Thought Experiment: What Can't a Kennedy Get Away With?

|

A little birdy (no, not one of LBJ's daughters) sent me this Goofus and Gallant comparison regarding the Kennedys.

The first bit is from the Wash Post and details just how little effect Rep. Patrick Kennedy's recent drug-and/or-booze-enhance crash is likely to have on the his political future:

Now the good news for Kennedy: The voters of Rhode Island—including [Michael] Rossi [a Pawtucket nurse]—also don't seem to care.

"It's a separate issue," said Rossi, who said he will remain a Kennedy supporter. "He's got maybe an alcohol problem. That doesn't make him a bad representative."

Similar stories were told again and again across Kennedy's district, which covers a swath of suburbs, strip malls and run-down mill towns around the northern and eastern borders of the state. From Pawtucket to Woonsocket, the six-term representative's sins were often forgiven almost before they were admitted, and by people who said they were motivated by his hard work, his power or just the traditional indulgence granted to Kennedys in this region.

More here.

The second bit is from Reason's shockingly–read: "as refreshing as a piece of Orbit gum"–foul-mouthed 1997 interview with Drew Carey, in which Ohio's funniest comedian since Rep. Jim Traficant tells a really dirty Kennedy joke:

Reason: Prohibition also leads to another topic: the Kennedys. In an earlier draft of your book, you had an entire chapter devoted to that brood. What is it that you hate about them?

Carey: There were a lot of questions about language in the book. I said, "Look, give me some of the bad language, and I'll take out the whole Kennedy chapter." Plus, the publisher wasn't sure it would pass the lawyers. I read in USA Today that a Kennedy has never lost an election in Massachusetts. I wrote about what it would take for a Kennedy to lose one: They bust into a bank, pistol whip the manager, fuck the teller up the ass, take turns posing for pictures. And nobody would say a thing: "Those Kennedy's are great, aren't they? I can't believe a Kennedy fucked me up the ass!" They can get away with anything.

More here.

Howard Stern–remember him?–on the Kennedy Clan's women (scroll down).

Update: Patrick Kennedy Injured By Flying Hammer

Tip: Reader Paul Strigler, who notes, "I don't think this requires any comments."

NEXT: Right-Wing P.C.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “Howard Stern–remember him?”

    Commish of the NBA?

  2. Bravo on the Miss America review reprint! Damn I miss the old Howard. His celebrity takedowns were the stuff of legend. I choose to paint houses the summer O.J. lost in the White Ford Bronco LAX Rally just so I could listen to the radio undisturbed for half the day.

  3. “Those Kennedy’s are great, aren’t they? I can’t believe a Kennedy fucked me up the ass!”

    Isn’t that what every good liberal taxpayer says every April 15th? Just insert Congress for Kennedy.

  4. Who the f cares what this dumbass did? Look at the real evil coming out of the GOP before you go fussing over the peccadillos of the Left.

    JMJ

  5. Ah Jersey,

    You keep posting crap even though no one cared.
    But foot in mouth and head up ass
    you always come prepared.

  6. So what if it turned out that JFK had been shot by RFK?

  7. He’s got maybe an alcohol problem. That doesn’t make him a bad representative.

    Particularly since he represents RI.

  8. “Who the f cares what this dumbass did? Look at the real evil coming out of the GOP before you go fussing over the peccadillos of the Left.”

    jersey, do you ever get tired from licking boots? i can’t imagine they taste that good – especially if they’re freshly polished – and that chemical residue can’t be good for your skin.

    speaking as a concerned citizen, i worry about your health.

    to save you the trouble of replying, i’ll just insert yours here:

    “I’d be more worried about your health under the GOP’s corporate regime that all you libertarians worship if i were you!”

  9. So what if it turned out that JFK had been shot by RFK?

    That would make the Kennedy running for election a victim of gun violence and validate his campaign for banning handguns and assault weapons. Even though JFK’s assassination involved neither.

  10. Please, please, please, someone tell me that there is video footage of Kennedy taking one in the kisser.

    And is there really any doubt that he would be unfazed by the blow? I laughed when the oral surgeon hammered away at my wisdom teeth – thanks to the N20.

  11. This is politics as usual. Most people would put up with far more rather than vote for someone of the other party.

  12. Kennedy worship does seem to be a regional quirk of the northeast. I am unable to think of any other politicians who have faced repeated public disgrace than they and yet still maintain a stranglehold on their offices.

    Calling the Kennedy mystique Camelot maybe closer to the truth than we would like to think. Many seem to view the disgraceful behavior of their elected officials in the same manner that Europeans used to view the antics of the nobility. They seem quite comfortable with the idea that the normal rules don’t apply to the Kennedys.

    It is truly strange.

  13. “…the hammer’s head flew off and hit Kennedy in the mouth.

    “The congressman is a class act, he didn’t make a fuss,” said Michael McMahon””

    It’s amazing how much of a beating you can take when you’re drunk. It takes about three minutes for the “ouch” to reach your brain.

  14. fyodor,

    This is politics as usual. Most people would put up with far more rather than vote for someone of the other party.

    I think there is more to it than that. It is not as if the people who vote for the Kennedy’s are faced with a stark choice between re-electing a disgraced Kennedy or electing an extremist Republican. There are plenty of Leftwing Democrats that could easily step in if they had the electoral support.

    People aren’t voting for the ideas or the party, they are voting for that magic name.

  15. Shannon Love @ 3:33

    If you think the Kennedy will uphold the ideas or is true to the party, and you think others will vote for the name, then it becomes rational to vote for the name, even if the name isn’t otherwise attractive to you personally.

  16. I was always hoping JFK jr would stop screwing models and run for office. His severe marijuana dependancy would have done wonders for the decriminalization camp.

  17. Speaking as someone who’s actually represented by Patrick Kennedy, I do in fact plan to vote for him again. And why shouldn’t I? He’s a senator, which means his job is to cast the votes I want him to cast, and for the most part he does. If I graded politicians based on their clean, wholesome living, I’d be a fan of Rick Santorum. Instead I grade them on what they actually do as politicians. Big shock, I know.

  18. Iron Lungfish,

    It doesn’t matter if you are a drunk and you drive hopped up on whatever pill you can get the doctor to proscribe you and none of that matters as long as you cast the right vote? Couldn’t somebody else do the same job and cast the same votes without crashing into police barriers at 2 a.m.. Is there any standard of behavior you would expect from your representative? As someone points out above, you could just vote him out during the primary in favor of whatever moonbat was to your liking. It is not like the only alternative is voting Rush Limbaugh.

  19. I agree with Jersey, the more fucked up the politicians get and the harder they party, leaves less time for them to fuck shit up.

  20. What Can’t a Kennedy Get Away With?

    I know – murder! Oh, wait (well, negligent homicide, anyway).

    He’s a senator, which means his job is to cast the votes I want him to cast, and for the most part he does.

    So, if your Senator was taking bribes, you wouldn’t mind as long as he was being bribed to vote your way?

  21. Look at the real evil coming out of the GOP before you go fussing over the peccadillos of the Left.

    Can we do both or does that whole multi-tasking thing make your head hurt too much?

    Speaking as someone who’s actually represented by Patrick Kennedy…He’s a senator

    No offense dude but you don’t sound like you’re paying attention. He is your Representative, not your Senator.

  22. Who the f cares what this dumbass did? Look at the real evil coming out of the GOP before you go fussing over the peccadillos of the Left.

    Tu quoque anyone?

  23. Exactly. I’m not interested in parsing which party is the most evil this week. The contest is close enough that a one percentage point difference in commitment to the Dark Side doesn’t really make a danged bit of difference to me.

  24. So, if your Senator was taking bribes, you wouldn’t mind as long as he was being bribed to vote your way?

    I learned a long time ago that that attitude is much more prevalent than most of us would like to believe.

  25. I know not too many people followed this link, but according to Howard Stern, the secret of life is “Bertrand Chemel?s Morel Fricassee.” The ingredients are as follows:

    20 oz. fresh morels
    2 teaspoons white vinegar
    3 sprigs tarragon
    1 sprig thyme
    2 bay leaves, dry or fresh
    3 sage leaves, fresh
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    2 shallots, peeled and trimmed
    Salt and ground black pepper
    1/3 cup dry vermouth
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    5 sprigs chervil

    Trim morel stems at bottom of caps and discard stems.
    (1) Rinse the caps in up to five changes of cold water combined with the white vinegar. Shake morels well in the water, then pat dry on a towel. With butcher string, tie together the sprig of thyme, the bay and sage leaves, and one of the sprigs of tarragon to make a small herb bouquet. In a large, deep saut? pan over low heat, melt the butter.
    (2) Finely chop shallots and add to pan with herb bouquet and cook, stirring, approximately two minutes. Add morels, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and continue to cook over medium heat another two minutes or so. Add the vermouth, and stir well to deglaze. Cover and continue cooking approximately three minutes.
    (3) Add the cream, and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes. Adjust seasoning, and remove the herb bouquet. Stem remaining tarragon sprigs and the chervil, and sprinkle leaves over the morels.

  26. Shannon Love,

    Still politics as usual. Incumbents have a big advantage, especially in primaries, as does ANYONE with name recognition. Maybe it’s a little more true with Kennedy’s in the northeast, maybe not. Check out the prez. A lot of bellyaching over a favorite target here, not much to show there’s really anything special going on.

  27. Shannon Love,

    You’ve heard that incumbents have a big advantage, right? It’s especially true in primaries. I’m not saying it should be that way, only that it’s hardly exceptional to Kennedys or to the northeast. That’s what I mean by politics as usual.

  28. Alan, I’d favor capital punishment for anyone who would rinse beautiful fresh morels in water. Really knocks down the flavor.

  29. Alan, I’d favor capital punishment for anyone who would rinse beautiful fresh morels in water. Really knocks down the flavor.

  30. Alan, I’d favor capital punishment for anyone who would rinse beautiful fresh morels in water. Really knocks down the flavor.

  31. Alan, I’d favor capital punishment for anyone who would rinse beautiful fresh morels in water. Really knocks down the flavor.

  32. SY, Alton Brown has informed me that the evil of washing mushrooms is a French myth. As AB is one of the gods in my pantheon, I must deem you anathema.

  33. Too many people worship celebrity.

  34. Who the f cares what this dumbass did? Look at the real evil coming out of the GOP before you go fussing over the peccadillos of the Left.

    Tu quoque anyone?

  35. Two sons murdered for their public service tends to generate sympathy towards a family, and antipathy towards those who denigrate the service they provided.

    As a native of Massachusetts, I think the Kennedy mystique has just about run its course. I don’t see the grandchildren of the John-Bobby-Teddy generation having much of a leg up when they reach campaigning age.

    Growing up in Massachusetts, you were guaranteed to have one teacher per year who would mist up and tell you exactly where they were when they heard the President had been shot. Especially if you went to Catholic school.

  36. Similar stories were told again and again across Kennedy’s district, which covers a swath of suburbs, strip malls and run-down mill towns around the northern and eastern borders of the state. From Pawtucket to Woonsocket,

    And four other towns with names ending in “ucket”. What IS it with the Northeast? It’s such a foriegn culture to me.

    Two sons murdered for their public service tends to generate sympathy towards a family, and antipathy towards those who denigrate the service they provided.

    Or.. because of their public service. (cheap shot, I know) Tragedy happens. This is another trait of the Northeast: projecting some shit that someone’s ancestors did a really long time ago and equating that with the silly dipshit standing in front of us today. It’s kind of European, come to think of it. My mother’s European. She does the exact same thing. Race, ancestry, and family reputation come way before action.

    As a native of Massachusetts, I think the Kennedy mystique has just about run its course.

    For which we should all be eternally grateful. But I’m not holding my breath. I think Shannon Love’s comments were particularly spot on. They ‘expect’ that behavior from their ‘nobility’.

  37. So, if your Senator was taking bribes, you wouldn’t mind as long as he was being bribed to vote your way?

    Bribery is corruption, which actually does affect one’s job as senator. I don’t care if my senator does drugs; I’m for legalizing drugs. What, are you people the only libertarians on the planet who get all prudish about pill-poppers?

    The only real issue here is that the man’s an addict, which is a personal problem, not one that’s affected his job as far as anyone can tell. And he’s getting treatment for it. So honestly, why should I care?

  38. Now if someone wants to take away his license for being an irresponsible driver, sure, I’d support that. In fact I’d expect that. But I don’t vote for the man for his driving ability.

  39. SY, Alton Brown has informed me that the evil of washing mushrooms is a French myth.

    I saw it too (also an AB fan). Piss poor science. He didn’t do the critical experiment- prepare a washed and unwashed batch side by side and do a taste test. I remember seeing an Iron Chef where Morimoto went up against an Italian chef in a porcini battle. Morimoto said, “Porcini don’t have a lot of flavor,” then washed ’em. Right there I piped up, “He loses.” And he did. Shoulda stuck to fish.

    BTW, I hate the HnR software. Makes me look like I’m stuttering.

  40. I’m guessing that Quahog, RI resident Peter Griffin is solidly behind his man Pat Kennedy, no matter what.

  41. “Two sons murdered for their public service tends to generate sympathy towards a family, and antipathy towards those who denigrate the service they provided.”

    Gee Joe, I wonder if the Sullivan Brothers have any living relatives? By that logic they could own the state of Iowa and get at least two or three Presidents out of the deal. Glad to hear the good people of Massachusetts are part of “the reality based community”.

  42. Sy, I’d favor capital punishment for anyone who would rinse beautiful fresh quahogs in water. Really knocks down the flavor.

  43. Sy, I’d favor capital punishment for anyone who would rinse beautiful fresh quahogs in water. Really knocks down the flavor.

  44. What Can’t a Kennedy Get Away With?

    Abolishing income tax.

    Random Funny Bumper-sticker

    (from a gun shop in northern Michigan)

    TED KENNEDY’S CAR HAS KILLED MORE PEOPLE THAN MY GUNS

  45. Teddy Kennedy would oppose capital punishment for anyone who would rinse beautiful fresh blondes in water. Really knocks down the presidential ambitions.

  46. What SY say … is genius.

  47. When I lived in Massachusetts (2000-2003), there were two things you would very often hear whenever the Kennedys came up. First, “Oh, that family’s suffered so much!” Second, “You know, a vote for Teddy is a vote for John and Bobby.” Nostagia, even when it’s pretty damn uninformed nostalgia (Bobby being an opportunist, John being one of the crappier presidents, as most objective historians now admit), is still a very powerful force.

    I did, however, think of a way that Teddy could get defeated for reelection. If he was found in bed with a 13-year-old boy, to whom he’d given cocaine, that MIGHT do it. (And to be fair, Mitt Romney actually came very close to defeating Teddy in 1994.)

    But there’s definitely a double standard. Take Jane Swift, the former Governor. She was hated, and had approval ratings so low that she was probably jealous of Gray Davis. Why? Because she allegedly once used a state helicopter to commute from Boston to her home in western Mass. (There’s no governor’s mansion in MA.) And she had a state staffer pick up her kids from day care. I don’t know if this was true, but there was a credible case that she was disliked for having the audacity to give birth while in office.

    Now, I ask you – if Teddy were governor, and had young children, and did these things, would people in Massachusetts have cared? Considering everything else he did get away with, the question answers itself.

  48. Which family has left more piss on the constitution:

    Roosevelts
    Kennedys
    Bushes

  49. “This is another trait of the Northeast: projecting some shit that someone’s ancestors did a really long time ago and equating that with the silly dipshit standing in front of us today.”

    Uh, yeah, Paul, that’s definitely a Northeastern thing. Remind me again, what’s the President’s name?

    Kraorh,

    Jane Swfit was unpopular because she was a Republican.

  50. Sometimes I wonder where all these pro-Kennedy people come from. In my own Massachusetts experience, I’ve far more often heard people express Howie Carr-like contempt for Ted Kennedy than the sort of uncritical affection Bay Staters are alleged to have. Yet obviously this uncritical affection does exist in gigantic numbers, since he keeps getting re-elected with two-thirds of the vote. I guess I just hang out with a better class of people.

  51. How could Ted Kennedy win? You don’t know a single person who voted for him!

    Is that pretty much what you’re trying to say, dear?

  52. I don’t care if my senator does drugs; I’m for legalizing drugs. What, are you people the only libertarians on the planet who get all prudish about pill-poppers?

    Iron Lungfish – I do, however, care if my senator takes illegal drugs and lies about it while he publicly supports throwing people in prison for doing exactly the same thing he’s doing. You also seem to have “libertarianism” mixed up with “libertinism”; while I’m all for legalization, I would rather that my airline pilot and brain surgeon (and senator) were relatively clean-living types.

  53. JD,
    Ditto. I felt the same way about Bill Clinton in Monicagate. If he opposed sexual harassment laws that allowed accusers to research the accused’s sexual history, that’d be one thing. But of course, he actively supported that law, and actively supported the independent council law. Not something worth being jailed for, but certainly impeachable if you want citizens to be prosecuted for stuff you think you should get away with.

  54. I want to know where I can find one of those “smart hammers”. Does anyone know if you can set which politician they strike in the head or are they restricted to Kennedys? I figure if they’re programmable I’ll buy a few extra.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.