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Location: Sitting inside a TV truck, Somewhere, more then likely in the Southeastern region, United States

I am a grouchy, bald headed old fart filled with opinions and not the least bit shy about sharing them.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Thoughts on Senator Kennedy

Tampa, Fl - It was interesting listening to all the talking heads eulogize and canonize Senator Kennedy after his death. The praise came from all corners of the media. This included praise from people that just the week before were extremely critical of his health care stance.

What makes this interesting is that I was alive during the events the talking heads hashed over. I remember the things he wanted to to do and the things he did. That makes it hard to believe that last week's talking heads went through the same time line as myself.

For balance let me tell you what I remember of him.

I remember a short drive off an even shorter bridge resulting in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. It is hard to forget the profound lack of prosecution for a DUI accident, leaving the scene of an accident and vehicular manslaughter. Just to make sure there is no mistaking the circumstances involved, let us not forget the Senator waited until the following morning to call his lawyer. Then he called the police. For some reason the thought of calling rescue personnel didn't cross his mind the night of the crash.

I remember the women. His antics with the fairer sex were legendary inside the Beltway, Cape Cod and around the Florida residence. A writer covering the Kennedy's Florida compound summed it all up several years ago when he said in a CNN interview, "What can I say? The Kennedy's like to get laid." There were several "tell all" books on the subject. A couple of payoffs made it into the public spotlight as well.

"Integrity is the lifeblood of democracy. Deceit is a poison in its veins" is a quote attributed to Senator Kennedy.  Sadly, those powerful words lose a great deal when considering the man that coined them is the same one that did the things listed above.

I remember the booze. Right after Bobby's death the spotlight focused on Ted. Commentators to comedians all focused on the Senator's legendary appetite for liquor. Liquor and parties with lots of women, awe struck by power. There's not really anything wrong with this. But the fact does lend itself to the next paragraph.

Most of all I remember the pass he got from the media back then and even through today on all these personal failings and more. There are two sets of rules for politicians. One for media pets like the Obama and Kennedy clans. And another set for those that really did some good in for our nation like Presidents Bush, Bush and Reagan.

Anyone under the second set of rules would have been out of public life for good on any one of the above items. But not Sen. Kennedy. He was too important to the movement to tarnish with these trivialities.

Lastly I remember the Senator's obsession with my guns. He wanted nothing more in his life then to take my guns from me and every other private citizen. It is understandable. Having two brothers killed by assassins with firearms might twist him a little. So he gets a partial pass on this one. But the end result was that Sen. Kennedy had absolutely no use for the second amendment and no respect for law abiding firearms owners.

So consider this little rant equal time and balance to all the praise we heard last week.

He wasn't a saint. No where near it. He was just a man pursuing his ideals and living life for all he could get out of it.

That's really not a bad eulogy when you think about it.


"I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones. So let it be with Caesar.

The noble Brutus hath told you Caesar was ambitious. If it were so, it was a grievous fault. And grievously hath Caesar answered it."
- William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2

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