In John Kerry's statement on President Obama's Cuba policy changes, the secretary of state doesn't simply suggest the policies in place for five and a half decades are outdated. He seems to be suggesting they were a failure from the start. And in doing so, he apparently misstates his own age at the time President Kennedy made one of the most well known presidential addresses in our nation's history, and certainly the most notable regarding Cuba.Read more
"If today’s extremist rhetoric sounds familiar, that’s because it is eerily, poignantly similar to the vitriol aimed squarely at John F. Kennedy during his presidency. And just like today, Texans were leading what some of them saw as a moral crusade. To find the very roots of the paranoid right of 2013, just go back to downtown Dallas in 1963, back to the months before the Kennedy assassination. It was where and when a deeply angry . . .” (Bill Minutaglio, Washington Post, November 21).Read more
Everyone of a certain age, it is said, remembers the moment when they heard that John F. Kennedy had been shot. Yet even though I was 13 years old at the time, and recall quite a lot from 1963, I do not remember this, though for a technical reason.Read more
The Washington Post, like many publications, has been observing the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in considerable detail. No, make that lurid detail. No day has gone by in recent weeks without extended lists, recycled photographs, old reminiscences, new theories, and the sort of relentless politico-journalistic navel-gazing that has turned the reading public, in the Internet age, against the mainstream media.Read more
The legacy of President John F. Kennedy is a wondrous thing. Any president compared with Kennedy comes up short, even if his actual accomplishments were greater than JFK’s. Presidents in the modern era can never measure up to JFK in the public’s mind, period. Today, 50 years after JFK’s death, it’s still unwise to tangle with the Kennedy clan. The Kennedys usually win. Kennedy’s legacy also means that referring to him as anything but a liberal is sure to provoke an argument.Read more
Reading this provocative and compelling analysis of John F. Kennedy’s political vision, I could not help but think of the reaction Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. had when his colleague John P. Diggins told him he was writing a book favorable to Ronald Reagan’s presidency. “Please,” Schlesinger said, “don’t make him look too good.” If Schlesinger were still alive and able to read Stoll’s new account, he would undoubtedly turn purple. One thing is certain: Ira Stoll’s Kennedy is not the same as Arthur Schlesinger’s.Read more
John Forbes Kerry is one of those upper-middle-class East Coast types of estimable lineage and impeccable credentials (St. Paul’s, Yale, U.S. Navy) whose tribal habits were the subject of the late sociologist E. Digby Baltzell (The Protestant -Establishment, Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia, etc.). Baltzell popularized the term WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant)—-although Kerry is Roman Catholic, not Protestant—and explored the historic WASP ascendancy in American business, education, cultural institutions, and government.Read more
This isn’t going to be a good week for me. Friday will mark the 50th anniversary of the death in Dallas of President John F. Kennedy, and between now and then I expect a complete media blitz—make that a blitzkrieg—of stories, films, docudramas, book reviews, and counterfactual explorations about the event and, by extension, about all that the nation lost with the death of the brilliant but ill-fated president. Dallas policemen, such media duffers as Bob Schieffer and Jim Lehrer, Lee Harvey Oswald’s dentist, Jack Ruby’s rabbi, everyone still alive who has any memory of or connection with the assassination will be called upon to cough up his driblet of information.Read more
The fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy is nearly upon us, so one would expect America's public intellectuals to be gearing up to present a series of sober and illuminating reflections about the tragedy's cultural and political legacy.
Of course, that's not going to happen. Any misty-eyed resonance that can be wrung out of JFK's death is already being exploited by our elite media gatekeepers to advance a political agenda.Read more
The fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy is nearly upon us, so one would expect America's public intellectuals are gearing up to present a series of sober and illuminating reflections about the tragedy's cultural and political legacy.Read more
It has become increasingly clear that the Obama-era Democrats view every major societal event as a new invitation to spend money, centralize power, or both. The horrendous shootings in Connecticut have the Democrats lobbying not only for new legislation, but new federalRead more
During last night’s debate, Mitt Romney responded to Newt Gingrich’s proposal that America establish a lunar colony by the end of the decade by saying that if someone presented him with that proposal, “I’d say, ‘You’re fired.’” While one might think Romney justified in firing someone who pitched Gingrich’s specific proposal, Romney gave the distinct impression that he also might have fired John F. Kennedy back in 1962.Read more
Writing in USA Today, Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, and Jim Lovell —the first and last men on the moon, and — highlight another example of President Obama’s lack of faith in American exceptionalism. In a piece entitled,“Is Obama Grounding JFK’s Space Legacy?” the three astronauts (now 80, 77, and 83 years old) write:Read more
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