by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
P.J. O’Rourke reminds Commentary readers about inconvenient truths involving former President John F. Kennedy and his famous family.
Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what the Kennedys ever did for your country. Bring the monkey’s paw of being telegenic into politics? Of all the things that the American political system needed, this was the last. And whatever it was that the Kennedys did, they did most of it a long time ago. …
… History has tried to end the Kennedy saga. In a sense it has been “ever-ending.” By all that’s just and right, the story of the Kennedys’ expansion of their greed from pelf to power should have come to a halt when amoral, priapic, stock-jobbing, isolationist, defeatist, Hitler-appeasing anti-Semite Joseph Kennedy Sr. was recalled from his absurd posting as ambassador to Great Britain and resigned in disgrace in 1941.
Instead the saga ended in a sad heroic irony when Joe Senior’s designated substitute for his own political aspirations, a son with equally obnoxious ideas, Joe Jr., died in combat in 1944.
The saga ended in horror in 1963.
It ended in horror again in 1968.
It ended in callous manslaughter on Chappaquiddick in 1969. Never mind that Ted Kennedy went on for another 40 years as “the Lion of the Senate.” His was an animal act in the political circus with Teddy allowing the bien-pensant to stick their heads in his mouth. …
… [JFK] was a man of no abiding political principles, a plagiaristic pseudo-intellectual, a liar about his health and fitness, and a gross philanderer. But, it turns out, he also wasn’t a very nice guy. …
… The world did—and does and maybe always will—let Jack live up to that very edge, and right over it, and out into the thin air of a legend in which nothing actually legendary happened.