One more on Chappaquiddick before we go. On the 25th anniversary of the Kopechne murder,in 1994, Jeff Jacoby penned this piece: Chappaquiddick's unanswered questions. It's amazing how all of the questions he asked then could still be asked as though he had written the piece yesterday.
People wonder how Massachusetts could keep returning Kennedy to the Senate as though this never happened, and it's a good question with a lot of answers. One is that people tend to be forgiving and empathetic. They assume that it was just an accident that could happen to anyone -- and to an extent it was -- and to the extent that it was, yes, accidents are forgivable in time. If he had done what you or I would have done -- sought help, gone immediately to the authorities, paid the price as you or I would have -- that would be one thing. But the truth is far worse. People make assumptions about what Kennedy did, but they have no idea just how reprehensible his and his clan's behavior really was.
As Jacoby concludes the piece:
...One final question -- the one Kennedy himself asked in 1974, when Richard Nixon was pardoned:
"Do we operate under a system of equal justice under law, or is there one system for the average citizen and another for the high and mighty?"
The trajectory of Ted Kennedy's career and life of pleasure and privilege demonstrate the answer to that question.
And then of course, beyond the empathy, there's the voting record. Chappaquiddick shows that if you support the right "liberal" causes -- affirmative action, welfare, unions, etc, etc... -- the people of Massachusetts will let you get away with murder.