Isn’t it ironic that the poster boys in the so-called War on Women are the face of the Democrat Party? Yet people still vote for these clowns.
Let’s just call it what it is: the natural fallout when you’re a member of a family riddled with entitled, underachieving drunks, drug addicts and adulterers, whose treatment of women is historically deplorable.
It’s a top-down mentality that began in the 1920s, with patriarch Joe. Leaving aside his other character flaws — running with gangsters, espousing racist and anti- Semitic beliefs, buying his son’s presidential election — Joe was such a callous philanderer that he often brought his mistress, actress Gloria Swanson, home to dinner with his wife, Rose.
Joe, to be sure, set the bar high, and his sons, as we now know, engaged in lifelong attempts to clear it. They performed admirably. Bobby Kennedy ran around on wife Ethel with, among others, Marilyn Monroe (when his brother Jack was done with her) and, after Jack’s death, his widowed sister-in-law, Jackie.
Until recently, JFK’s relentless womanizing was contextualized as a glamorous flaw, one he shared with many other men who have held the office, born of the swinging, shaken-martini ’60s. We now know that JFK was a remorseless predator, a sitting president who got a teenage intern drunk, took her virginity on his wife’s bed, then later suggested she perform oral sex on an aide while he watched. As that intern, Mimi Alford, wrote in her memoir “Once Upon a Secret,” the president would often have her travel with him, stashing her in the cargo hold with the luggage.
And Ted. Where to begin? There are the well-documented stories of truly sleazy behavior, but it’s quite the legacy when partying with your nephew leads to his trial for rape—and that’s just a footnote. Ted was the worst of the three, pitching off a bridge at Chappaquiddick in 1969, leaving a young campaign aide named Mary Jo Kopechne to die at the bottom of a lake while he slept off the booze, then strategized spin control.
Of course, he got away with it. While his long-suffering wife, Joan, slid into alcoholism and depression — after being conscripted to call the Kopechne family and offer the Kennedys’ sincere condolences — Ted continued partying while burnishing his legacy as the Senate’s liberal lion. He finally explained why he never spoke about Chappaquiddick in his memoir, “True Compass,” written while on his deathbed.
“[W]hatever attacks and misrepresentations I have suffered as a result of Chappaquiddick, I know that they have been nothing compared to the grief endured with dignity by Mary Jo’s father, Joe, who died on Christmas Eve 2003, and her mother, Gwen, who died in 2007. I know that my public discussion of that terrible night would only have caused them more pain. I also have a personal distaste for self-justification.”
And lest we forget the third generation Kennedys: the late Michael Kennedy (affair with the teenage babysitter); Ethel’s nephew Michael Skakel (convicted of the 1975 murder of teenage neighbor Martha Moxley); William Kennedy Smith (tried for rape in 1991); Joe Kennedy II (getting an annulment without telling his wife); Doug Kennedy (kicking and shoving his maternity nurse).
If you were related to these people — really, would you tell anyone? Yet somehow, Americans have continued to imbue the Kennedy name with qualities long ago revealed to be mere chimeras, as ghostly as the hoary, faux-patrician rituals to which they cling: Capture the Flag, touch football, speaking with Brahmin accents.
The day after Mary Kennedy was found hanging in her barn, her estranged husband did what his family does best: sincerely insincere damage control.
“A lot of times, I don’t know how she made it through the day,” Robert Kennedy Jr. said this week. “She was in a lot of agony for a lot of her life.”
The self-serving implication: not that he would ever know how she came to be that way.