Mitt, Rick 'n' Jack
-Rick Santorum, 2/27/12
"Rick Santorum says he is against sending every American child to college! What a asshole!!!"
“We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.”
- John F. Kennedy
September 12, 1960
That is a direct quote from one of the greatest campaign speeches of the twentieth century. Fifty-two years ago when Jack Kennedy was seeking the office of president of the United States, he felt obliged to address a gathering of Protestant ministers at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas. You see, at that moment in history no Catholic had ever been sent to the White House by the American people. It was actually believed in some quarters that JFK would govern - not by the light of the Constitution - but on the orders of Pope John XXIII. Here is former senator Santorum's vomit-inducing interpretation of that 1960 speech by soon-to-be President Kennedy:
"To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case? That makes me throw up and it should make every American….Kennedy for the first time articulated the vision saying, no, ‘faith is not allowed in the public square. I will keep it separate.’ Go on and read the speech ‘I will have nothing to do with faith. I won’t consult with people of faith.’ It was an absolutist doctrine that was foreign at the time of 1960."
February 26, 2012
That is from a televised interview he gave to George Stephanopoulis this past Sunday on ABC's "This Week". Not only is Rick a fool, he's a liar. "Go on and read the speech" he goads us. Well, I have read that speech - many, many times. Not only do I have a copy of the transcript in my files, I have a vinyl LP and a videotape of that historic address in my archives. In fact, at the bottom of this piece, I'll provide you with a link so you can see it with your own eyes on You Tube. As Mr. Rick might say, Go on and watch the speech! Kennedy never said that he would have nothing to do with faith. He never said that people who believed in God had no place in the public square. He never even vaguely implied as much.
Not long ago a collection of audio tapes were released by the Kennedy Library. They contain a series of candid conversations that Jacqueline Kennedy had with historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. in March of 1964, four months after the president's assassination. I have listened to the entire batch - which comprises eight compact discs. At one point she reveals that one of the things that impressed her the most about Jack was his faith in God, and that every night before falling asleep, he would get down on his knees to pray. It is an opinion that is held by virtually everyone who knew him personally: John F. Kennedy was a deeply religious man. That he was a deeply flawed man is now part of the historical record. That's okay. All religious people are deeply flawed. All atheists are deeply flawed. I am deeply flawed. So are you. No scoop here. Judge not, Rick. You're pretty flawed yourself, hombre!
I cannot emphasize this enough: Rich Santorum is a fool.
"I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all."
By the way, one of the perks of being Irish Catholic is that we get to refer to the late president as "Jack". It really is pathetic to read his words today and reflect upon how dumbed-down we've become as a country in the half-century since he lived in the White House. I often refer to America as "this once-great nation". Can you understand why?
Happy Leap Year, everybody!
FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE:
Here's a link to listen to John F. Kennedy's address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association on September 12, 1960. Go on and throw up I dare you!!!
It's as close to poetry as a political speech can get.
I love this story. At the moment JFK was giving that address he was seething with anger. Earlier in the day his aide Dave Powers had sent all of his shoes out to be shined. When the time came to leave for the Rice Hotel where the speech was to be delivered, the only available pair in his luggage were brown. To make matters worse, all but one of his suits - a dark blue one - were out being dry-cleaned. So Jack Kennedy delivered the most memorable address of the campaign of 1960 while committing the ultimate fashion faux pas: brown shoes on a blue suit. Fortunately for the sake of posterity, no color photographs survive of that event. Good thing, too. Needless to say, Dave Powers never made that mistake again. Another good thing.
Here is another YouTube link. John F. Kennedy arguing for universal health care:
And to think that fifty years later we're still having this same, stupid argument. I need a drink....
Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero
by Chris Matthews
Not only is Matthews one of the smartest sons-of-bitches commenting on politics today, he's also a pretty good writer and historian. Further proof lay between the covers of his latest book. Here's a link to order it off of Amazon.com:
And don't forget to watch hardball on MSNBC every weeknight at 7PM EST. He's as good as it gets.
BREAKING NEWS, 1:30 PM:
Davy Jones of the Monkees has died of a heart attack in Florida at the age of sixty-six.
For those of us old enough to remember....Some Monkee moments.