Having not lived through the 60s this is something I only sort of understand, but there is a segment of white male "liberal" technocrats of a certain age who thought they were remaking the country into a "liberal" utopia, which may or may not have included women, and all was going swimmingly until dirty hippies and black radicals screwed the whole thing up. That maybe white male liberal technocratic quiet Americans probably fucked the whole thing up by embarking on our grand Vietnam adventure, or that there are any parallels to today, never occurs to them.
Also, angry bloggers.
It's hard to be unfair to Joe Klein, but you may have managed. I don't think the liberal technorats failed to notice the war in Vietnam. The claim that radicals ruined everything is quite widespread among people who didn't go along with the older generation technocrats which screwed everything up. I have a friend who has very harsh things to say about some radicals at Harvard in 1970 and he was arrested occupying university hall in 1970 at Harvard. He hasn't changed his views. I think he'd do it again. But don't get him started on the progressive labor party.
Look it absolutely isn't just liberal technocrats. It is voters by the millions. Do you think that Bush would have won in 2004 if Jane Fonda had stuck to acting ? I don't.
That's a guess. However, the idea that liberal technocrats of Klein's age think that Kennedy and McNamara were just fine and dandy is nonsense. One could be a ruthless critic of the then Democratic party (not just dixiecrats the mainstream) without being one of the idiot radicals who went too far and damaged the left.
Are you going to tell me that Nixon would have won without the violence in Chicago (in which the police were guilty but the protesters might have strategically decided to give Humphrey a chance). Look at the vote totals.
Now you might consider it no big deal that Nixon was elected President, but people who were alive at the time can just tell you to learn some history and grow up or shut up.
Also the word "Negro" is absurd in contrast. The Negroes won the admiration of the US and the world (try to check how many times King used the word). The Blacks who assault people on TV when those people call them "Negro" didn't contribute too much. I am referring to Roy Innis (on the Geraldo show) who somehow gained control of CORE. Do you have no problem with Roy Innis ?
It was long ago, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.
I hasten to add that I don't use the word Negro to refer to Blacks or African Americans.
Look if you don't want to refight the 60s then don't fucking mention them. If you choose to open the debate don't be upset if people who aren't totally fucking ignorant as you are point out that you don't have a fucking clue.
By the way I was 9 on December 31 1969 and if I fucking understand then the smug arrogant ignorant Atrios has no fucking excuse to be such a twit.