Dan Henninger’s Wonderland column in today’s Wall Street Journal takes up the point I made the other day about the Hatfield-McCoy aspect of baby boomer politics, and how this will inevitably play out in this election, hopefully for the last time? (I note that Andrew Sullivan takes this up in the cover story of the current issue of The Atlantic, but really, can anyone stand to read him any more?)
Sample from Henninger:
It’s hard not to share Sen. Obama’s weariness with these people, even if one is over 50. But is he right to imply that their long fight has lost its point? I don’t think so. . .
What fell out of 1968 was a profound division over what I would call civic vision.
One side, which took to the streets in Chicago or occupied Columbia University, concluded from Vietnam and the race riots that America, in its relations with the world and its own citizens, was flawed and required big changes. Their defining document was the March 1968 Kerner Commission report, announcing "two societies," separate and unequal. The press, incidentally, emerged from Vietnam and the riots joined to this new, permanent template. That, too, has never stopped.
The other side was, well, insulted. It thought America was fundamentally good, though always able to improve. . .
If it’s Hillary versus Rudy, McCain or even the placid Mitt Romney, we will be in those streets again. Besides, her candidacy comes with Jumpin’ Jack Flash himself, Bill Clinton. Would it be a good thing if the country’s politics said bye-bye baby to the children of 1968? Probably. But it won’t happen this time.
As the saying (acronym) goes, RTWT.