Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Senator Edward Kennedy has died. He was 77. The last remaining son of Joseph and Rose Kennedy and their youngest child, Ted Kennedy lived to see the deaths of his brother Joe, during an ill fated bombing mission in World War II, and brothers John and Robert at the hands of assassins.

Ted Kennedy had many "finest hours" including epic battles in the Senate, his "The Dream Lives On" speech conceding defeat to President Jimmy Carter at the 1980 Democratic National Convention and many others.

But for us, Ted Kennedy never stood taller then when he eulogized his last surviving brother- Robert, in June of 1968 in New York:

My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.

Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.

As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him:

"Some men see things as they are and say why.
I dream things that never were and say why not."

Edward M. Kennedy was many things, but today we remember this: he was a great American.


attract wealth said...

What a fine quote attributed to Robert Kennedy.

Teddy championed his causes with great conviction. He lived his purpose. That is a life well-lived.

May God bless his soul.


Anonymous said...

No he was not a great American. The man was a spoiled rich kid who was handed a Senate seat by his father. The man was a fraud. A few tidbits about this "great American."
1. He was expelled from Harvard for cheating. He was caught cheating not once but twice, the latter for paying another to take a Spanish exam for him. A great American.
2. He was cited for reckless driving 5 times while attending the University of Virginia. Once he was going 90 mph in a residential neighborhood with his lights off. A great American.
3. August, 1969. He drives off a bridge with poor Mary Jo Kopechne at his side. And how does this "great American" respond? He goes back to his hotel room, passes a fire station and two private homes, phones his lawyer, calls a friend, and then sleeps it off. He wakes up the next morning and goes back to the scene with some friends. One ought to read the testimony of his friend, Joe Gargan, detailed in a book called Senatorial Privilege. While Gargan and others swam to the car to try and rescue an already dead Mary Jo, Kennedy laid on the bridge muttering "Oh my God, what am I going to do now." The man was a disgrace, a rich kid who never grew up, who got by in life by his name. Ask yourself this: if the above had happened to anyone not named Kennedy, what would have happened. But then again, he is a Great American and the rules of life do not apply to him. I want to vomit!

Anonymous said...

And for a glimpse into the Massachusetts Senator's restaurant etiquette, check this out: http://sonsoftherepublic.blogspot.com/2005/08/waitress-sandwich-kennedy-dodd-style.html

batman said...

Edward Kennedy has been described today as a true story of a life of redemption. It was forty years ago the accident at Chappaquiddick, which took the life of Mary Jo Kopechne, occurred.

No politician in our history spent more energy, more time or more dedication to proving he was more than a single moment.

Who would have thought that the youngest and least mature of all his siblings would rise to such levels of admiration from friends and foes alike.

All of the Kennedys matured late. All suffered their own tragedies that shaped their lives. But Ted Kennedy had to suffer them all.

Truly now (as JFK said 59 years ago) "the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans" to lead us on. God Speed Ted Kennedy and thank you.

Anonymous said...

7:43, we know the answer to your question AssHole--and his name is George W. Bush. Fuck you!

Kennedey was a great human being who had flaws and made terrible mistakes. But, he took what he was given (I agree with you...given) and made good with it. He championed civil rights and the rights of the middle class and working poor. He did more good for this Country then the entire Bush clan ever dreamed of. Where Bush is responsible for the deaths of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of innocent people, Kennedy is responsible for the death of one. One is too much, but not beyond forgiveness you needle dick prick.

Anonymous said...

the fact that both RFK and Jfk die tragic deaths and Teddy Lives a long life is proof to me that there is truly no god looking out for us all.

Anonymous said...


im a dem. gave 1000 bucks to obama and i could not agree with you more.

Anonymous said...

Where's the "PD chaos" story? And why never write about the disgruntled people at the SAO?

Answer to both of the above:
Rumpole is a disgruntled former PD who is full of..... himself.

Anonymous said...

Mary Jo Kopechne can finally rest !

Anonymous said...

Kennedy authored or argued for legislation that ensured a variety of civil rights, increased the minimum wage in 1981, made access to health care easier for the indigent, and funded Meals on Wheels for fixed-income seniors. His other successes include reducing the voting age from 21 to 18, and Title IX, which gave women's athletics much better funding. A flawed man, but a great American.

Anonymous said...

Meh. Whatever.

RIP, drunky.

Anonymous said...

To 7:43--

Let me get this straight, becasue he has some moving violations and cheated on a spanish test (Harvard readmitted him after his army service by the way), this sponsor of the civil rights act of 1964, this tirless advocate for the poor, this constant champion of universal healthcare, this man who office was the incubator of almost every current power player in Washington DC, is not a great American. I would agree that the death of an innocnet woman at his hands is a sin for which he does not deserve absolution. But every great American has marks against them: from Lincoln, who despite the emancipation proclimation called Blacks and inferior race and activley tried to allow the border states to maintain slavery to prevent their sessation, to Franklin Roosevelt who led us through WWII but refused to bomb the train tracks leading to Auwshitz, LBJ who despite his work for civil rights also was complicit in the disaster that was the Vietnam war. I am sure to your ignorant republican ass, George Bush is great american. How many innocent people died from his war of choice. If anyone here should be sick, it is any one who has the misfortune of being in your life.

Anonymous said...

7:43 A.M. You sir (or madam) are an idiot. Ted Kennedy did more for americans than any senator in history. He was admired and revered by his colleagues in the Senate, both dems and repubs.

Anonymous said...

Admit it Rump, you have nothing on any PD scandal, you're a bunch of hot air.

Anonymous said...

Even if he was a criminal behind the wheel, he did many great things in the Senate and for that we call all be grateful.

Even most Republicans liked and respected him.

May Ted rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

Ted Kennedy did not "suffer his own tragedy", Batman. He created his, and created a tragedy for a lot of people, including his ex-wife, Joan, and the entire Kopechne family. If you ever take the time to read the details of what happened in Chappaquidick that night and thereafter you would be horrified. No one who knows any of the details of what that man did that night would dare call him a great American.

I actually share the same political philosophy as Ted Kennedy, but the fact is I actually live by those principles. Only for me it's a way of life, not a campaign slogan.

I hope right now he's at the gate of whatever place he's going to (I have my own opinion) and explaining to Mary Jo Kopechne why his political ambitions were more important than her life.

Anonymous said...


Pacificus said...

Was Ted Kennedy a perfect human being? No. Listening to right wing radio today and reading a couple of the posts on this blog make it apparent that he was a flawed human being. But he was a flawed human being with many accomplishments for his fellow flawed human beings. The voting right act of 1965. No child left behind. Minimum wage laws. The creation of Occupational and Safety Administration. De-regulation of key industries (trucking and airlines) under Reagan and many others. I've searched the web to find a single thing that Rush, Glen and Savage have accomplished for their flawed constituency and have not found a single thing. I hope that the annomymous posters on this blog who like to comment on the flaws of a great American like Senator Kennedy accomplis 10% of what he accomlished for his fellow Citizens. His final acheivent will come in Septermber when Health reform is passed in both the House and Senate as a tribute to this flawed human being.

R.I.P. Ted.

Anonymous said...

Ted Kennedy was a Kennedy and for that and that alone id love to have a drink with him. i would have even voted for him for that reason alone. most cool americans love the kennedy family and i place myself in that class. but let us not put the fat lush on a mantle- he did kill a chick then run from the scene of the crime. forgive yes but please don't forget that.

Anonymous said...


Well said.

Anonymous said...

One does not have to be blind to his past to call Ted Kennedy great.

What Ted Kennedy did 40 years ago was a disgrace. He was a spoiled drunkard who caused enormous harm to others.

Yet those who cannot escape 1969 are themselves blinded. It is what he did after that which made him great.

batman said...

1:33 p.m. - I'm sorry you ignorant, self- absorbed, unforgiving and self-indulgent asshole, but I think losing two brothers to assasination and another as a war hero, together with the cancer which took his son's leg, a sister and a nephew, (who was the heir apparent) who die in plane crashes, another nephew who dies in a skiing accident, and he himself suffers a broken back in a plane crash has suffered innumerable personal tragedies that would have broken a jerk like you in half.

He still rose from the ashes to mature and become a true statesman and national icon. He became the father and grandfather to his brother's children and grandchidren and carried the conscience of the nation on health care on his back for 37 years. The voting rights bill and medicare are among so many other victories for all Americans for which he is responsible.

Why don't you put away your self-righteous bull shit, and instead of raising matters, all of which happened over 40 years ago (probably before you were born), honor someone who will stand larger in his accomplishments than you could ever dream to. Your ingratitude makes you the disgrace.

batman said...

And the same goes for you 1:33pm I suspect both of you voted for all of the Bushes.

Anonymous said...

Ted hired Chris Lyons back in '69 and hence skated gracefully.

Anonymous said...

You are 36 years old, a US Senator. You drive off of a small bridge with woman in your car. You quickly escape. Knowing full well that there is a woman, a friend, a campaign worker for your dead brother,slowly drowning to death 15 feet from where you stand, you walk off non chalantly back to your hotel room leaving her to die. You could have easily saved her life by calling the police or stopping at the firehouse you walked past. But no. You put your self interest above saving a friend. Passing judgment on this conduct has nothing to do with one's politics. It is morally reprehensible, period. And it is not a youthful indiscretion. He was a grown man for God's sakes. So RIP Ted. But you sir, are a not a great American.

Anonymous said...

8:43 -

Be aware that Kennedy is responsible for a lot more than just one death. He was a leader of the gang of Dems who cut off funds in 1975 to the South Vietnamese government to fight the North - after all the US soldiers had gone home.

How did that work out? Ask the two and a half million Vietnamese and Cambodians who died as a result.

Teddy never had to account for that.

Anonymous said...

And look where Vietnam is today as opposed to where it would be if it were still in civil war.


Anonymous said...

As our aspiring president elect said, you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig. He could have been talking about ted kennedy.

Anonymous said...

Wow, so much anger.

You guys need to visit New England.

They loved Teddy up there.

Anonymous said...

Hey Asshole, It wasnt Ted Kennedy who killed the SE Asians; it was THEIR brothers and sisters. It aint the duty/job of the USA to protect every country from itself. IT was a bad war and we needed to get the F out of there.
D. Sisselman

Anonymous said...

Give me a fucking break. Kennedy was a great American. He was not convicted of a felony and even if it was mishandled, we all need to move on and simply recognize him for all he did.

Even John McCain loved him.

People, he is dead. Show respect.

May the Kennedy family enjoy knowing that even if he did some bad things, Teddy did lots of good things and he had my respect.

Anonymous said...

Ted Kennedy was an embodiment of many people. He had more than his flaws, some quite serious. He also has a long list of accomplishments from his storied political career.

Most importantly, he showed that even great persons have flaws, and even flawed human beings can accomplish great things. Judge him on his whole life, his long legacy, rather than just a few select moments.

RIP Ted.

sexy fan said...

Rumpole- I noticed you were up last night at 230 am posting on Kennedy's death. Couldn't sleep?

Rumpole said...

Dear Sexy: It is true I was up early (or late) when Senator Kennedy passed away.

Those who know me know I have a very rigorous routine: In bed by 9- up by 4:30; out for a run by 5 or the gym to lift. Then the exact same breakfast I have eaten every day for 1,387 days (which btw is NOT my record for eating the same thing in a row every day.)

I am to put it bluntly, OCD on many levels. For instance, I prefer to enter our REGJB at exactly the same time every day meaning I will sit in my car, time my walk, and loiter outside so I enter the screening area within 20 seconds of my preferred entry time.

I like to eat the same thing for lunch and dinner according to the day of the week. Tonight being Wednesday, I had sushi, grilled salmon, brown rice, and one beer. I have eaten that exact same meal on Wednesday nights for 78 wednesdays running, and 56 before that when an untimely vacation interrupted my streak.

The point is, for some unknown reason my daily rhythm and sleep cycle was severely interrupted yesterday evening, and I was up and I don't know why. Hopefully I can get back on track.

Rumpole said...

And as you may note, I am still up at 952, but blogging from bed, ready for sleep.

CAPTAIN said...


Perhaps Bill O'Reilly said it best, when he stated that he might not have agreed with everything Teddy stood for, but today, O'Reilly stopped for a moment and said a prayer for the Kennedy family. And he called out all the "pinheads" who were spouting such negativity on the date of Kennedy's death. O'Reilly said that they had no class and should show some respect.

Kennedy stood and spoke for all those Americans too small and poor to speak for themselves. He once stated that no man who works 40 hours a week and 52 weeks a year should ever live in poverty.

No one condones the 1969 accident and how he acted during and after it happened.

Look at his body of work over nearly 47 years in the US Senate and look at his commitment to our country and its citizens.

And then ask yourself: Have you committed yourself to doing "what you can do for your country"? He did, every day of his life.

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

Right, Sisselman. What's a few million dead Asians count for? Not for much as far as the liberal Dem majority in 1975 was concerned.

I don't care much for calling someone an asshole, but if the shoe fits, Sisselman, well.....

Anonymous said...

rumpole, wow, you're way too anal...my condolences

Batman said...

Now that we have heard the dreaded "liberal democrats" from 11:19, I am now prepared to announce that our favorite disbarred lawyer and resident lunatic "Jack Thompson" is back. Only a radical nazi like you, Jack, could post over and over again assailing the accomplishments and greatness of someone like Ted Kennedy.

Jack, crawl back in the hole from which you came. If there was ever an excuse for forced sterilization it is you.

Anonymous said...

Ted had a talent for hiring the most brilliant staffers in DC. His team always went on to excellent jobs, they combined great intelligence with progressive goals and humanity. That was the secret of his success as a senator. It's hard to tell that kind of detail from down here, but this was a well-known fact in DC.

Everybody knows his personal flaws, and they were large. But did you know that when he was in law school he babysat a friend's one year old so they could get the occasional date night. That one year old is now a partner in a big Chicago law firm. I'm sure there many little stories about him that won't ever get told.

Ted Kennedy was a complex person. He had a really messy personal life.For a long time, he drank alcoholically. He endured more than just about anyone in terms of personal loss. But he did his job better than anybody else on the Hill and he improved quality of life for every single person in this country.

Joy Reed said...

I was sad to hear of his death. My condolences and prayers go out to his family.

Anonymous said...

1:33 here. Batman, does it make you feel better to call people names? Are you so invested in your opinion that anyone who disagrees with you is an "ignorant, self-absorbed, unforgiving and self-indulgent asshole"? Is that because, like most bullies, you are unable to civilly disagree like an adult, and instead have to resort, much like the playground bad kid, to name-calling and sh*t-slinging. And since when does family tragedy excuse poor behavior? I lost a parent at a young age, and had many personal tragedies by the time I was 30, 7 years younger than your beloved senator was when he let Mary Jo Kopechne suck at an air bubble for over two hours until she drowned at his car--should I be able to use that as a reserve excuse for my behavior ever after? It's rather amusing how you rail about forgiveness and putting things in the past by stating that the murder of Mary Jo Kopechne happened over 40 years ago, but you excuse Senator Kennedy's behavior because of what happened in his past. Clearly, if you are a lawyer you're not a very successful one, as your arguments are flawed and not well thought out. By the way, I'm old enough to remember all of this, as I lived it; are you?

Lastly, I have voted strictly Democratic since the very first presidential election I was privileged to vote in. In addition, I actively participated in the campaigns for Clinton, Gore, and Kerry. What did you do for the democratic process?

If you're going to sling some more crap, come out from behind your cape, you coward. I'll tell you who I am if you reveal your identity. Then let's see who is self-righteous and lacking in accomplishments--I'm quite proud of mine.

Batman said...

1:33 - I have given serious consideration to your last missive and most respectfully decline. Not because disclosing my true identity is of any great consequence, execpt it may cut off my souces of information or interfere with certain professional relationships, but for other reasons.

I beleive nothing of what you say about your political leanings. Anyone who is a Democrat, voted and/or worked for the election of Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry would never be so narrow minded and self-absorbed as to deny that Ted Kennedy was a great American. Do we recognize his mistakes and flaws? Yes we do, but we do not overlook a life of redemption and service.

Try as you might to hide the true nature of who you are, I doubt to the very center of my Democrtaic soul that you are who claim you are. Go back to the pre-New Deal hole from which you crawled and leave those of us, who recognize greatness, alone with our grief.

Anonymous said...

Thanx for signing your name Mr. Hawk. I had a draft card I remmember the war. The Viets were trying to free themselves of western colonialism since the end of WW 1; we had no right to interfere in what was an indigenious rejection of colonialism.
D. Sisselman

Anonymous said...

Batman, I thought so. Only a coward hides behind venomous words and a mask. I know who I am and what I believe; I suspect you're still struggling.

Offer is still open, big mouth.

Sincerely, 1:33

Anonymous said...

Hey Batman. A great American? Check this out: http://men.style.com/gq/features/full?id=content_5585&pageNum=5. it is an article that appeared in GQ in 1990. Read carefully the part about the incident at La Brasserie. If you still think a life of redemption and service is enough to discount this incident as a reflection of the man's lack of class, then so be it. And speaking of redemption and service, there is a feeling among Kennedy admirers that a person can engage in the most despicable conduct, personal and criminal, but be forgiven so long as he votes the right way politically. Every Mary Jo Kopechne will be canceled out by a key civil rights or health care speech and so on. Ask yourself this: if the man had voted the same way Barry Goldwater or Orrin Hatch voted, would you still have the same dismissive attitude about his criminal conduct? And here is a piece of irony that one reader has touched upon but not realized. A lot of the civil rights bills that Kennedy supported would have passed anyway. It is silly to think that a 3 year Senator in 1965 could have had any influence on any legislation. He just went along for the ride. But not so for his sponsoring one of the most significant pieces of legislation in the past 100 years: the trucking and airline deregulation bills. This law affected more Americans combined than all the minimum wage/medicare/civil rights bills he voted on. Unlike those laws, it can truly be said that the deregulation bills would never have passed without Kennedy's support. In the 1970's and before, the price of air travel was fixed by the government. You probably remember the old TV ads that only mentioned service and hot looking waitresses. Air travel was then for the rich. But after deregulation, all that changed. Prices dropped dramatically and we had equality of the sky. Now, there is lousy service but at least you can fly from Miami to New York for $99.00. Kennedy opened up air travel to every American. Ditto trucking. Because there was now competition in the trucking industry, prices fell. Kennedy deserves the credit for single handedly changing these industries for the better. It was quite a legislative achievement which goes unnoticed because conservatives hate him and liberals are embarrassed that he supported such a free market based solution to a real problem. Each is blinded by ideology. Kennedy was opposed by the unions, his natural allies in many other causes. It is rather amazing that this part of his career is ignored. I believe that when the history of the transportation industry is written years from now when the ideological heat has cooled, Kennedy will be remembered more for his work on these bills than any other laws he supported