When Nixon won in 1968 he accomplished an amazing feat. Watergate was years away and had not emerged to poison his legacy. With all the man's faults, he created the EPA, he plied a middle of the road domestic course and he managed to set the democrats on what has been a disastrous half-century of illusion and selling out. There was only one future for the Democrats and it was established by one John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Tough and caring

These two words are the JFK signature. They were Bobby Kennedy's signature. No Democrat could win without projecting a strong international image.

No peacenik stuff. A dash of the philistine. And at the same time, the Democrat must project some honest hope for the dispossessed and the emerging middle class. That message was understood but largely altered by both Carter and Bill Clinton, the only two Democrats who won after LBJ quit and paved the way for Nixon.

Carter and Bill Clinton

Carter was inept though incredibly bright and thoughtful. He had a stumbling administration that was largely a reflection of his own inability to create a message that projected caring and toughness. Demographics were moving his way but Reagan creamed him nonetheless.

Bill Clinton had the winning drill in his fertile mind but his character was so deficient that he managed to sink his administration into the morass we associate with the rise of Gingrich and DeLay and the eventual triumph of the disastrous George W.


A sordid history

Lee Harvey Oswald and whoever else may have been involved in the killing of JFK reminded us that individuals for good or ill make history. The aftermath of the Kennedy flash was the rise of political fakery that is now so pronounced that we have Donald Trump at the helm. He is doing the will of the very people that JFK was able to suppress and overcome, the John Birchers whose children now populate Congress.

No angel

Neither JFK or Bobby were angels but they knew what worked and how far they could go and they were on the side of the angels for the most part. That is why there is so much suspicion about the death of JFK. It seemed logical that he might be the victim of the very sorts that make up the GOP and their bosses in the wealthy class.

He might have inclined to peace and ended Vietnam. That would have been angelic.

Iron law

The Iron Law of U.S. politics is that Democrats have to project more toughness than the GOP to get a foot in the door. It is typically ignored and that is why Democrats typically lose where they should win. Unfortunately, Barack Obama violated the iron law. He suggested he might be an angel. It was a setup for a clever racist villain like Trump. Trump won by showing the Democrats as having no center, no convictions, no message, no fight. He played dirty and there was no Joe Kennedy to say "nothing doing."

We are still losers

We Democrats have been losers since the days of Nixon.

Our victories have been illusory. With Bill Clinton, we got a handshake with the GOP, the repeal of Glass-Steagall and most probably half the blame due for the great recession.

We will be losers until we revive the iron law.