“President Obama and our elected Democratic leaders in Congress and across the country continue to work tirelessly to advance progress for women in every respect,” the reader learns at Democrat.org. “That’s why women vote Democratic.”
To “advance progress” for women in general, however, modern Democrats have had to sacrifice the occasional woman in particular. They launched the trend 50 years ago this Saturday when their best and brightest let Marilyn Monroe die.
In his new, exquisitely researched book, “Marilyn Monroe: The Final Years,” celebrity biographer Keith Badman, provides the best explanation yet of how and why that happened.
Badman is no one’s idea of a right-winger and the opposite of a conspiracy theorist. Through the relentless accumulation of detail, Badman clarifies the nature of Monroe’s relationship with the Kennedys: She did not have an affair with then-Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, as some have claimed, but she did have sex at least once with President John Kennedy.
Badman argues convincingly that on Saturday, Aug. 4, 1962, Bobby sneaked down to Los Angeles from the San Francisco area, hooked up with his sleazy actor brother-in-law Peter Lawford, and paid an unannounced visit to Monroe in her Brentwood home. He had come on a mission.
An aspiring leftist, after a fashion, Monroe had met Bobby a few times at dinner parties chez Lawford. There, she surprised him by asking sophisticated foreign-policy questions and writing his answers down in her little red book.
Monroe had ingratiated herself enough with the Kennedys to be asked to perform in May 1962 at the president’s Madison Square Garden birthday party. As history records, she stole the show with her sultry version of “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.”
At the same time, however, the FBI was monitoring her, and the Mob had her house wired. Monroe was trafficking freely with mobsters and communists, both of which might have had an interest in that red book of hers.
For reasons of his own, the wily J. Edgar Hoover made the Kennedys aware that Monroe was not someone with whom the president ought to be sleeping or the attorney general sharing secrets of state.
When the Kennedys abruptly started to distance themselves from Monroe, the sensitive, wildly insecure actress grew despondent. She began badgering the White House and Justice Department with phone calls.
When the calls went unanswered, Monroe began to make not-so-subtle threats that she would tell the press about her liaison with the president and her abusive treatment by the Kennedys. The threats prompted Bobby’s surprise visit.
The late afternoon encounter rattled Monroe. As Lawford would later relate, “[Kennedy and Monroe] argued back and forth for, maybe 10 minutes. Marilyn became more and more hysterical.” The two men began to ransack Monroe’s new house looking for her red book, and Monroe retaliated by promising to hold a press conference.
The two men left in a heat and headed for Lawford’s house. From there, Lawford, with Bobby at his side, called Monroe in an attempt to appease her. He tried again later and found her drowsy, nearly incoherent and asking for help.
By this time, Bobby was making his way back to Northern California. Lawford told some friends at his house that he had to go check on Monroe.
“You can’t go over there on your own,” one of them reportedly said. “If you had to call the hospital or whatever, you’re going to have your picture on the front page and Jack’s and everybody else’s.”
Lawford heeded his friend’s advice, and Monroe died unaided. Federal agents promptly seized the phone records. The L.A. police overlooked any other evidence of Kennedy involvement, and the media politely averted their gaze. The pattern had begun.
Seven years later, brother Ted took his turn. The married 37-year-old senator drove off a bridge with a young woman in his car and left her to drown lest his picture show up on the front page.
A week after the incident at Chappaquiddick, being a Kennedy, Ted requested and got all three networks to give him 15 minutes of prime time for an unprecedented bit of public dissembling. Democratic women bought it, and Ted went all but unpunished.
Four years later, Joe Kennedy, Bobby’s oldest son, was driving a jeep with his girlfriend Pam Kelley by his side and flipped it. Joe temporarily lost his license. Pam permanently lost the use of her legs.
Joe would go on to serve six terms in the House of Representatives. He had planned to run for governor of Massachusetts, but as the Washington Post put it, the “messy publicity about the annulment of his first marriage” undid him.
Joe was not helped, the Post added, by “the alleged affair of his brother Michael with a teenage babysitter.” The affair started when the girl was 14. Michael beat the rap by skiing fatally into a tree.
In his defense, Michael did not kill the girl. The same could not be said for his cousin, Michael Skakel, who killed 15-year-old Martha Moxley and got away with it for nearly 30 years.
William Kennedy Smith got away with raping Patricia Bowman, or she testified, while drunken Uncle Ted wandered half-naked around the premises. Three other women were willing to testify to earlier Smith assaults, but their testimony was excluded and Smith walked.
Bill Clinton, a Kennedy wannabe, walked as well, skated really. When NBC belatedly aired an interview with one of the women he assaulted, rape victim Juanita Broaddrick, our progressive female friends chose not to notice.
In 2008, John Edwards ran a credible race for president only because the media refused to acknowledge that a woman other than his cancer-stricken wife was carrying his child.
In May of this year, Robert Kennedy’s discarded second wife hanged herself out of despair. In July of this year, Andrew Cuomo’s discarded wife, Kerry Kennedy, nearly killed herself and others when she passed out on the highway from an overdose of sleeping pills.
Next month’s Democratic Convention will no doubt have an homage to the Kennedys, a rousing speech from Bill Clinton and outraged cries about the “Republican war on women.”
As to Juanita, Mary Jo and Marilyn, not a whisper.