A Kennedy is dead: reach for the RTE cliché-bag, darling, revealing once again the national addiction for a tale of oppression.
o the usual journalistic, self-pitying fatuities have been freely pitch-forked over our airwaves, starting with the founding father of the Kennedys, Patrick -- "one of our own" (yawn, yawn) -- "fleeing poverty and famine on a coffin-ship". Only he didn't. Patrick's father was a prosperous grain farmer with 80 acres near New Ross, where there was no blight, and Patrick emigrated on a normal transatlantic vessel.
"Patrick Kennedy had to face the racial bigotry of the Brahmin class in Boston". Well, I've yet to hear of an indigenous population which welcomes being demographically overwhelmed by immigrants. Either way, by 1886, the Irish outnumbered the natives in Boston, and Patrick's son PJ was a state senator. In other words, the Irish had made it. PJ married Mary Hickey, one of whose brothers was a Harvard-educated doctor, and another was to be mayor of Boston. Oh, this is really downtrodden. In 1888, the year of Joe Kennedy's birth, PJ actually seconded the nomination of future US-president Grover Cleveland as Democratic candidate. So, fully 120 years ago, the Kennedys were big-time players. They may have been despised by the Boston Brahmins, rather as Fianna Fail was disdained by old Kingstown; but only an obsessive and very Hibernian self-pity would take such a localised and anachronistic hostility seriously in a continent the size of the US.
Moreover, Joe cared nothing for Ireland. He exploded when one Boston newspaper described him as "Irish". "Goddamn it! I was born in this country!" Indeed, his promotion of bootleg Scotch during Prohibition historically helped steer American tastes away from Irish whiskey. When Joe Kennedy was US ambassador in London in 1939, he could have visited Ireland. He preferred instead the royal company of King George VI and his circle.
Joe's sons were, like himself, systematic adulterers. Yes, I know it's "judgmental" to say these things nowadays, but for them to have routinely violated marital vows, at a time when most couples had not even had sex before marriage, surely gives an insight into the worth of a Kennedy word.
Moreover, the Kennedys were the spiritual and political leaders of the most nauseating, ignorant and sentimental of any US ethnic minority. Irish-Americans have consistently subsidised and celebrated murder within their ancestral homeland. Teddy Kennedy, to be sure, usually opposed violence in Ireland: but he never alienated Noraid by calling on the FBI to close it down, lock stock and butchering barrel.
Let me say here that this revolting thing, "Irish-America", is not synonymous with Americans of Irish ancestry, who have been some of the greatest patriots in US history, from the many Congressional Medals of Honor winners, to heroes like Michael Collins of Apollo fame and General Stan McChrystal today. The Irish-America I'm talking about is composed of a series of grotesque and infantilised east-coast communities of maudlin, tone-deaf necrophiliacs who bawl songs celebrating murder in a far-off land which most of them have never visited, not least because the plane door has not been made which can accommodate their huge rectums. For some strange hybrid resulted, with a minuscule brain and a shamrocked-shaped anus, when their particular ancestors met the genes of freedom in America.
Forty years ago, the hero of this weird sub-species of green hillbillies abandoned a young woman to die in a car. But, thereafter, he was still their chief. So Edward Kennedy remained a glad-handing come-all-ye political-fixer, just like his maternal grandfather, Honey Fitz. (But how that same constituency would have loathed a Brahmin called, say, Edwin F Kegworthy, who had left a Mary-Joe Kennedy to die alone in a submerged car).
The elevation of this drunken, boorish outsider to almost godly proportions within Ireland proves how simpering, vapid and insecure our politicians and our media really are. Moreover, we now know that all the IRA really wanted was for Teddy to invite its boss to the White House. Christ, why didn't they tell us that 40 years and 4,000 lives ago? We could have flown the entire bloody crew out for free, and they could have entranced Southie with their tuneless pagan ballads, and their endless self-pity; for ever, with luck.
Yet since his death, nobody in the US noticed "Ted Kennedy and Ireland": posthumous tributes, from Obama, Clinton and Biden, didn't even mention us. Admittedly, the US Senate could not resist his bullying, his bluster, his oafish charm, as for four decades he remorselessly pursued a liberal agenda whose consequences would never impinge on the privileged lives of his own golden circle. And what a legacy he has left. The senatorial cut-off of military aid, which he helped enact, left South Vietnam to the mercy of the Moscow-backed Stalinists of Hanoi. His Immigration Act introduced several million Muslims to the US, and it will take another generation to see the consequences of that. His failed health-care bills were the delusions of an obsessive political fantasist, and could have spelt economic ruin for the US.
Oh yes, and he killed a woman. But he was not the last Irishman to do that. So, when he met the murderer of Jean McConville, did they swap notes?