Thursday, April 15, 2021

“Both brothers were thoroughly despicable and it is very hard not to hate them”: Historian Alan Levine on John and Robert Kennedy

[Bad Old Days by Alan J. Levine; Reviewed by David in TN.”]

N.S.: Whenever I tried to connect to A View from the Right from my blog, via FireFox, I would get an error page:

“Unable to connect

“Firefox can’t establish a connection to the server at”

I was, however, able to connect via Google. I have concluded that FireFox is blocking people from accessing Larry Auster.

(To anyone who might think I’m being paranoid: In over 35 years of living in New York City, I have learned never to attribute to incompetence what can be attributed to malice.)

P.S.: I have added paragraph breaks to Alan Levine’s rant, and recommend that anyone who thinks he is extreme to hit the link to the original page, to see that his views are very similar to those of the other commenters.

I think the problem is that so many of us were taught to worship the Kennedys that when we finally learned what they were really like, we suffered a visceral reaction that would last the rest of our days. And that reaction is also against the world of Kennedy-protectors.

By David in TN
Monday, April 12, 2021 at 12:42:00 A.M. EDT

I don’t know why the link to View from the Right didn’t work. Here is what Alan Levine wrote about JFK and RFK in 2010:

Alan Levine: “I read your initial comments on the withdrawal of Patrick Kennedy and the Kennedys in general some days ago. I did not comment though it seemed to me (as it has before) that you were a might soft on JFK and RFK.

(Lawrence Auster replies: “All I said was that both had ‘extraordinary’ qualities, which is obviously true. The word ‘extraordinary’ doesn’t necessarily mean they were great or even good men. It doesn’t mean I was approving of them. But the mere statement of any praise for Kennedys is enough to set off a wave of Kennedy hostility from some quarters. So go ahead, Alan. The floor is yours.”)

Alan Levine: “Yet that was enough to set off this outpouring. There are people who I did not want to agree to disagree with again. I was offline for some days and saw the rest of the thread today. Seeing the lengthy exchanges that resulted, I have to say I am largely in agreement with the comments of James P. and n., however over the top they may seem to you. Yes, JFK and RFK were obviously intelligent and articulate, vastly more so than George shrub junior, and JFK was loaded with charm and a great speaker. He was also a drug addict, a pathological liar, and bully whose whole life was a lie. He was not even physically fit for the Presidency.

Alan Levine: “RFK was obviously incapable, but I doubt he would have gotten anywhere without his brother (even within JFK’s administration, he was widely disliked and called ‘the little bastard.’) He was also a bully and a thoroughly nasty character, who had quasi-treasonable dealings with the Soviets and physically assaulted Chester Bowles.

Alan Levine: “Both men were so surrounded by flatterers and court biographers and historians that it is still hard to see what they were really like. [N.S.: Ditto for MLK.]

Alan Levine: “I suggest that you look at Thomas Reeves and Seymour Hersh on the Kennedy Administration. I can only say that both brothers, though doubtless better than the rest of the Kennedys, were even more awful than I have made them sound, or even than Reeves makes them sound.

Alan Levine: “I myself grew up admiring JFK (I never had much use for RFK and the rest of the clan) but in the last 35 years have learned that what I believed about JFK was almost entirely false. I have dealt with aspects of JFK and his administration in several of my books (mostly on the Cold War and the space race) and have never found anything that did not make me think worse of the man...Both brothers were thoroughly despicable and it is very hard not to hate them. In fact, while there may well have been and perhaps ARE men in the White House who have done more damage to the USA, I think that JFK was the most evil, perhaps the only really evil President, we have ever had.

Alan Levine: “By the way, I do not much care about his womanizing, although that too was worse than we usually hear (e.g. the Rometsch woman). In JFK’s case, cheating on his wife was about the nicest thing he did. At least, it kept him out of deeper involvement in public life! I remain a little puzzled by your ‘softness’ on the Kennedy brothers.”

David in TN: I’m the same age as Alan J. Levine and, to use the old expression, “know where he is coming from.” I too grew up as an admirer of JFK and have changed my opinion, but wouldn’t go as far as Mr. Levine.

I look forward to his book on the Cuban Missile Crisis.



Anonymous said...

Certainly the two brothers had an amazing capacity to offend persons and make enemies. Castro and Jimmy Hoffa come to mind instantly. Many beyond that I might guess.

Col. Bunny said...

Interesting but difficult to know who wrote what. You, David, Auster, Levine?

I though Hersh's tidbit that JFK would pick up whores on 13th Street from his limo defined the man. His articulateness was deceptive but appealing, esp. in the light of Trump's meandering vacuity. But whores?

Ethel Kennedy was said to stiff the local hairdresser in Hyanispatch. Joe comes off as the best in breed just for his analytical abilities. I do think Bobby was courageous and would have made TR look like a slacker but he'd probably have been liberalism on steroids.