Skip to comments.JFK: The hero as creep?
Posted on 02/15/2012 6:40:55 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
Last week, the other slipper dropped daintily when 69-year-old Mimi Alford, whose dalliance with the leader of the Free World as an intern had been documented earlier by Sally Bedell Smith and Robert Dallek, described in her own words her seduction at 19 by John F. Kennedy.
She thereby became one of a circle of "friends" entertained by our hero during a presidency that was doomed to be short, but intense.
In this, we learn that she was seduced on her fourth day at work, (and in Jackie's bedroom); that they sometimes played with rubber ducks in a bathtub, and that on two occasions he asked her to service his friend and his brother, giving new meaning to the words "executive order" in ways that are creepy indeed.
For this, he was not unfairly described as a "monster" by Timothy Noah, in a post praised by Powerline's Steven Hayward, in a rare note of bipartisan unity. Rich Lowry said it proved Kennedy's life was a "lie."
But was it? The idea that a man who will be betray his wife will also betray his country is one of those sayings that ought to be true, but is not.
Alexander Hamilton, Franklin Roosevelt, JFK and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. betrayed their wives often, some of them frequently, but all would have died before betraying their country, and did.
Victor Davis Hanson, a colleague of Lowry's, notes that Kennedy was far more honest in public than Richard M. Nixon, whom we believe never strayed.
In his defense, should there be one, Kennedy grew up believing this behavior was normal, seeing his father bring floozies into the household, warning female houseguests to lock the doors to their bedrooms, and rounding up women to sleep with his father whenever old Dad came to town.
His father-in-law slept around on his honeymoon, (one reason Jackie's perspective was also distorted.) In the Senate, he hardly stood out in a body that held Lyndon Johnson, Estes Kefauver, his old friend George Smathers, and 30 years later still sported Gary Hart and Bob Packwood. This partly explains, but does not excuse his behavior, which is only a part of the whole.
He was not a monster when he lied his way into the Navy, volunteered for hazardous duty and saved his crew when catastrophe struck it, swimming miles pulling a badly burned shipmate by a strap that he held in his teeth.
His crew did not think him monstrous when he swam into the ocean alone for miles at night, looking for rescue. He wasn't a monster when he gave his salary each year to charity.
He wasn't living a lie when he supported the Marshall Plan in one of his earliest speeches, and became one of the three early Cold War presidents who helped to design the institutions and strategies with which the war would be won.
His excessive side shocks because it seems so unlikely: He was not weird like Hart, hungry like Clinton, or an unbuttoned wreck like his kid brother, Ted.
He was otherwise disciplined. His other appetites were modest, and easily satisfied. Extreme adulation made him uneasy. He was stoic, and bore pain without complaint or self-pity. His sin seems less part of a pattern than a stand-apart blemish and flaw.
He deserves a kick in the groin from his wife and his intern, but not the back of its hand from his country, to which he always was faithful. He was a cad, and a patriot.
Deal with it all as you will.
Examiner Columnist Noemie Emery is contributing editor to TheWeekly Standard and author of "Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families."
Kefauver? What in the world did he do?
And how dio we know that JFK did all these other wonderful thing? So much about him was made up by his father and his spin machine that I don’t know what to believe about him any more. All I know is that the rest of the country did not live by his “standards” in those days and that is why people just did not believe the rumors about JFK during his run for office.
IMHO having seen her interview, she was or became a self serving little slut. She’s also a phoney of the highest order.
Said she’d do it all again because it was “just too much fun”.
So I guess JFK would be displeased by stupid journalists like this one.
Bet he never said “macaca” either. What a saint.
A bit of hypocracy for “conservatives” to whine about media exploited bimbo eruptions for Cain - then get their jollies on ancient stories to which a dead man cannot respond.
The guy has been dead for 50 years.
The attention and fascination is sicker than the original actions.
I’m sick of the Kennedy worship this country has engaged in.
***The idea that a man who will be betray his wife will also betray his country is one of those sayings that ought to be true, but is not.***
We get it!
“Alexander Hamilton, Franklin Roosevelt, JFK and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. betrayed their wives often, some of them frequently, but all would have died before betraying their country, and did.”
OK, so everyone does it, and as long as you love your country and are not a Republican, it’s all ok, even frequently. Got it. Thanks.
I can’t for the life of me understand why Mimi Alford would choose to come forward with this now at age 69.
“Obama absolutely wiped out her 401K” is the only thing I could think of.
Kennedy wouldn’t last 90 days today.
Who doesn’t love mythology? Just how much of Kennedy was truth or myth? I still can’t buy into the PT 109 thing. How can you not hear a destroyer or a cruiser coming on open water? And why would you stay idle with 3 12 cylinder Packard engines running, so you can be heard? That story reeks of party time and cover up. I guess it could be myth vs. myth too.
Yeah Newt was tested, and failed. Just like JFK.
The Kennedy boys never did do very well when it came to navigating or driving near a body of water.
C’mon. So what if Kennedy had sex with a 19 year old intern and asked her to fellate his chief of staff in a pool while Kennedy watch. Barry was allegedly fellated by Bill Frist and Trent Lot in a Chicago bathhouse. Among others.
So why the double standard?
At least Frist and Lot were adults.
That story reeks of party time and cover up.
....correctamundo, the biggest worry after the “heroics” was whether he would be court martialed for dereliction! Instead they ghost write a book and turn him into a hero. No honor and not patriotic to steal a presidential election in Chicago!
Character matters. He took a solemn vow to be true to his wife. He saw something he decided he wanted more...on several occassions...and broke that vow to obtain it and “have” it like a selfish little child.
One must wonder whether he would do the same if tempted strongly enough and break his vow to the country. Certainly, leaving troops on the shore in the Bay of Pigs would not be considered by those soldiers, who were fighting and expecting support, as anything valorous on the part of the President’s decision in that instance.
Kennedy gave a good speech, and did fight for his country and did so with bravery. I will give him credit for that.
He also set a national imperative to get to the moon which energized the country and he deserves credit for that and the incredible good it ultimately made possible for all of us.
Outside of that I do not believe he was an exceptional president, and certainly was not a devoted and true husband.
Same goes for Martin Luther King Jr., FDR, and others. King could give a great speech on extremly important moral issues...but then he himself violated morality abjectly as regards his wife, and it is well known that he was very partial towards marxist ideology...not something one would call “true” to the country.
FDR was pals with the mad man and butcher Joseph Stalin. FDR led the country through war, and victoriously, but then he sacrificed a big part of the victory by giving over 200 million people in eastern Europe to a communist tyrant as bad as the German tyrant who had been defeated. FDR was an out and out socialist in his own policy here in the nation outside of the war, and many of his policies were not good for the long term health of the nation or in accordance with the Constitution...many of which we are living with to this day.
So, I will argue against and take issue with the point that some of these folks, including Kennedy, were “true to the death” to their country. They were more likely true to themsleves and a number of those personal “ideals” were not in keeping with the underlying foundational values that built and sustain America and are enumerated within the constitution.
Today we are faced with abject and blatant peril to the nation from a person who is openly fundamentally altering the very basis of our Republic...a lot of it resulting out of, and having been enabled, by the bad policies many of these very men put in motion so many years ago.
America at the Crossroads of History
So will this finally wipe the phony sheen off of “Camalot”???
Or is it just another ‘cool’ story about a leecherous cripple who was a mediocre President at best?
When I was young and naive (17 and in Catholic school), my dad straightened me out on the Kennedy family.
"The Kennedy boys never did do very well when it came to navigating or driving near a body of water."
Ah, that solves THAT then. Playing with a rubber duck instead of a battleship or submarine.