29 August 2009
This Just In: Kennedy's Death Bringing Out the Worst in Some
I was not a fan of most of Ted Kennedy's political endeavors, and I was even less a fan of the way he used his social and economic privilege to exempt himself from the rigors of life that all of us non-super-rich face. His condecension, combined with what was to me the inexplicable adoration, deference, and exemption from the normal rules of morality and decorum people showed him and his family, soured me on the entire lot.
But I would not say any of that out of respect for his passing, were it not for what I think is the obscene and disgusting things some people are saying upon his death.
Apparently Kennedy would joke--joke!--about what happened at Chappaquiddick, frequently asking whether people had "heard any new jokes" about it. As shockingly repellent as that is, some are treating it with a shrug of the shoulders, indeed as part of Kennedy's "charm." Others have the indecency to wonder aloud whether Mary Jo Kopechne would actually believe that the callous disregard for her life, the cover-up afterwards, and the pass most of the world gave Kennedy for his role in her death was all "worth it," given the great things Kennedy went on to do for the world.