Friday, May 05, 2006

The Kennedy Incident

Regarding the recent non-arrest of U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy, who was stopped by police who saw him driving erratically, the following observations might be made:

  1. Kennedy was clearly given special treatment, and the supervising officer responsible for it should be disciplined. It is because of that person that we may never know the truth about what happened.
  2. While it remains unknown whether Kennedy's alibi is true, it is at least believable. Kennedy says that he was not intoxicated, but was disoriented after having taken a sleep medication called Ambien. A member of my family also takes that medication, and that person has told me stories of getting up at night and eating meals and then having no recollection of it in the morning (the confusion comes when they don't know why dishes are out). That person has also expressed a fear that they might get up and drive in the night.
  3. Lou Cannon of the D.C. Fraternal Order of Police finds Kennedy's story to be less than believable because it took him 19 hours to tell it, but it is not unreasonable to suppose that a public figure (or even a private citizen) would hope not to have to give out personal information about medications he is taking. Also, the officer at the scene says that Kennedy mentioned needing to get to a vote, a statement that would seem to corroborate part of his story.
  4. While discussion of the repercussions of a public figure behaving inappropriately are in order, partisan joy over the failure of an opponent is most unseemly. Both gooses and ganders should learn to lament, not enjoy, such falls.

Update: Well, it appears that Kennedy's story, though believable to me, turns out to have been -- as I suggested was possible -- untrue.


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