Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chappaquiddick Revisited

By R. P. George and D. Quinn | July 31, 2009 12:00 PM | National Review Online

On the evening of July 18, 1969, Mary Jo Kopechne died while trying to free herself from Edward M. Kennedy’s submerged automobile in a tidal channel on Chappaquiddick Island.

The fortieth anniversary of Miss Kopechne’s death passed with scarcely a word’s being mentioned of it in the media. Perhaps it was not simply a matter of liberal bias. With Senator Kennedy now seriously ill, many journalists no doubt considered that it might be unseemly to bring up the subject.

But however uncomfortable it may be to recall the circumstances of Mary Jo Kopechne’s death, Americans must not forget what happened to her, nor must a delicate sensibility prevent us from remembering how a powerful man and his savvy handlers were able to shield him from responsibility for his behavior towards her.

Mary Jo Kopechne died because, after recklessly causing an accident, Teddy Kennedy, in his nearly unfathomable self-absorption and political ambition, failed to do what almost anyone would have done to rescue her — namely, report the accident and call for emergency help. Instead, Kennedy thought only of himself and his political career.

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