Today and tomorrow will mark the 44th anniversary of Senator Ted Kennedy’s very active and personal role in the death of Mary Jane Kopechne. Although I haven’t posted this in a few years, I believe it is still worthwhile remembering how the senior Senator from Massachusetts did everything in his power to cover up the facts and to protect himself, after having fled the scene of the accident that he had caused, abandoning Kopechne to die a horrific and prolonged death in his overturned car.
In this post we also continue to recognize how money, power, and the family name allowed Senator Kennedy to avoid any responsibility for his actions. Any other person involved in a similar accident would have been charged with numerous crimes and would have spent several years in jail. Senator Kennedy, however, not only remained free, he continued to posses — over several decades — a level of influence and power that many can only imagine. When he passed, he was remembered as “a champion for those who had none; the soul of the Democratic Party; and the lion of the U.S. Senate.”
So we don’t forget how this revered and respected “Lion of the Senate” was able to escape culpability for his role in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, here once again, is the text of my original post from nine years ago.
35 years ago today, Ted Kennedy’s self-absorbed and self-protective actions ensured that the life of one Mary Jo Kopechne was ended. Ted Kennedy fled the scene of an accident that he caused. and in doing so, he left that woman to drown.
Ted Kennedy was too great a coward to help her. He was more worried about his political career and his reputation, so he helped himself, ran away and tried to cover up his actions while she struggled to stay alive by breathing from the rapidly dwindling air pocket in the backseat of the car.
Anyone else would have been jailed for this crime, but thanks to the Kennedy fortune and friends in high places, Teddy not only stayed out of jail, he has been re-elected several times since then.
Teddy’s question a few years later seems especially pertinent at this time
Do we operate under a system of equal justice under law? Or is there one system for the average citizen and another for the high and mighty?— Senator Ted Kennedy, 1973