Friday, May 05, 2006

The Kennedy tradition lives on.

Congressman Patrick Kennedy, of the famed political/drinking clan, had a car accident on Capitol Hill. At 3 am Kennedy crashed his car into a security barracade. Police reported that the car was swerving before the incident and that Kenney appeared drunk. Kennedy tried to claim that he was in hurry because he was late for a vote in Congress --- very late it appears had the House was not meeting at that time of early morning and the last vote of the session took place six hours earlier. Officers trained to conduct sobriety tests were forbidden to investigate the case. Two sargeants with the police force appeared on the scene and ordered all investigating officers to leave the scene immediately.

According to reports Kennedy got special treatment. He was not tested for intoxication and was driven home by compliant officers. Kennedy released a statement: "I was involved in a traffic accident last night at First and C Street SE near the U.S. Capitol. I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident. I will fully cooperate with the Capitol police in whatever investigation they choose to undertake." Of course the investigation would have to revolve around whether he drunk or not and since no test was conducted at the scene of the incident it is now too late to do so. A blood alcohol test administered days after the incident won't tell anyone anything. Kennedy was involved in another traffic accident one month ago.

His father, Ted Kennedy, got the same sort of favourable treatment during the infamous Chappaquiddick Island incident in 1969. Kennedy left a drinking party with a young female secretary, Mary Jo Kopechne. He drove off a bridge into the water. Kopechne was trapped in the car. Kennedy claims he tried to rescue her. He returned to the party and says he and his cousins returned to rescue Kopechne but failed. Even though a phone was available they did not call for help. Kennedy returned to his hotel and meet with attorneys and others before reporting the accident to the police. Numerous incidents of drinking and womanising have haunted Kennedy.

To be fair it should be noted that Vice President Dick Cheney's hunting accident was not reported to police until a day after the man he shot was hospitalised. There was conjecture that Cheney had been drinking though Cheney insists it was very little and had nothing to do with his shooting a hunting partner accidentally. A delay of 24 hours in any such case means that legal evidence is now unavailable.