In theory, the role of the media is to report and opine on the news; not overdramatize it. In reality, they pump up the drama in search of clicks and eyeballs. An excellent example is the ridiculous reporting on the preposterous presidential candidacy of two-time malaka of the week, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
I’ve seen this mook’s campaign compared to his Uncle Ted’s challenge to Jimmy Carter in 1980. The differences make my head swim:
Ted Kennedy had been a senator for 18 years and was the leader of the progressive wing of the Democratic party. Bobby Junior is an anti-vax, pro-Putin crank who has never won an election in his life.
Ted Kennedy was supported by many leading progressives including past and future presidential candidates, George McGovern, Mo Udall, and Paul Simon. Bobby Junior is supported by the likes of Steve Bannon, Alex Jones, Elon Musk, and Roger Stone; none of whom would back him in a general election in the unlikely event he won the nomination.
I supported Ted Kennedy’s challenge to Jimmy Carter because I thought, then and now, that Carter was a poor president and a disastrous candidate in 1980. I think Joe Biden is an excellent president whose only drawback is his age. I would never vote for a candidate who inspired this tweet:
Per several people familiar, Steve Bannon had been encouraging this for months and believes RFK Jr. could be both a useful chaos agent in 2024 race and a big name who could help stoke anti-vax sentiment around the country… https://t.co/Xfrqei2qea
— Robert Costa (@costareports) April 5, 2023
Bobby Junior is no spring chicken himself: he’s 69.
Ted Kennedy’s challenge to an incumbent president failed, so will Bobby Junior’s.
The fakakta NYT piece linked to at the beginning of the post described Bobby Junior’s candidacy as a “headache for Biden.”
If that’s the case, it’s not a migraine, it’s the sort of headache cured by two aspirins.
Here’s why Bobby Junior is polling at 20%:
- Name recognition.
- He looks like his father.
Thus far nary a Kennedy is supporting his challenge to Biden. He’s the political black sheep of that famously tight-knit family. The Kennedy family line is “We love him, but he’s wrong about everything.”
I can, however, think of one Kennedy who could have supported him. His late grandfather Joe Kennedy who favored appeasing Hitler and helped fund Joe McCarthy’s red scare earning Harry Truman’s eternal enmity.
Truman supported JFK in the general election but not in the primaries. It wasn’t because Jack Kennedy was Catholic either, it was because of dear old dad:
The past glories of the Kennedy name are all Bobby Junior has going for him, but unlike his father who ran an inspiring campaign to end a war and lift people out of poverty, Bobby Junior stands for Trumpism Lite. When voters learn that they’ll have a genuine headache.
Pass the aspirin.
The last word goes to John Stewart with a song about RFK’s 1968 campaign: