"When those liberals start mixing into policy, it's murder."
That quote came from none other than John F. Kennedy in 1962, taken from a source in a Newsweek article, and later discussed with his friend Ben Bradlee, then of Newsweek and later the head of The Washington Post during the Watergate years. It seems, looking back at Watergate and observing the events unfolding at lightning speed in Washington, that Kennedy was correct -- not only about pointy-headed liberals, but about any political crowd that becomes either so dogmatic or so comfortable with power that they begin to feel "too cool for school."
As usual, some reader will disclaim JFK's dislike for liberals during much of his term. But it is a fact, and friends such as Bradlee -- who certainly morphed toward the liberal side of things in his later years -- chronicled the struggle in his diary of conversations with JFK.
Of course, a liberal in 1962 and one today are likely two different animals. But the concept of those who feel their own sense of "manifest destiny" to be that of imposing their better judgment on everyone else remains a problem in 2013.
That brings us to the topic of likely every column to be written in the next few days, the "trifecta" of edited Benghazi talking points, IRS targeting of conservatives and the DOJ's decision to seek the opportunity to have a look at phone calls made to and by Associated Press reporters. Of course, we all know in the world of the media establishment which of these sins is the biggest -- that of snooping on The Associated Press.
But regardless, all three issues highlight the same general problems. As Kennedy noted (he did want to tell one of his liberal White House scholars that the quote had come from his close aide Kenny O'Donnell, but he never denied saying it), those who operate from a left-of-center philosophy generally see the world as one in which the unwashed, uneducated masses must be led toward enlightened policy.
President Obama has not been established as personally culpable in any of the three so-called "scandals" his administration now faces. But he is culpable for allowing his administration to be filled with those who seemingly are emboldened to act for the "better interest" of their cause, regardless of the manner in which the actions are conducted, explained or later defended.