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The Improbable Political Existence of Teddy Kennedy

His ability to survive scandals that brought down other politicians is hard to wrap one's head around.

by
Frank J. Fleming

Bio

August 28, 2009 - 12:40 am
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The death of Ted Kennedy is a time to reflect on how utterly insane his political existence was.

He seemed like the type of liberal the older conservatives just made up to scare us — privileged, elite, divorced from reality, amoral, and because he said the right things, it didn’t matter at all to him what his actual deeds or actions were.

But he was real! Liberals actually worshiped him! This is a hundred times more insane than thinking John Edwards was an authentic man of the people.

Am I being too harsh? I was born in 1979, so I didn’t hear much of these details first-hand, but if I understand things correctly … in 1969 he drove off a bridge with another passenger in the car. Instead of trying to rescue her, he fled and didn’t report the incident to police for ten hours.

That’s not just a minor indiscretion. Those are the actions of an irredeemable scumbag, right?

Yet not only was he not imprisoned, he didn’t even lose his Senate seat. In fact, he was reelected seven more times!

I feel like I’m on crazy pills just writing this!

We debate whether an adulterer should resign, but shouldn’t unrepentant manslaughter be beyond debate and partisanship? Wouldn’t someone with even the smallest amount of humanity and humility resign from public life after that? No one could be so egotistical and out of touch as to later run for president thinking: “Wow. The country sure could use someone with my judgment and moral fortitude to run it right now.” Right?

And shouldn’t the entire country have been outraged that he escaped a well-deserved prison sentence because of his wealth and connections? Or at least, you know, have not voted for him?

It should be unquestionable that the majority of people in Massachusetts are amoral, empty-headed scumbags for constantly voting for that man. That’s an objective fact, right? There aren’t some details I’m missing, are there? Like the only other choice besides Ted Kennedy on the ballot each time was a pedophile or an ax murderer?

Unless that was true, the only conclusion is that the majority of the citizens of his state are such mindless partisans that they would vote for someone who raped their sisters if he said the right things about welfare and abortion. That’s indisputable, right? What he did should not have only disqualified him from public office, but just voting for him should be considered a lapse in moral character that gets you shunned from society. It’s up there with being an open racist. How in the world has anyone taken Massachusetts seriously while that guy was their senator?

Many — including some conservatives — are saying that those pointing this out right after Ted Kennedy’s death are just people like me being silly partisans, turning anyone who disagrees with him into a monster. I’m sorry, but what other politicians are there that were this horrible a human being? Are there others who killed people and thought that shouldn’t really damage their political career? Is there a similar Republican example I’m turning a blind eye to?

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