March 5, 2014
Netanyahu's inaction to Obama's provocations sends powerful message
Kerry, after apparent criticism by Schumer, seeks to allay skepticism on diplomacy
How to ruin a perfectly good kid in 10 simple steps
2014 Oscars played it safe, but was faith lost in the shuffle?
Apple joins Hobby Lobby in touting corporate values beyond profit
March 3, 2014
Alina Dain Sharon: In the Hebrew calendar, a leap year has extra month, not day
Latest Obama appointment to prove Prez set on emasculating so-called Israel Lobby
Jewish World Review
Nov. 13, 2013/ 10 Kislev, 5774
JFK proved charisma doesn't mean much
Say it's 1960, you are 16, raised by Democrats and fascinated by politics. Because there is someone like John F. Kennedy running for president, you're also excited.
Unlike that old fogy Dwight D. Eisenhower, the current president, the candidate is young, witty, cultivated and articulate. He is a macho war hero who is talking about rectifying a missile gap with the Soviet Union, but he is also an idealist who wants to wake us up from the conformist, apathetic, great big yawn of a decade called the 1950s. He preaches a new frontier.
Clearly, Kennedy is better than "Tricky Dick" Nixon, that Republican cad, and the more you read about the issues, the more you think he is going to help America realize its specialness all over again. He gets elected; he seems to be doing a sound job
Then comes that day, three years later, when you are in college and see a bunch of guys on campus gathered around a car, listening to its radio. You walk over, ask what is up, and they say President Kennedy has been shot. Is he alive? They don't know.
You run to the dorm rec room, where you find dozens already surrounding the TV set. You watch and there are all these announcements and reports from Dallas, and finally there is the CBS anchor Walter Cronkite fighting back tears as he announces, "President Kennedy died at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time, 2 Eastern Standard Time, some 38 minutes ago."
The killing of Kennedy hits you hard, educates you, changes you. You had known in the abstract that hopes and assumptions can be turned upside down overnight, that the votes of millions and historical directions could be altered by a bullet, that someone important and admirable in your sense of things could vanish from this life with little warning. But here was the actuality, and it made you ache.
Something else was to make me ache and affect my thinking as time passed, and that was the realization that John F. Kennedy was very little that he seemed to be.VS Yes, as president, he started the Peace Corps, and that was splendid, if not major. He initiated work on the moon shot. The later landing was important for science, national pride and the human spirit. His economic measures made sense. But he was mostly lax on civil rights. He disastrously deepened our involvement in Vietnam. He was grotesquely incompetent in allowing the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba that helped prompt the Soviet Union's placement of missiles there.
Kennedy has received ludicrously large credit for the way he handled the resulting missile crisis that actually was badly mishandled and risked a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union for the sake of politics. He was dishonest in not telling the public that the Soviets backed off because we agreed to remove our missiles from Turkey. And, by the way, the campaign business about the missile gap was phony, too.
Kennedy never should have run for president in the first place. An ABC News story on Robert Dallek's book, "An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963," tells us that he suffered from four or five different ailments, was in near-constant pain that prevented him from moving about normally, and was regularly doped up on all kinds of drugs that included pain killers, stimulants and barbiturates.
Then there was his sexual behavior, which reached beyond wild to pathetic. Risking blackmail and other bad consequences, he apparently never slowed down for more than a few days from having sex with different women, including a Mafia moll. One story that makes you cringe is how he reputedly took shameful, degrading advantage of a 19-year-old college sophomore.
All of this is enough to render you a cynic, but cynicism makes you less alert to the good even as you become too quick to judge something or someone bad. Fifty years after that horrifying assassination, the lesson I aim to keep in mind is instead to try to look past a politician's charisma, on the one hand, or a politician's klutziness, on the other, to what the person is really all about.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment by clicking here.
Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.
11/06/13: Ideology rules the roost, wrongly
10/30/13: Obamacare problem was hubris, ideological fixations, taking on too much, doing too much secretively, making bad deals and telling lies. Here are some
10/22/13: Next up: Entitlements threaten to shut down U.S. future
09/25/13: The harm of ObamaCare does not justify a shutdown
09/18/13: Ethanol push makes frighteningly little sense
09/11/13: In Syria debate, will Obama defeat himself?
08/21/13: Frisk constitutionally, but frisk
08/14/13: Obama delivers a blow to minority students
08/07/13: Can Amazon's Bezos save Washington Post?
07/24/13: Detroit becomes a valuable warning
07/17/13: The profiling of George Zimmerman
07/10/13: Obama says Earth warm, may think it's flat
07/03/13: Senate immigration bill borders on reckless
06/26/13: Fake 'hero' must be caught and tried
06/19/13: With crime, control works --- just not the one considered the magical solution
06/12/13: What happened to the anti-Bush? Reality happened
06/05/13: Obama crosses bridge before coming to it
05/29/13: Biting the Apple: Nothing infuriates neo-socialist curmudgeons more than free enterprise of the vigorous, corporate kind expanding the reach of our lives
05/22/13: Evidence tells us the administrative state can be grotesquely unfair, unconstitutional, self-contradictory, unspeakably autocratically intrusive, stupid and morally repulsive
05/15/13: It's raining cats, dogs and scandals
05/08/13: Grads, heed Jefferson, not Obama
05/01/13: Letting planes fly on time
04/24/13: How about having a poetry century?
03/28/13: TV news can give you the blues
03/20/13: We're upside down and debt crash is coming
03/13/13: Stock market is downright perky. Blame the corporations
03/06/13: Bloomberg rivals Carrie Nation
02/27/13: The Wily One is proving in polls that it's no toughie to fool lots of people most of the time
02/20/13: On Obama, swans, goulash and invisibility
02/13/13: Drones and hypocrisy
01/30/13: The Nixonian Obama
01/23/13: Is Obama making JFK-style mistakes?
01/02/13: Kerry nomination emblematic of woes coming
12/26/12: Hollywood beats Harvard in history?
12/12/12: Immigration issues solve themselves
12/06/12: Durbin's deficiency
11/29/12: Man of the century
11/21/12: A big scandal coming?
11/14/12: U.S. should follow the Swedish path
11/07/12: Hanging from a poll
• 10/31/12: A dream that wouldn't come true
• 10/29/12: When the 'kooks' and 'racists' turn out to be your ideological allies
• 10/24/12: The pettiness refuge
• 10/18/12: An interruption that tells a bigger tale
• 10/17/12: A recovery that wasn't
• 10/12/12: Big Bird squabble points to something real
• 10/11/12: The 'war' you don't hear about --- the one on average Americans
• 08/22/12: Obama leadership: Romney's returns trump road to recovery
• 08/15/12: Saving Medicare the Ryan way
• 08/01/12: Combatting free speech
• 07/25/12: Good and bad reactions to Colorado horror
• 07/18/12: Apology time for Obama
• 07/16/12: Free markets solve climate change threats
• 07/11/12: Humans and particles and those who would order them
• 07/06/12: Why we'll miss Andy Griffith
• 07/05/12: All will feel Affordable Care Act's bite
• 07/02/12: A social solution --- homes with dads
• 06/27/12: Being a 'nation of immigrants' is not an excuse
• 06/20/12: Barack Obama the autocrat
• 06/18/12: Bradbury's lessons for today
• 06/13/12: Should this leaking administration sink?
• 06/11/12: Simpson bashes back on reform
• 06/05/12: Legalize sugary drinks, ban dangerous drugs
• 06/04/12: Keep America from going Greek
• 06/01/12: Don't believe in Obama's fairy tales
• 05/30/12: Writing a book? Beats prison
• 05/23/12: Student loans fail students
• 05/21/12: Europeanizing America into crisis
• 05/16/12: Obama a bully, too
• 05/15/12: Walker recall vote could swing national pension policy
• 05/07/12: Bumbling, fumbling, benighted, old Washington near tipping point where freedom is done for
• 05/02/12: The Communists cannot be happy
• 04/30/12: There's no objective truth, least of all concerning behavior
• 04/25/12: Forgive the extremist?
• 04/23/12: Educational excellence is a game
• 04/18/12: Obama's interventions help a few by the most autocratic, complicated, ineffective means possible, yet hurt many more
• 04/16/12: Overregulation strikes again: The nanny state threatens to turn us into children
• 04/11/12: Obama is not bonkers
• 04/04/12: Will America vote against authoritarianism?
• 04/02/12: 'Tipping point' on federal restraint approaches
• 03/28/12: Obama truth from an open mike
• 03/21/12: The progressive campaign for voter fraud
• 03/19/12: Public pensions will get us if we don't watch out
• 03/14/12: Politics needs reporting, not speculation
• 03/12/12: Home of the free, the brave, the endangered
• 03/07/12: Obama used Limbaugh as scapegoat
• 03/05/12: Campaign substance lost in media melodrama
• 03/01/12: When Big Brother drowns
• 02/24/12: Obama goes gaseous on gas
• 02/22/12: Political tears for trust in personal empowerment --- except in the bedroom
• 02/17/12: Of cut-off ears and silenced mouths
• 02/15/12: Obama is a joke whose antics aren't funny
• 02/10/12: An energy boom looms, despite Obama
• 02/08/12: Obama's assault on faith
• 02/03/12: Can Romney get serious?
• 01/27/12: Obama is like an Italian ship captain
• 01/25/12: Newt Gingrich's first 100 days
• 01/20/12: Obama's Keystone pipeline lies
• 01/18/12: Critics worse than urinating Marines
• 01/13/12: Ron Paul is a cartoonish character
• 01/11/12: Newt Gingrich upset by Mitt Romney's brilliance
• 01/09/12: How about regulating presidents, too?
• 01/04/12: How America smothers itself
• 12/30/11: A tax break that helps break the nation
• 12/28/11: Watch out for the banana peel, Newt
• 12/21/11: A tale of two men
• 12/16/11: Strange happenings in Russia
• 12/14/11: Tim Tebow is a man of character
• 12/09/11: A populist, envy-mongering fraud divisively exacerbating resentment among different groups of Americans
• 12/07/11: Tax games threaten nation
• 12/05/11: Why Wal-Mart serves us better than Barney Frank
• 11/30/11: Not writing off Newt
• 11/28/11: Answers to the Iranian threat
• 11/23/11: Failure of the incumbency investment
• 11/18/11: Occupiers: Chop off their heads!
• 11/16/11: Obama asks jobless to sacrifice
• 11/09/11: Michael Moore's insufferable occupation
• 11/04/11: Political tipping point is coming
• 11/02/11: Idealogues versus 7 billion
• 10/28/11: Obama games on student loans
• 10/26/11: Wit and quick moves v. humanity and thoroughgoing honesty? It's no contest - or at least shouldn't be
• 10/07/11: Baptists, bootleggers and Wall Street protesters
• 10/05/11: Federal law will get you even if you watch out
• 09/28/11: Leftist bugbears on the march
• 09/23/11: Still hope for coal to help us
• 09/21/11: Obama's Madoff ploy
• 09/19/11: U.S. can't afford to wait until it happens
• 09/14/11: Defending -- and strengthening -- gung ho collectivism
• 09/12/11: A pipeline to better times
• 09/08/11: Obama just keeps destroying jobs
• 09/06/11: Ultra-feminists thwarting justice
• 08/31/11: Corporations are people? Yes, Count the ways
• 08/26/11: What an earthquake tells us about debt
• 08/25/11: The tyranny of scientific consensus
• 08/23/11: Fracking hardly a public health threat
• 08/17/11: Why Obamacare won't control births
• 08/15/11: Balanced budget amendment unbalanced idea
• 08/10/11: Kerry's war on citizen speech
• 08/05/11: Upside to the compromise leaving the door open for obnoxious maneuvers
• 08/03/11: The people who may save America
• 07/29/11: On making deals, Obama is no LBJ
• 07/27/11: The threat behind the debt
• 07/23/11: Mean opposition to means-testing
• 07/20/11: Leftist babble makes debt crisis even worse
• 07/18/11: Time to raise demagoguery ceiling
• 07/13/11: Obama treating treaties badly
• 07/08/11: Is decline of U.S. exaggerated?
• 07/05/11: Not math deficiency, but demagoguery
© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE