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Those XOK##FKKGG Kennedys


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A one-day wonder, I think. He had a car accident in which nobody was hurt, he acknowledged (yet again) that he has a substance abuse problem for which he's been getting treatment, he's going to be treated in Rochester, Minnesota, which isn't a hot spot for paparazzi, and he isn't running for higher office. I don't think there's much blood to be wrung from this turnip, especially not when there are whiffs of prostitution scandals involving the suddenly ex-CIA director and revelations that Scooter Libby was warned about the intelligence consequences of revealing Valerie Plame's identity. Not to mention the prospect that Bush's Brain (Karl Rove) seems to be on the verge of being indicted. Those are stories that aren't going to go away overnight.

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Guest zipperzone

I agree that there are bigger fish frying in the pan than Kennedy (by the way - he sure didn't inherit the Kennedy good looks, did he?) but the thing that will keep it in the media for more days than it deserves is the obvious fact that "someone" gave a direct order to the police, not to give him a breathalyzer test.

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I find it amusing that American politicians piously intone at every opportunity that nobody is above the law but just watch what happens whenever a Kennedy (and there are lots of them) breaks it. The usual scenario is that there is an inexplicable gap between the occurence of the crime and the reporting of it by the media, the culprit is nowhere near the scene nor in custody when the reports surface, a hasty statement or press conference is held by the family, and they get the miscreant out of town real quick. I just love it!:7

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What law is Patrick Kennedy above? He was driving while intoxicated (although not necessarily drunk) and I believe the news reports say he was given citations for that. Otherwise, it's not illegal to have an accident, and no one was injured in the accident. The accident happened on Capitol Hill, which is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Capitol Police. I don't know what traffic law applies on Capitol Hill (D.C. law? Federal law?) but I doubt there is any law that REQUIRES a breathalyzer test in the case of every accident -- I think it's at the discretion of the arresting officers if circumstances dictate that such a test is appropriate. Whether or not a test was appropriate in this case is a matter for discussion within the Capitol Police. It may have been deemed unnecessary because it was evident to the police that Kennedy was intoxicated, or he may have even admitted it to the officers. If the intoxication were due to drug interactions, as Kennedy claims, a breathalyzer would have shown nothing. So this just seems an effort to try to pump up what is nearly a non-story about a well-known Democrat to divert attention from the real crimes of Republicans -- crimes, I might add, that strike at the heart of national security and the solidity of our democratic institutions and which are of a far greater magnitude than a one-car fender-bender.

 

Just as nobody is supposed to be above the law, nobody is supposed to be below it, either. Just because you're a Kennedy you're not subject to a more rigorous application of the law than other people are.

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i think under the circumstances the police would have given any ordinary citizen a breathalyer or other test to see if the driver was drunk. this was not done because of who the driver was. if this had been a republican member of the administration, nancy pelosi would be screaming that the "imperial" staff was exempt from the rules that apply to joe six pack; as jay leno put it last night, can you imagine in LA the police approaching a black driver in similiar circumstances and just saying "jumal, we are just going to take you home".

 

why this story has legs is that the public sees a congressman treated differently than an ordinary citizen. the fact it is a democrat AND a kennedy just shows that both parties enjoy the priviliges of being imperial rulers. corruption runs deep in washington and affects both parties. while tri believes that all republicans are the children of the devil, i feel that neither party has a monopoly on virtue or corruption.

 

special priviliges (like that given the young kennedy) and corruption are part of the washington system reguardless of which party is in power.

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I hate to be the one to break the news to all you naïve readers, but high government officials, including Members of Congress, get all kinds of privileges that you and I ordinary mortals can only dream of. They range from free VIP parking at Washington's National Airport to free (or extremely cheap) vacations at luxurious government resorts. Not to mention the government cars and drivers, the luxurious offices (decorated with REAL paintings by the likes of Monet from government collections), the business/first class plane tickets (when they aren't flying on private planes), and the most amazing non-stop displays of groveling and obeisance you've ever seen. Of course, they also get to hire a bunch of loyal "yes-people" who tell them how great and wonderful and infallible they are, because we're talking about egos the size of gas giant planets! Then there are all the freebies and perks from lobbyists and contractors and others who feed from the public trough. And the free, privileged health care unavailable to the American lumpen. Take it from someone who worked in the federal government for more than 30 years, under both Democratic and Republican administrations. It's just amazing how just one whiff of that muddy water can produce terminal cases of Potomac Fever.

 

Potomac Fever is a bi-partisan disease, but Republicans seem to be most prone to it, since they tend to think they've been sent to Washington by divine right. Democrats seems to be slightly more immune, but not much. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and there's an entire apparatus in Washington that exists solely to ensnare and seduce newly arrived high level officials. Very, very few successfully resist its blandishment. All the talk during the Cold War about the corrupt Communist "Nomenklatura" always seemed like a hypocritcal joke to me -- the U.S. has its own Nomenklatura.

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I understand from the news reports that the two Capitol policemen who were on the scene and made out the police report wanted to administer a breathalyzer but were overuled by their supervisor who instructed them to escort Patrick Kennedy home. NO ordinary citizen would get this treatment. This is the type of treatment accorded poohbahs in bananna republics.

 

I can recall other Congressmen being apprehended while driving drunk, like Wilbur Mills, I believe, who ended up in the drink with a lady of the night. He was not treated so well as I remember and suffered serious consequences to his career.

 

It would also seem this courtesy is not accorded to visiting dignitories. A few years ago the Premier of British Columbia was arrested for drunk driving whilst on vacation in Hawaii and he suffered the indignities of being made to stumble in front of a videocamera, take a breathalyzer, and give a mug shot with glazed eyes and all. No special treatment there.

 

BTW, it was also reported that Kennedy was driving at a high rate of speed and lost control of his vehicle. He could have killed somebody, but as history has shown, while messy, this would probably not have resulted in any serious charges against a Kennedy, much less a conviction.

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Luv2Play

 

I appreciate your thoughtful and measured response. It is unlike some who have clouded their sight with star-worship and adulation of all things Kennedy.

 

Money and perceived power are convincing tools to persuade the masses to overlook reality and to react as lemmings approaching a crevasse.

 

Thank God I do not see the tail of "the great blinded one" directly in front of me.

 

HB

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wilber mills was not driving when he came to the attention of the police. if memory serves me correctly, he and a stripper named fanny fox were in the tidal basin taking a late night dip. i think the police fished them out of the water. he was a major power at the time and his career ended; not sure what happened to fanny fox.

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The original question was the news value of the story. As I predicted, it's turning out to be a one-day wonder. I've seen nothing about the story in the media today (of course, I don't watch Faux News, which I don't consider to be a provider of news). There are so many bigger stories right now, like looming war in Iran, the never-ending downward spiral in Iraq, the possibility of Karl Rove being indicted, the sky-high gas prices that are killing middle America at the gas pump, the mysterious (but probably not for long) resignation of the CIA director, the building battle to confirm a new director, the unexploded Abramoff bombshells. . .

 

Nobody but died-in-the-wool Kennedy haters gives a flying fuck about Patrick Kennedy's fender-bender. And it's not terribly shocking to anybody when a Democrat like Kennedy admits to a substance abuse problem, in any case. People don't expect Democrats to be saints, and few Democrats (if any) go for the holier-than-thou image so inexplicably popular with Republicans, who regularly get exposed as world-class hypocrites when they get caught not living up to their carefully manufactured "family" and "KKKrischun" images. Hearkening back to another recent thread, I think it's somewhat ironic that the ONLY President in the past 40+ years who can truly be considered a serious Christian who has striven to live a life in imitation of Christ is the Democratic Jimmy Carter. Carter doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk.

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I'm sorry but privileges need to end when lives are being placed at risk. If they want to get on a plane by themselves and crash it, that's OK by me, but these Kennedeys have no right to put other peoples' lives at risk. I'm a Democrat, but I'm absolutely shocked that having strings pulled to avoid a breathalizer test could happen in this country. Heads really need to roll on this one, starting with those who arranged for the Congressman to avoid getting a breathalizer test. It's obvious he was drunk, or strings wouldn't have had to be pulled to make sure he wasn't tested. This is recurring behavior for the Kennedys, and it's all very shameful, not just for the Kennedys, but for the nation as a whole. Shame on us if we don't hold people accountable.

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My recollection of the incident involving Wilbur Mills was that he was drunk, and had parked his car near the tidal basin, where he decided to take a dip with his ladyfriend. The police were attracted by the parked car in an unauthorized place and arrested Mills. Even if you are not behind the wheel, I believe it is an offense if you are found drunk and it is obvious in the circumstances that you were at the controls of a vehicle and intended to drive it. That is my recollection, but it was a long time ago and there may have been other charges brought. If he had not driven to the scene, I'm not sure he would have been arrested for taking a dip.

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Well, so much for my recollection. I have checked the WashingtonPost article of October, 1974 and it relates that Mills was not at the wheel but was being driven by another man. There were four people in the car, which was apprehended by the police because it was being driven at night without the headlights being turned on. When the car stopped, Fanne Fox jumped out of the car and into the drink, after striking Wilbur in the face and breaking his glasses, bloodying him in the process. The article does not indicate that any charges were laid but once the story became public, Mills career was more or less finished.

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