Category Archives: Commentary

The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! Or Perhaps Only an Obscure Cambridge Professor || Lifezette

The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! Or Perhaps Only an Obscure Cambridge Professor

Evidence builds the FBI’s spy inside 2016 Trump campaign was GOP Establishment operative Stefan Halper

by Craig Shirley and Scott Mauer | Updated 21 May 2018 at 4:36 PM

Even before his inauguration, President Donald Trump and his administration have been hammered left and right, day in and day out, about allegations his 2016 campaign colluded with Russian interests.

The story goes that the Russian government and the Trump campaign worked hand in hand to elect him while simultaneously scamming 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Now, details are emerging that seem to paint that narrative as patently false. Or, rather, at least not as clear-cut as some would want it. And to date, no one has explained how the Russians actually influenced the 2016 election. We are still trying to get past the day a Trump staffer suggested in a meeting, “Hey! Let’s call the Russians! They know all about American elections!” Smart move, there.

One of the more central figures of the whole scandal (and one of the main reasons for Robert Mueller’s investigation) may be George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts.

One day in London, a couple of months before the 2016 election, he was approached by another professor, who had Russian friends in high places, about “thousands of emails” from Hillary Clinton’s servers. Some days later, he goes to a bar, gets drunk, and, like a typical young adult man, spouts it off to the then-Australian high commissioner to the U.K., Alexander Downer, who then passed it on to the Obama Department of Justice and the FBI.

Papadopoulos may have very well been set up, FBI style. The FBI is a master of setting up people it wants to hurt. From Donald Trump himself to Martin Luther King Jr., the FBI has had a history of being extrajudicial in proceedings.

The FBI had tapped and spied on the civil rights leader for years on trumped-up beliefs, all because he threatened the status quo. In one instance in 1964, MLK had been sent an anonymous letter from the FBI, blackmailing him on his alleged affairs.

“You are done,” it threateningly reads. “King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is.” It did not say exactly, but King suspected, with good reason, that his life was in danger … Government is used to doing what government wants, legally aside. This is a nonpartisan fact.

Papadopoulos, perhaps, was mousetrapped, the oldest and surest means the FBI uses to entrap someone they don’t like. Nixon’s White House and re-election campaign orchestrated the spying on the Democratic National Committee located in the Watergate hotel, but this is government spying on private American citizens. And who ordered the FBI to spy on Trump’s campaign? Enquiring minds want to know.

Rush Limbaugh recently put it succinctly: Papadopoulos, then in his 20s and young and full of ambition, “was a nothing. He was a nobody, which made him a perfect mark. He was a young guy who wanted to go places.” He was naïve, easily impressed, and in way over his head.

That made him the perfect target for Stefan Halper. It has been reported that Papadopoulos received an offer from Halper, out of the blue, with no word or warning, to receive $3,000 to go to London and write a foreign-policy paper.

It was completely random and odd, he recalled later, and he wondered why he of all people — a no one on the Trump foreign-policy advisory team — would be picked. But it was an offer he took. Halper then planted the idea, along with another professor, in George’s mind that the Russians had dirt on Hillary’s campaign.

Is Halper is a mole for the FBI? Even Salon is reporting on the rumors. In September of 2016 and July of 2017, Halper received over $400,000 total from the “Washington Headquarters Services” (WHS), according to

Further, he has connections to both CIA and MI6, making him the perfect bumbling spy right out of The Pink Panther. It was less than a month before the first payment of $282,295 that Halper first contacted Papadopoulos.

A little too convenient, isn’t it? In total, Halper has received nearly $1 million for various foreign-policy projects over the past several years. Though WHS is more connected to the Department of Defense than the FBI, it shows Halper has government allies. Halper himself has had CIA and FBI connections for years.

Halper, a bulky backbencher of long standing, a moderate Republican, and a self-questioning neocon, was a low-level aide in the Nixon White House, a low-level aide in the Ford White House, and a low-level aide in the Reagan Administration (though he did not work in the Reagan White House as his Wikipedia bio says). And, for a time, he ran the Palmer Bank in Washington.

Palmer Bank was famed for Ollie North’s running money through it to fund his scheme, which later became known as “Iran-Contra.” For a time, Halper was also a business partner of David Keene, a GOP consultant and fellow veteran of the 1980 Bush presidential campaign.

While in Washington, Halper tried to navigate through the backwaters of Republican and conservative politics, but was never considered a player or front-line operative, a sort of hanger-on that Washington often sees.

His close association with the Bushes and the elitist GOP and foreign-policy Establishment would have ensured his deep hostility to the anti-Establishment and anti-elitist Trump, a “new money” sort of guy versus the “old money” ways of the elite Bushes. Still, he was more akin to the bumbling Inspector Clouseau than the smooth James Bond.

So, in short: Halper supposedly contacts Papadopoulos. Tells him about his research project in London. While there, he plants the idea of stolen Clinton emails. Halper meets the impressionable young man several times, even having dinner.

Papadopoulos hears it again from someone else. Goes to a bar, gets drunk, and brags about it to the Australian diplomat (who also has extensive intelligence community links), who then tells the United States government that the Trump campaign knows about stolen emails from the Russians.

Related: Brennan’s Vicious Tweet Means He’s Worried About Being Exposed

And that, supposedly, is where it all started. The Christopher Steele dossier turned out to be a fake. So now they’re saying it was Papadopoulos who provoked the investigation. What? Is the investigation as confusing for Mueller and team as it is for the American public?

Will that, too, be exposed as a fake? A government lie? James Clapper, former head of the NSA, lied to Congress about spying on private American citizens. Lying to Congress is a federal crime, but Clapper is walking around, free as a jaybird.

The FBI routinely lies, too. Government corruption and abuse is nothing new, from the sleazy whiskey lobbyists during Washington’s term to the appalling abuse of power by the IRS’s Lois Lerner of the last administration. If this current abuse of power by the permanent bureaucracy is fully exposed, it could shape up as worse than Watergate.

To be clear, Vladimir Putin has no moral character by any means. Did Russia and Putin have an ineffectual hand in the United States election? Probably. They’ve done it in the past, as written recently.

But we probably have had as much of an ineffectual hand in the Russian elections. Didn’t Putin just win re-election with 107 percent of the vote (that’s only a little bit of a hyperbole)? No one country elects a leader without the world watching and waiting.

Did Putin have a preference? Of course. Was it Trump? Maybe, but that could be for any number of reasons, including the fact that Trump would be the most divisive of the candidates. Whatever tries to make a weak United States, he’d support.

But Putin has been dehumanized from a tyrant and oligarchical boss into an actual boogeyman. Perhaps the real threat to our democracy isn’t Russia, but the enemies of democracy and free elections from within.

Finally, it has been falsely reported in several news reports that Halper had a role in the theft of the Carter Briefing Books during the 1980 presidential campaign against Reagan. He did not. The details are in my book, “Rendezvous with Destiny,” and the theft was orchestrated by a Kennedy operative, Paul Corbin, as a means to exact revenge on Jimmy Carter for beating Ted Kennedy for the 1980 Democratic nomination.

Craig Shirley is a New York Times best-selling author and presidential historian. He has written four books on President Ronald Reagan, along with his latest book, “Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative,” about the early career of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. He lectures frequently at the Reagan Library and is the Visiting Reagan Scholar at Eureka College in Illinois, the 40th president’s alma mater. He also wrote the critically acclaimed “December 1941.” Scott Mauer is a research assistant for Craig Shirley.


Trump Isn’t the First Prez to Be Bashed Unmercifully by the Press || Lifezette

Trump Isn’t the First Prez to Be Bashed Unmercifully by the Press

Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Ronald Reagan got as much, and more, venomous coverage

by Craig Shirley and Scott Mauer | Updated 09 May 2018 at 7:35 AM

President Donald Trump has made it almost a theme of his presidency to declare war against the media. And the media have decided to use all of their resources to fight back.

You can’t go a day, much less a week, without hearing of Trump tweeting about the “fake news,” and you can’t go an hour without the media reporting on something he’s done or said. It’s a war of power, essentially.

Trump has declared that “no politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or more unfairly” by the media. Accuracy of the claim aside, he should have realized and expected, with historical precedent, that this is not new war. In fact, it’s a war that is as old as the United States.

Andrew Jackson was one of the first leaders to have the vilest, most false, most despicable press attacks against him during his electoral campaign in 1828. It was a series of pamphlets called “Coffin Handbills,” passed around the U.S., accusing Jackson of all manner of crimes.

Jackson was a national hero from the War of 1812, having led U.S. forces to defend New Orleans successfully against over 14,000 British troops. That did not stop the pamphleteers, who accused him of murdering six militiamen in the Creek War in 1818. (Their coffins are prominently displayed in the pamphlets, hence the label “Coffin Handbill.”)

Written in sensational “eye-witness” accounts, the Coffin Handbills accused Jackson of all manner of violent and sexual events, from sleeping around hundreds of dead corpses to adultery and  cannibalism of dead militiamen.

“Would you believe it, ‘gentle reader,’” one of the most well-known pamphlets said, “this monster, this more than cannibal, Gen. Andrew Jackson, eat the whole Six Militiamen at one meal!!! Yes, my shuddering countrymen, he swallowed them whole, coffins and all, without the slightest attempt at mastication!!!!!!” The excessive exclamation marks in the original surely make it a bizarre but also scandalous read.

When Jackson got word of this, he shot back, accusing the incumbent, President John Quincy Adams and Jackson’s rival in the election, of being a womanizer and “pimp of the coalition” for the Tsars (whom one Jackson aide called a “lascivious monarch”) when Adams was ambassador to the Russian Empire. It was not a pretty time.

Fast-forward to President Abraham Lincoln — and you’ll see the press was as split as the nation was during the 1860s, and not just among Southerners who naturally viewed him as a tyrant.

Northern Union newspapers also smeared Lincoln during the Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation was dubbed by the Chicago Times “a monstrous usurpation, a criminal wrong, and an act of national suicide.”

A Columbus, Ohio, newspaper wrote, “We have no doubt that this Proclamation seals the fate of this Union as it was and the Constitution as it is … The time is brief when we shall have a DICTATOR PROCLAIMED, for the Proclamation can never be carried out except under the iron rule of the worst kind of despotism.”

A secretary to Lincoln, William Stoddard, called them the “opposition press,” and the president later issued an executive order allowing the arrest and imprisonment of “irresponsible” journalists, mostly “Copperheads” who were Southern sympathizers.

Theodore Roosevelt, president from 1901 to 1909, used the press to his advantage and was among the more sophisticated of America’s leaders to use publicity for support. But as much of a “media darling” as he was, that did not stop the press from reporting critically negative events about him.

Take his “shocking” dinner with Booker T. Washington in October of 1901, where the two discussed race relations and violence against blacks. That sent southern politicians and newspapers into a frenzy, with a 14-stanza poem being distributed in many newspapers titled “N****rs in the White House.”

The author, who is anonymous, had this work published in Missouri’s Sedalia Sentinel, the Greenwood Commonwealth in Mississippi, the Kentucky New Era, among many others. It envisioned “six months hence, perhaps” with “n****rs running everywhere,” listing every room in the White House. The last stanza in particular was racially provocative: “But everything is settled / Roosevelt is dead; n****rs in the White House / Cut off Teddy’s head.”

Southern Democratic politicians wrapped themselves around this poem and this scandal. Democratic Sen. Cole Blease actually inserted the poem into resolution to “respect the White House” in 1929, reading it aloud in the Senate. The resolution and the poem were unanimously rejected. Republican Sen. Hiram Bingham of Connecticut called the incident “indecent, obscene doggerel.”

Woodrow Wilson also issued edicts against the newspapers of World War I, and government officials harassed some newspapers editors.

During the late 1970s and into the 1980s, Ronald Reagan was hit by all sides for his views. Liberal newspapers, among them The New York Times and The Washington Post, harped harshly, meanly and unethically against the president.

They mocked his ideology, his positions, his successes, his failures. It was so bad that even with successes like the impending unity of Germany, The Times published a letter to the editor arguing against it.

During the 1988 Republican Convention, U.S. News & World Report Editor Roger Rosenblatt said the Reagan legacy was “a dangerous failure at least in terms of programs. A mess in Central America, neglect of the poor, corruption in government … And the worst legacy of all, the budget deficit, the impoverishment of our children.” The facts and history now show how untrue that statement was. It was worse. It was a deliberate liberal lie.

In Reagan’s eight years and all his conflicts with the Soviets, not once did The Post ever editorially and unconditionally support “the Gipper” over the Kremlin. They hated him and America that much. Even in death, the despicable Post attacked the dead Reagan.

Even when the Soviets killed innocent civilians, The Post only occasionally and lightly slapped the murderous, thuggish and evil Communists on the wrist. The lying liberals of the unethical Post still predominate, even as almost everybody in Real America tunes out the paper’s foul filth.

Before Trump became president, he already had the press against him. Now that he has the powers of the presidency, the media have attacked him nearly nonstop. That is their right, and that should never be taken away. But it is not unique to Trump.

The media attacked Jackson, Lincoln, Reagan, and George H.W. and George W. Bush. Gerald Ford, one of our most athletic presidents, was widely mocked and parodied for his gaffes and falling-down antics. Lest we forget one of the funnier “Saturday Night Live” skits, with Chevy Chase dressed as a perplexed Ford during a debate: “It was my understanding that there would be no math.” Ford took it in stride.

President Trump should understand the parodies are an unwritten rule for the presidency, or any public job. You have to laugh them off. As for the so-called fake news, this isn’t the first time the media have attacked a president unwarranted.

It’s expected, and as president, just as Reagan tuned out the liberal creeps of the commentariat, Trump should learn to tune it out. The American people have.

Craig Shirley is a New York Times best-selling author and presidential historian. He has written four books on President Ronald Reagan, along with his latest book, “Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative,” about the early career of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. He lectures frequently at the Reagan Library and is the Visiting Reagan Scholar at Eureka College in Illinois, the 40th president’s alma mater. He also wrote the critically acclaimed “December 1941.” Scott Mauer is a research assistant for Craig Shirley.

Right Should Back Efforts to Stop the Sinclair/Tribune Monster || Lifezette

Right Should Back Efforts to Stop the Sinclair/Tribune Monster

If the proposed merger goes through, it will create a media giant with access to 70 percent of American households

by Craig Shirley | Updated 30 Apr 2018 at 4:24 PM

Several weeks ago, a viral compilation of local news hosts hit the Internet. Smartly edited and a clear message, it showed local reporters from across the country repeating, verbatim, from a script. They were all owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, headquartered in Maryland.

Ironically, the topic was fake news, and like drones, these newscasters read – some with personality, some dry – about its dangers, about how they pride themselves in reporting facts. “This is extremely dangerous to our democracy,” they said one after the other.

So, too, is Sinclair.

Concentrated power and corporatism has made what should be a good cause – a representative of conservative media, which is sorely underrepresented – into the very thing they fear. Bloated, monopolistic, and dangerous. American conservatism has always been centered on a healthy disregard for all concentrations of power, beginning with the British Empire.

President Donald Trump, with his characteristic knack of being more provocateur than leader, had tweeted recently, “Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.” Mr. President, while you may think so, there is a serious problem here beyond them being Not-CNN or Not-NBC. Just because they aren’t liberal, doesn’t make them safe.

Sinclair is set to merge with Tribune Media, with a $3.9 billion purchase. What reach they had prior would only expand, almost double. Bad move, as it has united both left and right media organizations against them.

Again, conservative media is lacking, so when people like Christopher Ruddy at Newsmax or Glenn Beck, or One America News in San Diego, or even former House Republican Majority Leader, Tom DeLay, you know there is trouble for the right. Civil war is especially bad for a rare breed like conservative media, but some wars are necessary.

Newsmax’s CEO Christopher Ruddy puts it simply: “It’s going to give them enormous reach — 70 percent of the country — and it’s going to dwarf anything else in scale that’s on cable news or any of the major TV networks right now. And it’s a danger to not only liberals but also to Republicans and conservatives.”

To boot, not only is such a concentration of corporate power dangerous for the American mind, it’s also dangerous to our very economic ideology. Capitalism guarantees fair competition. Where is that, when 70 percent of the media is under one man in Maryland?

Starter companies or the relatively unknown news outlets would suffer and be stomped on by the giant’s foot. Newsmax? Kiss it goodbye. One America News? Sayonara. These organizations provide genuine news precisely because they are not caught up under anything.

“Why are you saying this,” some defenders may say, “you admitted yourself that conservatives are fighting a losing battle against the liberal media. Do you want more liberals to control the media? Because that is what will happen!”

Response: Let’s play a game. Imagine, if you will, that the ideologies were switched. Let’s say Sinclair Broadcast Group didn’t come from Maryland, but from Silicon Valley. They’re liberal, not afraid of it, not going to change that. And here they are, taking up 70 percent of all available news. What would you say?

There’d be a conservative outcry. There’d be calls for investigations. This isn’t about ideology, it’s about fair competition. Would you really think it possible for other conservative channels to fairly compete against the behemoth?

French economist Frederic Bastiat, a champion of free-market economy who created the so-called “parable of the broken window” about opportunity costs, once noted, “Competition is merely the absence of oppression.” If Sinclair were to get its way, competition would drastically plummet, oppression rising in its ashes.

We want our local news to be local, not corporate and dictated from Washington and New York. If we get corporate news in the guise of local, then where, truly, is the local news?

Luckily, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can still stop this merger and keep the limit on how many homes any one television network can reach. Before the acquisition is complete, it must be approved by both the FCC and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Newsmax, throwing itself in the ring, issued a petition to dismiss the merger. “Democracy demands access to a panoply of voices from a variety of viewpoints,” the outlet said in the petition. “If this transaction is approved, the FCC will allow a single entity to reach 72% of U.S. households, operate 233 local broadcast stations (78 more than the its nearest competitor), and broadcast in 108 local markets (including key markets like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Dallas).”

Conservatives, as well as Trump, have benefited tremendously from local media across Red State America by a diverse media not controlled by New York media mavens. Local television news still remains the way most voters get local news, and there is yet to emerge any serious Internet competition in these local markets.

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press. No one should dispute that. But Sinclair is going beyond a news organization and becoming something monstrous, too big for its own good. The public airwaves are limited, and Sinclair wants to be one of the dominant players as NBC, CBS, and ABC quickly follow suit by scooping up local TV stations.

Inevitably, fair competition will be stomped down and simply be unable to survive. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Congress, the FCC, and DOJ should stop the Sinclair deal and press for a free, fair and diverse press. We all win under those rules.

Craig Shirley is a New York Times best-selling author and presidential historian. He has written four books on President Ronald Reagan, along with his latest book, “Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative,” about the early career of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. He lectures frequently at the Reagan Library and is the Visiting Reagan Scholar at Eureka College in Illinois, the 40th president’s alma mater. He also wrote the critically acclaimed “December 1941.”




April 17, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, VA — Barbara Bush wasn’t called the Silver Fox for nothing. Beautiful, smart, elegant, tough, witty, this Mother of all Bushes brought charm and grace to the White House and everything she touched or whatever setting in which she he moved. Through her years as both wife and mother to Presidents of the United States, she stayed loyal and faithful to her family and to her country, bettering all she could through her actions and words.

Her legacy is secure. Her monuments are her marriage to President George H.W. Bush and her marvelous children.

The Bushes were born blood donors, welcoming all kindly, into their homes and their lives.

My wife Zorine and I mourn the passing of this very Great Lady.

RIP Barbara Pierce Bush.


The Entitled Kennedys || Townhall

The Entitled Kennedys

Craig Shirley
Posted: Apr 10, 2018

This column was co-authored by Scott Mauer.

By early 1969, Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy had huge shoes to fill. He was the youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy. Both had died in a span of five years from an assassin’s bullet for completely unrelated reasons. He was also the brother of Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr., who’d been a Navy flyer killed in action in 1944, over England. All died heroically for their country.

On Friday, July 18, 1969, Ted Kennedy’s reputation was forever marked, continuing a family curse. This time, though, it was not his death but that of another person, that emblazoned his name on the front pages. A little aftermidnight, Kennedy lost control of his car off Dike Bridge, on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts. He and his 28-year old passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, plunged into the water. Ted managed to escape and to leave the crash . . . without reporting it for ten hours. He went back to his hotel and slept. “I had not given up hope all night long that, by some miracle,” he said later in a testimony, “Mary Jo would have escaped from the car.”  She did not. Mary Jo, whose body was recovered the next day, drowned that night in that car.

The incident rocked and besmirched the star crossed but heroic Kennedy legend. Teddy and Mary Jo had been at a party of RFK campaign workers called the “Boiler Room Girls” earlier that evening in Martha’s Vineyard.  The Vineyard was long known as the playground of the rich and famous. And entitled. Joan Kennedy was not at the party.

The day after, a teenage boy and his father who were visiting Long Island, got word of the tragedy. Having come from a family who were in love with all-things Kennedy, they were taken aback. A retired old fisherman who was renting out boats, looked to these two, and asked, “Have you heard about Kennedy, what he did?” Provocatively, this old salt remarked, “If we had done that, we would be in jail forever.” It tarnished any excitement about the Kennedys and any excitement the father and son had in anticipation of the moon landing, which was to occur only two days after the accident.

Kennedy pleaded guilty on July 25 to leaving the scene of a fatal accident, and was given a suspended sentence. Judge James Boyle remarked, Ted “has already been, and will continue to be punished far beyond anything this court can impose.”

Vapid words. A woman was dead. Ted’s life would go on. Entitled.

Ted’s wife, Joan, soon after suffered a miscarriage – her third – and placed the blame solely on Chappaquiddick and on Ted’s apparent and now-public infidelity. Fake satirical ads from National Lampoon magazine mocked him, with a photo of a half-submerged Volkswagen, the caption read “If Ted Kennedy drove a Volkswagen, he’d be President today.” Time magazine reported a joke already making the rounds: “Would you let [President Nixon] sell you a used car?” one Democrat asks another. “Yes,” he’d reply, “but I sure wouldn’t let that Teddy drive it.”

Joan Kennedy later descended into a sad state of alcoholism and she blamed Teddy for this as well. So many over the years became nothing more than the flotsam and jetsam on the beach of Kennedy ambition and entitlement.

Senator Kennedy refused to pick up the banner of his brother Robert’s fallen standard in 1968. He was reelected in the 1970 midterms, with 62 percent of the vote, nearly half a million more than Republican Josiah Spaulding. His political ambitions for president were briefly stalled – he shied from running in 1972, and specifically declined George McGovern’s request to be his running mate. He refused a 1976 presidential run, as well.  Instead, he chose to run for the 1980 Democratic nomination. A good decade had passed since the accident. The United States was in a midst of a horrid economic crisis, the worst since the Great Depression, with both inflation and stagnation – thus creating a new portmanteau, stagflation, a seemingly impossible combination. The Soviet Union was on the march and winning; oil prices were rising, and Iran held American embassy employees hostage. It was time, Kennedy thought, to move on from Chappaquiddick. There were other priorities on which to focus.

CBS’s Roger Mudd was one of the first to interview candidate Kennedy on November 4, 1979. Mudd was a Kennedy family friend but the entire hour-long interview of Ted was wordy and discursive. “Why do you want to be president?” Mudd asked. The response time could have been reduced by half if Kennedy had omitted the “ums” and “uhs” and pauses. This was supposed to be the easiest question of them all, and Ted fumbled it. When asked about Chappaquiddick, and whether anyone believed his side of the story, he responded just as poorly.“Oh, there’s, the problem is, from that night, I, I found the conduct, the behavior almost beyond belief myself. I mean that’s why it’s been, but I think that’s the way it was. Now I find that as I have stated that I have found the conduct that in, in that evening and in, in the, as a result of the accident of the, and the sense of loss, the sense of hope, and the, and the sense of tragedy, and the whole set of circumstances, that the behavior was inexplicable. So I find that those, those, types of questions as they apply to that, questions of my own soul, as well. But that happens to be the way it was.”

What? Great answer . . . It was a rambling mess and he had the audacity to portray himself as a victim. Entitlement struck again.

In January of 1980, the Washington Star and Reader’s Digest ran stories that disproved Kennedy’s side of the accident. There was no strong current, as the Senator claimed, that stopped him from trying to rescue Mary Jo. In fact, the tide was slowly moving in. Further, it was proven that Kennedy was driving erratically over a rickety one-way bridge, well over the speed limit, contradicting his testimony.

It was a ghost that kept haunting him. He tried to downplay it, using the tragedies of his brothers’ deaths to his advantage. “I’ve been under a lot of stress, too,” said one observer, interviewed by the media. “I’ve lost some family, too, but that doesn’t make me qualified to be president.” Still, it wouldn’t go away. President Jimmy Carter alluded to it early on, saying that he never “panicked in the crisis,” unlike his opponent. In late February, 1980, right before the New Hampshire primary, a high school student asked Teddy about Chappaquiddick, and again, Kennedy gave a tedious, non-answer.

The Democratic primaries, which might have gone to Teddy, went mostly for Carter in part because of the hostage crisis. Of course, Ted got Massachusetts by 65 percent; that was a no-brainer. Georgia went to native Jimmy Carter with nearly 90 percent. Those were the obvious bets. New Hampshire went to Carter, nearly 50 percent; Maine caucuses went to Carter, as did Iowa’s. So did Vermont, Alabama, Florida, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Louisiana and Texas. In total, Ted only won 12 primaries with 37 percent of the popular vote nationwide. This was against a failed presidency, and in a country in crisis. The entitled Kennedy could not beat that.

And yet there’s a contradiction here. Kennedy failed to become president – he failed to become a nominee for the president – yet he held office, until his death, as one of the longest-consecutive serving senators in United States history, nearly 50 years. He died at the age of 77, making this congressional run a majority of his life. Chappaquiddick could have genuinely been a mistake, a fatal tragedy that cost the life of a young woman; however the actions following are not in question.  Kennedy died in 2009, sodden, grotesquely overweight, an alcoholic celebrated by the scions of liberal society and buried in Arlington. He lies amidst the thousands of real heroes, many of whom saved women and did not leave them to die.

Some years ago, some in Hollywood tried to make a movie on Chappaquiddick based on the meticulously written book, Death at Chappaquiddick, by the estimable duo of Tom Tedrow and his son, Tom Tedrow, Jr. the entitled Kennedy family, still strong and influential, reached out and swatted it away. Blissfully, not this time. The story is finally being told.

Mary Jo Kopechne’s story has been lost amid the fable and ersatz of the celebrated Kennedys. She died because of Ted Kennedy’s incompetency and his cowardice. She died because he was entitled and thought he could get away with it.

And he did.