Monday, January 28, 2008
Oy I'm becoming a political blogger
Our memory of John F. Kennedy is colored by an alternative timeline where he doesn't get murdered. In that timeline, he stomps Goldwater, wins a clear mandate, then accomplishes everything Lyndon Johnson does except ratchet up the Vietnam War. I don't buy it. JFK didn't have LBJ's giant ambition of completing The New Deal with the Great Society. He was every bit the anticommunist Lyndon was. & he didn't have Johnson's bullying, arm-twisting political muscle or insight into the white reactionary mind (which Johnson knew could often be bought off). I remember JFK mostly as a classy president who talked a good game but had the fighting style more of a counterpuncher. I was a kid, not deeply interested or informed. Kennedy was only 4 years younger than Nixon, so the '60 election was a passing of the torch no matter who won it. That generation kept the White House until Bill Clinton, 32 years. The "lost generation" is that of Ted Kennedy & John McCain, born during the Great Depression, coming of age in the 1950's, just before Elvis. I've never trusted the non-swingin' middlebrow music of that bunch; Johnny Ray, Patti Page, Eddie Fisher, Guy Mitchell, enjoyable only if you listen to it from the margins of the era's jazz, rhythm & blues, & country-western.
We have a primary here next week, & not a winner-takes-all. Conceivably, Hillary could "win" but pick up a disappointing number of delegates. The Hispanic vote counts for something in Jersey; they're the largest voting demographic in my city, anchor the city's middle class, they trust Sen. Bob Menendez, a Clinton supporter, & I think they'll go overwhelmingly for Hillary. My vote goes to John Edwards. I reject the either/or calculations of a two person race at this time. I have to vote on that basis every November when the regular Dem party stacks the ballot with "it's my turn" players & hardly any of them know when it's time to leave the game & go sit on the bench.
I'll skip tonight's State of the Union address. I detest Bush & his speaking style. Can't tell the difference between nuance & clumsiness in his voice. Takes only five minutes to read the transcript.
Labels: THE election