddick map board (*Note: the bridge area is surrounded by a 12" deep tub that you fill with water BEFORE the game begins), scale model Olds 88 replica cars with moving wheels and moving locking doors with roll down windows along with two life like passengers (Uncle Teddy and a female "guest"), genuine crystal miniature drink and shot glasses along with an assortment of authentic miniature booze bottles, thick, clear plastic bags and a real working stop watch! (Think of the Milton Bradley game LIFE only much more funner... someone could die! Oh my!)

The OBJECT of the game is to get the poor unsuspecting female guest safely to the Ferry which will deliver her off the island and from the clutches of Uncle Teddy! Roll the dice and move your car around the board one square per spot of the dice, hoping to avoid "Lovers Oreo Cookie Lane" (where Uncle Teddy's accomplice Senator Dodd waits in secret for the "BIG SURPRISE" (Try to avoid Lovers Lane at ALL COSTS!) in order to get to the Ferry leaving the island and Uncle Teddy without landing on any of the "scary bad bridge squares".

IF in the course of the game, you or one of the other unfortunate players cars land on ANY of the "scary bad bridge squares" then your opponent gets to wildly zoom-fling your car off the bridge upside down into the water. When this happens the Uncle Teddy figure in the front seat gets to escape (BECAUSE HE IS A KENNEDY AND THE RULES DO NOT APPLY TO THEM) leaving the unfortunate female "guest" behind entrapped in the car to possibly drown. To see if she gets to escape and run to the Ferry to save herself and her life from the icy water and the clutches of Uncle Teddy; place the plastic bag over your opponents head and start the stop watch in order to see which player can hold his breath the longest without passing out or dying. Wright down the results on your official Chappaquiddick note pad and tally the results: The player who holds his breath the longest WINS and his female "guest" gets to escape and run for her life to the Ferry.

IF the player passes out or dies, then, sadly, the female "guest" drowns. BUT that is not the end of the game. IF your female guest does not make it to the Ferry, the living Uncle Teddy or one of his surrogates (someone who has been watching the game and rooting for the Uncle Teddy player who got asphyxiated and died) gets to “swim” the drunk Uncle Teddy action figure from the submerged car all the way across the tub of water to the “hotel” model where he gets to go to the swank penthouse suite, change the figures wet cloths into dry ones and go to bed to "sobber up"(stop watch again).

Then after he fake sleeps… Uncle Teddy is moved to the Police station model where he talks to Officer Mike accompanied by his lawyer. The Uncle Teddy or one of his surrogates who tells the BEST LIE as to “what happened” and why his unfortunate female “guest” drowned and WHY he did not attempt to save her ALSO WINS and gets to go on to serve in the U.S. Senate for 47 years, get a “go to heaven free card”, from his bought and paid for priest, die in his bed, and go on to get buried in Arlington National Cemetery while the whole event is televised around the world and your Uncle Teddy is eulogized as “the greatest man and politician in the whole world since the world began!”

This fun, exciting and historically detailed game is available at the Kennedy Compound Shrine and Museum and can be yours for the introductory price of $500! $475 of the proceeds goes directly to the “Kennedy Trust Charity” in order to support the poor unfortunate remaining Kennedy brood, "heck, we are Kennedy's you do not expect US to pay for them!"

25 posted on 08/28/2009 8:29:23 AM PDT by Jmouse007 (hank you)
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; bigheadfred; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; ...
I did this search to see if this topic had been posted (that's how I found it) and was amazed at the number of hits, so...
Google

26 posted on 08/28/2009 3:50:04 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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27 posted on 08/28/2009 3:51:48 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: Kaslin; SunkenCiv; Clintonfatigued; LucyT; Yaelle; Atom Smasher; Arizona Carolyn; ExTexasRedhead; ..
Lucky for Mona Charen that she didn't let Ted Kennedy get in the car to help her park it. Kennedy, women, and cars were a dangerous combination, especially with bridges nearby!
28 posted on 08/28/2009 4:41:10 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: justiceseeker93

I’m not sure he would have fit in her minivan. ;’)


29 posted on 08/28/2009 5:01:46 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: justiceseeker93

Thanks for the ping!


30 posted on 08/28/2009 8:41:33 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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