It is bad enough -- awful enough, dispiriting and dangerous for the Republic -- for our own media to airbursh away Ted Kennedy's criminal behavior at Chappaquiddick, where Mary Jo Kopechne died 40 years ago this summer, kicking into action the Kennedy fixers and shills that kept the first-term senator politically "viable." (More on this in this week's column.) But being told that the American media set a good example of "forgiveness," or that America is to be congratulated for being the "land of second chances" is almost worse. It's no compliment; it's just evidence that our shamefulness is world-renowned.
Ted Kennedy’s career shows that America is indeed the land of second chances.
In Britain, as today’s papers will no doubt reflect, Chappaquiddick remains a prominent feature of the Kennedy biography. That is partly because controversy - and heroism - maintain a far greater prominence for foreign audiences than domestic audiences.
Americans witnessed his rehabilitation and his contribution to the nation’s political life close up; Britons largely got stuck on the controversy and couldn’t imagine why he would be allowed back in the fold....
I'm with Britons.
In welcoming Kennedy back to the fold, Democrats - and many Republicans - may have taken into account his genuine contrition, and his troubled past....
Gag. Root causes.
He had by 1969 lost two brothers to assassins’ bullets and a brother and a sister to plane crashes. (Excuses, excuses, disapproving Brits would say.) Belonging to the closest thing America had to royalty probably didn’t harm his ability to evade prosecution for something a lot more serious than failing to report a crime.
But something deeper lies behind the re-acceptance of Kennedy into public life and the unadulterated adulation of cable news coverage on the day of his death: the American way is to allow for redemption. When the British culture identifies a victim, he stays a victim. Americans, living in a predominantly Christian nation founded by people yearning for a another chance in life, believe in rebirth. It is how they carry on....
Isn't Britain a predominantly Christian nation, too? Whatever, but the perp does time first, anyway.
The writer goes on to note the strange silence on the Right when it comes to acknowleging Kennedy's more monstrous behaviors and unscrupulous and destructive brand of politics, mentioning Michelle Malkin and Victor Davis Hanson as being among those showing, to me, a downright weird and misplaced "restraint." (Note to media: You're not part of the grieving team.)
Andrew Breitbart, Matt Drudge’s partner and Washington Times columnist, was among the exceptions found by Politico, using Twitter to call Kennedy a “duplicitous bastard” and a “prick”.
“I’m more than willing to go off decorum to ensure THIS MAN is not beatified. Sorry, he destroyed lives. And he knew it.”
The Brits know it too, and they haven’t forgotten it. It might be time for us to learn some lessons in forgiveness from the Americans.
"Forgiveness"? How about power-blinded immorality?