Category Archives: jack kennedy

A postmortem on the postmortem of Ted Kennedy

Have we passed the mourning period for Ted Kennedy yet? Since his name now appears in the press less than Princess Di, I assume we have. I did not want to seem disrespectful at the moment of the Senator’s internment, and I thought I should wait to see if my reflections of the moment would prevail over time. They did, and I assume it is now safe to be disrespectful.

You see, there was a moment in time that I thought the Kennedy industry would set aside their usual pompous self importance and their habit of putting everything in their lives (and deaths) to some partisan political advantage. They presume that somehow their personal affairs (no pun intended) are of epic historic proportions. If their family constitutes an American dynasty it should be appropriately known as the Dysfunctional Dynasty.

I was hoping for some dignity in the latest Kennedy nationalized funeral. Now, I said “dignity” – not to be confused with pomposity and grandeur. In that, they are without peers. To be brutally blunt, the funeral and the reporting thereof, especially the left wing blogs, made me puke – well, figuratively.

The objectives of the Hyannis Port public relations machine were three-fold. First, was the effort to sanitize a history of debauchery and immorality that characterized the youngest of the Kennedy boys to a greater degree than his older siblings. No small task, to be sure. Second, to advance his legislative agenda. Third, to create the illusion of good standing with his Catholic Church.

I know one does not usually delineate shortcomings in obituaries – although the most dramatically flawed public figures often find their peccadilloes noted along side the accomplishments in the public press –especially if they are conservative or Republican.

However, the Kennedy obits, written and spoken, created an entirely fictional character. Listening to one speaker after another delineating the biography of Kennedy, the man, I was unable to find anything recognizable from my 45-years of observation of his public life (and a few personal involvements with him). Funereal protocol aside, I must say, there was not much to admire about the man other than his successful grasp of fame, fortune and power.

The second mission of the Hyannis Port public relations machine was to put as much steam behind the faltering healthcare legislation as possible. The funeral was less a wake than a lobbying event. “Single payer” and “public option” were as common an uttering as the more conventional “doesn’t he look good” and “he will be missed.”

Any hope of solemnity and dignity, evaporated in the crassly political content of the various memorial events. The Intercessions portion of the high Mass (in which God is called upon to bless specific pleadings) became a roll call of his liberal legislative agenda. Apparently, the Lion of the Senate was channeling his political roar through his own requiescat.

Obituary after obituary favorably referenced Kenney’s political causes, with an array of political guests advancing the illogical notion that Kennedy’s demise should, for some reason, end opposition to the liberal agenda – especially the current healthcare bill. Some suggested that they should pin Kennedy’s name on H.R. 3200 as if that, in and of itself, would de-putrefy the proposal.

Thirdly, there was the painfully obvious effort to turn the apostate into a devout Catholic. I do not think Mother Theresa could have been deemed a more faithful Catholic than the dead Kennedy based on the eulogies.

The low point was the letter to the Pope from the dying senator, carried to His Eminence by none other than President Barack Obama – perhaps the most powerful messenger angel ever so deployed. Keeping with the Democrats’ and the Kennedy’s propensity for the grand scale lie, Kennedy introduced the President to the Pope as a man of enormously deep faith.—who, incidentally, is still trying to figure out where to attend church in D.C.

The epistle to the Pope was nothing less than a pre-posthumous, self-serving stunt to make Kennedy appear to be a devout Catholic. It, too, contained Kennedy’s legislative agenda. The letter carried to the Pope served both the legislative and the canonization purposes.

However, the Holy Father was to smart to be suckered into a backhanded absolution of Kennedy’s Catholic failures. Teddy received a reply from a staffer that was more or less a boilerplate “thanks for your letter” response, with a promise of some prayers on the Senator’s behalf — much like the letter my wife’s grandmother received posthumously from the previous Vicar of Christ via a staffer.

The grandeur of the Catholic funeral would suggest the demise of one of the Knights of Malta. The praise of powerful clerics reinforced the image. Kennedy’s own priest/confidant gave an obituary that was so biased that even the press called it an attempt to refute any critics who might question Kennedy’s devotion to and good standing with the Church of Rome. Not only was Kennedy given the appearance of a general absolution for his apostasy, but it was alleged that his separation from the Catholic Church never occurred.

Despite the best efforts of the powerful Kennedy media mill, there were hints of the bad Catholic Kennedy. In a sly political move, the funeral was shifted from the likely Boston Cathedral to a lesser church so there would be an excuse for Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley to take a pass on officiating. He had been under considerable of pressure from pro-life Catholics to reject a high ritual canonization-style ceremony. At Arlington Cemetery, it was retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick who did the honors.

Dealing with the letter from the Pope …er … not the Pope, the Kennedy media spinners began selling the notion that it is the tradition of the Pope to answer through underlings. Of course, this is true for all the mundane mail the Pontiff receives, but the Pope actually does communicate in writing when he see fit. He did not see fit in this case. Put in its proper perspective, the Pope showed more contempt than respect for the public relations gimmick.

According to the Catholic Church, anyone who engages in abortions, patient or practitioner, and anyone who supports abortions exists outside the Catholic communion. It is an excommunicable offense – beyond the simple matter of confession and absolution. Repentance and forgiveness requires a course correction. Senior Church theologians have placed the encouragement of abortions as an automatic excommunication. You will recall that when running for President, Senator John Kerry was denied communion for his stand on abortion.

It seems to me that no amount of power and money, and no level of corruption within the Church, can alter God’s mandates as Catholic teachings state and enforce them. On this issue alone, Kennedy cannot offer himself as a devout Catholic adherent. He may not have been a Catholic at all in the eyes of the true Church.

The Catholic Church’s bending to the power and money of the Kennedys has garnered it significant and well deserved disrespect. Bending dogma to accommodate Kennedy’s cash-on-the-barrelhead annulment of his 25-year marriage to his first wife and mother of his children; to overlook his stand on abortion, the Church’s most fundamental issue of the day; and to turn a blind eye to his public infidelity and his repeated tendency to cause scandal (another major Catholic no-no) have all harmed the Church more than it helped him. The Church’s granting him its highest rituals, honors and endorsements have shown the Boston Catholic hierarchy to be as easily bought off as a Chicago city inspector.

Even from the grave, Kennedy is his own salesman. His recent book is little more than a long press release to spin his tawdry legacy into a Camelot fantasy. To entitle his autobiography “True Compass” is reflective of his unmitigated gall. “Crooked Shillelagh” might have been a more appropriate title.

Following the assassination of brother John Kennedy, there was a folk ballad with the lament “Johnny we hardly know ya.” In hearing the funeral oratory and examining the posthumous autobiography, one can come to the same conclusion about Teddy.

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>LMAO: What … and give up show business?

>You know it’s always my desire to bring you valuable behind the scenes information that is often overlook by the major media. Here is one such example.

I am sure you have not read any reports about the guy in the photo just finishing up his important work. This unheralded hero is responsible for cleaning up the bullsh*t after each presidential debate. He claims to be able to determine the winner of the debate by the amount of refuse he has to remove around each podium.

So … how did he judge this debate? After cleaning up the stage, he is reported to have commented, “I’ve seen a lot worse. This was pretty evenly spread around both podiums.”

He tells friends that nothing compares to the Reagan/Carter debate, where he says the entire stage was knee deep in bullsh*t. He regrets not being around for the historic Nixon/Kennedy debate. “I hear stores that the bullsh*t overflowed the stage, but no one kept records in those days,” he said.

When asked why he is assigned to this mission after each presidential debate, he simply replied, “I’m the duty officer.” (No pun intended).

>INSIGHT: Biden his time … for Hillary

>For a moment in time, there was question whether John McCain would replace Sarah Palin as his vice presidential partner. This seems to be mostly generated by the liberal pundits as an indirect way of exaggerating Palin’s negatives. Now cometh a more persistent backroom whisper — that Barack Obama will trade in Joe Biden for Hillary Clinton.

The rumor that is getting increasing volume in the blogosphere and among mainstream pundits is that Old Joe will resign in the few precious weeks before the election due to health reasons. They even specifically say an aneurism will be the stated malady. This would give Obama a woman, to offset the surprise and effective selection of Palin, and a former adversary a la Jack Kennedy’s selection of Lyndon Johnson.

It certainly is a most cynical theory — so cynical that it is politically feasible. (I wonder if this would be matched by Palin dumping the geriatric McCain for Mitt Romney.)

Would Obama and the Democrats go to such an extreme? Why not? The Democrats are the consummate pursuit-of-power party with an anything-to-win core philosophy. I have long suggested that Obama was unelectable. If the Obamacans and Democrat leaders did not see it quite that way over the long haul, they most certainly have come closer to my thinking since the appearance of Palin on the political platform. Maybe they now see it slipping way.

The question is … Is such a bait-and-switch too cynical for the American public. Will voters be enthralled with the progressive’s dream ticket, or revolted by the chicanery of it all. Of course, much depends on the credibility and believability of Biden’s health claim. Death would be much more convincing than some last minute infirmity of convenience, but not as easy to accomplish.

The more serious question … “Would Hillary actually help?” If not, then the strategy is nothing more than bloggers with more time than knowledge playing head games.

I think the switch is within the realm of possibility because I think the Obamacans could think Hillary would pull them out of a noise dive by checkmating Palin. However, just because they think so, does not make it so.

My own unsolicited opinion is that the Hillary gambit would backfire. Hillary looks good as the also-ran. No reason to think of those pesky Whitewater days, the IRS lists and the stolen White House china. The Clintons are intriguing personalities, but that does not mean that 51 percent of the voting public would like to see them in office again. In some ways, they are political O.J. Simpsons. Their every move generates a celebrity fascination, but behind that, we all know they did it.

If Palin was the “carrot’ to motivate the conservative base, Hillary is just the stick that would whip the right wing into a rabid campaign frenzy.

Furthermore, the suddenly more serious and intense vetting of the Clintons (yes, both of them) would likely lead to the exposure of a number of troublesome issues that will lay dormant as long as they are sideliners. In addition to a re-examination of all those Clinton era accusations and findings, there are more contemporary matters. Her senate fundraising activities have not been without controversy. And then there are Bill’s post-presidency wheelings and dealings with Middle East potentates and liaisons of a more personal nature.

Hillary would do to Obama, what Palin did for McCain. She would shunt him off to the sidetrack of media attention. While the ham-handed McCain needed the temporary diversion of public attention, the charismatic Obama cannot afford to be taken off message in the all-critical final days of this very long, long campaign.

Also, standing next to the Clintons (yes, both of them), Obama would appear diminished — less like a president. He would become the Sarah Palin of is own campaign — a breakthrough novelty who seems a wee bit short of experience. This is a more serious problem for him because he is applying for the boss’s position, not the assistant.

Then there is the question of breaking the racial barrier and glass ceiling at the same time. Is that just too much progress for the nation at one time. Could be.

Maybe Obama thinks this is a way to flip a losing campaign into a winning effort. I can also see Hillary buying in on the hope of preventing Palin from shattering through the ceiling many credit Clinton with cracking.

With the American electorate being so closely divided, it is not easy to forecast the results of such a dramatic turn of events — especially with the potential of other issues, such as Iraq and the economy, to produce their own dramatic surprises.

However, my gut tells me the Hillary maneuver would fail. Instead of boosting Obama’s currently rattling rocket, it may cause a complete flame out. There were many good reasons Hillary was not choosen in the first place, and all those good reasons are still lurking beneath the surface just waiting for the chance to be bite Obama in the butt.