Open Thread – Because this never gets old…

Peggy Noonan, “So Much to Savor”, Wall Street Journal, November 4, 2004

I do not know what the Democratic Party spent, in toto, on the 2004 election, but what they seem to have gotten for it is Barack Obama. Let us savor.

And now we dance…

H/t to Mike






101 replies
  1. 1
    catclub says:

    From Political Wire:
    “If another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue. The college-age daughters of many of my friends voted for Obama because they were completely turned off by Neanderthal comments like the suggestion of ‘legitimate rape.'”

    — Former Bush adviser Karen Hughes, quoted by Politico.”

    So, how long before we hear that it is women who are the real rapists.

  2. 2

    Oh, I’m savoring.

    In other news, I’m so proud of our five year old daughter, learning her first swear word: “Underpants!”

  3. 3

    @catclub:
    Well, aren’t they? I mean, men don’t want to rape anybody. But then these sneaky-ass women use their mysterious and unnatural wiles to lure them to their doom, and, bam! who’s in trouble? The men! I ask you, is that fair?

  4. 4
    redshirt says:

    See?! The Lady Nooners is a PROPHET. She has all kinds of feelings in her guts.

  5. 5
    Mnemosyne says:

    Roasted Banana Bars are cooling in their pan as instructed. Next up, the browned butter-cream cheese frosting.

  6. 6
    Cermet says:

    From the party that brought us bush, bush the puppet, Raygun, a terrible unjustified war, and mountains of debt, that dumb bitch want’s to make fun of the dem’s with the brilliant President Obama?

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    I hadn’t seen that Noonan quote before. Awesome.

    So I have a question for the older folks. Why was JFK’s election such a big deal? Obama came after Bush’s 8-year reign of terror after 30 years of post-Reagan GOP dominance. But JFK was elected after 8 years of Ike — who as GOP presidents go wasn’t so bad — and the country seemed in much better shape in 1960 than in 2008.

    Thanks for the insight.

  8. 8
    lumpkin says:

    these white people believe, to the very depths of their hard, shriveled souls that only white people matter. only white people are entitled to run anything. only white people count. only white people, that’s it. only white people.

  9. 9
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    I’m still dancing on the graves of the undead at Redstate. :) Erick, Son of Erick, has a new post up admonishing states with Republican governors to not set up healthcare exchanges. Erick issues his ultimatum to them:

    “Should any Republican Governor set up a health care exchange in his or her state, I’ll support their primary challenger and I sure will not support him or her for President in 2016.”

    Erick forgot to add: “unless they win the primary and become the Republican candidate.” Erick is a man of principle, he has a motto that he lives by!

    Erick’s (and Redstate’s) motto is: “Vote conservative in the primary and Republican in the general”

    Yeah, that will get the ears of the Republican establishment, right Erick? After all, it sure worked with Romney, right?

    Yeah, good luck with that. :)

  10. 10
    JasonF says:

    It’s amazing how little rewriting Ms. Noonan would have to do if she wanted to run that column again, though somehow I doubt neither she nor the Wall Street Journal are interested in doing that.

  11. 11
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Cermet: see the dateline.

  12. 12
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Baud:

    I am not old enough to remember JFK (he died six years before I was even born) but IIRC his election was such a big deal because he was young and handsome and had a beautiful wife and adorable small children. I think he was the youngest president elected to that date, so it was kind of a big deal to the Baby Boomers to have someone closer to their age become president.

    And, of course, the rose-colored-glasses effect of his assassination helped cement his reputation.

  13. 13
    Jon says:

    Erick son of Erick is an idiot. He’s suggesting that the feds setting up an exchange is preferable than having the red state governors do it? Well, that’s “conservative”!

    Plus, my understanding is that anywhere that has the federal exchanges is getting some kind of quasi-public option. What an ass.

  14. 14
    BGinCHI says:

    Noonan is in the Kristol Klub of Prognostication for sure.

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @Jon:

    Plus, my understanding is that anywhere that has the federal exchanges is getting some kind of quasi-public option.

    Every exchange, federal or state, will have that.

  16. 16
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Jon:

    Erick’s reason? Quoting him: “Most importantly, as Michael Cannon notes, “defaulting to a federal exchange exempts a state’s employers from the employer mandate.””

    That’s why. Erick suffers from tunnel vision. It’s a common malady of the right.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    What you said was my impression also. I was wondering if there was anything more to it than that.

  18. 18
    trollhattan says:

    @Baud:
    His Catholicism was a Big Deal, discussed more frequently and far more openly than Willard’s Mormonism, to the point he (Kennedy) addressed his allegiances. Did Willard do the same? Uh…

    And hey, I barely remember it and I’m not that fookin’ old! Also, too.

  19. 19
    Fluke bucket says:

    @Baud: I was 5 when he was killed but I have always assumed it was the Catholic angle that made it special.

    And the last paragraph of that Nooner article is brutal. Savor.

  20. 20
    Dr. Loveless says:

    Yes, Peggy. Let’s.

  21. 21
    Chris says:

    @Baud:

    He was a Catholic. That’s a HUGE deal. Partly because Catholics were as loathed and distrusted as Muslims today until well into the 20th century, partly because it was the first time *anyone* other than a WASP had made it into office. For the civil rights movement and anyone who believed in democracy over ethnocracy, it was enormously symbolic, much like a black man winning in 2008.

    And while Ike wasn’t that bad, the fifties were the last decade of all-WASP control. Same time that brought us the Red Scare, “in God we trust,” the God bothering version of the Pledge. Yeah, I can see why liberals were relieved to see the era end.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    I don’t think that’s correct, but don’t feel like looking it up.

  23. 23
    trollhattan says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:
    Memo to CNN: 1. Find short pier. 2. Find EweRickson. 3. “Suggest” a long walk, vigorously and at bayonet point, if req. 4. Sharks, lots.

    Thanks,

    A grateful nation.

  24. 24
    catclub says:

    I have to assume it will turn out the same way Ohio did in 2004, but Arizona voting is VERY interesting. See LGM for the link to the article.

    Hundreds of thousands of provisional ballots – not yet counted. I bet Kay knows what kind of voter gets handed a provisional ballot.

  25. 25
    Poopyman says:

    @Baud: All the above, plus the alternative would have been Nixon. Sure glad we never got him as President. He was a right bastard.

  26. 26
    trollhattan says:

    @catclub:
    Is there ANY chance Brewer had the provisional ballots printed on tortillas?

    Because that would be cool.

  27. 27
    JCT says:

    Yes, Erick son of Erik. Wasn’t he the one jumping up and down screaming for Mittens to “own ” his comment about the 47% like it was going to be some big positive turning point?

    A real seer, that assclown.

  28. 28
    trollhattan says:

    @JCT:
    In a “Who has the more punchable neck?” contest EweRickson wins over Dick Morris due to the fact Dick Morris has no neck. Both, I’d like to have half an hour with Jesse Ventura and a waterboard.

  29. 29
    anthrosciguy says:

    @Baud:
    Also, Kennedy wasn’t Nixon. If in 1960 Kennedy doesn’t win, Nixon does. That’s kind of a big deal too.

    edit: ninja’d I see. :)

  30. 30
    Yutsano says:

    @catclub: I doubt it will change too much, although quite a few races in AZ were pretty close. The biggest effect I can see it having is on the Barber race, since that one (AFAIK) hasn’t been called yet.

  31. 31
    catclub says:

    A further look at Arizona election results suggests that even hundreds of thousands of provisional and early ballots uncounted will make no difference to either the Obama result (difference of 200k) or the senate race (difference of 70k) there. Other races, I do not know.

  32. 32
    Howard Beale IV says:

    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/.....aiser.html

    GRANDMOTHERS RAISING GRANDCHILDREN BASKET SALE CHARITY FUNDRAISER

    Hear now the words of Rabbi Yeshua Ben Yosef:

    Use well your talents for some good purpose. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, and if you use your talents well:

    the LORD will say unto you: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy LORD.”

    In honor of the Parable of the Talents, for the 24 hours starting at noon PST November 11, 2012, the DeLong-Marciarille household will match all donations made online to Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren at: http://grgahero.org/.

    Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren is 48 Luo grandmothers and great-grandmothers raising 150 AIDS-orphaned grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Ahero, in western Kenya, funded through this one-woman zero-overhead NGO who is our neighbor Bee Sjostrum, who spent two years in Ahero as the oldest Peace Corps volunteer in East Africa.

    Yes, we are giving of our surplus only.

    I donated a goat, in honor of Mitt.

  33. 33
    catclub says:

    @Yutsano: I was typing while you posted. I agree. We need to send Kay to Arizona for the next election, though.

  34. 34
    efgoldman says:

    @Baud:@Mnemosyne:

    Why was JFK’s election such a big deal?

    Because conventional wisdom in 1960 was that the US would never elect a Catholic President. No, I am not making it up. I *am* old enough to remember (I was 15 at the time).

  35. 35
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @trollhattan:

    Excellent suggestion! Too bad CNN has been hard at work to be Faux Lite or they might entertain the suggestion.

    @JCT:

    That’s the biggest problem with going around life with your head up your ass. You can’t see very far. Erick hasn’t figured that out and I doubt he ever will.

    He’s no John Cole. :)

  36. 36
    kay says:

    @catclub:

    I’m so pleased they’re protesting. They’re new voters and they say they applied for absentee ballots but didn’t receive them, so ended up with provisionals.

    The GOP outreach to Latinos is going well so far, you’ll note. Not counting their votes is a great way to turn over a new leaf. Maybe they can send Marco Rubio out to tell them to get lost, but in a nice way.

  37. 37
    catclub says:

    @efgoldman: “Because conventional wisdom in 1960 was ”

    based on reading the 1940 census, not the 1960 census.
    View from 50 years later, focussed with demographics.

  38. 38
    Yutsano says:

    @catclub: I don’t think she’d forgive us for that. Arizona is nice, but in small doses. After that the ugly starts to get more apparent. And don’t even get me started on Scottsdale.

  39. 39
    efgoldman says:

    @catclub: @Mnemosyne:

    ….based on reading the 1940 census, not the 1960 census…

    More based on plain old anti-Catholic prejudice by the usual suspects.

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    Thanks for all the JFK answers so far. I’ll read the rest in the morning.

  41. 41
    GregB says:

    Conservatives say they want America to be a meritocracy where those brave souls are rewarded for success.

    Here’s veritable Darwin Awards list for Republican meritocracy.

    http://www.theblaze.com/storie.....c#comments

  42. 42
    suzanne says:

    @catclub: Two House races (Barber/McSally and Sinema/Parker) are very close and haven’t been called yet.

  43. 43
    burnspbesq says:

    @Baud:

    In addition to what Mnem said about the 1960 election, it’s worth remembering (1) there was a short but nasty recession in 1958, (2) there are still people who believe that Richard Daley stole Illinois (and with it the election) for JFK, (3) it was probably the first election in which tax policy (specifically international tax policy) was a significant issue, (4) it’s difficult to understate the effect of the widespread distrust of Nixon (AFAIK, my mom has only voted for a Democrat for President three times – 1960, 1968, and 1972).

  44. 44
    suzanne says:

    @Yutsano:

    And don’t even get me started on Scottsdale.

    Snottsdale is where everything good and decent goes to die. Tempe, however, is awesome. Guess where I live.

  45. 45
    catclub says:

    @GregB: I just noticed that was published Nov 4.

    I thought for a second they let that show after their dismal failure. No sign of those predictions on that site now.

  46. 46
    Chris says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I thought the consensus was that Daley did “steal” Illinois for Kennedy by stuffing ballot boxes, but Nixon didn’t contest it because he had pals doing the same for him elsewhere.

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    (2) there are still people who believe that Richard Daley stole Illinois (and with it the election) for JFK,

    Which, of course, is silly, since JFK won by 84 electoral votes and Illinois only had 27. He could have lost Illinois and still won the election.

  48. 48
    hitchhiker says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think he was the youngest president elected to that date, so it was kind of a big deal to the Baby Boomers to have someone closer to their age become president.

    We were children when he was elected, and when he was assassinated.
    Baby boomers: born 1946 – 1964.

    First Kennedy murder was in 1963, when the oldest boomer was still in high school and the youngest still in diapers — I was in sixth grade, myself, and we weren’t paying attention to anything political. He was special because he was shot in the head and there was video and television was still very new. Every family in the country was sitting in front of that thing for days afterwards — exactly 3 networks and no other options. It made an impression.

  49. 49
    Chris says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Also, why so much distrust for Nixon?

  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:

    @Roger Moore:
    FYWP, I should have been able to edit this comment. The fact that Illinois wasn’t enough to decide the election is probably the bigger reason that Nixon didn’t make a stink about alleged cheating there. It would have made him look like a sore loser without actually giving him the chance to turn things around and win the election.

  51. 51
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Baud:

    So I have a question for the older folks. Why was JFK’s election such a big deal?

    I’m not sure I entirely understand what you mean by big deal? However, JFK was a Catholic —- scary, the Pope was going to rule the United States. IKE had resolved the Korean Police Action (it was never officially declared a war), the economy was in pretty good shape, and even though we were engaged in the cold war with USSR, things were fairly quiet or so we thought. There was a lot of Republican support, but Nixon still emanated a little sleaze. Once Kennedy was elected, it became a big deal because this was an attractive, young family in the White House.

  52. 52
    JustAnotherBob says:

    JFK and his group brought youthful energy. And glamour.

    After WWII and the gray years that followed it felt like spring had come.

    Rock and roll had been invented. The youth culture was emerging. People had some money in their pockets. Lots of optimism and enthusiasm.

    It was the beginning of a damn good time for a lot of us.

  53. 53
    Yutsano says:

    @suzanne: Peoria? :)

  54. 54
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.):

    In other news, I’m so proud of our five year old daughter, learning her first swear word: “Underpants!”

    Former co-worker came in late one morning; she’d had a conference at her son’s pre-school because he’d introduced a ‘swear’ to the other three-year olds. And now they were all running around saying, “You shutup! No, you’re a shutup! Shutupshutupshutup!” until they fell down giggling, as three-year-olds will.

    He had figured out that ‘potty words’ and blasphemy didn’t get a rise out of the grownups, but yelling SHUT UP! at them was a reliable irritant…

  55. 55
    Splitting Image says:

    Why was JFK’s election such a big deal?

    I’d suggest reading Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique to fill in some details if you haven’t already. Friedan felt from talking to women during the late fifties that the whole culture during the 1950s had become stultified because of a nationwide attempt to forget World War II. Young women graduating from college were flatly denying that it was possible for women to perform jobs that their forebears had handled perfectly well while the menfolk were away at war. Even women who had lived and worked through the war had developed selective amnesia over this. All the gains in women’s rights that had been made during the 1920s and the 1940s were being lost.

    Kennedy’s campaign was all about new possibilities and embracing the future. This meant a return to making progress on a lot of issues that people had been afraid to address during the “Happy Days” of the 1950s: women’s liberation, black civil rights, Catholic integration into polite society, unions and workers’ rights, and so forth. The Republicans had spent the previous ten years vilifying as a Communist infiltrator anyone who supported even a tiny bit something they didn’t like and successfully blacklisted many people (in Hollywood, for example) from getting work.

    Eisenhower himself wasn’t such a bad guy, but plenty of other politicians who held power during the 1950s were (Joe McCarthy, for example), and Eisenhower wasn’t so courageous about taking them on. No one seemed to know what to do about segregation. Kennedy was apparently told there would be hell to pay during the 1960 election if he showed any support for Martin Luther King, and he lost some electors in the south when he did so.

    Basically, 1960 represented hope that the gridlock that was preventing anything getting done in the late 1950s was starting to break. Kennedy arguably achieved less in his administration than he is credited for, but he did put Johnson on his ticket, and Johnson did break the arms that needed breaking to get the Medicare in place and the Civil Rights Act passed. Like Obama said during 2008, if you want people to vote for progressive change, you have to first convince them that progressive change through the vote is possible, and by 1959 the New Deal coalition was a shambles and people weren’t so convinced of this anymore.

  56. 56
    Chris says:

    @Splitting Image:

    The impression I get of the fifties is that the entire Puritan, conservative, WASP culture that spawned Prohibition came back with a vengeance, after having to lay low in the thirties and forties due to the utter disaster that was their last attempt to legislate their values upon America. Not a good time to be anything but a conformist.

    And I’d go farther than that with Ike and say that he was more than happy to ride the asshole wave into power in 1952. Including McCarthy.

    Also – “attempt to forget World War Two?” What was that all about? I knew they tried to co-opt it, but forget it? Haven’t heard about that part.

  57. 57
    Splitting Image says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Which, of course, is silly, since JFK won by 84 electoral votes and Illinois only had 27. He could have lost Illinois and still won the election.

    There was talk about Texas too. Illinois and Texas together would have given Nixon the election. Dick did win California by a smidgen though, and Kennedy probably had just as good a case for investigating the vote there as Nixon did in Illinois.

    Most likely Nixon conceded because he felt the other crook had stolen the vote fair and square. It wasn’t exactly America’s finest hour, but it’s funny to look back and see Illinois, Texas, and California as swing states while Ohio was a relatively easy win for Nixon.

    1960 Results

  58. 58
    Splitting Image says:

    @Chris:

    Also – “attempt to forget World War Two?” What was that all about? I knew they tried to co-opt it, but forget it? Haven’t heard about that part.

    Not so much politicians, just ordinary people. Friedan felt that people were so determined to block out the bad years that the whole 1914-45 era was falling down the memory hole, including any social progress that had been made during those years. The conservatives who wanted to turn the country back to the 1890s were happy to capitalize on this.

  59. 59
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Roger Moore: but its useful as a way for republicans to deny that any democrat has been legitimately since 1948.

  60. 60
    MikeJ says:

    @Chris: All those right wingers who said, “at least Hitler is someone we can work with” certainly wanted to forget WWII.

  61. 61
    joel hanes says:

    Kennedy was a fine speaker, and truly had, in GHWB’s typical tin-eared formulation, “the vision thing”.

    (Also Kennedy had Ted Sorensen, a genius speechwriter)

    “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

    “Never before has man had such capacity to control his own environment, to end thrist and hunger, to conquer poverty and disease, to banish illiteracy and massive human misery. We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world — or to make it the last.”

    “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”

    “Now the trumpet summons us again — not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need — not as a call to battle, though embattled we are — but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle year in and year out ‘rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation’ — a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.”

    “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize
    and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win”

    To a nation entering upon unprecedented prosperity, with a rapidly-expanding middle class and a huge cohort of children just entering adolesence, such statements were electrifying.

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris:

    The impression I get of the fifties is that the entire Puritan, conservative, WASP culture that spawned Prohibition came back with a vengeance, after having to lay low in the thirties and forties due to the utter disaster that was their last attempt to legislate their values upon America.

    Oh, hell, no, they weren’t laying low in the 30s and 40s. They were busy controlling everything you saw in the movie theater from the script stage to the publicity photos and everything in between.

    Read up on Joseph Breen and try to tell me again that the Puritans were somehow in abeyance during the 1930s and 1940s. That “resurfacing” you think you see happened because movie censorship started to break down and the Puritans were desperately trying to hold back the tide.

    (Yes, I realize the irony of labeling uber-Catholic Joe Breen a “Puritan.” And, really, it’s more that they were enforcing Victorianism — the Puritans were much more realistic about life and human nature than the Victorians.)

  63. 63
    nastybrutishntall says:

    So this is how I’m feeling now that O’s done it again. Some UK soul:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A7nb7XWsCc

    Enjoy that, y’all.

  64. 64
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well, the Baby Boomers were in high school at best, when JFK was elected, so he really wasn’t close to their age.

    Thinking on it, though, it seems like the excitement was in the “passing the torch to a new generation”. Ike was a WWI soldier and Supreme Commander in WWII. JFK (and Nixon) were junior naval officers. The closest current equivalent I can think of is GHW Bush to Clinton. WWII to Baby Boom.

  65. 65
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Splitting Image: That was an excellent summary of the zeitgeist when JFK was elected. It wasn’t just the shift from Ike to JFK, it was the cultural shift that you could see coming with it.

    That the right is still fighting, of course.

  66. 66
    blingee says:

    How does that Noonan creature still manage to keep her job? Better advice can be extracted by chopping off the head of a chicken.

    Speaking of annoying pretentious phonies, what has A Huffington been up to lately?

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason:

    Thinking on it, though, it seems like the excitement was in the “passing the torch to a new generation”.

    That’s more what I was thinking of — going from fatherly old men (Hoover, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower) to a young, dynamic guy a generation younger than the previous president.

    In some ways, Obama was that kind of generational shift because he’s from the chunk of the Baby Boom that was too young for Vietnam, so all of the Bush I/Clinton/Bush II cultural fights are completely moot. Where was Obama during Vietnam? In grade school.

  68. 68
    Wag says:

    @Baud:

    Kennedy’s election kept Nixon from the Presidency for 8 years.

  69. 69

    @Chris:
    The 50s are a bizarre anomaly for US culture. All this nuclear family, virgins until marriage, gays are evil stuff – all the ‘traditional family values’ – are artifacts of 1946-1960 that didn’t exist before. One of the major theories for why American culture became so obsessively, superficially, patriarchally moralistic is that WWII was such a horror and involved so much of the male population that they wanted to come home, be kings of their castle, and pretend everything everything was simple and easy. They wanted to pretend the world was an episode of Leave It To Beaver, and raised their children accordingly.

    @Mnemosyne: is right that the 30s saw a Catholic-led (and largely successful) attempt to censor the entertainment industry. They went out of their way to do so precisely because, oh, films by Mae West were becoming popular, an actress pushing the idea that women only needed men for sex. That sort of thing. We lost the entire century’s social progress, maybe more, in the 50s. At least we kept the regulatory laws.

  70. 70
    Chris says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Really? I would’ve thought the uptight sexual ethics had precedent – it’s not like we didn’t have religious revivals before the fifties.

  71. 71
    Chet says:

    @Chris: The funny thing about that is that, even though JFK wasn’t a WASP, he and his family had the style and manner and glamour of WASPs, in a way that people like Ike and certainly Nixon did not.

    And their Catholicsm was of a particularly modern, gentrified, assimilated type, one which could be interpreted as largely nominal. That’s a big part of why non-Catholics could see no threat from JFK’s presidency…and why some of the more ultramontane/traditionalist types (then and now) would call into question whether he was a “real” Catholic at all.

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris:

    Read up on the Puritans sometime — when Cotton Mather wasn’t persecuting witches in Salem, he spent a big chunk of his time trying to convince young Puritans that they shouldn’t have sex after getting engaged but should wait until they were actually offically married. The fact that at least 1/3rd of Puritan women were pregnant at the time of their marriage shows how little success he had.

    Or take a look at the chart of median age at first marriage 1890-2011. There was a big drop in age from 1890 to 1947, especially for men. In 1890, men were 26.1 years old at first marriage. In 1947, they were 23.7. Statistically, that’s huge, and it took a long time for ages to creep back up to where they had been pre-WWI.

  73. 73
    Opie_jeanne says:

    @Mnemosyne: baby boomers’ parents JFK was our parents’ generation. I was 10 when he was elected, and the oldest Baby Boomers were about 15. Votin age was 21 back then.

  74. 74

    @Mnemosyne:

    No one born after WWII was old enough to vote in 1960.

    JFK was a war hero. To the generation that grew up in the Depression, to the men who fought in WWII, to the women who worked in factories and civil service jobs in WWII, to the sons and daughters of immigrants who were not WASPs, he was one of them. Even though he was a rich, privileged Harvard guy. With his youthful energy, his optimism, and his absolute confidence in the future, he reflected the image they had of themselves.

    Baby boomers were the children and grandchildren of the people who elected JFK.

  75. 75
    Ruckus says:

    @Splitting Image:
    The conservatives who wanted to turn the country back to the 1890s were happy to capitalize on this.
    What the hell is with conservatives and the late 1800’s? 60+ yrs later and they are still trying to regress to then. Is this more numerology like the 27%?

    Also, Kennedy, the catholic deal was almost a deal breaker for many. People talk here about how its the last 30 yrs that have seen the conservatives go batshit. Noooo, they have been batshit for much, much longer than that. Prohibition(85~90yrs and how many blue laws do we still have?), 60 yrs ~Joe McCarthy, a catholic president, segregation, Nixon. These are only a few I’m sure. Women, minorities it was a lot worse than now even if we still haven’t made anywhere near enough progress.
    Conservatives haven’t changed, not as many evangelicals(had a great aunt from OK who was one that long ago)

    We have a long way to go to really be the country we tell everyone else we are but it is pretty hard to put a stake through the heart of the conservatives to kill the stain on humanity they are, because they have figured how to exist with out one. It seems to me that this is a feature to them. No heart, can’t kill them.

  76. 76

    @burnspbesq:

    Kennedy would have won the election without Illinois.

  77. 77
    David Koch says:

    @Chris: because he was Tricky.

  78. 78
    Cmm says:

    @GregB:

    Still awesome to have all those oh so wrong predictions collected in one place. I also like the comments fretting that the “boy king” will not concede and that there might be war because those commits won’t give up the power they’ve stolen.

    Or, maybe he will be, you know, freely and fairly re-elected…

  79. 79
    fuckwit says:

    I’m semi-obsessed with this whole Petraeus/Broadwell/Kelley/Feinstein/Cantor dustup.

    I just watched the speech by Broadwell. So tragic, she seems like such a smart, capable woman. But also… something about her is disturbing. Like, as if she’s Sarah Palin with brains and a strong work ethic. What is it about this woman that reminds me of Palin, of all people? The accent? The high-school basketball history? The MILF-y hotness? The intense competitiveness and vindictiveness? The addiction to power and the spotlight? The obsession with running and physical fitness?

    No… it’s…. the EGO! The ambition! The BLIND AMBITION. The destrutive, horrific, life-shattering, tragic ego and ambition.

    And then it all made sense. Not only her, but everyone involved in this story is a raving fucking sociopathic competitive egomaniac. Feinstein we’ve known for decades is one. Cantor too. Petraeus, for all his celebrated military wizardry, and like famous celebrity generals from Patton to MacArthur et al, is one. This Kelley gal who claims to be an ambassador when she’s just a volunteer— obviously an egomaniac.

    The whole fetid cesspool fell apart when one competitive egomaniac threatened another compettitive egomaniac for attempting to bone “her” competitive egomaniac. Of course now those three people’s careers are over.

    The real losers, though? Petraeus’s wife, Broadwell’s husband and kids, and I’ll bet Kelley’s husband and kids too. Oh, and, in the case of Feinstein’s and Cantor’s long history of attention-whoring and ego, the American people.

  80. 80
    Cmm says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    For women, Getting married either just out of high school or after a year or two of college was much more the norm in the 50s than before or after, particularly for urban/suburban and more middle class girls, as opposed to the stereotypical “child bride” barefoot and barely literate in a southern state.

    Graduating from high school already engaged or “pre-engaged” was not that uncommon. As weird as it seems now. I have a cousin who married the week after her college graduation and that always seemed a little precipitous to us.

  81. 81
    Chris says:

    @Chet:

    Yes, but that’s kind of the point. It sent a message to all the immigrants out there that “yes, you too can be part of the Real American country club: the old rules don’t exist anymore, it’s a new world.”

    As for his Catholicism, I assumed it was ethnic more than deeply felt, but there were plenty of Irish, Italians, Poles et al who could relate to that. Religion and ethnicity have always had a blurry line between them in America.

  82. 82
    Baud says:

    The JFK discussion has been really interesting. Thanks, everyone. It seems like JFK’s election was important to people more for what it suggested about the zeitgeist and the future than any specific policy differences with Nixon and the Republicans.

  83. 83
    J R in WVa says:

    @Baud:

    JFK presented as a young, heroic star-struck doomed, war fighter.

    No one seems to remember the US was at war when he was elected, and it was a nuclear war. Cuban crisis, nuclear-tipped rockets 90 miles from Florida! Bay of Pigs. Murders! Lee Harvey and Jack Ruby!

    DUCK and cover! There was nothing Cold about that war at the time. Look up the headlines! I had a slightly older friend who was standing guard with tanks in the Fulda Gap, and the Russkies had dozens of divisions of tanks and tactical nuclear weapons.

    Google a youtube of a nuclear explosion, and read On the Beach, and you get the kind of issues that were unspoken, mostly, but on everyone’s mind late at night. And Kennedy was fighting that war on our behalf, 24 hours a day. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen film of a huge naval fleet – the same one that conquered the Imperial Japanese Navy – obliterated by a single bomb in the Pacific “test shots”.”

    There were Russian civil wars in Africa, Asia, and communist strikes in Europe – they had us surrounded, and we had B-52s with nuclear bombs flying 24-7 so they couldn’t be taken out by a surprise attack.

    It was a very scary time, and we elected a hero to save us, and he was shot dead by a Commie spy! His beautiful and exotic widow flew back to DC covered in his blood! And then Ruby shot his killer, all surrounded by police in a Dallas parking deck. It was unbelievable, but it was the news headlines at the same time.

    He was our hero, and he was shot dead. That made all that Catholic crap seem very small beer. Then 5 years later his even more heroic younger brother – willing to risk everything to lead us out of Nixon land – he was shot too… and what did that say about our heroic nation?

    The zeitgeist was terror late at night, and no one could be sure who to trust. And that’s the big deal about the Kennedy boys. We needed to trust them and they were taken from us in our hour of greatest need.

  84. 84
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    What is Nonnan’s current attitude to schadenfreude? In that 2004 column she was absolutely soaking in it like it’s a Republican virtue, so I hope she is not complaining about it now.

    George Soros cannot buy a presidential election. Savor.

  85. 85
    bemused says:

    There was definitely an aura of glamour around the Kennedys that really fascinated people. When JFK was assassinated, the adoration of JFK and Jackie grew to surreal heights. I remember how disappointed and even outraged people were when Jackie married Onassis.

    In 1963, Theodore White wrote about the “The Camelot Presidency”, an analogy of King Arthur and the WH, based on interview with Jackie. White said Jackie played JFK’s favorite song Camelot over and over. White wrote that Camelot represented “a magic moment in American history when gallant men danced with beautiful women, when great deeds were done, where artists, writers, poets met at the White House and the barbarians beyond the walls held back”.

    A fairy tale era of romanticism and adoration.

  86. 86

    @Chris:
    It had ‘precedent’, since there certainly have been periods of less sexual freedom than the 50s, but we’d already gone through two sexual revolutions (one around 1900 and one around 1920) and the sexual dynamic of the 50s didn’t even resemble the Victorian dynamic much. It was its own thing that veered sharply away from actual tradition.

  87. 87

    @Chris:

    There’s a quip I’ve heard of, but I haven’t found a reference to, which was attributed to Bob Dole who was supposedly on stage at an event with former Presidents Ford, Carter, and Nixon. It would make it funnier if Bob Dole actually did say it.

    “There I was, standing up there with see no evil, hear no evil….and evil.”

  88. 88
    nancydarling says:

    After reading Noonan’s 2004 jubilation, I can only conclude that her continuing job at the WSJ is the journalistic equivalent of a mercy fuck.

  89. 89
    J R in WVa says:

    @Baud:

    JFK presented as a young, heroic star-struck doomed, war fighter.

    No one seems to remember the US was at war when he was elected, and it was a nuclear war. Cuban crisis, nuclear-tipped rockets 90 miles from Florida! Bay of Pigs. Murders! Lee Harvey and Jack Ruby!

    DUCK and cover! There was nothing Cold about that war at the time. Look up the headlines! I had a slightly older friend who was standing guard with tanks in the Fulda Gap, and the Russkies had dozens of divisions of tanks and tactical nuclear weapons.

    Google a youtube of a nuclear explosion, and read On the Beach, and you get the kind of issues that were unspoken, mostly, but on everyone’s mind late at night. And Kennedy was fighting that war on our behalf, 24 hours a day. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen film of a huge naval fleet – the same one that conquered the Imperial Japanese Navy – obliterated by a single bomb in the Pacific “test shots”.”

    There were Russian civil wars in Africa, Asia, and communist strikes in Europe – they had us surrounded, and we had B-52s with nuclear bombs flying 24-7 so they couldn’t be taken out by a surprise attack.

    It was a very scary time, and we elected a hero to save us, and he was shot dead by a Commie spy! His beautiful and exotic widow flew back to DC covered in his blood! And then Ruby shot his “killer”, all surrounded by police in a Dallas parking deck. It was unbelievable, but it was the news headlines at the same time.

    He was our hero, and he was shot dead. That made all that Catholic crap seem very small beer. Then 5 years later his even more heroic younger brother – willing to risk everything to lead us – he was shot too… and what did that say about our heroic nation?

    The zeitgeist was terror late at night, and no one could be sure who to trust. And that’s the big deal about the Kennedy boys. We needed to trust them and they were taken from us in our hour of greatest need.

  90. 90
    NotMax says:

    All the above about JFK, plus (as I recall) the projected symbolism of his being the personification of a popular, can-do view of the 20th century developed over time from Teddy Roosevelt’s “Bully!” to the art deco, streamlined futurism of the ’39 World’s Fair and through the triumph of America emerging as an atom-powered global colossus post-WWII, mixed in with the readily observable changes for the better wrought by the New Deal, the discovery of penicillin and the polio vaccine (among many other achievements) – confident, robust, vigorous, forward-looking – in all senses, modern. (The reality of Kennedy’s physical afflictions and drug reliance were kept under wraps and never a factor in the election.)

    Nixon (though, like JFK, born into the 20th century), never could nor would encompass the “passing of the torch to a new generation” ethos which JFK employed.

    Several other points:

    Cuba had only just recently been “lost” to Castro’s revolution under Ike/Nixon, and allied with Khrushchev, a geopolitical kidney punch to the Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny.

    The U.S.S.R. had successfully launched Sputnik under Ike/Nixon and clearly was on the cusp of the first manned orbital flight.

    The G.I. Bill had produced a significantly larger percentage of the population who obtained a college education and had thus often been exposed to (and probably as often were accepting of) new, exciting ideas and concepts, many of whom were ready and eager to see them ensconced once their proper allegiance to the war hero Ike was no longer a dominating factor for the top slot.

    The comparison between frumpy hausfrau Pat Nixon and the modish allure of Jackie.

    The upending of and opposition to the comfortable middle-class social lethargy of the majority which accompanied the Eisenhower years was on the move from peripheral (the Beat Generation, rock ‘n’ roll) to undismissably in full sight (civil rights, women cutting the proverbial apron strings, etc.). The winds of change meshed with popular perception of JFK and clashed with popular perception of RMN.

    @Chris

    Nixon carried the taint of (real) odiousness and sleaze that would eventually lead to his downfall. just a couple of lowlights:

    His pinko-smearing campaign against Helen Gahagan Douglas that led to his first being elected to Congress.

    If you’re not already familiar with it, look up the Checkers speech, Nixon’s first (though the exact words were not uttered as they were during Watergate) “I am not a crook” speech, a maudlin moment which (sadly) saved his sorry butt from political oblivion.

    Also too, it was an open secret by the time of the JFK/RMN campaign that Ike held no liking nor respect for Nixon.

  91. 91
    cintibud says:

    One more thing about Kennedy that I haven’t seen mentioned yet – Kennedy was the first “made for TV” president. Everything already mentioned about his youthful dynamism and his beautiful family was TV ratings gold, although that probably wasn’t really understood at the time. TV’s were no longer considered a luxury and the nation had someone exciting to look at after the previous “grey” administration.

  92. 92
    hep kitty says:

    I tried to read that but I started to throw up a little in my mouth.

  93. 93
    NotMax says:

    @cintibud

    Yes, and a fortuitous synergism.

    Personally, would color the Eisenhower years as beige rather than grey.

  94. 94
    hep kitty says:

    @nancydarling: Well, you have to give her some credit for excellence in fellation of the Bush presidency.

    Will somebody like this still be relevant? Well, I think we’ll find out in the next 4 years, Ms. Peggy.

  95. 95
    Rico says:

    Hey nooners,

    Instead of savoring this one suck on it.

  96. 96
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @blingee: Why did you have to insult chickens? Otherwise spot on comment.

    Did Noonan explain how her guts got this past election so horribly wrong? Would love to hear her babble on about how her guts are usually correct and that she had eaten something to upset them before she made that prediction.

  97. 97
    Pongo says:

    @Mnemosyne: He was Catholic at a time when WASPy country clubs still didn’t allow Catholic members. Many non-Catholics feared an inordinate influence of the Pope on American politics. He was young and attractive–a first in presidential politics if photos and drawings of earlier winners are any indication, which probably felt a bit uncomfortable for a public used to older, white male presidents. And he was openly in favor of civil rights which was unpopular with the white establishment.

  98. 98
    Northern Observer says:

    What I find so tremendously juicy about that Noonan column is that is contains so many of the pathologies that put the GOP under this cycle and will continue to doom them to failure for many cycles to come.
    -Savor Rush Limbaugh?
    -Not having the foresight to see Obama for what he was to become.
    -Celebrating alternate reality over hard realities. This whole section on the anti kerry vets, not letting go of the bright shinning lie to their graves, much like noonan will cling to the GOP and its myths right to her gave. Kerry was more worthy to be CoC because of what he did, not less. And it is the sweet law of just reaction that the GOP is now stained as the party of poor military and FP decisions, due to the fallicies they embraced and ran with in 2004.
    Last note. As much as anyone, the POW wives of Vietnam, who stood against the Democratic nominee for president and for the Republican, can claim credit for the Bush victory. Everyone with a computer in America, and a lot of people with TVs, saw their testimony about the 1970s, and their husbands, and John Kerry. You could not come away from their white-haired, soft-faced, big-eyeglasses visages without thinking: He should not be commander in chief.

  99. 99
    sloan says:

    HA HA HA! I remembered that snotty column and was looking for it the other day. Sweet.

  100. 100
    MoZeu says:

    @JasonF: It would essentially be a find and replace operation.

  101. 101
    Kerry Reid says:

    It finally occurred to me that the reason Nooners was convinced that Romney’s election was in the bag based on the election signs she saw is that SHE was in the bag and was seeing everything in triplicate.

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