Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on August 27, 2009

Sen. Ted Kennedy died earlier this week after serving for 47 years in his family’s apparently hereditary Senate seat. Normally, I subscribe to the admonition to not speak ill of the dead, which is why this blog made no note of Kennedy’s passing earlier.

However, sometimes people write things so jaw-droppingly outrageous that I am forced to break my rule, which is more of a guideline anyway.

We don't know how much Kennedy was affected by [Mary Jo Kopechne’s] death, or what she'd have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history. What we don't know, as always, could fill a Metrodome.

Still, ignorance doesn't preclude a right to wonder. So it doesn't automatically make someone (aka, me) a Limbaugh-loving, aerial-wolf-hunting NRA troll for asking what Mary Jo Kopechne would have had to say about Ted's death, and what she'd have thought of the life and career that are being (rightfully) heralded.

Who knows -- maybe she'd feel it was worth it.


Just how would this offer have been presented to Ms. Kopechne?

“Mary Jo, if you’d just die then this rich Kennedy scion will live for another 40 years, drinking, womanizing and enjoying the privileged life of a Senator. He will run unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for president in 1980 against an incumbent Democrat president. He won’t really pass any memorable legislation over those 47 years in congress. His most memorable moment will be slandering a Supreme Court nominee whom he disagrees with on judicial philosophy. So, Mary Jo, what do you think? Is that worth your life?”

0 comments on “Unbelievable”

  1. Interesting observation.
    Leaves something untouched, however.
    If her dying allowed/propelled Teddy into such a terrific career, what obstacle would have been presented by her continued life?
    Seemss as if that's going undiscussed. If it is WORTH IT that she died, then that means her dying was better than her living--for Teddy. Why? What was the problem with her living that her dying was better for Teddy?
    Was she raped? Pregnant? Drugged? Beaten? Witness to some inexcusable behavior?
    If Teddy wanted her dead, we can presume that his plan did not involve as much crap as he got in the end. But still, can he have figured it was entirely without risk? How much potential risk was he willing to take, with its attendant negative consequences, to remove this obstacle?
    Now, all of the above questions would probably be unnecessary had somebody not suggested that Kopechne's death was "worth it".
    Of course, it could have been merely Teddy's good luck, so to speak, that removed the obstacle.
    The question remains: If it was "worth it", then what was the problem posed by her continuing to live?


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