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Mary Jo Would Say ‘It Was Worth It’

From some site calling itself Opinionista:

The Footnote Speaks: What Would Mary Jo Kopechne Have Thought of Ted’s Career?

August 27th, 2009

We’re comfortable with moral relativism in this country — or, at least, we love us a good “sinned and redeemed” narrative. And, for the most part, we realize that there are few lives on which we can slap a “Good” or “Evil” label and expect it to be accurate.

Which, let’s face it, is one of the reasons the Ted Kennedy story is so fascinating. The huge achievements, weighed against the huge sins. Forty-six years of history-book accomplishments on everything from Civil Rights to the ADA to gender equality. Disabled? Poor? A member of any minority group? Then chances are your life is at least somewhat better because of Ted Kennedy. And for anyone who started to lose faith in the left’s seeming impotence over the past decade (cough cough) he provided a pretty strong reason not to throw in the towel.

So now he’s dead, and we do what we do when a Kennedy dies: read and write obsessively about him. Some of the obituaries are point-counterpoint parallels of sin with salvation. Then there are obsequious, grandiose bromides like:

“He was a Rabelaisian figure in the Senate and in life, instantly recognizable by his shock of white hair, his florid, oversize face, his booming Boston brogue, his powerful but pained stride. He was a celebrity, sometimes a self-parody, a hearty friend, an implacable foe, a man of large faith and large flaws, a melancholy character who persevered, drank deeply and sang loudly. He was a Kennedy.”

Good grief.

But in all the florid or scalpel-sharp prose, there’s one constant: Peeking out from the center of the story is the matter of his playing a major part in the death of a 28-year-old woman.

Mary Jo wasn’t a right-wing talking point or a negative campaign slogan. She was a dedicated civil rights activist and political talent with a bright future — granted, whenever someone dies young, people sermonize about how he had a “bright future” ahead of him — but she actually did. She wasn’t afraid to defy convention (28 and unmarried, oh the horror!) or create her own career path based on her talents. She lived in Georgetown (where I grew up) and loved the Red Sox (we’ll forgive her for that). Then she got in a car driven by a 36-year-old senator with an alcohol problem and a cauldron full of demons, and wound up a controversial footnote in a dynasty.

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.

This is the hands down winner of the ‘weirdest-assed commentary about Ted Kennedy’s demise’ award, at least so far.

And there has been some very stiff competition.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, August 28th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

17 Responses to “Mary Jo Would Say ‘It Was Worth It’”

  1. armadillo

    Wow, I totally misread the direction of the commentary based on the caption.

    I thought message would be that Mary Jo would say it was worth it because it guaranteed Ted would never be President. Especially after reading this:

    …on the Diane Rehm Show on the drive home last night, I was deeply moved to hear Newsweek’s Ed Klein tell guest host Katty Kay about Kennedy’s love of humor. How the late senator loved to hear and tell Chappaquiddick jokes, and was always eager to know if anyone had heard any new ones.

  2. Chuckk

    I’m sure Mary Jo was happy to drown in Teddy’s car.

    • Sunnysgirl

      What a thrill to know that Ted “The Swimmer” Kennedy loved jokes about Chappaquiddick. That would mean, of course, that Mary Jo had to be the butt of the joke. Funny, (no pun intended) but it didn’t seem too amusing when I heard this news for the first time on July 19, 1969. It made me sick to think of how terrified that young girl must have been in her last hours or minutes of life, knowing that she was going to die in that hideous, frighening way. A young, bright life snuffed out for nothing by a man with no morals, or principles, no scruples; a man who thought of nothing but his own carnal pleasures.

      Several years ago, in honor of the memory of Mary Jo Kopechne, I began phoning the good senator’s office every year on the anniversary of her death. I was always polite, and stated my name, and where I lived, and then asked to leave a message for Senator Kennedy. The message was brief and to the point: Happy Anniversary, Senator. If he thought that no one would remember or care, I wanted him to be sure that someone did remember and someone did still care about a young, bright life snuffed out for nothing by a man not fit to shine her shoes.

    • proreason

      “The message was brief and to the point: Happy Anniversary, Senator. ”

      Kudos to you, Sunnysgirl!

  3. 12 Gauge Rage

    For whatever her political views might have been, Miss Kopechne didn’t deserve to die the way she did. As for the Senator from Chappaquiddick, I can only look back at his career as being nothing but an obstructionist and a harsh critic to the men and women of our military.

  4. BannedbytheTaliban

    I’m sure she was glad Mr. Kennedy got to live to the old age of 77. That his life ended peacefully in his own bed, surrounded by his family, and not in a Lincoln slowly filling with water, desperately trying to claw his way through the floor board.

    Speaks volumes of the DNC to hold an unrepentant murder, drunk, and cheat in such high esteem.

  5. proreason

    Well then, we have it.

    The 40 million babies aborted in the last 30+ years must feel the same way.

    • catie

      Exactly Pro! I’m sure Mary Jo is pleased to be a “footnote in a dynastic family”. What a bunch of crap. These dims really are stupid aren’t they? I bet Mary Jo’s family were more than happy to contribute her to Teddy’s happy life. If he was affected it was the fact that he would never be president after that “incident”.

  6. Travis

    I guess if only the Kopechne family would just be reasonable and see it that way.

  7. Reality Bytes

    I’m sure Ms. Kopechne made an appearance while the senator stood in judgement by his maker. There is no state run media in heaven.

    From the diver who discovered Ms. Kopechne’s dead body:

    Had I received a call within five to ten minutes of the accident occurring, and was able, as I was the following morning, to be at the victim’s side within twenty-five minutes of receiving the call, in such event there is a strong possibility that she would have been alive on removal from the submerged car.

    Farrar believed that Kopechne “lived for at least two hours down there.”[

    Kennedy: “I attempted to open the door and the window of the car but have no recollection of how I got out of the car. I was unsuccessful in the attempt.” He went on later that morning, “When I fully realized what had happened this morning, I immediately contacted the police.”

    THERE IS NO MENTION AS TO WHETHER THERE WAS AN OPEN DOOR FROM WHICH KENNEDY ESCAPED FROM.

    IF THE DOORS & WINDOWS WERE ALL SEALED (as evidenced by the air pocket that kept Ms. Kopechne alive), THEN THIS WAS NOT AN ACCIDENT. IT WAS MURDER!!!

  8. sweetheart in cincy

    Is this something like, “WWJD”? Truthfully, people as a Christian, I hope it was Mary Jo who welcomed Ted through the pearly gates with a comment something like “Come on in, the water’s fine”! I say this as somewhere today I heard that a remark was made about Ted liking the Chapaquiddick jokes. I”m skeptical about the writer aligning him/herself with RB, even Rush was speechless and said he couldn’t relate to anyone who having had someone die at their hand participate in ANY JOKE on the subject. My heart aches today for Mary Jo’s family and friends more so than the poor Kennedy clan.

    • Reality Bytes

      Sweetheart, as a Christian (born again even) I was not making a joke. I was Profecising. We all will stand before God in judgement. As a Christian, we believe Christ is our advocate; His grace is “poured out upon us”.

      As Christians, it is scriptural to believe that as part of his judgement, Senator Kennedy looked into the eyes of Mary Jo Kopechne again. What he sees is his selfishness; his sin. We will be no different. We will all have to do the same; look into the eyes of those who we could have helped but didn’t when we are judged accordingly.

      Some believe it is we who damn ourselves; not God. Our guilt condems us. Our self righteousness condems us. Only repentence & praying for mercy through grace save us. Ted Kennedy is no different. I hope he chose the latter for his sake.

      Heck, if he did, I wouldn’t mind sharing an RBTini with him when I get there.

      You may be seated.

    • neocon mom

      RB, been missing your comments for a while, good to see you back!

  9. GL0120

    Might I suggest that John Edwards channel Mary Jo so that we may finally find out what she thought of being left to gasp for air and finally die so that Ted’s career might continue unimpeded?

  10. The Redneck

    “She said at 1, ‘I’m fine. She said at 2, ‘I could use some fresh air, but I’m doing OK. At 3 she said, ‘I need out’.”

    I thought that was funny, when I first thought of it…. then I realized she was probably saying a lot more. Confined in a small space, conducted through the metal–I wonder if Teddy could hear her screaming for help where he paced a few yards away on the shore, waiting for her to die so he could be assured his political future was safe?

    Sometimes I wonder if he shouted anything in reply.

  11. MinnesotaRush

    SG .. you nailed it! This “article” brings new meaning to “disconnected”.


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