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All the Pussy in the World. JFK and an American Ideal. Part Two in a series on JFK.

“And Kennedy survived as an orator to the point of delivering his own funeral oration, since Theodore Sorensen continued to write speeches for his successor in the same style that had contributed so much toward the dead man’s public persona. The admirable people who personify the system are well known for not being what they seem; they attain greatness by stooping below the reality of the most insignificant individual life, and everyone knows it.”

— Guy Dabord

— The Society of the Spectacle

 

James Ellroy, Mickey Spillane with guile and the McDonald’s of American literature, said of JFK that the truth of his mythic status was pussy. As in he got a lot of it and that in turn was connected to money and power.

As with Mailer’s JFK there’s something to be said for this iteration, a hard edged blunt reduction-ism, but also as with Mailer there is a fatally flawed notion that the narrative can only contain one theme or strand of cultural DNA.

This finds a curious structural analogy in the anti-conspiratorial narratives which declare with the orgasmic eureka certainty of halfwits everywhere that, having stumbled upon the obvious, they are convinced that they have discovered the truth about the mysterious. Namely that as a conspiracy requires too many moving parts for their minds to comprehend, it must be impossible for other people to be intelligent enough to have more than one plan in motion at a time. That this flies in the face of everything from Sophocles to Shakespeare to Faulkner to Nixon’s White House*(1) or the military maxim to have a plan with many branches*(2) says nothing about those esteemed conspiratorially minded gentleman and everything about establishment hacks like Gerald Posner*(3) et al.

The truth is of course that the Anglo insistence (it has variations but the Anglo version is here, our concern) that things must be ordered, that they must progress in a linear fashion from question to answers, pops up just about everywhere and in direct contradiction to the truth – reality is not required to make sense and is not precluded from being contradictory or even from possessing multiple meanings that contradict each other but continue to function.

Aristotle, tutor to Alexander and master of the obvious laid down a riff that has endured for millennia despite the diminutive British genius John Keats disagreeing with him and saying that the mark of a sound mind was the ability to hold two mutually exclusive ideas at the same time while continuing to function.

Decades later it is no surprise that it’s a French genius and superb asshole, Baudelaire who declares that a man must be allowed to contradict himself.

Granted after that much opium such ideas seem second nature but we offer these examples to highlight an odd, or curious, feature of the Anglo-sphere – namely a baroque, or even rococo insistence on a linear binary view of reality.

In the case of Mailer, as we described it*(4), JFK was only and could only be, a kind of shining fraud; a movie star lowered to the banal realities of a supermarket.

In Ellroy’s version JFK is revealed to be just another gangster but with a great head of hair, a winning smile, and enough charm to sink a battleship or lay Marilyn Monroe. Of course there is truth to both of these narratives. JFK was a gangster. He was the son of a gangster and he did business with gangsters and the business he conducted was often the business of gangsters – from hits to molls to drugs to blackmail.

To be fair and give Ellroy credit his wider point is that America is essentially all about such things and that there is a concerted effort to avoid speaking about it truthfully or even at all.

All well and good except for two central problems. First it has been spoken about (see The Godfather, Ray Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, etc) and secondly because it’s too narrow a construction.

In the first case the Coppola films are essentially about the making of modern America and the only thing missing from them is a central character – one of the Corleone’s – going directly into politics and achieving high political office.*(5)

Other than that every other talking point is ticked off in the box labeled how America got made. Entertainment, gamblining, unions, Cuba, drugs, prositution, Las Vegas and corrupt cops.

These things in turn are the staples of nearly every dime store thriller or police procedural and those in turn are produced by the thousands every year and form the spine of countless television shows and films most of which are needless to say pale imitations of Coppola’s masterpieces.

The disconnect comes in with the establishment media, and the political establishment who take turns being shocked when they discover that organized crime exists, and that it has been sucking on the government’s tit, and that not only does it exist and has a seat at the national table but that it is essentially the genome of the nation. No one else is surprised because we’ve all seen the Godfather films and Scorsese, and so on and some of us have read Chandler and Hammett, Parker, McBaine and Pynchon and Hemingway and so on. Since no one who isn’t some sort of committed naif can’t claim to be shocked, Ellroy has stacked the deck against himself.

And then the second problem: America which is certainly a vast con job, full of whiskey soaked colonizers, small pox infected blankets, swindles, lies, and all the rest of the national catastrophe, is also Walt Whitman and Louis Armstrong. It is Sarah Vaughn and Melville. It is Springsteen, Dylan and Faulkner. Feel free to make your own list but, the point stands.

Ellroy’s problem here is, that he thinks he’s discovered something and like any number of other preachers he wants to share the good word.

Which brings us to the deeper dilemma. It’s not that Kennedy wasn’t a gangster but that in addition to being a gangster he was/is the hero in a fable or a myth and as such he is to state the banal truth, a hero with a thousand faces.

Ignoring for the time being the reactionary flaws in Joseph Campbell’s regurgitation of The Golden Bough and Modernism, the fact is, myths are mysterious contraptions.

Exegesis of the myths aim to explain and order their contents and thus miss a central feature – which is, that they often don’t and are not required to make logical sense even as we intuit their meaning. There’s a trickster quality to them that has been explained to death or embalmed in terminal banality; buried under an insistence that we worship at the altar of logic.

This is similar to the flaw in the argument against god, put forward by the likes of the late and sometimes missed Christopher Hitchens and others among the so called New Atheists who, like Perry Mason manqué announce that they have solved the crime by pointing out that god qua god is illogical – as if a transcendent consciousness is required to observe the banal rituals of quotidian human logic. How they ask with incredulity, could a supreme being create the sublime dolphin and the butterfly but be willing to execute you for daring to eat pork? As if an entity capable of creating butterfly’s and black holes is required to be logical or reasonable as it’s understood by a semi-intelligent ape. Which is not to advocate for the existence of a supreme being but is to highlight the logical fallacy in the argument of the New Atheists, and the consistent binary thinking of a great many people, as well as to highlight the obsession in our logos dominated culture for explanations that make sense of things that by definition, make no sense.

And so, JFK like some sort of pagan deity, or a solar hero, got all the pussy and was a gangster. But unlike a Sam Giancanna or Johnny Roselli, he also stood up to the lunatics in the military and the CIA and avoided a nuclear war.

This is no small thing and in fact is such an enormous accomplishment that if he had done nothing else accept get laid, and avoid World War III, he would be a hero.

In Ellroy’s version of the myth JFK is revealed to be a gangster and that serves to reveal the sewer truth of America. But it excludes the diabolic. The devil is indeed in the details and Ellroy has fallen for what Baudelaire has called the Devil’s greatest trick – convincing everyone that he didn’t exist.

Ellroy’s engine, the lube that greases the gears of his trilogy – American Tabloid, the Cold Six Thousand and Blood is a Rover – is that it’s a secret he’s revealing that the castle on the hill and its prince charming were sordid.

He’s right they were sordid but, we know that; it’s the official version that pretends we don’t and further that it’s a lie. That this disconnect between the establishment and the public is toxic and has metastasized is of great significance. It is analogous to the chasm that opened up between the Soviet establishment and the people of the East Bloc who had lived for so long inside a lie, that they came to realize that the truth was not just obvious, but that it was staring them in the mirror every day.

But, here’s where it gets truly complicated.

The Roosevelt family fortune, the pirate’s treasure upon which FDR’s political success was built, was made by selling opium to the Chinese. That’s right, social security and nothing to fear but fear itself, and the 100 days and all the rest are built upon a skeleton of drug dealing. Of course back then opium was medicine where as today it’s only medicine if Big Pharm and the feds say it’s medicine, otherwise it’s a drug and the man come to take you away.

But, our point here is not to say gotcha about FDR, rather it is to say gotcha to Ellroy and Mailer et al.

History is not only bigger than their narratives, it is laughing at them – just as it laughs at everyone.”Don’t you know the joker laughs at you.”

Which is not say Ellroy isn’t correct to say that it’s time to restore some of the oily truth to the mythology.

Consider that Ellroy’s description of his underworld trilogy is about the central idea that America did not lose its innocence with JFK’s death because it was never innocent to begin with – the nation was founded on slavery guns and genocide and a corollary of lies.

This is the standard anti-establishment counter narrative designed to highlight the gross hypocrisy of the bible thumpers and the corporate pimps, who own the whores of the government and who as a gang, keep shoving lies down the world’s throat.

The problem here is of course, that while it’s certainty true that the government is corrupt and there’s enough national hypocrisy to pass on to a hundred other countries, it’s not the only story and it can’t be the only truth because it relies on a binary vision of history that is as flawed in its condemnation of the establishment, as the establishment is in its insistence of its moral superiority.

We are here put in mind of Paul Simon’s American tune – a poetic masterpiece, wistful, sad and resilient, that rests on a line that we assume would if thought about, easily provoke any number of anti-establishment voices who would scream cultural appropriation, genocide, colonization and so on. And they would not be wrong but (and again, this is crucial), that’s not the entire story.

“We come on a ship called the Mayflower, we come on the ship that sailed the moon, we come in the age’s most uncertain hour and we sing an American tune”

Well, this is a problem; a moral dilemma.

The pilgrims were, in many respects, a nasty lot and they sparked a continent wide genocide that in turn led to an industrial scale slave trade and has over the ensuing centuries cast the shadow of a national sin over the American soul.

But, it’s a beautiful song and so is Kind of Blue and Naima and Saint James’ Infirmary and if you want Born to Run then you have to take what made it, and that means the post industrial waste land and the man who gave it to us is the product of the madhouses of Italy and Ireland, and before you know it you’re face to face with Walter Benjamin’s koan: “There is no record of civilization that is not also a record of barbarism.” Which is in a sense no different than asking: What is the sound of one hand clapping.

Ellroy was conned by the devil into believing not that he didn’t exist but into believing no one else was aware that he existed. As a result his version of the anti-establishment revolt is as flawed as the establishment insistence on a national piece of bullshit.

JFK was a gangster. And thank god for it. Imagine for a minute what would have happened had Nixon won in 1960 instead of Kennedy. As Kennedy is reported to have said: Don’t you understand my responsibility? I’m all that stands between Nixon and The White House.

Had Nixon won it’s likely we’d all be dead, or living in some sort of dystopian radioactive hellscape that makes Mad Max look charming in comparison.

Speaking to noted Zen Poet Henry Kissinger Nixon (courtesy of his tapes) says emphatically, that he’s prepared to drop an atom bomb on the Vietnamese and if anyone complains he’ll drop one on them too.

Now imagine him in the big chair listening to Curtis LeMay and Lemnitzer and Dulles or an alcoholic sadistic thug like William Harvey, tell him there’s nothing to worry about as even if the Russians have some nukes it’s not enough to wipe out the whole country. Shades of Strangelove aside the cold hard facts are that Nixon was not only also a gangster but he was insane, and Kennedy for all his faults, wasn’t insane or at least wasn’t a psychopath prepared to live out his days in an underground bunker watching the mushroom clouds drift into the shattered sky via closed circuit TV while the goons eyed up the surviving women.

Consider Elroy’s introduction to his novel American Tabloid:

“America was never innocent. We popped our cherry on the boat over and looked back with no regrets. You can’t ascribe our fall from grace to any single event or set of circumstances. You can’t lose what you lacked at conception.

Mass market nostalgia gets you hopped up for a past that never existed. Hagiography sanctifies shuck-and-jive politicians and reinvents their expedient gestures as moments of great moral weight. Our continuing narrative line is blurred past truth and hindsight…

The real Trinity of Camelot was Look Good, Kick Ass, Get Laid. Jack Kennedy was the mythological front man for a particularly juicy slice of our history. He talked a slick line and wore a world-class haircut…

Jack got wacked at the optimum moment to assure his sainthood. Lies continue to swirl around his eternal flame. It’s time to dislodge his urn…

It’s time to demythologize an era and build a new myth from the gutter to the stars…”

Thus this is Mailer’s same turd polished twice and repackaged as a new version of the old anti-myth mythology with Ellroy as pyromaniac, insurance investigator, reporter and salesman all rolled into one package.

As a result either Simon is wrong and Ellroy is correct or they are both correct and thus ironically Ellroy like Mailer is right but for all the wrong reasons.

Again, crucially it cannot be denied that Kennedy was a gangster anymore than it can be denied that Jefferson liked to fuck his slaves, but that is not the entire story anymore than it is the entire story of Kennedy that he was part of a massive gang war between the Italian Catholics and the Irish Catholics, that stretched from the middle of the 19th century into the later third of the 20th.

What Ellroy cannot accommodate is that the hero can be both rogue and hero. The true trinity of Camelot was not only sex drugs and power, though it certainly was about those things. It was in addition, a national myth of transformation and like all mythologies it contains the engine of its redemption and the catalyst of its own sin.

After all, Theseus saves Ariadne but also abandons her and Odysseus was a master thief; the very personification of the trickster. And both were heroes if not two versions of the same archetype.

The true moral dilemma is not the either or of savagery vs something we call civilization; it is not simply the binary construction of the misery of colonization or some untouched unspoiled Arcadia and Eden.

History is a fine madness because the nature of human consciousness is a bicameral truce of armed neutrality between competing hemispheres. To go one step beyond Benjamin’s idea of civilization and barbarism being two sides of the same coin, we must ask: why?

For Ellroy the answer is that there’s a truth that needs to be told and having been told we arrive at a moment where history, essentially ends. This ironically fuses both right wing and anti-right wing (distinct from genuinely left) constructions. The end of history is a kind of grail for which the terminally anxious seek.

Simon, a more refined writer and thus a more nuanced thinker than Ellroy, captures instead not just the idea of an American tune but the duality of the American hymn – the song of myself writ large as a national epic.

The paradox is the key. The progress of the Pilgrims contains genocide and Paul Simon – it contains Whitman’s multitudes – Jazz and the Blues which are of course derived from Slavery. You can’t have one without the other.

Jack Kennedy was a kind of sociopath. Only a sociopath could in the patois of the pols, compartmentalize and continue to function. A pathological narcissist and a pathological hatred of women as objects and receptacles is a part of his DNA.

And a word here about a specific case in point: Cuba.

All indications – records, tapes, memoirs, letters – show that there was a strange ambivalence on the regime’s part about Cuba.

RFK and JFK were symbiotic and yet Bobby operated as point man on a series of schemes each more preposterous and obscene that the last in regards to getting rid of Castro. That the president used his brother as a kind of screen, designed to protect the presidency from charges of murder as a matter of course, or instrument of foreign policy seems obvious. This includes his flirtation with a kind of Reichstag fire and false flag operation against an American target that could subsequently be blamed on Castro. Crucially Bobby came to his senses though the military (see Operation Northwood)*(6) did not.

At the same time he and his brother were painfully aware that they were at checkmate in that any overt moves against Castro would invite Soviet retaliation not only in Berlin, and other potential flash-points but could easily set off a nuclear exchange. (a fact either lost upon the opposition or regarded only as a minor point of interest)

How then to explain Operation Mongoose, or Northwood and the cesspool of assorted Mafia, anti-Castro fascists and the CIA?

The answer among others (and we are at pains to emphasize there were multiple reasons) is quite clearly the ancient Greek tragedy trope of the family’s secrets. Namely, Joe Kennedy Sr having made his bed and most of his fortune with the help of the mafia, was beholden to them to help get their money back by overthrowing Castro and restoring a fascist of their choosing, who would in turn restore their control of the island. Jack and Bobby were trapped by familial traumas and secrets and the requirements of governance.

What goes missing in the narratives on both sides of the aisle is the context of the era. One gets discussions of gangsters and bootlegging, and Cuba’s pre-revolutionary hedonism and one gets discussion of vote fixing in West Virginia and Texas and Chicago, and one gets portraits of Vegas and the mob and Sinatra and Hollywood.

But what”s missing is the wider context. Without it Ellroy appears a genius and his criticism of the JFK hagiographers rings all the more true as a result.

But what’s not there is that a portrait of America’s totality would reveal a nation of gangsterism in every facet of its being.

And a crucial point here about methodology. Almost every attempt to grapple with and analyze the Kennedy myth, especially Dallas, begins with an invocation of the idea that one is diving into the “rabbit hole ” an Alice in Wonderland world of tricks illusions and shadows.

This is down to three primary causes. First it suits the establishment (including most professional historians) which does not want honesty either about its past or its present.

Secondly it is due to the field being dominated by amateurs who lack critical training in close textual analysis

And third because the other dominant group of analysts and researchers is comprised of journalists who, while in some cases are skilled investigators, lack the temperament of writers of fiction. Which is not to say there haven’t been good books written on the subject. However, for anyone who has endured graduate seminars on James Joyce, William Faulkner, Thomas Pynchon or Michel Foucault, the Kennedy narrative is not overly complex.

Gatsby is here useful because it is not (not withstanding evidence to the contrary) concerned with a specific story that marks the wider context but rather is a wider context that marks a specific story, and as a result it is a landscape portrait – in other words, while defenders of the traditional Kennedy myth will insist that there is no proof of Joe Sr. being a bootlegger or being mobbed up and detractors of the myth will write detailed accounts of his business with mobsters and say what else would you call it, we point to the fact that institutionalized graft was the SOP of the entire country in the absence of a centralized standardized professional bureaucracy. To put it another way, Gatsby had to exist and he had to live at the center of a labyrinth called America in the 1920’s. And yet to the best of our knowledge there is not a single analysis of the Kennedy narrative that clocks the obvious facility of comparing Joe Sr and JFK to Gatsby.*(7)

America in the 1960’s was still waging a war between the centralized standardizing federal machine, and the remnants of the pre-industrial rural vastness. Consider then in this altered context JFK’s famous quip that Washington D.C. was a mixture of Northern charm and Southern efficiency.

One doesn’t need a smoking gun that shows Joe Sr. in bed with the mob when one has detailed histories of Boston in the 19th and early 20th centuries. During which the city was a fiefdom run by the (Irish) mob who controlled patronage, elections, sports, shipping, construction, distribution, and the cops who weren’t a professional arm of the state but were a private paramilitary gang. Again an American tune. Tribal warfare was imported directly from Europe and reestablished in vast city states. Discrimination was locked into place by law custom and the blunt realities of who owned the police and city hall. 1960 is closer psychologically to the 19th century than to the 21st and JFK was then in this context the heroic fool, sacrificed on the altar of the past that had to become the future. This is missing from Ellroy and Mailer – that Kennedy’s New Frontier was not only slick Madison Avenue propaganda but a hard truth about a nation trying to pull the atavistic past into the post-tribal future.*(8) The conflict in the nation’s soul over electing the first Catholic cannot be overstated. The Klan’s central fanaticism was, along side other racist tropes, dedicated to a delusional faith in the insidious power of the papacy.

But from this we do not mean to draw forth the fact that it proves the Kennedy’s weren’t gangsters rather to recreate the details of why in being gangsters they were like everyone else – only better at the game – at least until, Dallas.

What we are after instead is a way to use Benjamin”s koan as a method for contextualizing a timeless human trajectory.

In this iteration of the epic JFK is hero and gangster because the hero is always both.

And a word here about Ellroy’s style or if you prefer, his anti-style.

It is, as has been well documented, a brutally paired down guttural staccato Americana of minimalist minimalism. It is practically language reduced to a claw mark on the wall of a cave.

The aesthetic idea is that it reflects the staccato rat-a-tat-tat of neon soaked sleaze masquerading as a kind of cool glory. It is designed to invoke a brutal caveman culture, a kind of Hammett and Chandler hard-boiled-ism down to a few drops of hyper powerful cultural hooch that if consumed at volume, will either kill you, blind you, or set you free.

However, as Chandler says in The Simple Art of Murder, Hammett’s style which really wasn’t a style so much as it was the patois of everyday Americana, is easy to abuse. So easy in fact that writers who know nothing about being tough or cool blondes with long legs think they are displaying knowledge about both when they have a character say “yeah” in a deadpan tone that could either mean glory hallelujah or yeah.

It’s an interesting idea on Ellroy’s part but in the hands of a writer seemingly determined to telegraph every point with all the subtlety of an elephant doing the chacha in a tea cup it has exactly the opposite effect on anyone who isn’t a half-wit.

The fact that it’s got all the zip of the list of ingredients on the side of a cereal box speaks not only to the fast food quality of Ellroy’s writing, to its mirthless dullness, but it speaks to the absence of depth in the idea it is meant to capture.

This is in the end not America at all, but just another myth hijacked from the truth and held hostage by the trained seals of the media, who keep publishing it and reviewing it and treating it with some degree of solemnity.

After all McDonald’s does technically serve food, and it does technically feed people so calling it a restaurant isn’t a lie anymore than calling Ellroy’s books novels that reveal a truth about America is a lie.

But of course it’s all so much more complex than that.

Speaking of what was wrong with Grapes of Wrath, John Gardner said that what kept it from being the American War and Peace, was that it had no bankers in it.

The point being that what separates great literature from just another book is the totality of an all encompassing vision in which the author through the alchemy that Keats called Negative Capability, is able to cease being themselves and even if just for a moment, become not only someone else but someone that they may very well despise.

In Ellroy everyone is a grunt who grunts and everyone telegraphs the backstory and it’s all presented with the subtlety of a dog’s belch, and as if Ellroy has discovered a great secret and is going to explain it by reinventing the wheel of history.

Thus every conversation sounds like a scene in an old b movie where the villain explains his evil plot – in excruciating and self-sabotaging detail.

This sort of blatant disregard for the audience’s intelligence is so old hat that even comic book movies have reached a point of such self awareness and meta-reality that they can crack jokes about the concept. Thus one finds Iron Man trading banter with Ultron over this exact point and the robot (for Christ’s sake) cracks a joke about taking the time to reveal the details of how he’s going to destroy the world.

In Ellroy we get the details and none of the self awareness and as a result page after page ricochets from the staccato Mickey Spillane sophistication of grunting, to banal examples of the “ugly truth” as if by virtue of being a grunt it is inherently if not more noble than say, a Shakespeare soliloquy , followed by “villains” offering post hoc ergo propter hoc descriptions of historical figures.

Thus everyone already knows Jack Kennedy is a whore hound with charm, who’s half as smart as he thinks he is, and Bobby is a runt and a prick with the zeal of a religious fanatic and Hoover is a queer and a fascist and a hypocrite and Howard Hughes is a mad junkie with billions, and Hoffa is out for blood and the mob is predictably Italiano and so on.

Sort of like if in the first act the ghost said to Hamlet, watch out for Ophelia, that chick is batshit crazy yo.

But, the media machine is run by rat fuckers who want to sell lots of cheeseburgers. And as a result the same prefabricated marketing crap with its binary rules dominates. JFK is either hero or cad. Conspiracy or lone gunman. Coke or Pepsi.

And so an American tune in the negative sense.

The answer then as is usually the case, is more information rather than less; more rigor, more questions, and still more information.

The central and recurring motif of ancient pagan theater was the need to walk in a circle back to the answer that had been avoided – that the crime, the sin, against the tribe, the city-state and nature, was hidden in plain sight all along.

Ellroy is not wrong when he says it’s time for a new myth, but he is not right in describing the myth as being only the ugly and brutal flip-side to the more chaste version we’ve been fed.

It’s tough, says Springsteen, to be a saint in the city.

But not impossible and part of that ordeal is telling the stories that must be told.

1 Per the transcript of the tapes Nixon secretly recorded in the White House we know that the Joint Chiefs were so concerned about Nixon and Kissinger’s actions that they inserted a spy into the National Security Council. A navy yeoman was instructed to go through classified documents and through Kissinger’s briefcases to retrieve details and bring them back to the military chiefs. That this is both public knowledge and barely discussed is by itself cause for alarm. That people of high standing continue to insist that only tinfoil hat wearing goofs believe in vast government conspiracies is also cause for alarm as well as rueful mirth.

2 There is at this point something essentially senile about the insistence in some establishment quarters that conspiracies by definition are absurd to the point of being both implausible and intrinsically impossible.

3 We are warming up to an examination of the issues surrounding the narratives that surround “Dallas” and among those on tap are Gerald Posner and his regurgitation of the Warren Commission.

4 See our previous post: Never Tug on Superman’s Cape.

5 It is an interesting cultural issue that the Irish gangs and gangsters of the 19th and early 20th century gravitated to politics and that the Italians did not until later. While there are of course exceptions the fact is the country has yet to see an Italian American president.

6 Google Operation Northwood and enjoy the appalling details. Suffice to say that False Flag operations were in the air and again anyone who denies the preponderance of conspiratorial activity is not to be taken seriously though they may be seriously taken for either fools or establishment ministers of disinformation.

As a subcategory to that we note with amusement that upon his return Theseus raised the wrong flag (a genuinely false flag) resulting in his father’s death/suicide and Theseus becoming king in his place.

7 And as we pointed out in Never Tug on Superman’s Cape, there is a direct descent from James Joyce’s The Dead and Gabriel Conroy and Michael Fury to the Kennedy’s. That, so far as we are aware, there have been no studies making this connection and using it as a template from which to articulate a historical context speaks for itself.

8 Notice the degree to which an attempt was made to use Obama in the same manner and note the extent to which it failed utterly and in part produced Trump. In this context it is well worth noting that Obama received the blessing (such as it was) of Ted Kennedy who specifically made mention of his brothers in relation to passing the torch to Obama. That this had more to do with Teddy’s personal blood feuds than with the better angles of the nation’s needs is a subject for another time just as it is a subject for elsewhere that the entire effort by Kennedy speaks to Obama’s textbook hubris – which had completely predictable results.

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