Hunt with Cheney or Ride with Kennedy?

I'd rather hunt with Dick Cheney than ride with Ted Kennedy.Here I am, back in the realm of politics. My dad sent me this bumper sticker yesterday and even commented on my VP shooting post, which I guess shows you the power of the VP shooting somebody to bring people together. (Which brings up a side question–is it incredibly inappropriate to make jokes about somebody getting shot? Apparently some people think it is if you’re anti-gun, which I don’t think I am, therefore I think I’m good.)

Back to the Cheney-Kennedy bumper sticker. My dad thought it was hilarious enough to pass on, which is something I don’t think I ever remember my dad doing. Ever. So I take a look at the bumper sticker–and I don’t get it.

A quick trip to Google and a search for “ride with Ted Kennedy” turns up a creepy story about Kennedy giving a woman ride in 1969. That’s the last ride she ever took. Literally. Kennedy drove off a bridge and the car sunk. He escaped, she didn’t. He never called for help and apparently called his lawyer before the police. A fact-checking trip to Wikipedia backed it up.

Ouch. Now I get it. There’s a lovely little story my generation probably knows nothing about (my wife didn’t get the bumper sticker either, so that’s my little straw poll). I blame the media’s complete inability to give us any context or history and my education in history which barely made it to World War II, nevermind anything that happened during the second half of the 20th century.

Coincidentally, I find it rather humorous that in a conservative blogger’s rant about the media blowing the Cheney story out of proportion, he gets upset when a Washington Post columnist compares Cheney’s hunting trip to Kennedy’s ride. Apparently somebody else already thought of that comparison and made a bumper sticker out of it.

6 thoughts on “Hunt with Cheney or Ride with Kennedy?”

  1. Ohhhhh, goodness, that’s hilarious. I think I scared my fellow teachers: my laugh was booming down the hall for a bit there.

    I’m still amazed that Kennedy could stay in politics after that one… *shakes head* I couldn’t believe he’d done it when I heard about it the first time. Hmmmmm, I wish I had made that connection sooner as well: funny stuff. Hmmmm, I think I might have to get one… or at least print something up and put it on my door.

  2. What? You didn’t learn about Chappaquiddick in Contemporary History in HS? Wow. I was very lucky to have the best history teacher ever for that class and we learned the interesting stuff such as that. I hadn’t even read your post when I fell over laughing at the sticker! (Neal sent me this link to peruse and I emailed him that the sticker was so very true prior to coming back and reading your take on it.) Don’t give up on our generation just yet…we know more than most think. I can’t even see T. Kennedy without thinking about this incident. It amazes me what people can get away with when they have the right name and a little money and clout. Meh.

  3. Kevin,
    After I sent you the bumper sticker I wondered if I should have explained the Kennedy side of it. You’re right, you’re not alone. After I read your response, I told the DARE officer I work with about the bumper sticker. He’s older than you, (daughter is a Jr. in high school) and he just gave me a blank look. I always have the same reaction to Ted Kennedy that Neal and Jess mentioned. And Kennedy was especially irritating when he would defend President Clinton during the Clinton/Lewinsky mess. I think I can forgive but I usually don’t forget.

  4. I know I’m only a couple years older than you, and you guys are the ones with a kid now, but reading that you hadn’t heard of Chappaquiddick made me suddenly feel really, really old. I had flashbacks to When Harry Met Sally, when Harry tells his friend that he asked the much younger woman he was dating where she was when Kennedy was shot, and her response was, “Ted Kennedy was shot?”

  5. I told one of the counselor’s at work and she about fell over laughing just as I did. A lady who is about halfway between both our ages didn’t get it. *shrugs* It’s all in what you’ve learned if you didn’t live through it, eh?

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