Ask Not What You Can Do for Your Country, But What Pills Can Do To a Kennedy Behind the Wheel…


The developing story in the Patrick Kennedy car crash conflagration? That the coppers were prevented from administering a sobriety test to the Rhode Island congressman (who claims prescription medication wuz the culprit):

Two police union officials, who were not at the scene, complained that the Rhode Island congressman and son of Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., looked like he'd been drinking after crashing into a barrier near the Capitol building at 2:45 a.m.

"The driver exited the vehicle and he was observed to be staggering," Officer Greg Baird, the acting head of the Capitol police union, wrote in a letter to his boss, according to the newspaper Roll Call.

Lou Cannon, president of the Washington chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, said Kennedy looked intoxicated.

"It's my understanding that he had an odor of alcohol about him and he was unsteady on his feet," Cannon said.

More here. Do note the secondhand nature of said testimonials.

Reader Alan Vanneman wonders whether PK was high on those newfangled morning glory seeds that the kids aren't doing these days. I'm wondering if Patrick Kennedy's low-impact, non-fatal car crash is just the latest manifestation of the Stupid Grandson Theory, which argues that Joseph Schumpeter's "three generations from overalls to overalls" pertains to the quality of familial scandals every bit as much as to the loss of family wealth.

NEXT: Plame Hypocritical

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  1. Kennedys are all fun and games until someone dies. He’s smart to restrict his drunken driving to Capitol Hill.

  2. The Kennedy clan is a plague on Massachusetts.

  3. The Kennedys are America’s royal family.

    They behave like a bunch of bozos but there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.


  4. And Rhode Island, too, Scott.

    He couldn’t find Providence on a map, but still my friends and family back home keep electing him.

  5. “I’ve never worked a fucking day in my life.”

    Great epitaph. Says it all.

  6. I bet that Inheritence Tax is looking pretty good right about now, eh libertoids? 😉

  7. I don’t think money is the root of the Kennedy family’s problems, Joe. But you’re right about there being an exception to prove every rule.

  8. Except, joe, that the Kennedy fortune has been safe from the inheritance tax for nigh on 70 years and three generations. Trusts and whatnot.

  9. The late and very much lamented Spy magazine from the late ’80’s once listed some Kennedy or another’s qualifications for elective office as “surviving birth.” That still seems to apply.

  10. RC,

    That’s why need to break up fortunes before they become multi-generational. It’s the heirs that will turn those dollars into political power, and dedicate themselves full time to exploiting loopholes.

  11. I hate Patrick Kennedy. He has aides. One of his aides got me kicked out of a Stephen Malkmus concert at the Black Cat for buying drinks for a someone underage. I will never again be wooed by any female who has been in the presence of a Kennedy.

  12. In agreeing with joe, I have two words for everyone: Paris Hilton.

  13. The question is, where is the female corpse???? Their must be one, every time a Kennedy screws up a woman dies……

  14. Paris Hilton is the best kind of rich kid. I’m sure she’s running through Grandpappy Conrad’s money at breakneck pace, and she appears to have no political ambition at all.

    Any new inheritance tax would leave an escape route for the really old money, we can be sure of that. We all have face up and take our share of blame for failing to be born to children of children of people who made lots of money before taxes became confiscatory.

  15. The supreme irony in all of this is that Grandpa Joe made his fortune from…selling booze.

  16. Why is it a defense to take “prescription drugs”? If true, I bet they say “don’t operate heavy machinery.” He’s still under the influence and his excuse is just an admission of guilt.

    Grandchildren are very good at pissing away money. No need for a tax.

  17. Randolph Carter said:

    “I hate Patrick Kennedy. He has aides.”

    Isn’t the time long past when people with aides were stigmatized this way? Patrick Kennedy has aides, and he’s living with aides. Doesn’t he deserve our encouragement and support?

  18. In the meantime, George W., Laura Bush, and Dick Cheney have three DWI convictions and one vehicular manslaughter on their records.

  19. Damn, this one’s slippery!

  20. Too bad he didn’t run his car into a windmill , then he could just say he was ‘protecting’ the aesthetic ‘view’.

  21. In the meantime, George W., Laura Bush, and Dick Cheney have three DWI convictions and one vehicular manslaughter on their records.

    That’s because they lacked the powerful friends of the Kennedys….

  22. I’m opposed to the “death tax”, aka the inheritance tax, much like any other tax. Reducing tax rates makes it easier to raise them again than it is if you eliminate them and try to reinstate them.

    In other words abolishing a tax is leaps and bounds better than reducing tax rates.

    That said, I can think of better taxes to abolish. 1) Any and all payroll taxes,which may possibly be the stupidest taxes out there due to the increased unemployment. 2) Any and all investment taxes (e.g. capital gains), which again increase unemployment, and underemployment. They also increase dependency on government handouts by discouraging saving for a rainy day or retirement. 3) Any tax on the working poor, such as Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare. Taxing the working poor at the same time that you have government transfer payments of various sorts to poor people is mindblowingly stupid.

    In favor of abolishing the death tax: It reduces government power, just as cutting off revenues of any sort does. what do the self-made rich do once they become rich? Hopefully they keep foolishly working and doing what they do best, which is creating jobs. If giving the increased wealth to family heirs is what it takes to incentivise someone to create more wealth and jobs once they already have more than they could possibly spend, then I’m all for abolishing the death tax.

    That said, it seems abolishing the capital gains tax accomplishesmuch the same thing, but with clearer consequences towards new business formation etc.

  23. The late and very much lamented Spy magazine from the late ’80’s

    They also once had an article that mirrored (and pre-dated) the Suck piece – about the increasing cretinization of once noble families: The Barrymores, The Hemingways, etc. The Kennedys were the prime example.

  24. Note: the Kennedy’s got their family fortune via Joe Kennedy. Joe Kennedy got his fortune by being a drug kingpin, or a drug trafficker, or whatever the current en vogue term is for that sort of thing. He was a booze smuggler during (alcohol) Prohibition.

    It is perfectly understandable that he thought being rich was an undeserved thing considering how he got rich himself. It is also perfectly understandable that his heirs grew up thinking the same thing. The fact that they also are a bunch of lowlifes living like decadent bums gives them no reason to do anything to “help the rich”. Indeed, it is perfectly understandable that they loathe other rich people as much as they loathe how they themselves got rich and feel guilty over it.

    What they don’t understand is that most rich people today in America, however you define rich, got that way by creating jobs, and by creating products and services that either didn’t exist before, or existed in worse quality, or existed in a more expensive form. They got rich because they deserved it in other words, unlike the Kennedys.

    So when someone like Senator Ted Kennedy is opposed to an across the board tax cut, he is mad because “the rich get the biggest benefit”. He is so intent on beating up people like himself that he can’t see that not everyone who is rich is a bum like himself, and that most of them help the needy in their own way, some for selfish reasons, but is the reason relevant when you help the needy?

    Here endeth my Kennedy rant.

  25. “I hate Patrick Kennedy. He has aides.”

    “Isn’t the time long past when people with aides were stigmatized this way? Patrick Kennedy has aides, and he’s living with aides. Doesn’t he deserve our encouragement and support?”

    Yes. What’s more, we should no longer think of aides as “something that only Kennedys get.” None of us should believe that just because we do not engage in the so-called “Kennedy lifestyle,” that we can never get aides. The truth is that the risk of contracting aides is growing among the general population.

    If you have ever engaged in unprotected sex in a Malibu, New England, or D.C. hot tub full of starlets; or traveled abroad to Geneva or Kyoto since 1985; or shared limousines with a drug user … then you, too, are at increased risk of having aides.

  26. And we should all recognize, Stevo, that our government has willfully ignored the aides problem for years, out of fear that if aides were ever eliminated, an epidemic of personal responsibility would ensue.

  27. I’m not a fan of the current Kennedy clan and would normally feel as sarcasticly amused as anyone else by this. And yes, it is deplorable that the cops didn’t give him a breathalyzer test, when you know that would be the first action taken for Joe Nobody instead of Joe Bigshot. But according to the AP report:

    Kennedy said he returned to his Capitol Hill home on Wednesday evening after a final series of votes in Congress and took “prescribed” amounts of Phenergan and Ambien, another prescribed drug that he occasionally takes to fall asleep. “Some time around 2:45 a.m., I drove the few blocks to the Capitol Complex believing I needed to vote,” his second statement said. “Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication.” In the later statement, he repeated, “At no time before the incident did I consume any alcohol.”

    Yikes, Ambien again. And no, he says he wasn’t driving on Ambien, he took it at his home. Unless given other evidence I tend to believe him. The same thing happened recently to a close friend of mine: sleep-driving. She took a heavy dose of Ambien, went to sleep, then left her apartment (in her nightgown) and started driving. Hit something and blew out both tires on the drivers side. Woke up in the middle of the road (luckily no cops). No alcohol involved.

    This medication has some gnarly hypnotic effects. There are have been numerous reports lately of Ambien inducing weird behavior– driving, having sex, eating half the contents of your refrigerator– while the people are asleep. This stuff is turning people into zombies.

  28. Joe Kennedy did at least 2 good things in his life. He ran rum, and he saved RKO pictures.

    He also did Gloria Swanson, but that’s something else altogether.


  29. I’m a stupid grandson and my grandad made sure of it.

  30. The supreme irony in all of this is that Grandpa Joe made his fortune from…selling booze.

    Didn’t they learn anything from Scarface?

    There should be an Oswald for every Kennedy.

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