Category Archives: Edward M. Kennedy

September 5, 2012, 9:58 am

“One of the Most Compassionate Men:” Senator Ted Kennedy’s Recent History

Sen. Edward Kennedy is escorted by troopers as he leaves court in Edgartown, Mass. (AP)

After an hour and a half riding around Brooklyn on the subway due to an F train mishap, Tenured Radical arrived home last night just in time to hear these words, spoken by Bill Clinton, as part of the Teddy Kennedy tribute video at the Democratic National Convention. I have always been a huge Teddy fan, but it did occur to me that one of the unbridgeable divided between ordinary Dems and ordinary Repubs might be the collective amnesia about why Teddy could never be president. There was the drinking, the womanizing, and the nasty divorce. As Teddy and Joan hurtled their way to destruction, every moment was documented in supermarket tabloids, complete with the ugly, frantic pictures that were typical of that genre even prior to…

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August 28, 2009, 8:04 pm

On Sin, Forgiveness and Redemption: A Few Thoughts On The Loss Of My Friend, Senator Kennedy

On July 19, 1969, Edward M. Kennedy drove off the Dike Bridge connecting Edgartown, MA to Chappaquiddick Island; the car overturned and filled with water. Kennedy managed to free himself and swim to shore, while his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, a former aide to the slain Robert F. Kennedy, did not escape. She drowned, and perhaps suffered terribly as Kennedy ran and failed to call the police or an ambulance, or even to tell anyone who might have helped Kopechne, until the next day. Whether she might have been saved or not is an open question, and because of this Kopechne is forever seared in our collective historical memory as a victim of Kennedy’s recklessness, wealth and self-destructiveness. Her death resulted from a kind of privileged, masculine disdain for women that was so common that it was culturally invisible prior to the feminist activism of the 1970s. While the Senator…

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