In Memoriam Senator Edward M. Kennedy—Joe`s Early Obituary
August 07, 2009, 05:00 AM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF

When word leaked out that the Associated Press wrote Britney Spears' obituary in December 2007, the news caused a minor debate among journalists. [Exclusive: The AP Has Written Britney Spears' Obituary, US Magazine, January 17, 2008]

While writing early obits about famous figures like Frank Sinatra or Ted Williams who are old or in poor health is common, the feeling in some quarters is that premature death notices about young personalities like the 26-year-old Spears is ghoulish.

AP defended its action by correctly saying that the singer was an emotional wreck who could at any moment commit suicide or, given her terrible driving record, pile her car into a telephone pole.

Obviously, Spears' obituary was never published.

But I'm not going to let the risk of bad taste accusations stop me from posting my obituary of the still-living Edward M. Kennedy. I'm quite certain our loyal VDARE.COM readers will not be offended.

Kennedy, of course, was the floor manager of the 1965 Immigration Act, which unleashed mass immigration again after a forty-year lull in which there was virtually no immigration at all. He gave the most explicit assurances that this would not happen, but it did, and he has never shown the least remorse. In fact, he was a key ally of the Bush Administration in its efforts to amnesty illegals and further expand legal immigration.

And over the span of several years, our letter writers have been at least as critical of Kennedy as VDARE.COM's editorial collective.

Here's a sampling.

  • A California lawyer recalled when Kennedy cheated on a basic Spanish test while a Harvard undergraduate.

  • A Maryland blogger reminded us that as much as Kennedy loves refugees, you won't find any on Martha's Vineyard.

  • A Colorado photographer found Kennedy's philandering with women half his age disgusting

  • A New Jersey programmer speculated that Kennedy is one of few Americans who don't have to wait in emergency rooms. His beloved illegal aliens have overcrowded hospital waiting rooms making delays inevitable for citizens

  • A Massachusetts reader confirmed that Kennedy didn't have to wait—but her sister did.

  • A Michigan Roman Catholic wondered why Kennedy's immigration enthusiasm wasn't dampened when Sirhan Sirhan killed his brother Bobby.

  • An Arizona senior citizen doesn't understand why Kennedy's Senate colleagues admire him.

  • A Nevada reader thinks that Kennedy has little influence outside New England.

  • An Alabama reader called Kennedy a "bloated leech" and a "limousine liberal."

  • A Texas Reader said the Irish illegally in America who can't get amnesty should blame Kennedy for his role in the 1965 Immigration Act that gave preference to the Third World residents over white Europeans.

By all accounts, Kennedy is near his end. The tabloids, chillingly accurate in their death predictions, give him a few weeks at the most.

One year ago when the announcement came that Kennedy's inoperable brain tumor put him on the death watch list, immigration reform patriots found themselves in the awkward position of having compassion for a fellow human suffering from terminal cancer and quiet relief that one of our worst enemies would no longer take his Senate seat to vote in favor of keeping the alien floodgates open.

Not many of us, I'm sorry to surmise, prayed for Kennedy's miraculous and speedy recovery.

As I wrote in my May 2008 column, Kennedy has lived a blessed life that began at birth and continued right up to his last days. No matter Kennedy's sexual, boozy transgressions, most Americans always found a way to forgive him.

Kennedy's first political opponent, 1962 Senate candidate Edward McCormack summed up Teddy best: "If your name was simply Edward Moore instead of Edward Moore Kennedy, your candidacy would be a joke." [The Ascent of Ted Kennedy, Time Magazine, January 10, 1969]

Only five years after Kennedy trounced McCormack, the new Senator's wealth, fame and connections allowed him, infamously and unjustly, to avoid a vehicular manslaughter charge related to Mary Jo Kopechne's tragic death.

Kennedy's plea to a lesser charge of leaving the scene of an accident resulted in a suspended sentence.

During the four decades since Chappaquiddick, Kennedy has never been able to convince the public or investigative reporters to believe the hole-filled story he told the day afterwards. [Fortieth Anniversary of Mary Jo Kopechne's Drowning at Chappaquiddick...Kennedy's Story Still Doubtful, by Dave Gibson, Examiner.com, July 17, 2009]

While Mary Jo Kopechne is the female most often associated with Kennedy, she is not the only woman whose life he ended. His first wife Joan, an accomplished pianist with a master's degree in education, also fell victim to Kennedy's destructive ways.

Joan was part-time model used in television commercials by Coca-Cola and Revlon. Kennedy men nicknamed Joan "The Dish" because of her striking looks. But her sheltered upbringing in upscale Riverdale, NY did not prepare Joan for her future life as a Kennedy.

During her 24-year marriage, Joan miscarried three times including one child in the aftermath of the Chappaquiddick tragedy.

The cause of her third loss may have been that Joan, confined to bed during her latest pregnancy, nevertheless dutifully attended Kopechne's funeral and Teddy's court appearance three days later.

Summarizing the Chappaquiddick experience that she believes started her deep personal decline, Joan told Laurence Leamer, the author of The Kennedy Women, "For a few months everyone had to put on this show, and then I just didn't care anymore. I just saw no future. That's when I truly became an alcoholic." [The Fall of Joan, by Michelle McPhee and Dave Wedge, Boston Magazine, August 2005]

What followed for Joan were several public incidents of drunkenness and DWIs. As a result of her ongoing struggles with alcohol, her three children were eventually granted legal guardianship.

Since Joan's parents had also been alcoholics, no one can determine with certainty what role Teddy may have played in Joan's tragic downfall. But we can be sure that life with Teddy might have precipitated Joan's decline from a young woman who was once described by Leamer as "a total innocent" to a falling-down street drunk.

I have written a frank account of Kennedy's failings which mainstream posthumous tributes will gloss over.

However, I must warn you that maudlin Kennedy obituaries have already started. Last month, HBO broadcast it 90-minute documentary titled Teddy: In His Own Words.

In its promotion for the special HBO advertised it this way:

 "...deftly combines the Senator's own voice culled from past commentary, speeches and public and private sources with archival newsreel and television footage, iconic photographs and rarely seen archival footage, such as home movies and photographs, to tell the sweeping saga of Teddy Kennedy.

 "What emerges is a portrait of a crusader who has kept his eye on the most important public goals, from civil rights and desegregation to minimum wage and health reform, despite a series of personal tragedies and crises.

 "As the film shows, none of these setbacks derailed his career, and the rejuvenating bonds he shares with members of his illustrious family continue to this day."

If you share my interest in presidential political history, you'll enjoy HBO's perspective especially as it pertains to John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

And you'll get a timely laugh out of Kennedy's 1978 prediction that the Democrats under his leadership would bring national health care to Americans.

But to call Kennedy a "crusader," or a "minimum wage" and "civil rights activist" is ridiculously far off the mark.

Kennedy "crusaded" for illegal immigration (he promotes it in two different clips in the HBO special) which directly conflicts with the interests of working Americans and keeps the minimum wage at artificially low levels.

Illegal immigration also hurt black Americans by limiting their access to blue collar jobs. That's hardly the route a true civil rights "crusader" would take.

In addition, Kennedy voted for every non-immigrant worker visa bill put in front of him.

And as far as Kennedy's "illustrious family" goes, VDARE.COM readers have weighed on this subject also.

                A retired New York government worker found Caroline Kennedy sorely lacking in all respects in her thwarted Senate bid.

                A New York accountant pointed out that Caroline's cousin Patrick, an eight-term Rhode Island U.S. Representative, has an F immigration grade.

As Kennedy nears the end of his life, our objective is first to steel ourselves against the mawkish propaganda that will follow his death.

The task will be challenging. But we can take comfort in knowing that while Kennedy may have fooled Massachusetts voters and his Democratic Senate cronies, we've known the truth all along.

Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.