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I'm so sick of the Kennedy-Chappaquiddick reflex.

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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:03 AM
Original message
I'm so sick of the Kennedy-Chappaquiddick reflex.
I think "Gamblin' Man" Bennett used it on one of the wingnut shows last night.

When anyone pulls that on me, I feign confusion and ask, "When did that happen again? Was that the same year Laura Bush killed her boyfriend with her car right after they broke up, or was that earlier?"

(It was almost 5 years earlier, if you're wondering.)
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm surprised people are bringing it up.

I remember it well. I was a teenager in 1969. A year or two ago, when I mentioned the Chappaquiddick incident, two of my co-workers (one mid-twenties, one late-twenties) didn't know what I was talking about. I had to explain it to them.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. See my post no. 2
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
2. I agree. At least move on to "Clinton perjured himself" reflex.
If one is going to bring up a non sequitur, refer to an event somebody under the age of fifty knows about.
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Montauk6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. And I STILL question whether "Clinton perjured himself"
I thought it was just a crafty lawyer using legalese in its most manipulative form to run rings around the Starr Chamber.
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
3. Good response
I like your response to people who brin up Chappaquiddick, I'll have to remember that! :thumbsup:
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timber84 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
5. Tell me more never heard about the Laura Bush incident!!
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Here ya' go.
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timber84 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. wow thanks
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
9. Basic Wingnut Gag
Teddy Kennedy was the original right wing "boogie man". It's a character they've manufactured and now distorted by lies and other misconceptions.

The first attacks were out of fear. Teddy was the Hillary of the 70's...the man the Repugnicans feared the most as they expected he'd win any Presidential election he chose and they were determined to destroy him. He was the template and remains of the "demonized librul" that we see used over and over again.

Remember, these people are morally and intellectually bankrupt. They have no other form of communication other that name-calling, stereotyping, rumor and arrogant pronouncements (similar to "Betamillion" Bennett's racist remarks). It's moreso the case today since the few legitimate issues Repugnicans used to stand for are now a complete farce.
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Pool Hall Ace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
10. Oh, I do the same thing.
I think the Chappaquiddick incident remains fresh in wingnut's minds because of a bumper sticker that I still see occasionally today ('My gun has killed fewer people than Teddy Kennedy's car' or somesuch).

Not surprisingly, few people have heard of Laura's little accident. I'm sure the ones who have offer a convenient excuse ("She was yooooung and naieeeeeve, she didn't know what she was doooooing!")
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sniffa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
11. at Least he's not the first Lady
murderer.

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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
12. Good suggestion. Hope I can remember it when I need it.
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
13. I would also add that Laura's accident
was the same month Ted's brother John was assassinated in Dallas and about five years before his brother Robert would be killed in Los Angeles. Not excusing Kennedy's behavior, just saying he's suffered plenty and the wingnuts should give it a goddamned rest.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
14. I agree, but only to a certain point
Sorry, but Ted Kennedy screwed the pooch on Chappaquiddik. More than likely, he was drunk, drove off the bridge, and then abandoned Mary Jo Kopechne to her death. He made little effort to free her, rescue her, or even to contact emergency workers about what had happened, even though the local fire station and fire chief were just fifteen minutes away by foot, with lights on inside. Instead, Kennedy first contacted his lawyers, and tried to put together a plausible cover story. And the real kicker on this is that he didn't notify the authorities about the accident until ten hours later.

The whole tale is one very sordid mess, and simply another example of how the rich and powerful live by an entirely different set of rules than the rest of us. If it had been you or I who had pulled that stunt, we would be charged with negligent murder and gone to jail for at least ten to twenty years. Instead, Kennedy tap dances his way out of this and retains his position of power. This is blatant hypocrisy and double standards, and there is absolutely no excuse for it. And defending Kennedy, simply because he is a Democrat, is also blatant hypocrisy on our parts. We rip Laura Bush to shreds over her ability to skate past a negligent manslaughter charge when she ran over her boyfriend, so why do we let Kennedy get off with this incident? C'mon, the rescue officer who examined the scene surmised that Mary Jo probably lived upwards of two hours in a pocket of trapped air before dying of asphyxiation. If Kennedy had done the right thing and contacted the emergency personell rather than worrying about his reputation, Mary Jo would quite possibly be alive today. Instead she is dead, and Kennedy was able to get away with murder, another in a long line of the rich and powerful who have gotten away with various crimes.

I agree with you that the RWers bring this up entirely too often, but I can see why they do, it is a blatant piece of hypocrisy on our part. But then again, they tend to ignore the crimes swept under their own rug too, and thus both groups are hypocrites. Perhaps we should work hard to eliminate such hypocrisy, it would probably do our country a world of good.

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tatertop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. I wish he would have tried to save her
At the time he was probably too drunk to know if he
was duck or goose. And yes, he really pulled some strings,
and skated.
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Tomee450 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. Why should we keep talking about
an incident that occurred many years ago in which only two people were involved. One is now dead the other told his story which may or may not be true. No one knows. So what do we do, keep hounding Kennedy? That incident is in the past. Since that time he has done a lot of good, often fighting for the poor and minorities. He is a staunch supporter of Civil Rights and seems to genuinely care about this country. I say leave that incident in the past. This reminds me of the attempts to hound Robert Byrd because of his membership in the KKK. That happened many years ago also and I don't believe his membersip in that organization should always be thrown in face either.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Well, for one thing this involves murder, negligent manslaughter.
And once again it highlights a huge problem in this country, specifically that there is one set of laws for the rich, and the another for the rest of us. In addition, there is a matter of hypocrisy here. It shouldn't matter whether Kennedy is a Republican or Democrat, or what good works he has done since, what should matter is that through his actions an innocent life was lost. And not only did he attempt to cover it up, but it is highly probable that while he was starting to cover up the incident, this woman was alive and fighting to stay that way. If Kennedy wasn't so concerned about what the personal ramifications would be, and instead if he would have done the right thing and contacted emergency services ASAP, it is very very likely that Mary Jo would still be alive today. Instead, her life was sacrificed on the alter of Kennedy's reputation. I'm sorry friend, but that is wrong no matter how you spin it.

And the comparison to Byrd is an unreasonable one. Byrd didn't kill anybody with his actions. Kennedy did, and he never, ever paid the price for it. Instead we was rewarded with an ongoing position of power, and like a lot of the rich and powerful, never made to face the consequences of his actions.
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Catrina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. From what I've read about that accident
it certainly was NOT murder!! Where did you get that? According to some reports, he may have been set up to give her a ride and the brakes fixed in order to cause an 'accident' which was meant to kill him. He may well have thought that, considering by then, they had killed two of his brothers.

According to his own testimony, he did try to save her, but could not. Why do you automatically dismiss that? I believe he probably was drunk, but I aslo believe he tried to get her out of the car and failed, then panicked. It is a tragedy, but an accident.

My SO was killed in an accident five years ago, by someone who had nine suspensions on his license. We did not request that he be charged even with manslaughter because it was an ACCIDENT. Iow, the person who was responsible did not intend to cause the death of another person. In our opinion, there was no point in destroying the lives of another family, one family was enough. This happens, tragically, every day.

And, btw, if we are to call what happened in that accident 'murder' or 'manslaughter', should we not call what happened in the Laura Bush accident murder or manslaughter also?
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. It wasn't premeditated, but it certainly was murder or manslaughter
Through sheer negligence and by walking away. Yes, Kennedy did indeed try to rescue Mary Jo, for fifteen or twenty minutes according to his own statements. Then he dragged himself out of the water and walked back to the compound, in his own words, to get help. Well, there was a family named Dike, who lived well within sight of the bridge, and they had their light on. Why didn't he stop there and call? Why did Ted walk right by the house of the fire chief, which was lit, and the fire station? What better place to get help for Mary Jo?

No, no, the kind of help Teddy was looking for wasn't for Mary Jo, it was for himself, for the first people he contacted when he got back to the compound wasn't the police or fire dept, it was his lawyers! In fact Ted didn't contact the authorities about the incident until ten hours after the fact. Meanwhile, according to the rescue diver and coroner who investigated the scene and the body, Mary Jo was still alive in the car, breathing the air that was trapped in the overturned vehicle. Unable to free herself, she died of asphyxiation, as the O2 she was breathing slowly became polluted with the CO2 she expelled. It was thought by those who investigated that she could have been alive for up to two hours in the car, plenty of time for a rescue if Ted hadn't been so fucking concerned about his reputation.

The crash of the car was indeed an accident, albeit one committed by a person who was so drunk that it was a crime for him to be behind the wheel. But walking away and not notifying the proper authorities immediately, well friend, that's murder, plain and simple. Ted Kennedy left that poor woman to die, and instead of doing the right thing and contacting the authorities, he instead sat down with his lawyers to try and either cover up the matter, or at least minimize the impact that it would have on his life and career. And as he was doing all of this, the minutes passed, and the air that Mary Jo was breathing became ever more polluted, until she finally died.

As far as Laura Bush goes, yes, she should have to face justice also, just like Ted. What I'm getting at here is the matter of hypocrisy. The first type of hypocrisy is that there is a double standard in this country when it comes to the enforcement of the law. If you are rich and powerful, like Ted and Laura, you rarely have to face the consequences of your actions, while the rest of Americans have to face the full brunt of the law when we break it. The second hypocrisy I'm addressing is that of giving a pass to somebody on their obvious wrongdoings just because they have a D behind their name. We should be morally honest with ourselves that we can hold all people to the same legal standards, no matter the socioeconomic status, or what the political affiliation is. Sadly though, that sort of hypocrisy is all too alive and well in this day and age.
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. Strange that she was able to position herself to breathe, but not escape.
That strikes me as kinda odd.

If everything you say is true, then the hypocrisy you speak of with regard to the D is indeed worth examining. Still, this was a long time ago, and Ted Kennedy has worked to help a lot of people since then.

I don't know that I would give him a pass, but I would not pass judgment either.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. Not strange at all
I've worked car/water rescues and it is easy to get trapped in a car that is fully or partially submerged. Feet get tangled, doors won't open, person doesn't have the strength or position to break a window, all of the scenarios and more have take more than one life.

And as you said, just because he has done good since then still doesn't give him a pass. But unlike you, I do pass judgement on the man. His negligence and attempts to cover it up killed an innocent woman. He should have to answer for that crime, but sadly in this day and age, the rich get away with murder simply because they are rich. It is an age old tale, often told. But that still doesn't lessen the outrageousness of it.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. At the time of Laura's accident, her family was NOT rich and powerful.
Here father had started a homebuilding company from scratch and had built it up until they were upper middle class affluent, but NOT rich and high society.

Also, at the time, they were Democrats. Laura even volunteered as a "McGovern Girl".

Her accident was a tragic accident by a 17 year old girl, and nothing more. To try to use it for political advantage, and spin conspiracy theories about it hurts the progressive cause.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. Funny that you're coming after me,
When most of what I'm dealing with here is Ted Kennedy's little "faux paus", and the hypocrisy of how those with money and power play by a different set of rules than the rest of us. So why are you busting my chops over Laura.

And believe me, "upper middle class affluent" can get you out of many a jam friend, whether you're Democrat or Republican.

Things that make you go Hmmm!
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. Attacking Laura now, for her accident then, hurts the progressive
cause. Many people don't seem to understand that.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. Ah, so calling people on their hypocrisy hurts progressives?
Sorry friend, I don't buy that, and I don't think many other people will either. Hypocrisy, no matter who is committing it, no matter what the time frame is, needs to be exposed.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. No hypocrisy. A teenager had a tragic accident.
Do you want every teen that has a tragic accident jailed? The case was handled in the manner that was normal for Texas in 1963. No special favors. Since I lived in Texas back then, I remember how things were done in small towns. It was an accident, pure and simple, and did not call for anything more.

To attack her now, trying to make it sound like she gleefully murdered an ex-boyfriend (Actually, I think he was still her boyfriend, but I don't feel like doing the research on it.)because she is married to W, shows progressives in a very bad light. It is simply hate and venom, and that drives moderate voters away.

Progressives are supposed to stand for fairness, even to our political enemies.
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #23
39. you're taking a lot for granted
no one really knows what happened. I answer all such accusations with "no different from Laura Bush skating with vehicular Homicide"
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. And that is what I'm trying to point out friend
It is the hypocrisy of the rich and powerful that is galling, no matter whether it is Ted Kennedy or Laura Bush. We can't call out one for their actions without calling out the other, otherwise it is we who are the hypocrites.

And we know enough of what happened that we can fault Kennedy for trying to cover his own ass first and foremost while an innocent woman was dying. I'm sorry, but there is no excuse for not immediately calling the authorities, it is called being responsible. When somebody is in trouble, and you are responsible for that trouble, then you do what you can to help them out, not worry about your oh so precious reputation.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
15. At least Ted Kennedy has done a lot of good for...
this country since then, what has Laura Bush done, oh yeah she gave us 2 more Bushes!
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tatertop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. I think he is basically a good man who works for the people
Sure can't fault him there.
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Arkana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
16. It's right up there with the "Clinton gotted hisself blowed by MONICA!"
response. It's purely knee-jerk for those morons, because I'm convinced they don't know any other Dems besides Bill, Hillary, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Alan Colmes, or ZigZagZell Miller (R-Actually).
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
19. Or maybe around the same time Bush got busted for Driving Drunk?
Maybe when Cheney was busted for Driving Drunk?

Hmm...
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DelawareValleyDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
20. In addition to Laura Bush
Remind them of Republican Governor turned US Representative Bill Janklow, who killed a motorcyclist by running a stop sign and received a minimal sentence.
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second edition Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
22. I'm sick of it too! Then again, repubs aren't progressive thinkers,
they just keep repeating and regugitating the same old things.
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ck4829 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
24. How about the Bush-Iraq Reflex?
Bush blew up Baghdad because he said Iraq had WMD.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
27. That's a great rejoinder!
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
28. I never knew it was her boyfriend after they broke up.
Is there a definitive version of the story somewhere?
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Sugarcoated Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Madhound -
Well said. I'm a diehard liberal, but wrong is wrong. He should have paid for that and didn't. No comparisons, no excuses. But his contituents look the other way and keep voting him back.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
31. :"Flawed" people in office on both sides of the aisle
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 02:17 PM by SoCalDem
Kennedy was having an affair..was drunk..and was a KENNEDY.. Those were heady times.. he was afraid of the bad PR, and was so drunk, he did not think rationally..

His good deeds since may have helped him atone, but the facts are what they are.. MJK died as a result of his negligence, and he was responsible.. his family name and connections prevented him from doing jail time, and allowed him to lead a public life, but that scab will always be there, and the repubes are World Class Scab-pickers..
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
34. Laura Bush is allowed to make a gigantic mistake since she's a Rethug.
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cassiepriam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
37. You know the repugs are in trouble when they dust off that old scandal
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 03:06 PM by cassiepriam
... what next, teapot dome?
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
42. Why does the right hate the Kennedy family so much?
I've heard such loathing and spiteful things coming out of the right about that family and I honestly don't get it.
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