T Nation

So Why Is Ted Such a Jerk?


"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."
?John F. Kennedy


JFK would be labelled a neocon today.


He probably doesn't realize that he's such an asshole.

Drunks are like that sometimes.


That was his inaugural address, January 20, '61. The intent of that speech was to show the 'other' half of the electorate that voted for Nixon, who was famous for being 'hard on communism,' that JFK would be strong in the stance against the commy hoards too.

I find the transition that JFK goes through during his 'limited' tenure in office to be most intriguing. He bears he teeth with his 1st speech as president, trying to put some fear in the seasons Khrushchev, but as his term continues and bears THE burdens and almost pays the price (Bay of Pigs, Berlin Wall, Cuban missile crisis, U2 shot down) with global nuclear war, JFK assumes a very different world view before he dies.

The following is an except from his speech given at the American University graduation ceremony in '63:

"I have, therefore, chose this time and this place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth is to rarely perceived - - yet it is the most important topic on earth : world peace.

What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace - - the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living -- the kind that enables man and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children - - not merely peace for Americans by peace for all men and women - - not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.

I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age when great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age when a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all of the allied air forces in the Second World War.

It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by the wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations unborn.

Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need to use them is essential to keeping the peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles - - which can only destroy and never create - - is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace."

I will repeat the key line for dramatic intent
Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace - - the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living -- the kind that enables man and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children - - not merely peace for Americans by peace for all men and women - - not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.

Sounds a bit different from the 'bear any burden speech,' doesn't it? When faced with grim reality of war, leaders can oft see other other path, one of peace through the realization that the world IS big enough for 'the both of us'


JFK's actions speak much louder than his words to a university. He was a hawk compared to the leadership of todays Democratic party.

He fucked up Bay of Pigs and knew it. He should have either pulled the plug on the operation or committed the support originally planned. He learned his lesson and became tougher.

He was an staunch anti-communist. He likely did not want an American empire any more than GWB wants one, however when faced with the spread of communism, he resisted it with force.

Before anyone claims that our Iraq and Afghanistan operations are an American Empire you must first explain how helping set up democracies with legitimate elections and constitutions equal to empire building. I am not aware of any empire in history that has been built this way.

I agree with the drunk comment about Teddy. He looks like he hits the bottle all day.


I met Ted at a fund raising event. His wife looked hot but he looked... well, pickled.

Being from MA. I hear sound bites weekly from this guy. He's an ass. No two ways about it.

A drunk, womanizer, and lets not forget Mary-Jo.

Other than that, he's a swell guy.

And JFK has GOT to be ashamed at the way his family turned out.

Joe, Micheal Skakel, Ted, Ted's wife (1st.) et al. William Kennedy Smith is another. Then there's the one who died while skiing and tossing a football... screwing his babysitter, I believe.


You are not that far from the truth with that comment.


Traditionally, war has not been a partisen issue. One's stance on war is not a criterium typically used for defining Rep. or Dem. principles.

That may not seem like the case today because divisions over our currect conflict seem to align with party lines, or more accurately, with pro-Bush, anti-Bush sentiment. But to call kennedy a neocon because he was against communism (like every other American) during the height of the Cold War is a bit of a stretch.


I remember when a shitload of Democrats were preaching unilateral disarmarment.

If we cut our nukes, perhaps the Soviets would follow suit. The Democratic party has sunk a long way.


At the end of the quote add "as long as its not me doing the work"


And the current leadership is atrocious. Yeah, it sucks. Some decent candidates on either side for 2008 would be nice.


It's true that Ted is jerk though. One of the few true, extremist liberals around. I wish he wasn't in the Democratic party.


Gin-Nosed Ted and his cronies ARE the democratic party.

They pander to the most leftist of lefties. That is why the Democratic Party is on life support. Well - that and the fact that Dean is pretty much doing all he can to make the Party a haven for the extremists.



Changing the tax code was the only logical thing to do.

JFK was a moderate and was to the left of Nixon.

Nixon would be considered a pinko commie by todays GOP standards.

Nice try but no cigar.


The democrats are very pathetic but with that post you come across like a right wingnut.


I have seen zero evidence presented that the Democratic pary is indeed liberal aside from the individuals you mention. Certainly not on this board. No liberal policies or positions of Democrats have been pointed to. As for the individuals mentioned, I have my questions about Dean. I don't know enough about his views. What specific policies has Dean advanced that would call liberal? And who are Ted's supposed cronies? The Democrats are on life support because a large dearth of policy not because as a party whole their policies are too liberal.


I figured I'd get at least one of those comments.

From where I am sitting - and I will concede that it is from a right-wing perspective - The pandering to the far left-wing radical groups are to blame in large part for the more conservative wing of the Democrats finding more to agree with in the Republican Party as of late.

But I could be wrong.


I think you just touched on part of the problem. The leadership of the Democratic Party has no position, or policy - other than to be against the current administration. Maybe if the left had a message that showed that they were for something instead of against Bush - the left wouldn't be sucking air like they are.

Name a liberal on here that has expressed being for anything besides abortion and gay marraige. The arguments cebter around being against the current administration and anyone that supports them.

When you are paying closer attention to getting a check from MoveOn.org, NOW, NAMBLA, the ACLU, or (insert liberal wacko group here)than you are in trying to form a coherent message - I think you are in big trouble. Dean spends more time telling the news shows how bad the President is doing rather than telling people why they should be excited to about the Democratic party.

Ted's Cronies? 'Sheets' Byrd, Chuckie Schumer, Dick 'the turban' Durbin, Dirty Harry Reid, Donna Peolosi, among others.


Silence does not atutomatically equate to liberal policies. It equals just that, silence. And it is a problem in the democrat party. The fact that Democrats don't voice coherent policies allows conservative Republicans to paint them as liberal when they may well not be. You are assuming the Democrat party as a whole is leftist with no sufficient basis. It really is lack of position enitrely absent criticism that allows them to be viewed as leftists. They wouldn't be considered leftist if they spoke up and offered some centrist alternatives. 
 It's hard to be the opposition policy, but in my opinion, the lack of policy and expressed views has never been as bad as it is now. Crticizing Bush's policies does not make one liberal. I think Bush's policies are poor and his execution of them poorer, and I'm far from liberal. But it's reasonable that people come to that conclusion about criticizing when they offer no viable, preferable alternatives advanced and only present criticism. (And you better believe the Rove machine capitalizes on this). It amazes me how lacking in savvy and out-of touch Democrats are as far as to what they should be doing.
As far as the only things being discussed here being abortion and gay marriage, that goes both ways. Those are the issues that come up on these furms. Actually, there are other ones. Gun control, for one. I'm not liberal, but I believe in abortion and support civil unions. I also have plenty of other positions such as education, taxation, the inheritence tax, social programs, environmental issues, etc...But these are not the things that come up.


If the Democrats have accepted a check from NAMBLA, I'll eat my shirt. Are the Republicans now accepting campaign contributions from the KKK?