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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Rockefeller's kids

If, like me, you're a lifelong liberal who's old enough to have an AARP card (even though you may not want one), surely you remember the summer of '68. RFK shot dead. Race riots in Cleveland. A massacre in Vietnam. Anti-war riots outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. We could change the world, but many realized it might take radical action, even violence.

It was a heady time for "letting your freak flag fly."

Contrast that with the privileged kids who were part of the Republican Party. Off they went to Miami to name their creepy Presidential candidate, Richard Nixon, and his crooked vice president, Spiggy Agnew. Little spoiled Melvin Laird interns with their earnest looks.

I'll tell you one thing, I'd never trust one of those kids as far as I could throw them. If they told me they were different now, representing progressive values, I'd be very, very careful about believing any of it. Even if they had hung out around the outskirts of the Democratic Convention that year, too, just to say in their student politician speeches that they had smelled the tear gas -- I find it hard to vote for people like that.

Comments (38)

Jack, the more I read your posts, the more I like you. Thank you!

It will ultimately come down to Hillary versus someone on the Republican side. As with so many, many, many elections of my past it will be a contest of who I hate the least. What a nasty way to have to choose a leader. For me, I could never vote for Hillary so I'll be voting for 'other'.

Summer of '68.....hmmm...I was 6 months old.. hehe

I just dont see anyone on either side worth voting for. I will probably stand aside this time around, unless someone really starts to stand out before the election. Although honestly I havent really been paying that much attention to the candidates yet. Its too early. Maybe after the primary. But I sure wont be voting for HRC.

1968... hmm, I was negative 10 years old. However I have read bits of letters Hillary sent to a fellow college student during those formative years. It showed her changing from here parents child to her own person. Very human perspective to a normally scripted spirit. The fact that she changed means something. I still like Edwards but Hillary has a great deal of humanity that remains hidden in the modern political atmoshpere.

How early is it? It is so early that possible futures include prez 're-ellection' candidacies, on one side, of Pres. Cheney, and on one side, of Pres. Pelosi. The future is always only a heartbeat away.

Too much information about Hi, double-L, aye, Are Why?, where 'Are Why?' asks about Republican Youth. All I needed to hear was the name of her Chicago suburb home, which I immediately forgot -- I dated her then and there. Or someone just like her -- I recognize the photo -- around Chicago. Two lyrics say enough: You Catholic girls start much too late / Sooner or later it comes down to fate ... Did you ever say a prayer for me / When you were captain of the Rosary? -- Billy Joel; and, The Pope owns fifty-one percent of General Motors / The stock exchange is the only thing he's qualified to quote us -- Ringo Starr.

In 1968, Gloria Steinem was a bunny server at the Playboy Mansion in Chicago, I dated her then and there. Or someone just like her -- I recognize the photo -- around Chicago.

Too much information about Hill' on Capitol Hill. The takeaway message for me is The New York Times wants to see her surmount the other Democratic candidates, so to speak. Which tells me she'd be bad for good Americans -- NYTimes favor is a political kiss of Darth Vader, same as being boosted by LIARS Larson.

So, NOT what the NYTimes said, but, WHY did it say it?

Which, you might know, reminds me of an current article. What Kind of News do People Really Want?, By Curtis Brainard, Columbia Journalism Review, September 6, 2007.
... Another finding of particular importance for the immediate future is that, "Even though the recent presidential campaign has attracted higher than normal interest for this stage in the election cycle, audience interest has lagged behind the level of media coverage." This may be disappointing, [or encouraging] but there is some solace (especially given the recent gossip surrounding Idaho Sen. Larry Craig) to be found in another of the report's conclusions: that people's appetite for political scandal is even lower. "Public interest in 'watchdoggery' [WTF? ... maybe he means 'spot doggerel'] seems unpredictable, if not bizarre," Robinson concludes.

Nonetheless, there are certain ways to predict what the public will be interested in, he noted, regardless of whether the topic is politics, foreign affairs, disasters, science or anything else. ...

I was in my mum's tummy.
As I live in the world of taxation without representation I don't have to obsess about this one. If Hilary, Edwards, Obama, or anyone with an ounce of morality, wins I may change that and get to vote in the Jenna against Chelsea election.

When I think about the intensity of hatred that the Republicans have for Hillary I realize that I will have to go the entire duration of her presidency loudly praising her. That may be pretty difficult, but I think I can do it.

She will make it easier if she starts falling off of bicycles, choking on pretzels, getting people killed, etc. I'll get my checkbook out for the reelection campaign.

Oh and, Jack, two months before RFK's murder was MLK's murder, (riots in Chi-town), although there is mention of it in the Times backgrounder.

Sure was odd, but true, that the high-influence leaders of the largest anti-Nixon voting blocs, were both bizarrely murdered as his "you won't have Nixon to kick around anymore"-comeback campaign got underway that summer.

1968 having begun on a New Year's Day which saw secret-agent man George Hitler Worker Bush on a mission in Vietnam, during the lead-up to a war-prolonging Offensive by the 'communist enemy' on Tet, the Asian New Year's Day, a few weeks later.

conspiracy theory from Tenskwatawa?

who woulda thunk it?

I was 6 yrs old that summer--have memories of watching black and white TV in the living room and getting scared. My dad would rail againgst the hippies causing problems on campus in our town (Madison) during supper.

When it comes to Hillary, if she is the Dem nominee, she will get my vote.

If you wanted response you're sure getting it. But otherwise I don't know why you wrote this piece. You come across as quite biased and sure of the rightness of your position. This country needs several things from it's citizens but more bias is not one of them.
Registered Independent

I'm with Jimbo - if she gets the nomination, I'll vote for her, as opposed to some Nader-esque third party green candidate that has only the capacity to spoil the election.

Yes, she is a b***ch. And her private morality leaves something to be desired. But she is on the right side of issues I care about, and she backs her talk up with her vote. I'd quite frankly rather have that than, say, a well-mannered Rudolph Giuliani that is, in the words of a previous poster on this blog, "Bush without the labotomy".

I was 14 and I distinctly remember realizing that the young Republican kids were just hideous society suck-ups. There are times when the sickest, most immoral path possible is to conform to the wishes of the powers that be. Sort of like now. What isn't like now was 1968's idealism, hope, and excitement in the greatness of America. You can hear it in the music from back then. Or perhaps you remember Christmas eve, 1968 with the astronauts orbiting the moon and seeing the earth rising up from the moon's horizon. When was the last time we had a moment like that in this country?

The dimmos rally pissed me off at the convention. McGovern and Mc Carthy wrung their hands and wept. So much for strength, much like today's weak-kneed dimmos.
But on the bright side Mike Wallace took one-hell-of a beating and proclaimed who done it. And still Da
ley and the little Daleys reign over Chi-town.

I remember 1968 a little differently than BMD. I turned 18 in August and really didn't have the luxury of NOT thinking about Viet Nam - as in having to go fight there. "Morality" then, as now, was pretty relative to your age and social status. Oh, and your draft status.

The war was overwhelmingly real to me - the rest was just insignificant.

Reality, oddly enough, persists and stays current, despite our best efforts. IMO, nostalgia and sanctimony are just attempts to escape the inexorable present. We're all susceptible.

I never got the hubris of 18 year olds rioting or protesting. I still don't. Anyone who looks at their teens, twenties and even thirties (for some) and doesn't or won't acknowledge their myopia at those ages is fooling themselves.

Just as anyone who has "all the answers", neatly fitted into a philosopical, political or moral box, is.

If you're over forty (and especially, fifty) and still think you know anything, you've learned nothing.

That's what I've learned.

As JBB's post often do, this one generates such a thought-provoking array of comments from different perspectives and generations, that I thought I would vote for it at Reddit. Being something of an incurable techological dunce, I ended up "reporting" it. Still not sure if that is the same thing as voting for it, but I thought I should admit to reporting it, in case it is something bad.

When is it, exactly, that it's politically correct/liberally acceptable for a kid to change from Republican to Democrat. I mean, as a general matter, I think kids will identify with their parents' party affiliations. Then they turn 18. Is it OK if they have an awakening and change parties at 19? 20? The NYT article talks about Hillary when she was a sophomore in college. Is it really your point here that if she waited until college, or even law school, to change parties, that she's not genuinely liberal? If you don't like her stands on issues, then attack them, but surely you can't attack the genuineness of her beliefs now, based on what she said in college.

...surely you can't attack the genuineness of her beliefs now, based on what she said in college.

...no more than one can of any candidate, right?

I assume that extension of open-mindedness applies to folks who change political affiliation in either direction.

Just askin'.

Every kid has a different situation but Hillary could have gone with the prevailing winds when she got to a college environment that didn't buy her high school persona. If so that would be worrisome because later in life she might have to make a decision about going to war. Rather than base it on a clear instinct for what's a good move, she might go with the popular, safe position of the moment. And then she would have to spend way too much of our time trying to talk her way out of her vote. You know, assuming the war goes badly and is no longer popular.

...But on the bright side Mike Wallace took one-hell-of a beating and proclaimed who done it.

Actually, that was Dan Rather. Maybe in retrospect he had it coming. Harry Shearer had it right, I think.


Sorry, Jack.


As far as I saw, the "privileged kids" weren't part of any particular party - they were more a part of the upper class; those who could afford to go to college or otherwise avoid facing the draft. I think the political overlay is, well...

Call me revisionist...

From Wikipedia:
"This hard line was also seen on the convention floor itself. In 1968, Terry Southern described the convention hall as "exactly like approaching a military installation; barbed-wire, checkpoints, the whole bit".[6] Inside the convention, journalists such as Mike Wallace and Dan Rather were roughed up by security; both these events were broadcast live on television. When Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-Conn) delivered a speech nominating George McGovern for President, he infuriated Daley by saying, "with George McGovern as President of the United States, we wouldn't have Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago."[7] Daley responded by shaking his fist at Ribicoff, and shouting a phrase that was inaudible, and which has generated much speculation. An uncredited author for CNN wrote, "Most reports of the event also say Daley yelled an off-color epithet beginning with an "F," but according to CNN executive producer Jack Smith, others close to Daley insist he shouted 'Faker,' meaning Ribicoff was not a man of his word, the lowest name one can be called in Chicago's Irish politics."[8]

Subsequently, the Walker Report to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence assigned blame for the mayhem in the streets to the police force, calling the violence a "police riot.""
If I remember, right Wallace was hospitalised and had a broken nose.

I was 21 in 1968 and actively involved in the anti-war movement. We had no use for kids like Hillary. That said, she was a rich kid from a staunchly Republican background, while I was a poor kid from a working-class Democratic background. I figure that Hillary "got it" a lot sooner than many of her peers who are now in the White House f**king up this country royally. I would vote for Hillary, although I'd be pinching my nose when I did so.

Clinton wasn't a "rich kid", was she?

from what i've read, she went to college and changed her world view. before she was out of college, she moved to the left and campaigned for Eugene McCarthy. she's been very public about that, i think.

and isn't that what college is about? developing a critical mind and acting on what one learns?

i'm not interested in voting for her, but painting her as two-dimensional hack seems disingenuine.

this whole idea of "party loyalty" seems such a perverse way of looking for political leadership; the so-called black-and-whiteness of a two-party system is even worse.

who's up for a Parliamentary system?

Eco: 1 Thatcher = 1 Reagan, 1 Blair = 1 Bush. Canada 51st atate. No difference in political system, both have House of lords..rich man's club; each have house of dog meat... for shutting citizens up. Again no difference.

Hey what can I say. Were Democrats. We eat our young so as to make it easier for the Republicans to beat them.

Greg C

Ah, yes, 1968. In August of '68, I was in Czechoslovakia, enjoying the liberation armies lead by the USSR. Just like in Iraq, we welcomed the tanks with smiles, flowers and waves. It felt good to know that Dubcek and his Prague Spring was being squashed, and that we would have another couple of decades of Communist Utopia. But then Gorby had to come along in 1985 with his Glasnost and ruin it all. Ah, to recall the glories of being young and living in a communistic utopia.

Ah, to recall the glories of being
young and living in a communistic utopia.

You were in the Bus Project?

To vote for a post on Reddit, just click the "up" arrow to the left of the title.

I'm on board with most of what you say, Jack, but not this.

Most kids who are political are that way because their parents are that way, and that's true in my experience until approximately college. I'm a lifelong liberal because I happened to be born to my particular parents.

In many ways, what I think parents teach is an interest in policy and in politics -- a sense of public affairs being important. That's what you can teach your kids. And at a certain point, they're going to grow their own political beliefs, as it appears she did.

People who abruptly change their views when they're, like, 50 years old? Yes, that I question. But changing your political beliefs in college means nothing to me other than "went to college; actually managed to learn something." If the only right way to leave college was with the same opinions you brought with you, then why go?

I loved 1968. I turned 15 that summer. It was the beginning of my political involvement. I worked the Oregon Eugene McCarthy campaign and got to see RFK speak at my local high school just three weeks before he was killed.

I vividly remember watching the Democratic Convention on television as my father, a lifelong liberal Democrat, went ballistic. That night, he called both the state Democratic Party and the National Democratic Party to excoriate the actions sanctioned by the Party in Chicago.

That was the day when draft deferrments could be earned, or bought. The Bushes of the world were enrolling their sons in pantywaist Texas Air National Guard so they could sit out their stint in Alabama snorting coke imported by the Cocaine Importation Agency (CIA) that daddy eventually ran. Those who were Republicans with connections managed to skirt any kind of military responsibility and thus went on to become high-level Republican functionaries who had no stinkin' idea what war was about....men like Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, or Lewis "Schlupper" Libby...only to send thousands to die in an illicit pre-emptive war.

Hey, at least the Rockefellers offered up a son to the southeast Asian area, even if it was New Guinea.

You were in the Bus Project?

LOL! That was a good one...

Admitting to having learned "nothing," rr, (as in rongly regarded), can spell 'conspiracy' and so then there's no thought of looking at clues, since liberty lasts without vigilance.

So let's say there's no mastermind plotting for power, absolutely corruptly lusting demented. So crazy things and events merely happen at random.

What's GHWBush doing in Vietnam on a mission with a CIA guy? Just when war protests were turning the tide to get votes up for shutting it down, even Hillary did a one-eighty. Vietnam was, after all -- history showed it -- a total CIA concoction. JFK said he was cancelling the thing, and would "scatter the CIA to the winds." Two months later he got 'neutralized.' In late '67, LBJ had enough, knew the whole 'Gulf of Tonkin' thing was a hoax, and was fixing on calling it quits. Then wuss Bush the agent goes on-site to tweak it, and WHAM the Tet Offensive blows it up bigger. LBJ sees the warmaking despots amok, so he backs down and gets out of the way -- on March 31, quits a run to seek re-election, though he'd beaten McCarthy up in New Hampshire. In April, MLK,Jr. is assassinated, quite clearly by FBI's Hoover. RFK leads McCarthy, but both anti-war, and Nixon is still a pariah ... unless he sells out as a puppet pro-war, and lets that group clear a path for his cakewalk. That's when Kissinger shows up to lead him.

The ones who get bothered when talk starts making sense, can't change a dollar or their minds for it.

So, rr, why was Bush in Saigon on a '68 CIA mission? Or do you just ignore things that happened?

The Hillary history lesson makes one think long and hard about why we cling to the notion of being Republican vs. Democrats and liberals vs. conservatives. We fight about elections like we were betting on the Kentucky Derby, always wanting to be in the Winner's Circle, cashing a winning ticket. Hillary may have come from a Republican family, and passed out Goldwater materials, but in the end, she is the most polaristic figure in politics of my lifetime. Sort of like a cross between Jerry Lewis (who I think all women hate) and Lucille Ball (who all sensible men hate).

I voted twice for Bush, regret neither vote but strongly believe that he made the biggest military blunder of my lifetime in staying in Iraq. Going into the country to check for the weapons that could be used against us was a victory. Thinking that we could force our version of Democracy on them was pigheaded, egotistical and just plain stupid. The worst crime is Bush's complete inability to admit he was wrong.

Why don't we stop calling each other names, forget about exposing the other party's bathroom scandals and work on the pressing problems at hand. Newspapers should focus on the differences between candidates on the issues, and forget about how Rudy married his cousin and the cost of the candidates haircuts. And number one, bring our troops home. The Democrats really don't want this because it is a proven winner issue for the 2008 elections.

This from someone who let his freak flag fly...

"Why don't we stop calling each other names, forget about exposing the other party's bathroom scandals and work on the pressing problems at hand. "

In other words, "Can't we just get along?"

Nope, we can't. Not when it is much more fun to fight like two kids in the back seat on a long road trip.

It will be nice, in a couple of decades, when the Indies and the NAVs surpass 50%, and totally dwarf the 20-30% each that are Demos and Repubs.

Until then, keep on pickering, children, since we are NOT there yet!


Proximity is not causality
The need for validation festers.
The fever runs high.
Self is subsumed by image.
Ezekiel saw the Wheel.
Way down in the middle of his navel.
Rummy's at the helm.
Cheney's at the door.
The bells, the bells....

Welcome to the pressure cooker.

Scratch that...

What meant to say was:

Ten, the more I read your posts, the more I like you. Thank you!

Thought never entered yourrr head.

brother gary, showing remorse in public admission of voting by your brainwashing is a most honorable gesture. You might take note that more Florida2000 ballots were marked for Gore statewide, when they were ultimately counted, and so review which "worst crime is Bush's" -- realizing that after being elected, that then inaugurating Gore means Bush-planned and Bush-conducted Nine Eleven Op could. not. happen.

As behavior is virtue or vice, fabulous furry freak flag-flying brother gary, (not thought, that only reverses 'intention' or 'meaning'), so confessing maladroit votes completely voids everything said after that, until it is said what action you do in corrections.

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