Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Friday, August 28, 2009

Et Tu, John, Robert, Martin?

I swore there would be no more mention of Ted Kennedy’s demise on this blog. But then this Huffpo post started making the rounds, with such a ludicrous premise,  for such a ludicrous punch line that a response is called for.

Here’s the money quote:

We don't know how much Kennedy was affected by her death, or what she'd have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history. What we don't know, as always, could fill a Metrodome.

Still, ignorance doesn't preclude a right to wonder. So it doesn't automatically make someone (aka, me) a Limbaugh-loving, aerial-wolf-hunting NRA troll for asking what Mary Jo Kopechne would have had to say about Ted's death, and what she'd have thought of the life and career that are being (rightfully) heralded.

Who knows -- maybe she'd feel it was worth it.


The premise of the article being that Kopechne’s tragic accident was the progenitor of Ted Kennedy’s career. That it drove him to become one of the biggest champions of civil rights, disability rights and gender equality in the history of the world;  and drove him to work so hard he single-handedly passed legislation making them law. So maybe, just maybe, even Mary Jo would have felt it was all worth while.

By the same logic, perhaps we could argue that the death of Martin Luther King drove Teddy to become the staunch supporter of civil rights he became in the Senate. Was his death perhaps “worth it” too, then?

And how about  his brothers John and Robert? We could argue that party boy Ted might never have felt the compunction to become a Senator in the first place if,  indeed,  his brothers had lived to establish the Kennedy noblesse oblige tradition.

Perhaps then their murders were “worth it”  too?

I’d like to be the first to volunteer Ms. Lafsky for Obama’s “Death Panel”, which of course isn’t really in the Bill that no one’s read yet. Although the requirements and standards for filling the positions have not been established yet, I’m certain she will qualify.