Just a week ago, I went off on the Last Kennedy, shortly after his blindside attack on the just-sworn-in Scott Brown:
It's over for the Kennedys, and based on his behavior, Patrick seems to be dimly aware of it. The castle is smoldering, the enemies are mounting a counterattack, the theology has lost its magic, and the peasants are searching out their next victim. With recent polling showing only 35% of voters in his district would vote to re-elect him, while while awarding him with a 56% unfavorable rating, it seems as if Patrick will be the next - and last - Kennedy to lose his head in the great 2010 Tea Party.
And he goes out not with class, but with rage and confusion at the sudden loss of the magic that his last name has always given him; and he spits bile and invective at the new order of things, as he prepares vainly for a final battle, ready to draw as much blood as he can on the way (back) down.
And so it appears that Patrick saw the troops amassed against him, holding the banners of the Right, The Center, the Tea Party, and Legal Insurrection, and decided, for better or worse, that the principles he was shrieking about a mere seven days ago were no longer worth fighting for, and that the Kennedy line would die with him:
Rep. Patrick Kennedy has decided not to seek re-election to Congress, saying his life is "taking a new direction" just months after the death of his father and mentor, Sen. Edward Kennedy. (video here)
Very Spinal Tap-ish, if you ask me ( "You are witnesess at the new birth of Spinal Tap Mark II, hope you enjoy our new direction... "). But much more interesting is this:
When he leaves office, it will be the first time a Kennedy has not sat in Congress or the White House since future President John F. Kennedy entered the House in January 1947.
Mick Jagger famously sang, in Sympathy for the Devil:
I shouted out
"Who killed the Kennedys?"
When after all
It was you and me...
Well, the Kennedys are, finally, a spent political force. And who "killed" them? No, not "you and me", but it was fratricide, murder by his own philosophical family. Who killed the the Kennedys? Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid did, by creating a firestorm where the middle class had no choice but to rise up in revolt against the political elite, and what greater symbol, and therefore target, is there than a Kennedy?
And Patrick goes down running, not fighting - offering little in defense of his policies or behavior, instead simply fleeing the battle which he helped ignite, in order to preserve what little riches he still retains. Let us hope his new direction is one that leads him far, far away from public life, now and forever...