Sunday, January 27, 2008

Why the Kennedys Are Endorsing Obama

Senator Edward Kennedy has decided to endorse Barack Obama for President, saying he wants a President who "can make us believe again." Over the weekend John F. Kennedy's daughter, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, announced her support for Obama, saying he reminded her of her father. Kennedy's speech writer Ted Sorenson asked what he could do for Obama last year, hoping no doubt that after the election Obama will ask what he can do for Sorenson. Like Kennedy, Obama is young, handsome and inspiring and he represents the passing of the torch to a new generation. But it is not just that Obama reminds them of Kennedy, it is also that the Clintons remind them of Lyndon Johnson. And if there is anything that the Kennedys don't like, it's a bunch of hillbillies in the White House, which is being kept in trust until a competent Kennedy can be groomed to take it back for its rightful owners. Until that time Obama will do.

Like Johnson, the Clintons play politics like it was mud wrestling or the roller derby, while the Kennedys have always believed that politics should be like a friendly game of touch football or beanbag. They never had to get down in the dirt with their opponents. Their father and his friends always took care of that for them.

When Hillary Clinton pointed out that it took Lyndon Johnson to get the Civil Rights bill passed, she was not only insulting Martin Luther King but also JFK, who did all the hard work of asking southern Democrats very politely to please vote for the Civil Rights bill, which they might have done some time in future as soon as they looked into their consciences and realized it was the right thing to do. Then Kennedy died and Johnson stepped in, rudely cajoling people and threatening to show them his scar unless they voted for it. Is that the kind of politics we want in America? Of course, if Kennedy had lived he also would have awakened one day and realized, unlike Johnson, that all of his advisers were not the best and the brightest but were really a bunch of dopes and he would have stood up to them and got us out of Vietnam.

In 1968 Robert Kennedy tried to take the White House back from the dumb hick who had taken it over by a fluke of history, but he was killed, too, before he got the chance. Ted Kennedy tried to save the country from another country bumpkin who got the keys to their house in 1980, but he lost to Jimmy Carter in the primaries. At first the Kennedys let Bill Clinton burnish their image by showing the photo of how he was somehow able to sneak his way into the White House to shake President Kennedy's hand when he was a young man. Now the Kennedys are saying enough is enough.

No one loved the Kennedys and hated Johnson more than liberals and the liberal media and they feel the same way about the Clintons. "Is the right right on the Clintons?" liberal pundit Jonathan Chait asks in an article in the Los Angeles Times. For years conservatives have been saying that the Clintons give politics a bad name. We look back with nostalgia to a time when gentlemanly Democrats like Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale, George McGovern and Hubert Humphrey lost elections with grace and dignity. They didn't go around smearing their opponents and cynically triangulating the way the Clintons do. Now many liberals and members of the liberal media are coming around to thinking we've been right all along.

Although Republicans do not love the Kennedys the way liberals do, we hate Johnson and the Clintons more. Like many northeastern liberals we hate the way Johnson and the Clintons seem to believe unfairly that Americans are a bunch of racists. Unlike Johnson and the Clintons, Republicans are completely colorblind and never think of race at all. After the Civil Rights bill passed many southern Democrats were so tired of the way Johnson crudely and repeatedly flashed the Race Card that they became Republicans. President Nixon never mentioned race at all in his battles against busing and crime. President Reagan, who paid silent tribute to three Civil Rights workers who were killed in Philadelphia, Mississippi, when he launched his campaign there, never used the Race Card either when he fought against Welfare Queens and quotas. The first President Bush loved black people except when they were criminals like Willie Horton and his son appointed black people like Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice to his cabinet and felt really bad about all the black people who died in New Orleans.

And you don't see divisive racial battles in the Republican primary. None of the candidates has even mentioned the fact that Alan Keyes is black. When Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York he lowered crime, which disproportionately affects black people, by giving more power to the police and ended all the racial divisiveness that erupted during the previous black mayor's term. Mitt Romney feels really comfortable around black people probably because his father marched with Martin Luther King, which affected his son so much that he imagined he was there, and how he did cry tears of joy when the Mormon Church announced that black people were no longer considered evil and his maid wouldn't have to go to hell after all. Governor Mike Huckabee stood up for the rights of all the people of South Carolina, black, white, brown, yellow and green, not to be told by white northern elites that they can't have the Confederate flag flying on their state buildings, which is a historical symbol of their unique culture going all the way back to 1962. And all the Republican candidates have fought very hard for the rights of African-Americans not to have their low-paying jobs taken away by illegal immigrants.

Conservatives are really appalled at the way the Clintons are injecting race into this campaign. In a piece in Red State called "Democrats: The Party of the Klan?" Eric Erickson writes, "They are always claiming that Republicans are racist, but it is looking more and more like the Democratic Party, to its core foundation, is racist." In South Carolina the Clintons threw everything at Obama they could think of except pointing out that he fathered a black child. Republicans are offended by such down-and-dirty politics, which reminds them of the time they had to employ Lee Atwater to counter all the dirt the Democrats were putting out, which even Atwater himself regretted as soon as he was dying. His protégée Karl Rove no doubt was also troubled by all the dirty politics that erupted in campaigns he was involved with, which could never be traced back to him since he had nothing to do with it at all.

Many conservatives are saying nice things about Barack Obama, even though he is liberal and black, which they probably don't even realize, because they long for the days before the Clintons ruined politics. "I tell you, he almost had me tonight until he talked about the war that shouldn't have been authorized and reminded me there are real policy issues at stake in this election!" gushed Kathryn Jean Lopez in The Corner. "But listening to his inspirational, rallying speech tonight it's clear and obvious that if he's the nominee, he will be tough to beat." Andrew Sullivan, who makes no secret of his hatred for the Clintons, has endorsed Obama. Unlike the Clintons and many white Democrats, they don't see him as the black candidate. Almost 25% of white voters voted for Obama in the South Carolina primary and if he is nominated he may even get a few white votes in the general election, though probably not enough to win. That's because race is no longer an issue for voters in the South and it really is rude of the Clintons to subtly imply that it is, if that's what they were doing and we know it was because the media has constantly pointed it out.

I think everyone is tired of the kind of politics the Clintons represent, which sees voters as easily manipulated racist dupes and does not appeal to the better angels of their nature the way Barack Obama does. Conservatives are really hoping that the Democrats nominate Obama because he gives us a chance to heal the wounds that the mean-spirited Clintons have inflicted on the body politic. Conservatives would relish the chance to debate about ideas again. I can assure you that I and my fellow conservative bloggers and pundits will not go digging around for mud to throw at him. We won't spread rumors that he's a Muslim or bring up past drug use or go looking through his books Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope for contradictions we can exploit.

That was the old kind of politics, which is entirely the fault of the Clintons. We want to transcend that. I agree with Bob Kerrey that it is great that Obama went to a madrassa and I think Hussein is a very nice middle name. I think it's about time we had a President who admits to using cocaine in the past so that he can tell our youth from experience how bad it is. Conservatives can all get behind a man who talks so movingly about faith even if his church does have some wacky ideas about white people being devils and it once honored Louis Farrakhan. And I think we'll all forget that he is black and best buddies with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. If the Democrats nominate Obama conservatives will relish the chance to talk about issues and make the election as he says not "about black and white but about the past and future." Who couldn't be stirred by that kind of rhetoric?

Of course, we won't vote for Obama in the general election but that will only be because he is a tax-and-spend liberal who wants to surrender in Iraq, is against executing murderers and wants to impose gay marriage on everyone. In other words, we will just point out that we have a few policy differences with him. We relish the chance to debate the nuances of Obama's policy proposals and we'll be relieved not to have to drill into the heads of voters simplistic demeaning labels the way we had to do when we constantly referred to John Kerry as a flip-flopper and Al Gore as a phony. And the media will be happy not to have to repeat these charges in every story they write, which must have gotten kind of boring for them. Instead, they will be able to write the kinds of long thought pieces about issues that matter to people, which is what journalists really want to do. Conservatives will be so grateful to actually be able to finally debate the issues in a civil manner that we won't even mention all the other troubling stuff about Obama. You can trust us.

Update: It appears I have scooped the mainstream media if The Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers is correct about the reason Kennedy endorsed Obama.

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Anonymous said...


darrelplant said...

I hardly think it's fair -- even in a satirical sense -- to group George McGovern in with people like Humphrey, Dukakis, Mondale, et. al.

None of the latter would have ever said that because of the Senate's part in extending the Vietnam War "this chamber reeks of blood" as McGovern did in 1970. McGovern tried to tell people just how corrupt the Nixon administration was during the 1972 campaign -- he even bought a half-hour of prime time just before the general election to discuss Watergate -- but the nation was bowled over by the man who opened the door to China (something McGovern had advocated years before) and Kissinger's dance on a peace treaty.

Sorry, Jon, that one just doesn't fly.

liquiddaddy said...


When one hears patriot and fair-minded peacemaker, Rush Limbaugh, would rather vote for Obama than that liberal, John McCain, you know we've found a candidate that will finally bring us together. He's the type of guy I could possibly feel comfortable voting for in theory. He'll never push race issues in our collective faces, divide us, or cause obstruction, like Slick Willy.

You are absolutely right that the Democrats have finally found a leader who will set aside the politics of personal destruction.


zencomix said...

How long will it take for Day by Day to have Obama in Whiteface?

Anonymous said...

Best Jon Swift post. Ever. I would like to leave one small complaint, though. It's not nice to cause me to give my computer monitor a Diet Pepsi washdown. While I'm on a conference call.

dotcoma said...

I loved the first five paragraphs.

After that, it's a stretch to say that your reasoning is a stretch.

Bush (43) "felt bad" about the people in New Orleans? Perhaps so. And maybe he prayed, too. But that's not enough. And you do remember the "George Bush don't like black people episode", don't you?

Giuliani cleaned up New York city to help black people? Or at times over-riding their rights and turning a blind eye to a sometimes racist NYPD?

Romney... yes, lied and said he marched with MLK. And he's happy because his religion now says that his black maid doesn't have to go to hell just because she's black.

Ah, and yeah, Huckabee want the confederate flag, but he's no racist.

Anonymous said...

I also don't buy into Republicans being a racist party. I just visited my very liberal grandparents and when asked what they thought of Obama, they only told me about his racial background and basically said they won't vote for a black person.

Their Jewish neighbor, when asked separately, said she would not vote for a black person because they are "trying to take over."

I am ashamed of them and I hope this racism is a vast minority in either party.

-Joe (GOP)

Anonymous said...

Oh my, that was fantastic. Thank you thank you thank you.

Unknown said...

Bravo, Jon!

Anonymous said...

You have truly outdone yourself -- this is brilliant. Chappaquiddick aside, of course, the vast majority of Americans do see Ted Kennedy as a moral beacon, so his endorsement of Obama is all the more important in that regard. People are tired of seeing womanizers in the White House, and look to the Kennedys to point the way to a dignified future.

Carl said...

Until that time Obama will do.

As a reasonable conservative, I have to agree with Sir Swift here. I believe the housekeeping staff should remain on until the Kennedy Klan can retake and redecorate the White House.

Carl said...

We look back with nostalgia to a time when gentlemanly Democrats like Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale, George McGovern and Hubert Humphrey lost elections with grace and dignity.

One enhancement to this, sir. You might have added Adlai Stevenson, who was such a nice man that JFK worried about him presenting the case against nukular weapons on Cuba, and not at all like that brute, Colin Powell.

This is why we conservatives should lobby hard for John Edwards.

Such a nice man. Such nice hair.

Save the Oocytes! said...

The Clintons' actions and policy decisions are adequate reasons for any leftist to despise them, "politics of personal destruction" aside.

Anonymous said...

Conservative Souther Dems became Republicans because the Civil Rights bill passed, not because they were above race politics.
And, Johnson was able to get it passed expressly because he was a Southerner. No Yankee could do it. (as in - only Nixon could go to China) A;so, he was able to capitalize on some post-assasination guilt.

You may want to read some first person accounts written at the time. We're talking about 1964, not some Republican fantasy theme park.

and Alan Keyes? You can't be serious.

Dave Latchaw said...

"You can't be serious."

Well, at least you got the last part right.

Ray Bridges said...

Brilliant, Dr. Swift, brilliant. When you're hot, you're hot!

Anonymous said...

I think if the Clintons were truly as good as triangulating as advertised, they would move their focus from civil rights to reverse racism.

Besides making people wonder what this has to do with Obama, it might raise Hillary's standing with the right. Reverse racism is a problem that even reasonable, colorblind conservatives like George Will and Ronald Reagan cannot seem to ignore.

Chuck Butcher said...

it is nothing short of brilliant to manage to offend everybody of all political stripes in a single article. I am in awe and justifiably jealous. Even Hillary talking about disenfrachised voters in MI & FL can't manage the mental gymnastics you've brought to bear. To make this comment on any other post of yours would be unbearably sycophantic, but this time...

The All Seeing Eye said...

Obama is no JFK. JFK never spoke w/Castro or the leaders of N. Vietnam. Obama would have if he says that he is willing to speak w/leaders of Iran, Hgo "the nut" Chavez, and others. Obama is just not a Clinton.

The All Seeing Eye said...

I am not voting for any Republican candidate in my Texas Primary. I am writing Collin Powell's name on my ballot (I wish he had ran in '96). Unfortunately, our country needs a leader like him and not all of the other pretenders that are running around right now.

Quiddity said...

It's Bob Kerrey

Anonymous said...

I think racism is alive and well in the United States. Even now, I am reading that there is a rumor going around that Obama has fathered two black children. This is going to kill him in the South.

No one ever accused Kennedy of doing this (although if memory serves, Kennedy did father two Greek children).

mls said...


With all due respect, I think you are missing the point of elections. Elections are not supposed to be popularity contests, where we vote for the “nicest,” or the “most attractive,” or the “person we would want to have a beer with.” Personal qualities like these should be irrelevant. What matters is who has the best positions on the issues. After all, if you don’t have healthcare and the government doesn’t provide it for you, what difference does it make whether the President can make inspirational speeches? If your home is being foreclosed, who cares if the President “represents the future, not the past”? If your city is destroyed by global warming, what good does it do you if the President is “honest” or “moral”?

Ronald Reagan got elected because everyone liked him, even though no one agreed with his policies. This was clearly documented by numerous media studies (back in the day before Fox News, when the media at least tried to be objective). As a result of his policies, millions were made homeless and the nation ran up huge debts. Although the economy grew, only the rich benefited. Reagan’s warmongering could have led to nuclear annihilation, and probably would have, if it hadn’t been for the end of the Cold War. Sure, Reagan made the country feel like things were going well, but this was just because he was an actor who “looked the part” of a President.

Contrast that with President Clinton, who was known as a policy wonk, which means that he really understood the details of the policies that he put forth. That is why people loved his policies and were willing to overlook his personal indiscretions. During Clinton’s presidency, the economy benefited everyone, not just the rich. Homelessness and inequality pretty much disappeared. The nation was at peace, except when we had to bomb countries that violated human rights and international law. By the end of Clinton’s presidency we had a budget surplus, the stock market was at all time highs, and there was nearly a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. These are facts, as opposed to the myths that surround the Reagan presidency.

What does it say about Barack Obama that he seems to prefer the Reagan presidency to the Clinton presidency? Obviously he cares more about appearances than reality. Senator Clinton, on the other hand, knows that it is policies that really make a difference in people’s lives. That is why she has detailed plans to improve every aspect of our lives. If you go to her website, you will see that she has a plan to strengthen the middle class, provide affordable and universal health care, end the war in Iraq, fight global warming, promote energy independence, and improve our schools, among other things. Can other candidates say that?

People may not like Senator Clinton. They may not want to have a beer with her. But they know that she has been thoroughly vetted by the Republican spin machine, which has already said everything bad about her that could possibly be said about anyone. Unlike Obama, she is immune from further attacks. And she is best prepared to fight back against the Republicans. She is ready to match every lie and distortion they can throw at her, and then some. Is Obama prepared to do that, or is he too worried about “bringing people together” and establishing a new kind of politics?

I think the answer is obvious.

Anonymous said...

"But they know that (Hillary Clinton) has been thoroughly vetted by the Republican spin machine, which has already said everything bad about her that could possibly be said about anyone."

This is such a typical Liberal statement! The GOP is the party of the Free Market. And the Free Market is the source of all innovation. Since the market for political slander in the United States has blessedly not yet been destroyed by regulation, of course the GOP will generate unlimited new and effective slanders, because this is what the Free Market is all about.

The problem with you Liberals is that you don't have enough faith in the system.

mls said...

"the Free Market is the source of all innovation"

Hah, shows what you know. Senator Clinton has a 9-point innovation agenda that says otherwise. As her website explains:

" At a time when workers are anxious about the challenges of globalization and there is growing concern that America is losing its competitive edge, Hillary Clinton offered her views on how innovation can be the key for creating new jobs, stimulating economic growth, and ensuring American leadership of 21st century industries. She detailed policy proposals to renew the nation’s commitment to research; help create the premier science, engineering, technology, and mathematics workforce; and upgrade our innovation infrastructure. Hillary Clinton also rejected the Bush administration’s mixture of science with politics, and pledged to restore integrity to federal science policy."

Anonymous said...

"Hah, shows what you know. Senator Clinton has a 9-point innovation agenda that says otherwise."

But I see nothing on there whatsoever about political slander. Where's the beef? Where are the solutions? Where's Hillary's solution to the Hillary problem?

Roxie Smith Lindemann said...

Paws up and an enthusiastic lick on the face for this one, Jon. The Texan here in Roxie's World heartily concurs in your analysis of why the Kennedys hate the Clintons. Indeed, she burped twice and scratched her belly when she read it.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

This is good Jon. If Obama gets the nomination, Oprah will be his running mate and they could both win. Just like the Kennedys, he can divorce Michelle later and marry Oprah. Health care will be taken cared of by Dr. Phil! America is great isn't it!:-)--Durano,done!

Carl said...

What matters is who has the best positions on the issues.


And Hillary's position is missionary, while Obama's is some crazed lunatic drunk-Kennedy-endorsed Mandingo pose that enahnces his malefactor!

Carl said...

Reverse racism is a problem that even reasonable, colorblind conservatives like George Will and Ronald Reagan cannot seem to ignore.

I believe Reagan has bigger fish to fry at the moment, however.

James Higham said...

I'm a believer.

In Chappaquidick.

fish said...

I think it is not unreasonable to assume that Obama is actually the secret love child of JFK and Marylyn Monroe. So he is not actually a place-holder for the Kennedys, he is family. It explains why he had to spend the first years of his life out of the country.

Anonymous said...

OOh, linked to from Hot Air, and Brian Preston no less. You're moving on up in your downward spiral. You must be honored. You'll be working with Michelle Malkin before long, although, I seems she's endorsing Billary over McCain, so perhaps not...

Anonymous said...

About half of the commenters here are idiots. It is satire STUPID!

Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering who's going to throw the first punch in tonight's debate.

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BadTux said...

As a conservative penguin, what I like about Obama is that he is reassuringly vague about what he will do as President. As a conservative, I don't want active energetic people with all those "plans" and such to be President. They're altogether too tiring, y'know? I want a real conservative like our Dear Leader, who can stand up in front of the press and speak in reassuring banalities while doing as little as possible in terms of real work (unless you count clearing the brush in Texas as real work, which it is, of course, but I mean government work, okay?!).

That is why, as a conservative penguin, I endorse Obama too. He is reassuringly like our Dear Leader, except he's a Negro, of course, but we can forgive him for that and besides, if you squint hard enough, he just kinda looks tan, y'know?

-- Badtux the Conservative Penguin

Anonymous said...

You go, Jon.

Of course one could have easily predicted that Kennedy wouldn't endorse Edwards or Clinton -- their names have the same number of letters as Lincoln.

The Fabulous Kitty Glendower said...

Obama plays poker too. I bet Kennedy played poker.

Great post! I can only dream to master sarcasm this well.

Anonymous said...

None of the latter would have ever said that because of the Senate's part in extending the Vietnam War "this chamber reeks of blood" as McGovern did in 1970. McGovern tried to tell people just how corrupt the Nixon administration was during the 1972 campaign

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