Faster than you can say "Chappaquiddick," President Obama has called the newly dead Edward M. Kennedy "the greatest United States Senator of our time.” I stood silent during the absurd, post-mortem lionization of Michael Jackson and fond memories of fluffed hair queen Farrah Fawcett. But I won't stand for the second Kennedy apotheosis in a month -- this one completely undeserved.
I am not a Kennedy hater and I agree with most of the positions adopted by the dead senator. I revered Jack and Bobby. But Teddy, whose life amply demonstrates he should have been nicknamed Fast Eddie, was unquestionably the "bad seed."
Unlike Eunice Kennedy Shriver, kindly rich lady that she was, her brother Edward disappointed only those who expected him to deliver at least as much as he received. After all, Ted Kennedy was born with a silver spoon and delivered a life of dishonest posturing. Then again, that silver spoon had been forged from the Wall Street and Prohibition Era shenanigans of his none-too-saintly father.
The storied double dealing of patriarch Joe Kennedy wasn't Ted Kennedy's fault. Not like his cheating on a Spanish exam at Harvard. Not like Chappaquiddick.
The man now being eulogized as a great liberal allowed the minimum wage to sink below the poverty line. He failed to join forces with Jimmy Carter to prevent the election of Ronald Reagan and to help pass health reform in the 1990s.
Kennedy claimed to be a Catholic, yet after driving a good woman to drink and divorce, he emulated the darkest side of Camelot, finally squiring another divorced Catholic.
Is there anything for which Edward M. Kennedy said he stood that he didn't betray? Is there anything he actually achieved?