Poll question: What really happened at Chappaquiddick?
Edited on Sat Jul-11-09 03:03 PM by CTyankee
With the 40th anniversary of this event coming up on July 18th, I thought we could explore what DUers think really happened. I am old enough to have remembered the incident well, and how torn I was about what went on that night. One theory at the time had it that Kennedy was not even in the car and Kopechne drove over the embankment into the water by accident. See http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,942138-2,00.html. I don't believe that Ted Kennedy "let her die" as the RW would have it; but I am not convinced that his story was completely true...
why does this incident always come up? It's as if that's all that ever happened in the life of Ted Kennedy.
How come we're not doing polls about how Chimpy Fucknuts stayed out of Vietnam, or how Cheney dodged the draft, or Newt's divorces, or - oh, take your pick?
This needs to be stopped. Enough is enough. The man's led an exemplary life, done more good than any of us will ever accomplish if we had a hundred lifetimes, and one tragic error - haven't we all made really big mistakes that shame us when we think of them? - should not define him.
58. I would agree with you except that it is such a part of our political culture
that it assumes a tragic stature (and perhaps that is generational). I remember being so profoundly affected by it. My very first vote was for JFK. His assassination was a hugely defining moment in my life and that of my entire generation. The same could be said for RFK's rise and his assassination. Then Chappaquiddick. It is very difficult for me to accept and even "hear" your complaint, altho I must because you have a generational voice that is equally as valid as mine, of course.
I agree with you, tho, that Kennedy has, through his devotion to public service, done SO much to help so many people that we should all be eternally grateful for him. I am not dissing him here. I WOULD like to get some insights on how history has judged him. Call it the "academic" in me...it's a worthy topic from that perspective, don't you agree?:hi:
65. I was a freshman in college in November of 1963 -
I was in South America when MLK, Jr. was murdered, and I had just landed in Miami for a short trip home when RFK was shot. I stayed in the airport for the whole night, until the news came that he had died.
Life-changing, yet. Transformational, yes.
I remember being at a classmate's uncle's vacation home in Rockaway when Teddy was in that plane crash, and I remember the conversation we had about a contract being out on the Kennedy brothers.
But, Chappaquiddick was not a big deal for me, not like the murders. To put it coldly, Kopechne had no meaning for me, an unfortunate girl who died, but no one who might have influenced my life. Plus, I was launching my own life, and the selfishness of the young can carry them a long way.
We have all made terrible mistakes, and I daresay none of us wants those mistakes periodically splashed across the front pages of web sites, newspapers, anyplace.
I'm not sure I agree that it's a worthy topic. It's certainly gossip fodder, and continues to be used by the rightwingnuts to prove how evil the Kennedys are/were. But significant? To Ted Kennedy and his family, of course. To the Kopechne family, absolutely. But, to the Americans story, I'm not sure it makes any kind of contribution. I don't know that it kept Teddy from running for President, because I vividly recall his being asked why he wanted to run, and he was stuck for an answer. I think he found his niche in the Senate, and did a splendid job there.
It's always a worthy topic to discuss, absolutely. We of that generation have a quite different set of perspectives on all of it, and, while I wish it had turned out so very differently, it's never boring..............
15. Because JFK and RFK were assassinated. Isn't it a little too convenient
that this happened to Teddy? After all, surely the American people would have finally become suspicious if a THIRD Kennedy brother were assassinated, right? So Teddy's reputation was destroyed. Political assassination, wouldn't you say?
Not saying I'm certain of this. But I'm suspicious enough to wonder...
20. Could be, but I have always suspected that Ted was very irresponsible in those days.
He was in the shadow of his famous brothers and drank an awful lot. He just seemed reckless to me, and I revered JFK and RFK.
At any rate, I also believe that the years that passed and his remorse and realization that he was the standard bearer for the family made him a better man and he devoted himself to public service as a result.
30. That doesn't really make a lot of sense to me.
Edited on Sat Jul-11-09 04:07 PM by CTyankee
I have seen a map that shows where the car started from and where it ended up. To get to the ferry taking them to Edgartown (where they were going) they would have to have turned left at an intersection. It was late and very dark and deserted. For some reason the car turned right and headed towards the embankment where it went into the water. The bridge there only takes you to a thin strip of beach (where you need to deflate your tires in order to drive on it). It makes sense to me that the turn left was either his mistake because he was too drunk to know better or that he wasn't in the car at the time. There was no reason for Kennedy and Kopechne to go to the barrier strip.
Chappaquiddick is not at all well lit. It is and has been very rustic and secluded. Only 30% of Martha's Vineyard is paved to this day! That's how they want it there...here is a map so you can envision it better http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl. You have to enter "Chappaquiddick" in the Search box, tho...sorry.
27. You do realize that JFK was assassinated while president and that RFK was
assassinated while RUNNING for president, right? So stands to reason that somebody might not like a Kennedy being president. With that incident, Teddy would never go higher than Senator from Massachusettes. And that's just the way republicans wanted it.
49. How astoundingly empty of actual content! Bravo and welcome!
To be frank, I'm not supporting or negating any view of yours, but if you want to last around here, you'll want to stick to the more relevant when supporting points. Being in Dallas doesn't make you an expert on JFK or the assassination any more than being in New York City, London, Madrid, Oklahoma City, etc. makes you an expert on terrorism.
54. I merely mentioned those facts to show that I was around then
and was paying attention. It is possible, I suspect, that some posters here were not. Are you suggesting that I must adhere to some particular set of allegations...like yours in particular...to avoid being tossed out of here? That's ...interesting to say the least.
Actually what I'm saying was two entirely separate statements, neither of which was snide. You can believe that or not, I couldn't care less.
The first is that the comment you made does not make you an expert. In fact the further comment you made still does not make you an expert. Just because you were alive means nothing in regards to the topic in debate. The fact is, few if anyone (myself included) here is truly capable of educated opinions on the topic discussed.
The second point is that you will of your own free will decide this place is not for you with comments in that vein. Certainly it isn't against any rules or regulations to say what you said, but there are those who will feast on that. It was me giving a friendly attempt at advice for a new poster so that you don't have issues with fellow posters in the future.
Clearly the advice was unwanted, so have a nice day anyways,
The film alludes to elements of the Watergate scandal and the JFK assassination.<4> The film also recalls elements of the Chappaquiddick incident,<3> although De Palma intentionally tried to downplay the similarities...
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy smiles and waves a bandaged hand from the back of an ambulance in this July 9, 1964 file photo, after being transferred from Northampton, Mass. to New England Baptist Hospital, in Boston to treat injuries sustained in a private airplane crash. Medical Corpsman Roger Eckert, of Buffalo, N.Y., left, helps the senator move. Kennedy underwent surgery Friday Oct. 12, 2007 to repair a partially blocked artery in his neck, which was discovered during an examination of a back injury from the 1964 plane crash.
31. Thank you SO much for that information and those links!!!!
I had a conversation with somebody here about this quite a while back, and now can't remember who it was. There was also something in the Nixon tapes that was quite suspicious. I wish I could remember...
If they (the pukes at the time were just as evil as today, they just didn't have talk radio, newspapers, cable tv and internets) don't assassinate by bullet, then by character weakness... ted drinking and the clenis. THey needed to get rid of all kennedys... with that in mind... what about jfk jr? tib
It happened to a young girl names Mary Jo. She died. Stop acting like Ted Kennedy was the victim here. If a Repub had driven his car off a bridge with a girl trapped inside, then failed to report the accident for many, many hours, everyone here would be calling for prison. Instead, Ted Kennedy's reputation was hardly destroyed. He stayed out of jail, and he has been in the Senate for 40 years since. Seems to me, his life has been just fine. Mary Jo Kopechne, however, has been dead for 40 years.
Furthermore, if it had been a set-up, how could "they" have predicted that the girl would die? Or that Ted wouldn't report the accident? No matter the cause of the accident, he was responsible for his actions afterward. There really isn't much of an excuse not to have reported it immediately, with rescue/recovery efforts started ASAP.
I think Kennedy is a phenomenal Senator. He also has to be a basically good person NOW or it would be difficult to explain the incredible affection that people like Senator Kerry have for him. (then his treatment of his wife was not good either.)
I don't see the need of some to make this into a conspiracy theory where he is innocent. That was not even his own story. You can argue the difficulties of his life, but this is still something he will always have in his past.
11. I thought that at the time but I was intrigued by the theory that he wasn't even there.
The theory was that Kennedy was driving Kopechne to the ferry to go back to Edgartown but stopped when he thought he was being followed by a police car. Kopechne, who didn't know Chappy very well, then turned right when she should have turned left and wound up going into the water next to a small bridge that connected Chappy with a narrow barrier island that wraps around to Edgartown. Kennedy walked to the ferry, not knowing what happened to her.
9. Let's see.... they killed JFK. They killed RFK.......
Anybody ever consider the fact that "someone" might have been trying for a "sweep" and eliminate the last Kennedy brother before he became a threat (perhaps by calling for investigations into the murder of his brothers).
And hadn't Teddy already survived a plane crash by this time?
:tinfoilhat: Tinfoil? Not really by much, in this case.
80. Well, since I am a liberal grandma at age 69, who cast her first vote for for JFK in 1960
I find your post very funny. And ever since then I have worked for Clergy and Laity Concerned for Vietnam, the ACLU in New YOrk, the ACLU in Washington, DC, the League of Women Voters (D.C headquarters) and Planned Parenthood of CT.
Would you care to question this, my dear Sebastion? Any time...take your time...:hi:
33. nobody died when Clinton had his affairs. This is different.
So we can't be too cavalier about this. However, I do put some credence in the theory that he wasn't there by the time the car went into the water and that it was just an accident. His story didn't make too much sense...
36. Well that's true, of course and I didn't mean to imply it was different in any substantive way
with respect to the sociopolitical upshot. If he wasn't there, he never did manage to produce evidence for that allegation. Bottom line, I thought he was sufficiently penitent for essential absolution -by me, anyway-. I have no idea how it played with the unknown and unseen magicians of the universe.
64. I thought the official line, after modern forensics,
was that Kennedy was a passenger, not the driver.
It doesn't bother me, and I can see why some people don't want to hear about it anymore, and that's all fine, but we Democrats always seem to let the repugs bully us in discussions like this. Senator Byrd and his participation in the KKK is another tale always being brought up by them--Dems don't seem to have the backbone to trade stories one-on-one, and while I attribute that to our superior propensity of turning the other cheek, it makes us look particularly wishy-washy in appearance.
We've been in these situations so many times, and no one has stepped up to the plate and tell the repugs off, in public, and settled the topics right then and there. If we can't do that, they will continue to spew their worst, and make us look like cowards ad infinitum.
I'm so sick of Democrats who can't take it - Harry Reid is their poster boy.
I want Democrats to be ballsy and get down there and slap together the tits of those rightwingnut assholes. That's what I want. We've got a lot more on theirs than they ever had on any of ours..............
Ted Kennedy almost died when his light airplane crashed in early 1964, killing the pilot and an aide to the Senator. Kennedy broke his back in the "accident." Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Ind. and father to present D-Ind.) kept Kennedy alive overnight in the sub-freezing temps.
...I met a local who I became friends with. The skinny ~~ supposedly ~~ is that at the time of the accident, he was not in the car. Long explanation to this ~~ which I forget most of, so I will not post ~~ but I recall from all the evidence presented to me, I fully agreed with what was said.
83. I read the book on this called "The Bridge at Chappaquiddick."
Edited on Sat Jul-11-09 07:51 PM by CTyankee
The theory was that he got out of the car because a police car was following him and Kopechne. He didn't want to be seen with her. So he got out and she continued on but she turned right instead of left (to get to the ferry to Edgartown) and ended up in the water at the little bridge at Chappaquiddick going to the sand spit.
It kind of makes since if you think about it. To think differently, you would have to accept that Kennedy went all the way to the little bridge, left it after the car sank, walked all the way back to the ferry, etc.
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