Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Revisionism in Action

My first Presidential vote was cast in the blissful ignorance of youth for the charismatic Jack Kennedy. He was much more appealing to me than the scowling, sweaty, five-o'clock-shadowed Nixon. I came to regret that vote within a few years as LBJ came to power. Yet, I voted for him in '64 because Stevenson was so unappealing at my age.

Within a year of that election I found myself in the Air Force and then enroute to the air war over North Vietnam. It is amazing how quickly you grow up when you spend six months starting each day in a briefing room with 25 or 30 guys and each night one or more of those guys isn't there. The disenchantment with risking your life for worthless targets picked over orange juice and croissants at the Tuesday morning breakfast meeting in the Oval Office was complete.

There was no way I could support LBJ in '68 and Robert Kennedy, already carrying a whispered reputation for Machiavellian ruthlessness in the Attorney General's office was not my cup of tea. Teddy was in his hereditary seat in the Senate by then.

It was the beginning of my realization that, all protestations to the contrary, America does have a ruling class, an aristocracy of birth that sips tea with raised pinkies, debates policy issues over scones and occasionally suggests that someone "let them eat cake."

Now, we've got the Voice of the Administration offering a paean to the declining old satyr. Read this:

I Tried to Save Her...Not!

Yes, we are canonizing him even before his imminent demise. Mary Jo gets no mention despite the fact that those events were the most defining in Teddy's life. Had she bobbed to the surface, he would have arguably become president. But, she didn't.

Not mentioned either are the cheating issues while at Harvard, or the various drunken episodes, or the presence at the beach party where his nephew was busy raping a co-ed. There is apparently a lot not being mentioned as the fat old man prepares to leave us with his legacy, a nationalization and destruction of our healthcare system.

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