The consequence of the Bay of Pigs failure wasn’t an acceptance of Castro and his control of Cuba but, rather, a renewed determination to bring him down by stealth.
Truman is now seen as a near-great president because he put in place the containment doctrine boosted by the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan and NATO, which historians now see as having been at the center of American success in the cold war.
Theodore Roosevelt had drawn public attention to his attractive family in order to create a bond with ordinary Americans. Eleanor Roosevelt had successfully broached the idea that a First Lady could be nearly as much a public figure as her husband.
John Kennedy had so many different medical problems that began when he was a boy. He started out with intestinal problems… spastic colitis.
Obama is cutting back on the idea that we’re going to have Jeffersonian democracy in Pakistan or anywhere else.
True, most Americans give lip service to the proposition that even the most exalted among us have their flaws, but we are eager to believe that presidents manage to rise above the limitations that beset the rest of us.
To be sure, Kennedy did not discount the importance of words in rallying the nation to meet its foreign and domestic challenges. Winston Churchill’s powerful exhortations during World War II set a standard he had long admired. Kennedy was hardly unmindful of how important a great inaugural address could be.
Once the public loses confidence in a president’s leadership at a time of war, once they don’t trust him anymore, once his credibility is sharply diminished, how does he get it back?
If Roosevelt didn’t have World War II, he never would have had a third term.
To be sure, hunters and sportsmen back gun rights. Beyond that, there are millions who see guns as a defense against fear – fear of criminals breaking into their homes or assaulting them on city streets.