2574Re: Why John Kennedy would have lost in 1964
- Nov 24, 2007"I noticed you conveniently cut my explanation out of your reply, so
here it is again. If you can't refute any of the facts I cite here,
then you are the one who blindly believes something without evidence,
Okay. Let's go over your message and try to find the facts.
"Once in office, his fellow Democrats controlling the House and Senate
were also lukewarm on his agenda. The Kennedy Brain Trust was
prolific at conceiving new programs, but dismal at getting them
enacted into law. The president's personal appeals to Congress fared
no better, whose members recognized many of Kennedy's "new" ideas
labeled part of the "New Frontier" as old policies Harry Truman
championed, and also failed to get approved by Congress."
Fine. The Democratic Congress, largely controlled by the Dixiecrats,
didn't like JFK. What does that have to do with how the American
"Kennedy's legislative successes were almost entirely limited to
extending existing welfare programs established under FDR and Truman.
He did manage to get appropriations for some recreational and
historical restoration projects, though these were chance
opportunities, and never mentioned in the 'New Frontier' proposals he
Again, what does it have to do with how the public saw Kennedy as
"But when it came to getting 'New Frontier' programs through Congress,
they were systematically rejected. The best publicized of these was
Congress' rejection of the Peace Corps, which Kennedy created under an
Executive Order, and was approved by Congress after it was already in
existence. Even without Kennedy's costly new social spending, the
federal budget was rapidly increasing, growing $16.2 Billion in the
final Kennedy budget from Eisenhower's final budget just 2-1/2 years
So it's about his budget priority. And?
"Nearly all of Kennedy's policy proposals failed, and his
administration was crisis-ridden and divisive. Americans were so
split over his domestic and foreign policies that Kennedy was
frequently and harshly criticized."
And I should take what you say as a fact because?
"The first major instance was the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, which
failed because Kennedy failed to provide the U.S. air support he had
promised, and which was necessary for the operation to succeed. He
was blamed and heavily criticized for causing the invasion to fail,
establishing widespread perception he was a weak, indecisive leader
since he had neither called off the attempt or provided the support
necessary for the operation to succeed."
More of your opinion.
"Kennedy's demonizing of steel producers generated widespread
resentment in the business community. When companies led by U.S.
Steel struck wage increase agreements with labor unions to be offset
by higher steel prices, Kennedy was infuriated, and bizarrely accused
the steel producers in a televised press conference of a 'pursuit of
private power and profit.' He then ordered defense contractors not to
business with these companies, eventually forcing the largest steel
manufacturers to rescind their price increases and 'eat' the wage
increases their employees had received. Kennedy created many new
enemies in the process."
Anything objective or at least quantitative that suggests he was
unpopular among the public? I still haven't seen anything thus far.
"In 1962, Kennedy improved his his public popularity by successfully
forcing the withdrawal of Russian nuclear missiles and troops from
Cuba, but by doing so reinforced the public perception that his
administration led the country from crisis to crisis. But this
positive action was undercut by Kennedy's civil rights agenda. In
September, 1962, he stripped the Governors of Mississippi and Alabama
of their command of those states national guards, federalizing what
had been state militias, and sent military troops to protect three
black students attempting to enter the Universities of Mississippi and
Alabama. Kennedy's unpopularity in the Democratic bastion of the
South plummeted to an all-time low."
Source? It's still what you say by now. I mean, I provided the poll
results and you don't like them.
"Kennedy had become publicly perceived as prone to formulating policy
reactively, in the midst of each crisis, rather than setting and
announcing policy in advance and being prepared. As a result,
Republicans were confident they could defeat Kennedy in the election
of 1964; record contributions to the GOP and public opinion reflected
this assessment. Kennedy's campaign staff briefed him in mid-November
1963 on how vulnerable he was, and the voters' unfavorable opinions of
That's what the poll numbers suggest. He was less popular in the deep
"All such questions became moot on November 22, 1963, when President
Kennedy was assassinated, and his presidential legacy in public
opinion underwent a radical change. This is what cast the die for
what is recorded in most historical accounts of John Fitzgerald
Kennedy's short presidency."
This is the end of your message. I tried my best to find a credible
source or citation that suggests he was unpopular among the American
public, but I found none.
- << Previous post in topic