There is no family more ill-equipped to navigate the treacherous waters of the #MeToo era than the dynasty formerly known as the “Kennedys.”
That did not stop the Democrats from rolling out still another handsome Kennedy preppy to steal the hearts of the young women – and, yes, men – who swooned all over social media about the “dreamy” Joseph Kennedy III.
JKIII is the son of Joseph Kennedy II (JKII) and the grandson of the late Sen. Bobby Kennedy. He is the congressman from Barney Frank’s old and obviously tolerant district in Massachusetts.
His father, JKII, was equally dreamy and even more poised for the national stage before being derailed by a series of scandals in the late 1990s.
His ex-wife Sheila Rauch Kennedy wrote a less than flattering book about the good Catholic father who abandoned little JKIII and then sought an annulment without her agreement.
At the same time, JKII’s married brother Michael made the news for his affair with a 14-year-old baby sitter. As was the Kennedy custom, the girl’s family was persuaded not to press charges.
Soon after, Michael solved everyone’s problems, including his own, by skiing head first into a birch tree. He was pre-deceased by brother David who died of a heroin overdose in 1984.
JKII and Michael’s more sober cousin, JFK Jr., branded his kin “poster boys for bad behavior.” The most illustrious poster boy still active in the 1990’s, however, was JKIII’s great-uncle Ted.
Of course, Ted’s most notorious brush with infamy was his 1969 abandonment of girl toy Mary Jo Kopechne, the young unmarried woman he left to drown in his automobile while he retreated to figure out an alibi.
Those young ladies – and men – now swooning over JKIII may not remember Chappaquiddick, but they’ll get a chance to see events recreated this spring in a movie of the same name. Unfortunately, they will choose not to.
Chappaquiddick did not slow the good senator down. In 1985 drunken uncle Ted Kennedy picked up 103-pound waitress at a posh Washington restaurant and threw her on a table.
He then picked her up from the table and threw her on the lap of bash brother Sen. Chris Dodd who was sprawled in a chair.
With the horrified waitress on Dodd’s lap, Kennedy jumped on top of her and began rubbing his genital area against hers, and thus the famed “waitress sandwich” was born.
If Al Franken is reading this, he might well be thinking, “And they threw me out and called him ‘the Lion of the Senate.'”
Although Ted was never tried for sexual assault, JKIII’s cousin William Kennedy Smith was actually tried for rape.
On Good Friday 1991, uncle Ted took Smith and his son Patrick out for a long night of drinking. What better way for a Catholic to honor Good Friday?
The young men brought two young women home with them. Hoping perhaps for his share of the action, a drunken Ted Kennedy, nearly 60 now, wandered without pants into the room where everyone gathered.
“I got totally weirded out,” said one of the women. She stood up and told the others, “I’m out of here. I’m leaving.” The fleeing guest left behind Patricia Bowman, the woman who would accuse Smith of rape.
Smith would be acquitted. Ted Kennedy cheered. He believed Anita Hill two months earlier, but he chose not to believe Bowman. “It’s the acquittal that money can buy,” said Bowman afterward.
JKIII’s cousin Patrick survived the Good Friday blowout to become still another Kennedy congressman. When last heard from, Patrick was driving drunk and disoriented into a Capitol Hill barricade.
But Patrick fared better than JKIII’s cousin Michael Skakel, who, in June 2002, was found guilty of murdering 15-year-old Martha Moxley.
Much is now known, of course, about JKIII’s great uncle Jack’s peccadilloes, but there is even more to that sordid story. As Mimi Alford suggested in her all too credible memoir, “Once Upon an Affair,” JFK flirted with Harvey Weinsteinism.
Alford’s “affair” with John F. Kennedy began when she was a 19-year-old virgin working in the White House. To her great surprise, Alford found herself being given a private tour of the family quarters by a president whom she barely knew.
“He placed both hands on my shoulders and guided me towards the edge of the bed,” she writes. “I landed on my elbows, frozen between sitting up and lying on my back. Slowly, he unbuttoned the top of my shirtdress and touched my breasts.”
It goes on from there. The emotionally overwhelmed Alford did not resist, but if this isn’t rape, it is something damn close, a flagrant abuse of power, what the French might call droit de seigneur, the right of the master.
To flaunt his power, great-uncle Jack later had Alford perform oral sex on one of his aides. “It was a pathetic, sordid scene,” Alford writes.
It is a pathetic, sordid sexual history, beginning with JKIII’s namesake and great-grandfather, the original Joseph Kennedy.
That the Democrats keep coming back to it, even when professing the #MeToo credo, suggests more than a mild case of schizophrenia.
That they would resurrect the family’s newest model in front of an automobile suggests an even more powerful case of dementia.