Wednesday, January 20, 2021


 This is the first inauguration I remember. I remember what a big deal it was to have a Democrat Catholic president. I remember the top hats and President Kennedy not liking it as it messed up his iconic haircut. I remember thinking Republican President Eisenhower actually seemed to like his rival, the new President. And in the morning before the inauguration, President Kennedy, his wife and family attended Mass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, where in three short years his Requiem Mass would be celebrated. Great and very sad memories today. I hope and pray we can return to a common patriotism and etiquette and civility.


Coach K said...

Less than three years (from January 1960 to November 1963), but apart from that, very much on point.Eisenhower and Kennedy, of course, both served in that global war on fascism and Ike knew JFK to be a bona fide hero.

Anonymous said...

Ike and JFK shared a war experience, but Ike warned about the Military Industrial Complex taking over which is what we have today (Big Tech did not exist then but they are part of the cabal). JFK was a lukewarm Catholic at best and his tax cuts and a strong military would put him in the Republican Camp today. JFK would definitely not fit into the looney lefty Democratic Party of today.

John Nolan said...

Trump might claim the 2020 election was 'stolen' but Nixon had a more justifiable case regarding that of 1960.

Had Nixon been President after 1961 we would probably have been spared the Berlin crisis and the Cuban crisis, and possibly the Vietnam war. Khrushchev took advantage of JFK's youth and inexperience. As Eisenhower's VP Nixon had far more experience in foreign policy.

As for the 'global war on fascism' I was not aware that everyone was ganged up on Signor Mussolini. If the Second World War is meant, Ike was SACEUR whereas JFK's contribution to that global conflict was to get his PT boat T-boned by a Jap destroyer and then use influence and money to make himself out to be a hero.

The entire Kennedy clan were and are gruesome. Biden might be a poor Catholic but he is not as far as I know a serial adulterer.

Antagony said...

That is the last of two elections where the choices were not that different. I am not saying that there were no differences between Kennedy and Nixon, but in either case, America would have been OK no matter who had been elected. I would even argue that Nixon might have made a better president then than he was when elected later--he wasn't as paranoid yet.

The other election that has a similar flavor was the Carter-Ford election of 1976. In this election, you had--probably for the last time in memory--two very nice men running against each other. Unfortunately, nice guys seldom make good presidents.

Anonymous said...

I like Antagony’s comment that nice men rarely make good president’s. Fighting is rarely pleasant. In regards to returning to civility, I hope not !!!!!!!!! I sincerely hope and pray that there are knock down drag out fights in congress. When people ask Kim Jong-un if he would like a unified Korea, he says yes. In his mind the only Korea that should exist is his Korea. From where I sit that is what government looks like now, it’s a polite and civil one-party government. I hope the leaders of the quiet side shouts and screams a bit to let the massive majority know they exist and that they are not at all happy.

Anonymous said...

Nice men rarely make good presidents? Most people would say Reagan was a nice, genial man, and he actually won 49 states and 525 electoral votes against the hapless Walter Mondale. Oh, Reagan could be tough when he had to be, but he was regarded as personally popular among much of America 40 or so years ago. His predecessor Jimmy Carter was nice but also gloomy, talking about an "era of limits" amidst the energy crisis of those days. Voters in 1980 rightly did not take to the dour Carter, who ended up losing 44 states to the Gipper. Reagan campaigned on better days ahead and optimism; Trump campaigned on doom and gloom.

As for the "massive majority" of 1159 bloc today, who or where are they? In California, where Biden won by millions of votes. New York state, governed by liberal Democrats? Illinois? Georgia, which barely went for Biden.

Trump's policies or messages were by and large good, except for his running up huge federal deficits. The problem for him was...him, as in the messenger, not the message. Maybe GOP can find someone in 2024 who embraces a lot of Trump's policies but without Trump's obvious personal baggage. But there is no conservative majority in America, instead a country where neither party can get a popular vote landslide (no presidential candidate since Reagan has come close to matching the 59 percent he got against Mondale). You have to win voters in the middle, even if that is a small portion of the voters---Father M. made that point concerning the GOP losses in the Georgia runoffs 2 weeks ago---winning just your base is not enough these days in many places.

Anonymous said...

The whole post and comment thread is about the personality of the president, but can you really describe the personality of the president without including the personality of the speaker of the house, Nasty Nancy? Can you ignore the equally hostile press or the uncooperative swamp? Look at how quickly CNN and it’s staff become superfluous in their praises of the president. If people are polite in government, it’s because their pockets are being lined with every sort of bribe perk and kickback imaginable.

Mark Thomas said...

JFK would be a perfect fit in today's Democratic Party.

JFK's approach to Catholicism was that the Faith need not inform a Catholic politician's public arena decisions.

His 1960 A.D. address to Protestant ministers in Houston had made the above clear. Many liberal and conservative Catholics denounced JFK's destructive speech in question.

Even Father John Courtney Murray, S.J., said of JFK's speech in question: “To make religion merely a private matter was idiocy.”

Among JFK's unfortunate statements via his address in question:

"Whatever issue may come before me as president — on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject — I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates."

JFK was not keen to have the True Faith influence his political stances.

As Archbishop Chaput noted of JFK's address: JFK was an American first...a Catholic second.


Mark Thomas

rcg said...

The difference in the leaders now and then seems to be that then they wanted to accomplish the same goals for the benefit for the country in different ways or priority. Now there really are different sides and they want to destroy each other.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure Ike was keen on JFK---he probably felt JFK's election was a repudiation of Ike's 8 years in office. Some believe Nixon could have been elected had Ike campaigned more actively, but Ike's wife was worried about his health following his 1955 heart attack and 1957 stroke and did not want him campaigning too much. Of course, if there had been honest counts in Illinois and Texas....

Anonymous said...

"Father M. made that point concerning the GOP losses in the Georgia runoffs 2 weeks ago---winning just your base is not enough these days in many places."

Somebody mentioned to me the other day that 500 thousand Republicans did not vote in the Georgia election. It really is about getting as many voters to the polls as you can. Or being better at ballot harvesting. Both of which the Democrats are better at.

Anonymous said...

One of Pres. Biden's first Executive orders was to root out systemic racism in the Federal government. Checking the most recent figures, blacks comprised 18% of Federal employment(while 13% of the population) and all minorities 36.7%. Asians as a group have the highest average salary. I'm not sure where the systemic racism is. Maybe the under-employment of Latino/Hispanics?

El Livitsky said...

Anonymous 1:24
The paradigm of liberals and conservatives is no longer applicable. It's more like Economic Nationalists v. Globalists or Populism v. Establishment.

I think RCG sums it up well. The biggest concern seems to be the destruction of one' opponents instead of doing something good for America. That concern betrays the deepest and most unfortunate motivation: The lust for power.

Catholic Pragmatist said...

That reminds me of that infamous joke...

Q: What’s the difference between a Trump supporter and a Terrorist?
A: You can negotiate with a Terrorist!

For US to be united in the coming years, there has to be agreement about basic values and truths. The sub-section of indoctrinated Trump supporters and alt-right extremists want total control and power and will need their amplified misinformation and special interest influences to be neutralised before progress can begin.

Anonymous said...

Non-Catholic Pragmatist,

Yet all the evidence points in the opposite direction, that it is Biden supporters you cannot negotiate with. You must be willfully blind to the daily bile coming from the left