Friday, May 05, 2006

Preferred Status

What's in a name?

Sure, it's an old Shakespearean question, but there is much validity to it. It stood for the proposition in Romeo and Juliet that one need not be shackled to relatives and traditions which they have outgrown. Of course, the flip side would be what we get when we look at young folks who insist on living under the family shadow, writing checks against age-old good will accounts into which such young people have never made a penny of a deposit.

To wit, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI). Congressman Kennedy got himself in a spot of trouble early this morning as he drove his mustang in a reckless fashion up to the Capitol at 2:45 this morning, claiming to be rushing to a vote, and ultimately striking a construction barrier. He seemed intoxicated at the time, but claims that he was taking an anti-nauseant and the sleep drug Ambien. There are, of course, the hearsay accounts that there was an odor of alcohol on him, and the fact that he is a Kennedy brings a few snickers to many of us, knowing that that family's penchance for motor vehicle mayhem combined with substance abuse is legendary. But we really don't know what took place, although it is quite suspicious that Patrick claims that he was going to a vote (Members of Congress cannot be arrested on their way to a vote) when he was stopped. But there really has to be a vote, rather than his mistaken claim that there was one.

And while I've never had much regard for this rather whiny Cindy Sheehan look alike, whatever happened happened. Nobody got hurt, his car was banged up, and he'll have to pay to get it fixed.

But my major concern is the reason why this Kennedy didn't get a breathalyzer. Why wasn't he subjected to field sobriety tests? Why were the police directed just to take him home? And why does this kid's status give him carte blanche to commit an act which would have put any if the rest of us in jail for the night? Why dies his name get him treatment that the rest of us don't get?

The issue is over. And if he was drinking and driving, or combining with the meds, it doesn't matter anymore. The evidence of it is gone, and he will face no sanction.

But his family never does. And it seems that the good-will account from which this little boy writes his checks is getting depleted. He can thank his father's own problems for that.

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