American Thinker | Bob Weir | Aug. 30, 2009
“Death makes angels of us all,” wrote the author and poet, Jim Morrison. So it appears to be with the demise of the “Liberal lion of the Senate,” Ted Kennedy. The man whose life reads like a manual for bad behavior is, in death, being lionized by those who continue to repudiate his myriad transgressions. What kind of a country are we if we willingly blind ourselves to evil because it masquerades as virtue?
For the past 40 years our country has, from time to time, been influenced by a man most notable for fleeing the scene of a negligent homicide and attempting to have someone else take the blame for him. Even with the entrenched power of the Kennedys in Massachusetts, they couldn’t keep all the facts surrounding the drowning death of Mary Jo Kopechne from being publicized. God only knows what that poor woman went through as she waited in a watery grave, perhaps believing that the man who saved himself would come back to save her. If she expected a profile in courage from Ted Kennedy, she died disappointed.
When Kennedy drove off the Dyke Bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, his car landed upside down in 7 feet of water. Some ten hours later, when he had contrived a statement of the occurrence, the senator, who had been partying with the young woman and volunteered to drive her home, said he had been able to swim free of the vehicle, but wasn’t able to save his passenger. Evidently, he also wasn’t able to summon help from those who might have been able to save her life. In fact, he didn’t even report the accident until conferring with friends and aides who assisted him with his statement.
During that time, which records indicate took about ten hours, Ms. Kopechne remained in the water. Two amateur fishermen, who came across the overturned car about 8 am, the following morning, called authorities, who immediately sent a diver to investigate. During testimony at the subsequent inquest, the diver said the woman’s body was huddled into a spot where an air bubble must have formed. His interpretation was that she had survived in that bubble “for at least two hours down there.” Furthermore, he concluded that, had he received a call soon after the accident, “there is a strong possibility that she would have been alive on removal from the submerged car.”
Whenever I recall this tragic incident, what truly eats at me is the image of that woman huddled into a small space and struggling for each breath of life, while the coward who put her there was struggling to come up with an alibi to save his political future. How low on the evolutionary scale do you have to be to leave someone to drown in the dark, murky water, as you figure out an angle to free yourself of culpability?
The actions of Ted Kennedy that fateful night spoke volumes about the lack of courage and character in the man. The fact that he was continually reelected to his senate seat speaks volumes about the lack of character in the Massachusetts electorate. Rather than risk the loss of political power from a Kennedy, who could exert enough muscle to steer huge federal funds to the state, the voters evidently decided they could be bought, so they overlooked his pusillanimity as well as his misanthropy. Even the impact of that tragedy didn’t stop this womanizing sot from continuing his life of debauchery.
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