Ah, the circle of life… every day the sun the rises, every spring the buds blossom, and every few years Rep. Patrick Kennedy reenters rehab. Truly, to everything there is a season — and in this case Rhode Island’s true Representative, Patrick “Patches” Kennedy (as in nicotine, percocet, and methadone patches), managed to make it three whole years (and two re-elections) between trips to rich-kid rehab centers.
So in case you’re keeping score, Methadone Patches has now been treated for cocaine addiction, alcohol addiction, oxycontin addiction, and an addiction to be named later. This is in addition to his driving his Mustang into a Capitol Hill barricade in the middle of the night back in 2006 while claiming to be hopped up “only” on Ambien and Phenergan. Kennedy falsely told police that he was on his way to a non-existent vote in Congress, thus invoking a special constitutional rule preventing his arrest. This proves again that when you’re a Kennedy, you’re never so stoned that you forget how to lie. Like a predisposition to addiction, some things just come naturally.
Keep in mind that Patches has accomplished all this — plus assaulting an airport security guard, driving into a Coast Guardsman (in a pharmacy parking lot, no less), trashing a rented yacht, and forcing the Coast Guard to board another yacht to intervene in a domestic dispute — by the ripe old age of 41. Also, technically he has been part of Rhode Island’s delegation to the House of Representatives since 1994. But hey, when you’re a big state like Rhode Island with TWO whole representatives in the House, you can afford to waste half your seats on a clueless spoiled drunken junkie whose sole qualification for office is that he inherited your tiny state as a consolation prize for being one of the less talented Kennedys (admittedly, a stiff competition).
But when you think about it, what better representative could Rhode Island have? Fentanyl Patches Kennedy is clearly the Fredo of his family, and what is Rhode Island but the Fredo of New England? It’s not just that Rhode Island is so small (as Pat Neff famously said, “Texas could wear Rhode Island as a watch fob.”), or that Rhode Island is so corrupt. It’s that Rhode Island so willingly accepts its role as “Massachusetts, Jr.”
Rhode Island is under no obligation to accept the excess Kennedys of Massachusetts, but it seems unable to separate itself from the allegedly “royal” family and royalist political culture of its larger neighbor to the north. Indeed, it just can’t wait to sign up for another round of Percocet Patches after every new scandal and disappointment.
Name one other state in which a sitting Representative could enter, nay, re-enter rehab after lying his way out of a DUI just six months before an election and still get re-elected? That says a lot about Rhode Island. I can understand, if not endorse, if the people of Rhode Island want to be ruled by Democrats, but, really, is this the best the state can do?
I guess Rhode Island’s voters figure that they just can’t produce a better leader from among their own population than the Democrat Party machine has picked for them from the cluster of drunken heirs that run things next door. Of course, the last time they tried to pick a competent leader from among their own, they came up with Lincoln Chafee, so maybe they really are better off outsourcing the job to Massachusetts. Still, I think it shows a lack of spirit and confidence to tag along with the bigger gang next door. It took King Edward Longshanks and the full force of the English army years of bloodshed to force the Welsh to accept his weakling son as the Prince of Wales. Rhode Island, in contrast, eagerly offers itself up to be ruled as a sort of training state for the weakling son of Sen. Ted Kennedy (aka, King Edward Longdrinks, the Prince of Whales).
In economic decline, with stagnant population growth and a host of real problems that must be addressed by a tiny Congressional delegation, Rhode Island can little afford to flagrantly waste a House seat on a mental no-show who spends half his time stoned and the other half in rehab. But that is exactly what it chooses to do. Perhaps there is some misunderstanding of the situation in Rhode Island? I think that must be it, so as a public service to my neighbors in the Ocean State, please allow me to translate below Patches’ own words on his competence to serve as a member of The United States Congress, as taken from his statement on entering rehab, again:
Kennedy’s statement: “I have always said that recovery is a lifelong process and that I will do whatever it takes to preserve my health.”
Translation: “I will always be a damn junkie, and, like all junkies, I am totally centered on myself.”
Kennedy’s statement: “In consultation with my doctor, I have decided to temporarily step away from my normal routine to ensure that I am being as vigilant as possible in my recovery.”
Translation: “I failed my court-ordered urine test, therefore I need to take a break from my normal routine of getting up at the crack of noon and drinking my way through the day so that I can pretend to get better again in a posh celebrity-focused drunk spa. Then I can go back to voting like I am told.”
Kennedy’s statement: “I hope that in some small way my decision to be proactive and public in my efforts to remain healthy can help remove the stigma that has served as a barrier for many Americans reluctant to get the help they need.”
Translation: “Look for me on Oprah in six months!”
How much more clear does wobbly little Dramamine Patches have to make things? I beg the people of Rhode Island: please find a sober self-made liberal for 2010. If you lack the self-respect to do it for yourself, then please do it for the other 49 states that have to live under the same laws your ridiculous junkie is being allowed to vote upon.
And if you must elect a drunk, go find one on a park bench and send him to Congress — at least that would take someone off the welfare rolls. Patches can always live off his Granddaddy’s money. As he once famously admitted, “I’ve never worked a f—–g day in my life!”
Sign up to the Human Events newsletter