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Ted Sets Sail
Wednesday, February 01, 2006   By: Mahone Dunbar

Another Bad Hair Day In Camelot

Senator Ted Kennedy poses with the USS Chappiquiddick,
a small submersible vehicle he personally helped design.


Another Bad-Hair Day In Camelot

Alito Sworn In

This Tuesday, the day of President Bush's State of the Union address, was a doubly sad day for Senator Ted Kennedy. It was also the day that Judge Alito was sworn in as a member of the Supreme Court. At times during the confirmation hearings, Kennedy was almost a lone voice slurring in the wilderness in his passionate opposition to Alito. Kennedy's trenchant observations about Alito's lack of qualification went beyond the judge's education, experience, good reputation, and respect for the constitution - which were more or less inconsequential to Democrats - and to the heart of the matter.

Holding the opinion, as Judge Alito does, that the highest court in the land should rely on strict interpretation of the Constitution and not create law by the whimsical fiats of a panel of jurists, is enough of a sticking point to Democrats, but it took Senator Kennedy to point out the judge's major sin: his stance on "women's issues." Women's issues, to Kennedy and a host of Democrats, means one thing: abortion. In retrospect, we may now understand why the issue was so important to Kennedy.

With the recent publication of a contentious article claiming Senator Kennedy had fathered a bastard son by one of his sexual conquests, and that the senator became angry because said conquest would not abort the pregnancy, the motive for the senator's deep personal interest in abortion becomes clear. Certainly, if a sexual conquest of Kennedy's from twenty-one years ago (the age of his presumed bastard son) had availed herself to an abortion, the Senator would have been spared yet another series of headlines illuminating his moral bankruptcy.

And though to the uninitiated it would appear a tad hypocritical for the bombastic Senator from Massachusetts to condemn Justice Alito for having once belonged to a college group that decried the role of women on campus - while the Senator was still a member of the Owl Club, an organization which excludes women from membership - this is only a illusion. Senator Kennedy, a paragon of liberal virtue, is widely acclaimed as a respecter of women - whether it's forming a waitress sandwich (a group activity designed to help promote a healthy ego and positive self-esteem in a working woman), or respecting their independence by not chauvinistically presuming a woman in distress is not competent enough to extricate herself from a submerged car in the dark. Besides, real liberals understand the truth: rich white males like Kennedy are a privileged class to whom the usual rules do not apply. For the Kennedys of the world, there need be no equivalency between one's personal actions and one's rhetoric.

Moral equilibrium is for the hoi poli - not the worthless scion of wealth. If there is any message at all to be found in Teddy Kennedy's life, this is it.

But there was some good news for stuttering Teddy this week. The Department Of Defense announced the release of the newest addition to its submarine fleet: the USS Chappiquiddick, a small submersible vehicle to be used for navigating inland waterways. Senator Kennedy, a member of the Armed Services Committee and a long time devote of water sports, actually contributed to the Chappiquiddick's design.

Admiral Cornelius Horndecker, in charge of the project to design the small submersible, and who spoke with Paxety Pages on condition of anonymity, explained Kennedy's participation in the project.

Horndecker: Everyone is familiar with Senator Kennedy's educational pedigree. Though he only made C’s at the private academy he attended, and was only able to get into Harvard as a "legacy", and was expelled twice - once for cheating - the man is actually quite intelligent. In fact, surprisingly so; I don't think the alcohol abuse has damaged his brain nearly half as much as people say. The senator had lots of input on the Chappiquiddick's design.

Paxety Pages: So that’s why it looks like a 1968 Oldsmobile 98?

Horndecker: A what? Uh, I wouldn't know about that.

Paxety Pages: Well, is it sea worthy? It’s looks so boxy.

Horndecker: Of course. We had a little problem with it rolling over at first - it has a tendency to go belly-up in the water - and we almost lost one of our female test pilots. Fortunately, the accident occurred in shallow water, and there was a small air pocket so she was able to survive until our rescue team got her out.

Paxety Pages: How did you solve the roll-over problem?

Horndecker: We added four air-filled buoyancy stabilizers, one at each corner - those black circular tubes you see - each pressurized at 32 psi. It's completely safe now. That was the senator's idea, by the way.

Paxety Pages: Quite amazing. I certainly did not realize Senator Kennedy was so versatile.

Horndecker: Yes, and he is quite qualified to work on military projects. The senator has military experience, you know.

Paxety Pages: Really?

Horndecker: Yes. Few people realize that he did a two year hitch during the Korean War.

Paxety Pages: The senator fought in Korea? That is news to me.

Horndecker: Actually, he served in the European theater.

Paxety Pages: And served with distinction, I presume? Like his brother Jack.

Horndecker: He went in as a private, and two years later came out as a private; however, I must point out that he never did time in a military stockade, and that the drunken driving charges that plagued him on his return to law school after his service never impeded his military career.

Paxety Pages: That is commendable. And I understand Senator Kennedy took the Chappiquiddick on its maiden voyage - but there was a hitch.

Horndecker: My adjunct gave Senator Kennedy a liter bottle of champagne to inaugurate the vessel for its maiden voyage. The senator, ah, must have misunderstood its purpose.

Paxety Pages: He got lit?

Horndecker: Well . . . after a brief interlude of rest, he was able to take the ship out on its maiden voyage from Chappiquiddick to Nantucket Island - though he aborted the trip somewhat.

Paxety Pages: He cut it short. Why?

Horndecker: For some reason, and I know this sounds strange, Senator Kennedy thought the ship was haunted. Personally - and don't tell anyone I said this - I think it was the alcohol.

Paxety Pages: One more question Admiral Horndecker: I'm not questioning the objectiveness of your assessment of Senator Kennedy's skill at nautical design, but is it true that the senator has agreed to fund a private oceanic research facility for you after your retirement?

Horndecker: No comment. This interview is over.

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