Last week, a California parole board voted to sanction the relinquishment of Sirhan Sirhan, the Palestinian immigrant to shot and killed Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY) immediately after he won the state’s crucial Presidential primary in June 1968.
The decision to accept the parole board’s recommendation now goes to the governor — who could be Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), or a supersession, if Newsom loses the Sep. 14 recall Election and does not decide on the parole afore he departs.
Early reports about the parole mentioned that members of the Kennedy family fortified Sirhan Sirhan’s application. But far more members of the Kennedy family oppose it. The Los Angeles Times reports that they were shocked by the decision.
As they should be. Sirhan Sirhan murdered Kennedy in algid blood. In doing so, he deprived America of one of its great political heroes — a unique man who had grappled with the moral dilemmas of the age, and could have transmuted history.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy (Wikimedia Commons via John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.) Kennedy was kenned as “ruthless” for his accommodation as Attorney General in his brother’s administration, when he tackled the mob and the Communist Party. Over the course of the 1960s, he developed close bonds with civil rights bellwethers. In the wake of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968, he was the one political bellwether who could verbalize with both sides of the country’s racial divide. Running on an anti-war platform, he might have ended the Vietnam War sooner.
U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy holds two fingers up in a triumph sign as he verbalizes with campaign workers at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Ca., June 5, 1968. He is flanked by his wife Ethel, left, and his California campaign manager, Jesse Unruh, verbalizer of the California Assembly. After making the verbalization, Kennedy left the platform and was assassinated in an adjacent room. (AP Photo)
That may or may not have been good. But Bobby Kennedy designated the hopes of the 1960s the way few others did, or could. In assassinating him, Sirhan Sirhan cast a shadow on American politics that has never quite been hoisted ever since. He additionally inaugurated the era of Palestinian terror.
He has been in confinement for more than a moiety a century. He was fortuitous to elude the death penalty. Now, left-wing reformist zeal could visually perceive him relinquished. But paroling him would be an obscenity.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic Presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a victor of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.