Democrat House Representative Patrick J. Kennedy has checked into a rehab facility because of substance abuse.

Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy is the son of Senator Edward Kennedy and a U.S. House Representative from Rhode Island. He has checked into rehab today for substance abuse, for the second time in recent years.

Kennedy said in a statement, “In consultation with my doctors, I have decided to temporarily step away from my normal routine to ensure that I am being as vigilant as possible in my recovery. 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.”

Note, however, that Patrick Kennedy did not resign his office. This is Kennedy’s second stint in rehab in recent years, but he continues to feel entitled to a position in the U.S. government. He is after all, a Kennedy.

In May 2006, Kennedy was admitted to the Mayo Clinic after he slammed his car into a security barricade on Capitol Hill. At the time, he admitted his addiction to Oxycontin. He also admitted to abusing alcohol and cocaine in the past.

Patrick Kennedy should face consequences beyond “rehab.”

Now, I am going to be politically incorrect and harsh. “Rehab” these days is the easy way out. Someone messes up, he can go to “rehab” where they supposedly magically cure his problems.

It is where entitled people go when they do stupid things and want to be forgiven by the public. Well, enough is enough. Kennedy should not be in office. If Rhode Island voters had any sense, they would not keep a man with multiple instances of substance abuse in office. It shows a lack of responsibility. Stepping away from his “normal routine” should have included resignation.

His failure to do so shows a lack of judgment and a lack of respect to his constituents. Rhode Island can do better than a drug addict.