Thursday, November 04, 2004

Bye Bye '60s

Hugh Hewitt has an excellent piece today in the Weekly Standard. He places the political landscape of the sixties in historical perspective and lays the time period to rest. Read the whole thing, here's a taste:
THE SIXTIES ended on September 11, 2001, but they were interred on the morning of November 3, 2004, when a senator from Massachusetts played the reverse role of another senator from Massachusetts 44 years earlier.

In November of 1960, John F. Kennedy had received a call from Richard Nixon, conceding the election, an act of statesmanship that still redounds to Nixon's credit. Nixon's chances of successfully waging a recount of Illinois and Texas votes were higher than Kerry's of contesting Ohio's votes from Tuesday, but both would have been long-shots, and both would have strained the country's reserves of civility. Both men chose well, and John Kerry's final act of Campaign 2004 was by far his best.

When the first JFK won, it set in motion events that would pummel America and its politics right through this just-completed campaign. The triumph of Jack Kennedy elevated style, new money, and a new elitism into the mainstream. It launched a war that would divide the country as none before--excepting the Civil War--had. It led to the credentialing of a media elite just now beginning a long overdue mass retirement. And it set in motion a swirl of cultural change that would culminate in the bipolarization of the political world into red and blue.(/snip)

THE WORST LEGACY of the '60s was its Vietnam complex. The opposition to the war in Iraq--even after 9/11, even after inspections of the vast munitions dump that was Saddam's wasteland--was as much about legitimizing the huge mistakes of 1974 and 1975 as it was about concern of a new "quagmire." The collective trauma of those years--relived in the Swift Boat Vets' campaign and stage lit by the reactions they produced--had a last revival tour in 2004. When Senator Kerry called the president, it put a tombstone on that debate. It didn't end it, but it is hard to see how it will ever play on center stage again. Everyone is too damn old, and sick to death of the shouting.

A NEW LEFT, confident of American power in the service of security at home and freedom abroad, could still emerge. Joe Biden has to be shoved aside, and Joe Lieberman elevated. Pat Leahy has to get an elbow and a talking to about how his extremism has played over two election cycles. In short, the old left has to let go, and let the new left grow up and learn to shun the nuts like Michael Moore while learning to support American foreign policy.(/snip)

Just as Micheal Moore was the kiss of death to the Clark Campaign (I should thank him for that), when the national networks showed the American public MM's priviledged seat next to Jimmy Carter, he sealed the fate for John Kerry. There are certain people whom you should run from. Didn't Kerry's parents ever tell him that you are judged by the company you keep? Kerry never denounced M.Moore, Terry McAuliffe, Soros, and of course many others.

I hope that constructive reflection is taking place as I write this within the Democratic Party. We need a healthy and reasonable 2 party system. Because if someone like Pat Buchanan ever made it as the Republican candidate, I would like to have another viable option.