Left-leaning columnist Froma Harrop reports on progressive unhappiness with one of the Senate’s biggest blowhards, Teddy Kennedy. His eco-hypocrisy, it seems, is too much for them to take:
Once upon a time, Ted Kennedy could count on his daily dose of veneration. The right wing hated the Massachusetts Democrat, but progressives honored him as a defender of old-school liberalism.
In a remarkable turnaround, liberals are now heaping scorn on the 73-year-old senator. Young audiences boo at his name, and the leftish “Daily Show” on Comedy Central makes fun of him.
The source of unhappiness is Kennedy’s efforts to kill an offshore wind farm on Nantucket Sound. Cape Wind was to be the first such project in the United States and a source of pride to environmentally minded New Englanders. Polls show 84 percent of Massachusetts residents in favor. But now it appears that America’s first offshore wind farm will be near Galveston, Texas.
Proposed the month before Sept. 11, 2001, Cape Wind remains in limbo. It’s been frustrated at every turn by a handful of yachtsmen, Kennedy included, who don’t want to see windmills from their verandas. Many millions have been spent spreading disinformation and smearing the wind farm’s supporters.
Kennedy has received bipartisan help from other wealthy Senate elitists:
The sordid affair is documented in a funny and depressing book titled “Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics and the Battle for Our Energy Future on Nantucket Sound.” In it, authors Wendy Williams and Robert Whitcomb (full disclosure: Whitcomb is my editor at The Providence Journal) describe the bipartisan endeavor to betray America’s environmental and energy interests — and ignore the welfare of the year-round locals.
Kennedy did much of the dirty work in Washington, but he had considerable help. In 2004, Sen. John Warner, the Virginia Republican, added a last-minute rider to an urgent Iraq War funding bill that forbade the Army Corps of Engineers to spend money permitting offshore wind projects.
“Warner was dragging American troops into the Cape Wind war,” Williams and Whitcomb noted. The outcry forced him to back down.
Why did Warner care so deeply about a wind-energy project in Massachusetts? Some of his fabulously wealthy relatives own choice waterfront property on Cape Cod. That’s why.
Anchorage is 4,600 miles from Boston. And so what was this project to Rep. Don Young, the Alaska Republican? It was apparently an opportunity to exercise an old grudge against Theodore Roosevelt IV, the 26th president’s great-grandson and a wind-farm supporter.
Telling, isn’t it, that it took a skirmish over a damned wind farm for libs to finally turn on the long-transgressing Teddy Kennedy.
As they say: Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.