May 6, 2006

Should Patrick Kennedy resign?

Orthogonal at DailyKos says so. "The Democratic Party needs to show it's different, that it's not a club of the elite taking care of the elite." The idea is that Kennedy should quit for the good of the party. Memeorandum collects links to Orthogonal's post. Lots of Democrats -- unsurprisingly -- disagree. Aside from what is good for his party, shouldn't Kennedy resign out of simple unfitness to serve?

51 comments:

Bissage said...

Ann Althouse asked: "[S]houldn't Kennedy resign out of simple unfitness to serve?"

No. He needs to stand firm and set a courageous example for all our other drug and booze-addled statesmen.

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah he should resign but of course he won't.

I was struck by the length of his blowhard speech (no questions allowed) and the way he almost yelled it out. It also reminded me of Jim McGreevey's ruse..."I am a poor and unfortunate gay American".

Kennedy used essentially the same tactic..."I am one of many unfortunate substance-abusing Americans".

I admit I am paraphrasing but they must think most Americans are dopes. I want to tell them ...Just go the F away and don't come back!

Dave said...

Well his uncle is a murderer and did not resign so why should he?

Crazy drunks.

Robert said...

Yeah, if he should resign for killing a poor defenseless traffic barrier, what would be the appropriate response for Teddy?

twwren said...

Let the voters decide. We get what we deserve.

Jake said...

Being fat, stupid and drunk is no way to go through life.

Gerry said...

Patrick Kennedy should not resign because, along with Reps. Moran and McKinney, he perfectly represents the modern Democratic party.

quietnorth said...

If it were merely a matter of operating while intoxicated and getting caught, I would say, "No, he shouldn't resign".

If he used his power to alter an investigation in order to get the "good old boy" treatment, then he should have to resign.

The same should be true of Dick Cheney shooting a man in the face.

Scott Ferguson said...

When Republicans are caught out in some illegal or antisocial behavior, they are, more often than not, forced out by the party, or resign on their own.

When Democrats are caught out, they usually blame everyone else, or say that Republicans do it too, and the party circles the wagons. This is what we've seen time and time again.

Maybe the Kos kiddie was waking up to the fact that the Democrat's MO is hurting the party. Well, duh!

Maxine Weiss said...

YES! He doesn't need the money. He's got a trust fund. All sewn up. Let him get wasted on someone else's dime.

Peace, Maxine

SteveR said...

I tend to agree with twwren, let the voters decide. I mean really who can live up to the Kossack's standards?

Side note: Do you ever just blow off the word verification so that you can get a shot at a readable one? wvuyvwuyxvwugqgqgqgqgqgqg

SippicanCottage said...
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Seven Machos said...

sippican cottage: a manslaughterer? How about that?

Kennedy did kill Mary Jo Kopechne. He got away with it because he is rich and powerful. Suppose someone killed your daughter or your mother exactly the same way. Should they get away without repercussions? Should they be imprisoned? Should they pay a fine? Should they pay you for your loss? And what would you call what they did?

Bruce Hayden said...

Of course he shouldn't resign. He is a Kennedy, and they are special.

PatCA said...

"Kennedy used essentially the same tactic..."I am one of many unfortunate substance-abusing Americans"."

Hey, you should be glad you were not ordered by society to be a sustance abuser! What do you think, he became one of his own free will?

And if he just mixed two pills by accident, why is he going to rehab? His story doesn't hold up.

SippicanCottage said...
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CB said...

I'll join the chorus:

Yes, he should resign;
No, he will probably not resign;
Yes, he should be voted out of office;
No, he will probably not be;
Yes, Ted Kennedy is a murderer, not a manslaughterer (extremely reckless disregard for the value of human life = malice).
No, it is not inapproriate to bring that up. It is a disgrace to the US Senate and a disgrace to the country that he has held public office for as long as he has.
{/rant}

David said...

The Kennedy clan is as big a bunch of misfits as I have ever seen outside a televison series. the fact that they keep getting reelected despite their drinking, drug abuse, danger to women, and weaknesses that leave them open to exploitation by predatory political activists speaks volumes about Democrats on the east coast.

The difference in how the Dems handle this fiasco and how they handled the Limbaugh debacle is strictly party politics. Except Limbaugh is not a politician!

By the way, what is the penalty for claiming a late night vote get-out-of-jail-free card when it is not true? How convenient this constitutional clause is to protect substance abusers and Kennedys.

Pathetic example of leadership and what a fine example for young people to emulate!

Seven Machos said...

Sippican -- You are eminently reasonable, always. I didn't mean to sound full of invective. I guess I have, at least to you. I apologize.

Let's not use your daughter or mother. Let's use me. When I was 16, I was driving a car down a road at night. A possum was in the road. I swerved the car, and we went off the road, turning the car on its side in a creek. My friend and I were wearing seatbelts (thank God, my friend had just put his on). We walked away.

Had my friend died in that crash, and he very well could have, it is very likely that I almost cedrtainly would have faced manslaughter charges. That may be just or unjust, but it's true. It happens all the time.

Why didn't Kennedy face charges? Shouldn't he have? Wasn't what he did a serious crime? If my accident had caused my friend to die, would I have been a murderer?

Bissage said...

Scott Furguson: I agree that it is broadly true that the Republican party is the party of grownups; at least compared to the Democrats.

What accounts for the difference I do not know.

word verification: ppatgdyl. Wasn't that one of the characters they left out of The Lord of the Rings? You know, Hi ho lighdee lil, I'm Tom Ppatgdyl.

David said...

Quietnorth;

The unfortunate accident involving Cheney would not have occured if the person who was shot had stayed behind the fire line instead of wandering into the line of fire. His actions almost caused his death.

When you go hunting you had best follow the rules! If you don't, you pay the price.

Nice try!

Seven Machos said...

Had Cheney killed that guy, the left would be howling. And there would be a good argument that he should face manslughter or murder charges.

The point here, broadly, is that our politicians and famous people should face exactly the same justice as others, no better (like any Kennedy) or worse (like Limbaugh). It goes without saying that our justice system should also be fair and just for everyone.

By the way, any person with a sense of decency would resign in Patrick Kennedy's situation.

Bissage said...

Seven Machos: You said that "any person with a sense of decency would resign in Patrick Kennedy's situation."

True. But, you know, in times of desperation ordinary men can become extraordinarily selfish. So we really can't blame him. Just imagine the mess this guy would become if unrestrained by the expectation he'll show up for work in the morning.

And, after all, we can't really expect him to work an ordinary job, now can we?

MadisonMan said...

The unfortunate accident involving Cheney would not have occured if the person who was shot had stayed behind the fire line instead of wandering into the line of fire. His actions almost caused his death.

The person pulling the trigger -- Cheney -- is responsible for everything in his (her) line of sight. That is basic hunting safety.

Should Patches resign? Has he been charged with anything? If he had not had the accident, and just gone off to rehab, should he resign then? Is he being pressured to resign because of being a member of the Bob Kasten School of Driving and crashing, or because he's hooked on pills?

Ultimately, it is up to the voters of RI, and whomever is paying them to vote.

Seven Machos said...

MadisonMan: Then Nixon should not have resigned.

MadisonMan said...

Then Nixon should not have resigned.

I don't see the parallel. Nixon was informed that he had lost support in his party and a vote to impeach was nearly certain. Even if Patches loses the support of his party, what happens?

Maybe that toothsome House Ethics Committee will sink its teeth into this (cough) scandal.

Seven Machos said...

Come on, MadisonMan. Let's pretend it's 1972:

"Should NIXON resign? Has he been charged with anything? If he had not had the WATERGATE BREAK-IN, and just gone ON TO MAUL GOLDWATER IN THE ELEXTION, should he resign then? Is he being pressured to resign because of HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF THE BREAK-IN, or because he's A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT DESPISED BY THE ELITE?

Ultimately, it is up to the voters of THE USA, and whomever is paying them to vote."

You strike me as someone who will go to great lengths to defend people you consider on your side, but will find all manner of flaws in people you perceive as "against your side."

SippicanCottage said...
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MadisonMan said...

7m: I think you mean 1973.

Again, has Patches been charged with anything? Will he be? If a charge was imminent, and he was told the party would not support him, that would be a parallel to Nixon's resignation before impeachment because the party was no longer supporting him.

I wonder if this brouhaha would be so at-full-boil for any other member of the house? If Tammy Baldwin had done this, or Stephen Lynch, or anyone without a famous surname, what would be happening?

As a former Rhode Islander who lived in the other district (South County), I always wondered how Patches could be elected. He has absolutely no gravitas.

Christy said...

I've despised the entire Kennedy
Clan for decades, but I have to say, Teddy has provided an excellent example of how to just ignore ones critics and continue to do what one wants. In my far from blameless life, I've found that to be a useful example. And of course, I've never respected those who let me get away with it. Sounds to me like he has served as the same example for his spawn.

Dave said...

Re Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick: what is manslaughter if not murder?

Aspasia M. said...

RE: Patrick Kennedy


I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what exactly happened. It sounds like he woke up and drove to the House parking lot and then crashed into that barrier?

If he had taken ambien the night before, but not slept for 8 hours, that can be quite dangerous.

If, however, he was popping ambien that morning before driving, that's dangerous to himself and others and it was quite immoral to drive in that condition.
----

I'm not sure what Watergate has to do with anything, but I find the comparison amusing.

But if we're going to talk about Watergate, surely we should talk about HookerGate.

Man, you'd think the Watergate was the only hotel in DC for scandals. They should be more original, or at least vary the location of scandals in order to give other hotels publicity.

Seven Machos said...

Gooeyduck: That was very underwhelming.

I brought up Watergate when it was suggested that voters should decide whether Patrick Kennedy keeps his job or not. I asked why Nixon didn't keep his after winning a landslide election. It was a rhetorical question designed to suggest that people might be viewing this thing through a prism of political subjectivity (something you do pretty much all the time). I am confident most people understood the meaning.

With regard to Ambien, you are being either stupid or conniving. Firstly, no reasonable person takes Ambien IN THE MORNING, or before DRIVING. Secondly, here is a person with a history of serious alcohol and drug abuse. You know, and I know, and everyone knows that Rep. Kennedy was drunk and/or had taken barbituate-type drugs. This wasn't sleeping pills. Don't play the people posting here for fools.

Maxine Weiss said...

Nixon was drunk!!!!

I heard the tapes. Nixon was slurring and stammering on those tapes. He was drunk.

So does that absolve him? Maybe Nixon shouldn't have been impeached, because he had a "disease".

Peace, Maxine

Walt said...

When I was pulled over last night for running into a pedestrian ... I mean a barrier, the cop saw that I was a law abiding citezen who pays his taxes. Amyway, you can guess the rest. My only point is that you cannot have individuals deciding the fate of the country who are above the law. Not just above the law, but beyond the law. How can they possibly speak for their constituents.

Walt said...

Of course, any logical mathematician must equate some first families of America.

Postulate:

Bush Family = Kennedy Family

Regardless of party, they are one in the same in my book = beyond reproach!

Joe Baby said...

All wise congressmen should get endless prescriptions to Ambien, and use the sleepwalker excuse for anything. Found w/ a hooker? You woke up there. Time for rehab again.

Also, loved PK's comment about how he didn't "ask" for special consideration. Pfft.

Finally, w/ the Kennedy history, I would mind it if we employed all of them so long as they stayed in one place and thus kept away from the rest of us. It's like a family of kamikazes. I wouldn't walk out of the the house w/o a helmet if my name was Kennedy.

Subcomandante Bob said...

News of hope for the Kennedy family in DC, as only National Nitwit can present.

Gene Shaw said...

I wonder if the Kennedy Family "legacy" is uniquely American...

brylin said...

Patrick Kennedy taught Cynthia McKinney how to behave:

"March 26, 2000: A videotape captures Kennedy pushing a 58-year-old airport security guard backward and bumping the metal detector archway at Los Angeles International Airport. The catalyst apparently was that his luggage was too big for carry-on and he was disturbed the guard did not recognize him."

Brendan said...

Should he? Absolutely. Disgraced Republicans resign all the time. Who's the last Dem politician to resign instead of vainly and imperiously clinging to power?

Then again, why quit when you've got thousands of willing dupes waiting to vote for you?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/06/AR2006050600904.html

Aspasia M. said...

I brought up Watergate when it was suggested that voters should decide whether Patrick Kennedy keeps his job or not.

I brought up Watergate because politicians keep on getting into big trouble there. I think they should spread their buisness around to other hotels in the interest of fairness.

With regard to Ambien, you are being either stupid or conniving.

Oh, I'm definitely conniving!

Firstly, no reasonable person takes Ambien IN THE MORNING, or before DRIVING.

Well, I should hope so! But if somebody is an addict, one might reasonably guess they were popping pills at all time in the night and day.

You know, and I know, and everyone knows that Rep. Kennedy was drunk and/or had taken barbituate-type drugs.

Ok. I also think it's immoral if he took Ambien in the morning because he is an addict and then drove.

Anyhoo- If he was driving while high because he was abusing either illegal or legal drugs (Ambien) (or while drunk) then he should resign.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mickey said...

Yes, he should resign and join a band.

Pat Patterson said...

But at least this way we can keep an eye on the drug and alcohol soaked politician. And if they are impaired often and long enough they can't do much damage to the common good.

Ken said...

The royal family never admits mistakes

Kev said...

"If he used his power to alter an investigation in order to get the "good old boy" treatment, then he should have to resign.

The same should be true of Dick Cheney shooting a man in the face.
"

I saw a hilarious bumper sticker a while back:
I'D RATHER GO HUNTING WITH DICK CHENEY
THAN GO DRIVING WITH TED KENNEDY

Kirk Parker said...

Dave,

"what is manslaughter if not murder?"

Well, it's....
ummm, hmmmm, don't really know how to explain this, .........
kinda complicated y'know......


Oh, yeah: it's manslaughter.

That's why we have a different term for it. Doh!

(I suppose some of the legal types around here could do a better job than I could explaining mens rea and intention and all that...)


Word verification: qqpun

"Finding a way to scramble the letters 'quoxxo' around with humorous result."

Noumenon said...

Re Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick: what is manslaughter if not murder?

Then again, what is murder if not manslaughter?

This is a law blog: can someone comment on the legal accuracy of seven machos' scenario? It doesn't seem right that you would be charged with manslaughter if your passenger died when your car crashed, unless you were shown to be negligent. Would drinking be enough to show that?

I was thinking it was dumb to ask him to resign a position where his mistakes may cost the lives of hundreds of Americans over a little car crash, but Brendan reminded me that disgraced Republicans like Trent Lott retire over the same kind of little things. That's politics, I guess.

Dr. Fager said...

The Kennedy's have created their own social strata - the lumpen aristocracy.

Seven Machos said...

Allow me, if I may, to comment on the legal accuracy of my scenario, by way of another real-life example:

Trooper: Janklow Was Speeding
Dec. 3, 2003

"(AP) Rep. Bill Janklow was traveling 71 mph in a 55 mph zone when he ran a stop sign and drove into the path of a motorcyclist, a state trooper testified Wednesday at the congressman's manslaughter trial.

An aide who was with the former four-term South Dakota governor at the time of the crash testified that he believed Janklow slowed before the accident.

Highway Patrol Sgt. Gene Barthel, an accident reconstructionist, used a large map to show jurors the location of roads, stop signs, Janklow's Cadillac, the motorcycle and the body of its rider, Randy Scott."

In my case, I was completely sober and I didn't hit anyone but I did have a passenger in my car, and if my negligence had caused his death, a prosecutor would have a case for manslaughter.

The police officer at the scene said that he could tell by (I'll never forget this) "the geometry of the skidmarks that I was going at least 90." I swear to you by God that I was going about 60, maybe 65, in a 55 mph zone, when I swerved. But who would a jury believe: a petulant 16-year-old kid or a police officer at the scene?

There is a happy ending to this story, by the way. My friend and I suffered some abrasions and sore backs, and were coverd in mud, but we were fine. My insurance company actually sent someone to my friend's house. My friend insisted he was fine but signed a waiver and accepted a check for about $100. We spent the money on beer and threw a party.

I cannot believe some of the stupid stuff I did as a kid. (This was among the highlights, certainly.) It's sad that representatives in government are doing even stupider things.