Update: Since banging this out, I saw these articles (one, two) which lay out plainly that Kennedy was a bigger enemy of labor than I had previously thought.
The proximal impetus for this rant was the nauseating suggestion made repeatedly by national media in mid-verbal fellatio that health care was the "cause of [Ted's] life." Let's make one thing sparkling clear - the cause of Ted's life was emptying the next Scotch bottle, preferably with a working class girl from the office pool who won't go blabbing perched upon what passed for his Jabba "lap."
Something is severely wrong with a country that sends a bloated, soused clown like this to the Senate for 47 years, interrupted only by the Grim Reaper. How do you get re-elected to office six times after drowning a woman and not reporting it for several hours?!
I keep reading about how much "liberals" loved this guy. I'm a liberal and the vast majority of my friends are liberals and I have never heard a single one of them make any statement whatever about him, even in passing. Certainly nothing positive. I think here we mean the mass media Beltway "liberal," which is to say a registered Democrat millionaire who thinks that condoms should be legal and isn't entirely opposed to rock'n'roll. Anything left of that apparently doesn't exist.
I hope this is a nail in the coffin of the whole Kennedy klan bullshit, in which Catholics in general and Irish Catholics especially traded the rights and advantages of working people in every other industrialized country for pseudo-representation by and vicarious worship of a billionaire family of playboy fuck-ups. Who needs a minimally functional political party that sees to it that your kids are well educated and grandma can get the operation when you can hang framed pitchures of the Kennedy boys next to that other fraud with a hand in your pocket, the Pope, and vicariously thrill to the thought that this time it's a papist knockin' back a $100 booze bottle on a speedboat while rapin' the maid and gettin' away with it? "Take that, Dan Quayle!"
The Kennedys did for Irish-American image what Flavor Flav does for Black History Month. One would hope that the most famous Irish family in the US wouldn't be a bunch of 1840s cartoon bogdwelling alcoholic misogynist apemen who seem to prove in incident after incident that the big houses with the nice dinner forks should be reserved for WASPs. But that's what we got.
After some questionable financial gains by their two elder generations, the Kennedy brothers were installed in government positions that could have been occupied by honest citizens through shady, corrupt backroom deals because they could apparently keep the corporate profits flowing while looking the part of youthful reformers (this should sound familiar to 2008 voters...) John Kennedy was elected to office (well, probably not elected; read up on Illinois 1960) based in the lie that the US had fewer planet-killing missiles than the Soviets. He spent the next three years chucking Eisenhower's warnings about the military-industrial complex in the toilet, drastically increasing the weapons budget at the expense of everything else, pushing the planet to the brink of nuclear war, ramping up the Vietnam war, invading Cuba to reinstall our business-friendly dictator, and kicking the civil rights movement to the curb.
When you look at what LBJ did on most of those issues (Vietnam aside), the "tragedy" becomes that Lee Harvey Oswald dragged his feet getting to the Texas Schoolbook Depository.
Teddy got Johnny's seat because he needed a job and we live in a plutocracy. Likewise talk was that glassy-eyed debutante Caroline Kennedy was somehow owed a position in government by dint of her surname, which is 180 degrees in opposition to the ideals of the American revolution.
Quoting The Buffalo Beast, which last year named her one of the 50 Most Loathsome People in America:
"Charges: A limp, lifeless, murmuring slouch whose dearth of vivacity makes
John Kerry look like Richard Simmons, Kennedy has the apparent focus and charm
of a shock therapy victim on Haldol. If the Kennedy name (and fundraising pull)
can carry this passive princess into the Senate, it could get a bottle of fish
sauce elected. At least fish sauce doesn’t say “y’know” every three seconds.
Exhibit A: “I’ve spent a lifetime growing up around public policy
issues.” Her dad died when she was 5.
Sentence: Badly injured in a car crash, Kennedy is rushed to the
hospital, where she is attended to by a guy whose dad was an excellent
We are instructed to weep for our billionaires. Poor Teddy, poor Lady Di. Life was so hard on them. You and I, on the other hand, are expected to stoically receive the thousand cuts and indignities of workaday life without so much as a whimper.
Teddy was in the Senate since 1962 and in that time pretty much every social and economic indicator for America's poor and middle classes got worse. This fat fucking fraud never, not in 47 years, attempted any Mr. Smith Goes to Washington neck-sticking-out for the poor or even middle class, provided you can claim that the remote chance of losing a job and salary he never needed in the next election cycle of a six-year term would be "sticking your neck out" in any meaningful sense of the term.
My "favorite" fraud of his, and of the Democrats broadly, would be that in non-election years only, stretching back to when minimum wage was less than $4/hour, Teddy would trot out a stillborn bill to raise it a bit, and then claim that when his other fat millionaire pigs in the Senate killed it that that was the best he could do. Then he'd take his four-month government job vacation on his 6,000 foot yacht and all would be forgotten until the next charade 23 months later. Meanwhile people working 40+ hours/week got evicted, went bankrupt from doctor bills and ate ramen far too many times to be healthy.
More stunning: in the 17 years leading up to his 2004 race for president, fellow demi-billionaire Massachusetts senator John Kerry voted against the Kennedy minimum wage bill 8 of 9 times, the ninth being the one right before the election. In Europe these people would be burned in effigy, if not in fact. Let them eat ramen.
Just a reminder: Ted Kennedy drowned a woman in a DUI and lied about it, then years later an apparently pants-optional Teddy covered for his degenerate Kennedy klansman when he raped a woman. This is the guy I'm supposed to feel sorry for, because I'm a liberal!
Come to think of it, leaving you in the car to drown while he swims to safety is about the best metaphor for the Kennedys' economics record possible.
I'm also a bit tired of hearing about the "Kennedy wit" or the "Kennedy charm." For the life of me I can't recall any of these people saying or doing anything remotely amusing. Maybe they toss you a few bons mots while buggering you..?
The final word is from my favorite Kennedy of any variety, Jello. Because there's always room for Jello.