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Ted Kennedy, Senate Boor


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Sen. Ted Kennedy, a man whose behavior was once described by Time magazine as that of “a drunken, overage frat-house boor,” has decided that the war in Iraq was nothing more than one giant scam. Kennedy told the Associated Press last month that “There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud.”

Kennedy also accused the administration of spreading money appropriated for the war effort “all around to these political leaders in all parts of the world, bribing them to send in troops.” Naturally, Kennedy offered not a shred of evidence for his accusation, nor did he name any of those “political leaders in all parts of the world” who supposedly were on the receiving end of the alleged bribes.

We know Kennedy doesn’t think much of George W. Bush. So whom does he admire? “Al Sharpton,” Kennedy bellowed at a recent Congressional Black Caucus event, “has brought a new energy, a new insight in the issues that are facing this country….[H]e is educating America about what this country is really about and what it needs to do and what its future should be….We are a better country because Al Sharpton is in the mix and on the list and trying to make an important difference in our nation.”

That would be Al Sharpton of Tawana Brawley fame; Al Sharpton, who at the time of the 1991 Crown Heights riots called the Jews of Crown Heights “diamond merchants” and ranted, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.”

The very same Al Sharpton who referred to a Jewish merchant being picketed by black protesters in Harlem as “some white interloper” not long before one of the protestors went into the store, shot three whites and a Pakistani and then set fire to the establishment; among the dead were five Hispanics and a black security guard the protestors had taunted as a “cracker lover.”

The Al Sharpton, who in 1994 elevated the public discourse with the following historical tidbit that must be read slowly and savored for its profound insight and literary elegance, and that has been preserved for posterity by Bill Crawford in his book Democrats Do the Dumbest Things:

“White folks was in caves while we was building empires. We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.”

Kennedy, of course, is no slouch himself in the stupid remarks department. Who can forget his response to a rather simple question, posed by TV newsman Roger Mudd in November 1979, as he prepared to challenge President Jimmy Carter for the 1980 Democratic presidential nomination – a response derided even by liberal commentators as “not articulate or even coherent” (Mary McGrory) and “stumbling, inarticulate, unconvincing? (Anthony Lewis)”

Mudd: “Why do you want to be president?”

Kennedy: “Well, I’m – were I to – to make the announcement and – to run, the reasons that I would run is because I have a great belief in this country, that it is – has more natural resources than any nation in the world, has the greatest educated population in the world, the greatest capacity for innovation in the world, and the greatest political system in the world. And yet, I see at the current time that most of the industrial nations of the world are exceeding us in terms of productivity, are doing better than us in terms of meeting the problems of inflation, that they’re dealing with their problems of energy and their problems of unemployment….And the energies and the resourcefulness of this nation, I think, should be focused on these problems in a way that brings a sense of restoration in this country by its people to – in dealing with the problems that we face – primarily the issues on the economy, the problems of inflation, and the problems of energy. And I would basically feel that – that it’s imperative for this country to either move forward, that it can’t stand still, or otherwise it moves back.”

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


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