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Saturday, May 06, 2006

PATRICK KENNEDY: His problems with drugs and, apparently, alcohol, should be considered personal until and unless his actions make the problems a public concern. That threshold was passed when Kennedy turned his vehicle into a bumper car in the middle of the night a few blocks from the Capitol, so let's review Kennedy's public statements. Statement one: Kennedy acknowledges being "involved in a traffic incident last night at First and C Street SE near the U.S. Capitol." He volunteers: "I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident." Statement two: "Sometime around 2:45 a.m., I drove the few blocks to the Capitol Complex believing I needed to vote." Explaining that he had been taking the prescriptions Phenergan and Ambien, Kennedy states only that he was "disoriented from the medication." He is lucid enough to recall that his car had "hit the security barrier at the corner of 1st and C St., SE." Quite clear, Kennedy's memory: "At the time of the accident, I was instructed to park my car and was driven home by the United States Capitol Police. At no time did I ask for any special consideration, I simply complied with what the officers asked me to do." Statement three: "I simply do not remember getting out of bed, being pulled over by the police or being cited for three driving infractions." Amazing. In three statements over the course of a day, Kennedy actively un-remembers his previous recollections. Well, maybe I'm being unfair. He does remember hitting the barrier, being told to park his car, being driven home, not asking for special consideration, doing what officers told him to do. The part he forgets is getting out of bed, being pulled over and being cited. He specifically remembers not having anything to drink. The witnesses who testified that they saw him drinking: Do they still recollect that, or have they forgotten? And if so, how will we know if and when they unremember? My question to Rep. Kennedy: Do you think you have a right to just haul off and slug a Capitol police officer? Neither do I. Will you pass the word to Cynthia McKinney? Thanks, pal. Did anybody hear a Kennedy family spokesman ask for our prayers, along with their right to privacy? I didn't specifically hear any such requests — let me note that I wasn't drinking at the time — but maybe I'm so used to the rhythms of Kennedy family's generic, fill-in-latest-name press releases that the requests just didn't register. The part I do remember hearing (I wasn't doing drugs, either) was the usual psychobabble about whether the Kennedy family suffers some awful "curse." Time for the big question. Is Kennedy's claim of continuing addiction to prescription drugs valid? I have no idea. What I do know is that the inconsistencies in his three statements in under 24 hours are a joke. What's a four-letter word for a witness relocation program designed for celebrities who want to avoid tough questions about their behavior? Mayo.