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Disoriented, staggering and voting
Posted by: McQ on Friday, May 05, 2006

By now you're probably familiar with the Patrick Kennedy kerfuffle, with police complaining they were prevented by their superiors from properly investigating the accident in which Kennedy appeared intoxicated. Kennedy claims he wasn't drinking. A waitress at a bar says he was. Kennedy claims his disorientation and staggering were a result of perscription drugs. The police believe it was a result of drinking. Blah, blah, blah.

But here's what caught my eye:
“Sometime around 2:45 a.m., I drove the few blocks to the Capitol Complex believing I needed to vote,” his second statement said. “Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication.”
Oh good. Whether disoriented and staggering from alcohol or medication, I really want this guy voting on the nation's business in that condition.

Which has me pondering how often this probably happens without anyone knowing? I mean, I'm sure Patrick's dad could tell us some stories about that. And, given some of the legislation that has come out of Congress in the past, I'm led to wonder if it is less of an exception than the august members of that body would probably like us believe.

"None of the above" is looking better and better in '06.

UPDATE: Kennedy heads to rehab:
Rep. Patrick Kennedy said Friday he is entering a drug rehabilitation program, following the car accident Thursday in which he slammed into a security barrier on Capitol Hill. "I simply do not remember getting out of bed or being pulled over by police... That is not how I want to live my life," he said. Kennedy added: "I know that I need help." Police are also investigating whether Kennedy received preferential teratment after the crash when he was not given a sobriety test.
He doesn't remember any of that but he was ready to vote (how'd he remeber that?).
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I am partly considering a move about 20 miles south, which would put me in Rhode Island, so I can help the good folks there send PK back to Cape Cod.
Written By: D
URL: http://
Ah, it’s not like he crashed into a body of water and left a passenger to drown...
Written By: shark
URL: http://
And the combination —- Ambien and phenergan. Good God. He not only shouldn’t have been driving, he shouldn’t have been walking.
Written By: Charles Martin
URL: http://
Seriously though, don’t you think that the prospect of more such toasted luminaries as the Kennedys into our august halls of power demands greater citizen involvement? Staying home on November X is just what incumbents want since that way only their supporters show up en masse at the polls.

My advice; everybody go vote for your Congresscritter’s opposition, no matter who it is. If they win give them 2 years to show themselves worthy of the office. If he lives up to your lowball expectations keep the creep. If not, can the man. Lather, rinse repeat until satisfied.

JM $0.02.
Written By: D
URL: http://
The "late for a vote" routine is why they didn’t give him a sobriety test. Article I Section 6 of the US Constitution says "Representatives shall privileged from Arrest during their Attendence at the Session ... and in going to and returning from the same". We have the same provision in the Georgia Constitution (it is supposed to prevent arrest by opposing political hacks influencing votes), and recently had a case where a state judge threw that defense out because of what time it was.
I think Kennedy had heard about that and used the "late for a vote" for the reason that (if he actually has read the Constitution instead of just watching it burn at Kennedy Coven Meetings) the "returning from" part might not be as familiar to junior officers and getting it on the record that he was impaired might be embarrassing to the boy.
BTW, doesn’t DC have a "under the influence" statute? Here, prescriptions are included under the heading of influence.
Written By: Richard
Here’s an interesting take, via Rush Limbaugh... compare and contrast McKinney v. Kennedy. McKinney [Black, Female, Middle-Class (?] faces the Grand Jury, Kennedy (White, Male, Upper Class) gets a pass. Seriously this merits some attention. She’s getting the shaft, comparatively, and this is from a Conservative Republican, by that I mean I think she’s getting the shaft, not Limbaugh’s opinion. How does this work in Liberal Democrat Land, "we’re ALL equal, but some are more equal than others"?
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Joe - Kennedys being involved - absolutely "we’re more equal than others".
Written By: looker
URL: http://
And the combination —- Ambien and phenergan. Good God. He not only shouldn’t have been driving, he shouldn’t have been walking.

Written By: Charles Martin
URL: http://
Remember, "We’re trained professionals kids, don’t try this at home." He IS a Kennedy and therefore he has much experience in this sort of thing, personal and vicarious.
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
US Grant was drunk through most of the civil war. He did better than most.

Perhaps we should require congressman to drink heavily before voting. Perhaps they would forget to vote as instructed to by thier lobbiest once in a while.

Mabe they’ll vote us $200 next time.

Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
Grant being drunk was a myth.
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Good job looker. For the doubters, have a read...
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
In any event, that hardly excuses Kennedy. I’d be far less irritated if it weren’t another sample of the Kennedy family legacy of "do as I want you to do, you ignorant little weed, not as I do".

I think this would be a perfect opportunity for Jesse and Al and Cynthia to jump up and down and point out the hypocrisy going on. Care to guess when that will happen?
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Or maybe he was telling the truth:
Written By: Nathan
Although Kennedy earlier told reporters that he did not ask for preferential treatment in how he was treated by the police, a police union official said the congressman received special treatment because of his position.
Louis P. Cannon, president of the Washington chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, who was not on the scene, said the officers who responded to the accident were instructed by an official "above the rank of patrolman" to take Kennedy home and no sobriety tests were conducted at the scene.
Guess we’ll never know if it was booze, or Ambien that ’drove him to vote’.

Written By: looker
URL: http://
"Well, obviously, special consideration was given to him," Cannon told FOX News on Friday. "I mean, it may be deemed by some people to be preferential. I don’t think, probably, you or I would have got the same the same type of treatment. ... He was certainly given some special consideration because of his position."

Cannon acknowledged, however, that there are special rules that allow for special treatment of congressional representatives who are on their way to a vote, which apparently was one of Kennedy’s claims.
This is interesting - so what everyone in authority seems to allege is that because Kennedy "thought" he was heading for a vote they had to apply the law that prohibits them from preventing that, even though he was clearly not, at that time, headed for a real vote.

I love this interpretation. So to carry it to it’s logical extreme...he could kill someone and claim he shot them in self defense because he ’thought’ they were attacking him, even if they were in fact merely walking past him on the street as they headed to get a latte at Starbucks.

Written By: looker
URL: http://
So if he was priveliged from arrest going to sessions of congress, they should have taken him to congress, not home. Assuming they should have taken him anywhere.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

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