Odds & Ends

Inflated Dollars and Reputations

From the December 2013 issue

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I wouldn’t have expected to see—in TheAmerican Spectator of all places—more dull, tiresome John Kennedy hype and hero worship. How Ira Stoll (“JFK Conservative, TAS October 2013) arrived at the conclusion that Kennedy was a conservative leaves me unconvinced. Quotes and episodes about the life of the Great Man from sycophants such as Arthur Schlesinger are scarcely more credible than fawning praise about Obama from Valerie Jarrett. Was Kennedy a conservative? Truth be told, it’s hard to tell. He was far more preoccupied with coaxing perceptions of greatness from his cheerleaders in academia and the media than in political philosophy or handling the often mundane duties of the presidency. Mulling over aid to the brave Cubans who sought Castro’s ouster, Kennedy was advised that helping the rebels could somehow jeopardize his presidency. He took that advice; the freedom fighters got no air cover, and the Bay of Pigs disaster ensued. A half century later, the Castros remain. Reagan wouldn’t have let Cuba—and America—down, as Kennedy did.

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