February 11, 2012

Did you hear about President JFK and the 19-year-old? They took lots of baths where they played with rubber duckies.

Mimi Alford tells her tale, and she didn't call it rape, even though some of her friends prompted her with that word. She says that even at the point when the President overwhelmed her and took her virginity on Jackie's bed, she felt "the thrill of being desired." After that first encounter he was "attentive.. gentlemanly ... [and sometimes] seductive." Their "sexual relationship was varied and fun, and we spent an inordinate amount of time taking baths together, turning his elegant bathroom into our own mini-spa."
The only discordant note was the yellow rubber ducks, which a friend had sent him. Every time the President saw those ducks, he’d become irresistibly playful.

We named them after his family members, made up stories about them, and often set them racing from one end of the tub to other. It was part of his charm that he was a serious, sophisticated man with extraordinary responsibilities, yet willing to be completely silly.
Sounds like they had a fine time together. She was sleeping over all night when Jackie was out of town:
I was so pleased with myself at being chosen by the President that I didn’t feel self-conscious at all about wearing the same clothes at work two days in a row.

If my office mates noticed, I didn’t care. I felt invulnerable, as if I were cloaked with the President’s power.
What a trip. A power trip. Too bad for those other women (and men) who were not chosen. Did Alford wait until these inconvenient women passed away to preen about her powerful chosen-one status?
It shames me to admit that I don’t recall feeling any guilt. In my 19-year-old mind, I wasn’t invading the Kennedys’ marriage; I was merely occupying the President’s time when his wife was away. If he wasn’t troubled, why should I be? It was hardly by chance that in the 18 months I knew him, I never once met his wife.
Isn't it funny that the "19-year-old mind" came up with exactly the same set of trite justifications that almost every lover of a married man/woman comes up with if they don't want to admit they know it's wrong?
As the summer wore on, I was pulled deeper into his personal orbit. But despite the increasing level of familiarity between us, I never rose above being the obedient partner in our relationship.

Even in our most intimate moments, I called him Mr President. To do otherwise would have seemed inappropriate.
Inappropriate... and way less sexy. And speaking of obedience, there's the dirtiest story, the one where she gives a blow job to Dave Powers, the President’s special assistant after JFK whispers to her "Mr Powers looks a little tense — would you take care of it?"
I don’t think the President thought I’d do it, but I’m ashamed to say that I did.... Perhaps I was carried away by a spirit of playfulness.
Later, she realized it was sordid, and JFK apologized, but nevertheless tried it again, asking her to "take care of my baby brother" — that is, Teddy.

Over at The New Republic, Timothy Noah, absorbing the blow-job incident, calls JFK a "monster."

What do you think?
Noah's right, he was a monster to do those things.
It's complex, and JFK isn't around to tell us what domination and submission games they played.
She was an adult, she consented, and she was callous toward Jackie (and her coworkers).





  
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ADDED: "The rubber swan is mine" is a punchline from Vaughn Meader's "The First Family" album — a big hit comedy record at the time — in a segment in which Meader as JFK explains whose bath toys are whose. (Thanks to Hagar in the comments for the tip.) (I note that "schwanz" is slang for penis, so I wonder if Meader was in on the joke of JFK with his toys in the bath.)

162 comments:

Carol_Herman said...

Another example of an old broad, hooking her star to JFK, claims she has intimate information.

Monica didn't have to write a book to let us know how Bill Clinton's penis bends when it is erect.

Most people shrugged off Bill Clinton's blow job.

Of course, there are always prudes who intervene in every which way possible, to try to pass laws that interfere with other people's pleasures. They are called KILL JOYS.

Bob Ellison said...

I don't understand Noah's position. It seems to be "we all knew JFK did a few bad things, but it wasn't a big deal...but this asking her to give the other guy a blow job, that's monstrous!" Is there a clear dividing line between acceptable behavior and monstrous behavior?

It reminds me of the Clinton impeachment. So many people professed to think Clinton's behavior was just normal stuff; nothing to judge the man harshly on. I didn't understand that either.

YoungHegelian said...

The Kennedy men sexual "monsters"?

STOP.THE.PRESSES!

Talk about old news......

shiloh said...

Somehow I knew Althouse would get to the rubber duckies eventually lol.

Inquiring conservative minds ...

Barbara said...

One of the strengths that Kennedy had over Nixon was that Kennedy's people kept his secrets. Nobody who saw the Powers blow job blabbed about it.

One reason they now have such different reputations.

Lyssa said...

"Monster" might be a little bit over the top, but, otherwise, I agreed with all 3 options in the poll.

Also, my experience is that this sort of disrespect and de-personification towards womem is very often the true character of so-called "liberal" and also "intellectual" males. The fact that my sex is so prone to fall for it is shameful.

Jay said...

Mr Powers looks a little tense — would you take care of it?"

How classy.

Sort of like: You better put some ice on that

Or maybe:

Feb. 4: Clinton telephoned Lewinsky at her desk, and they planned a rendezvous. After a sexual encounter, they talked in the Oval Office for 45 minutes, their first substantive conversation.

But remember, they do it for the women!

madAsHell said...

She goes from a 19-year-old virgin to a sausage smokin' whore in less than 18 months??

I'm not buyin' it.

She was selected as an intern because she had a reputation before she arrived at the White House.

John Stodder said...

I don't understand Noah's position

I imagine it's just the accumulation of sordidness has finally reached a tipping for him. Some wrote him off at the first revelations of extramarital affairs 30 years ago. Others started to lose it upon learning about his medical condition and drug abuse. Then more revelations, like the story about him losing track of his staffer with the football while in pursuit of a girl. Then, for some, it was the sheer numbers of them -- how did he get anything done?

I don't know if I'll ever get there. I think he was a good president, partly because he did so many stupid things at the outset of his administration, but seemed to learn from them and become wiser. But you have to think perhaps the #1 suspect in his murder if it wasn't Oswald might have been JFK himself, using a bullet to preserve a legacy that almost surely would have been ruined by scandal.

write_effort said...

Chris Matthews did a show on this. He was pretty impressed that JFK managed all this and still had a "full" marriage with a "happy" Jackie. The other JFK biographer on the show responded, "She wasn't happy." Matthews blew him off and the show ended.

The Drill SGT said...

Mimi Alford tells her tale, and she didn't call it rape, even though some of her friends prompted her with that word. She says that even at the point when the President overwhelmed her and took her virginity on Jackie's bed, she felt "the thrill of being desired."

If it were at a college campus today or in a CDC poll, it would be called rape...

Civil Sense said...

She certainly was an adult, so I cannot call Kennedy a "monster". That said, his behavior was extremely inappropriate. It's one thing for someone to have an affair, it's another to pawn your mistriss onto your friends for their sexual gratification.

Had the men been of similar ages with her at the time, it could be seen as (mostly) harmless college fun. However, with mature adults, they certainly were wrong to take advantage of that girl (regardless of her desire for them to take advantage of her).

The Drill SGT said...

John Stodder said...I don't know if I'll ever get there. I think he was a good president, partly because he did so many stupid things at the outset of his administration, but seemed to learn from them and become wiser.

unlike the current POTUS, he gave a great speach and seemed to learn...

Ann Althouse said...

"Sort of like: You better put some ice on that."

No, it isn't. She could have just laughed. Nothing happened, other than sexy talk, until she decided to act out the suggested scene. She took it as a dare and chose to be daring. That's there in her own words.

Sorun said...

Another example of an old broad, hooking her star to JFK, claims she has intimate information.

No it isn't. She was originally outed by others, after keeping quiet about it herself for decades.

Chip S. said...

Stockholm syndrome.

Ann Althouse said...

" It's one thing for someone to have an affair, it's another to pawn your mistriss onto your friends for their sexual gratification."

So let's denounce every man/woman who ever thought of the idea of a threesome. Is that what you want to do? Sorry, I can't get worked up over that. The man was just an adulterer, another man who used his status for seduction, and the woman chose to accept what he offered and didn't even feel moral qualms.

Jay said...

She could have just laughed.

That, doesn't square with:

I never rose above being the obedient partner in our relationship.

Even in our most intimate moments, I called him Mr President.


And you can clearly see why...

Meade said...

“There is nobody in this country who got sex on their own. Nobody. You got elected president out there - good for you. But I want to be clear. You floated your rubber ducks in bathtubs the rest of us paid for. You hired interns the rest of us paid to indoctrinate. You were safe in a swimming pool that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that Jackie would return home suddenly, and ruin everything... Now look. You built Camelot and it turned into something terrific. Great idea - God bless! Be a hunk in it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a few of those Cuban cigars and leave them in the Oval Office for the next kid who comes along.”

Jay said...

Ann,

what JFK did was sexual harassment as defined in 2012.

Ann Althouse said...

If you want to feel sorry for someone, feel sorry for the women -- presumably there are millions of them every day of the week -- who have sex with men because of their power when those men are just guys with pretty decent jobs/cars/clothes and the ability to buy dinner.

ic said...

"I never rose above being the obedient partner ..."

Partner? The "Pretty Woman" is a partner? This one didn't even get paid.

Chuck66 said...

Liberal icon JFK raped a 19 year old staffer (and virgin....which really excited him) on her 4th day on the job.

Any questions?

write_effort said...

How many 19-year-olds would have fought off the POTUS?! I think about my own daughter in such a situation. She's a straight arrow type, but in that time and place and probably even today, being a "good" girl might have translated into going along with the President. It was rape and he used his position to accomplish it.

Ann Althouse said...

"what JFK did was sexual harassment as defined in 2012."

You're saying that like I don't know it. Why?

Bob Ellison said...

Wow, Professor. That sounds so dramatic-feminist.

The Drill SGT said...

Althouse said...Nothing happened, other than sexy talk, until she decided to act out the suggested scene. She took it as a dare and chose to be daring. That's there in her own words.


I'm with Jay, I thought you Feminists made a huge deal out of "relative power" creating "sexual oppression" and "Lack of consent"

I can't imagine much greater relative power than POTUS and 19 y/o virgin/intern.

Bob Ellison said...

(the "if you want to feel sorry" comment, that is)

Kevin said...

Then, for some, it was the sheer numbers of them -- how did he get anything done?

Kennedy didn't get much done as President - other than sending combat troops into Vietnam and nearly getting us into a nuclear war, due to his ineptitude negotiating with Khrushchev in Vienna.

donald said...

These dudes were doing their thing with unpaid interns.

That's what it's all about, and every single fanatic that ever got satisfaction out of ruining somebody else's life over slanderous allegations need to force powerful enemy against these animals. Otherwise, your lives are a fraud.

Suck it. So they say.

edutcher said...

His father's son, so what did you expect?

And then there's, "She says that even at the point when the President overwhelmed her and took her virginity on Jackie's bed, she felt "the thrill of being desired." After that first encounter he was "attentive.. gentlemanly ... [and sometimes] seductive."

Tell me I'm wrong, but I thought we fought a war from 1770 - 1783 so american women wouldn't have to be subject to the droit de seigneur.

And 19 was still considered by most to be a minor back in them thar days.

PS I picked 1, largely because there was no option calling him a creep and a slob.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

They took lots of baths where they played with rubber duckies.

It always comes back to Sesame Street

Saint Croix said...

Can I vote for #1 and #3? He's a monster and she consented.

So let's denounce every man/woman who ever thought of the idea of a threesome. Is that what you want to do?

I prefer to denounce the baby-killing that goes along with that.

Jay said...

Ann,

I'm not saying like you don't know it.

I'm pointing out that you caging her response to her being directed to give Powers a blow job as "She took it as a dare and chose to be daring is a bit too dismissive.

I am not trying to create a lot of sympathy for this woman regarding events that happened over 50 years ago, but rather point out that JFK was really no different than Teddy when it came to using women as sexual toys in a pretty piggish way.

Ann Althouse said...

"Liberal icon JFK raped a 19 year old staffer (and virgin....which really excited him) on her 4th day on the job. Any questions?"

Yes: Define rape.

Ann Althouse said...

Hint: It's not bad sex.

Jay said...

By the way, the fact that a man in his late 40's was calling a college girl at her dorm under an assumed name while acting as President is beyond bizarre...

Sorun said...

It was rape and he used his position to accomplish it.

I saw a lot of these "it was rape" comments in other articles. It wasn't rape. She obviously doesn't think so. Do you know better than her whether she was raped?

Chuck66 said...

Interesting points of view. I see what AA is saying....the lady seemed to like the attention.

So lets say this.....she is just an ordinary 19 year old. She has a married boss who is 45 years old. They are on a business trip. he calls her into his hotel room to discuss the next days agenda. When she gets there, he immediatly feels her up, rips open her shirt, tears off her underwear and bangs her silly on his bed.

Is it rape, consentual, or as the man from Texas said years ago "she should just sit back and enjoy it".

Sorun said...

What should be make the new age of consent? 40?

Jay said...

Interesting he tried to get her to take care of Teddy (he was tense too) and she declined.

Ha!

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm pointing out that you caging her response to her being directed to give Powers a blow job as "She took it as a dare and chose to be daring is a bit too dismissive."

Look at her words. She's the only witness we're hearing from. President Kennedy was -- as they say -- unavailable for comment.

In her version, the President asks a question: ""Mr Powers looks a little tense — would you take care of it?"

If she took it as a "dare" -- not a directive or a mere question -- it was because she was making independent calculations: The way to maintain my access to this man and continue this sexual adventure is to show that I'm game.

Bob Ellison said...

It sure doesn't sound like rape, and I agree that that term shouldn't be thrown around so easily. Like "racism", it belittles the concept.

Speculation: someone on this blog (not naming any names here) has been grading papers today.

Chuck66 said...

Jay, that is why Teddy had to go to South American and spend $200,000 on whores.

Hey. There is probably a joke there about Teddy wanting to take her for a car ride across a causeway.

AprilApple said...

"There is nobody in this country who got sex on their own. Nobody."

-Elizabeth Warren

sydney said...

She also says he never kissed her. She may not have felt guilty about the affair, but do you suppose in all these long years she has ever realized she was nothing but a vagina to him?

Ann Althouse said...

The word "dare" is her word (not quoted in the blog post). She said, hearing the question: "I knew exactly what that meant: it was a dare to give Dave Powers oral sex. I don’t think the President thought I’d do it, but I’m ashamed to say that I did. It was a pathetic, sordid scene, and I can hardly bear to think about it. Dave was jolly and obedient as I stood in the shallow end of the pool and performed my duties. The President silently watched."

Hagar said...

The rubber duckys were known and a subject for a skit in the famous Kennedy impersonation record by Vaughn Meader, so I think some ones were talking.

Also, I seen several references to Dave Powers having sex with an "intern" at a pool party with the President, Peter Lawford, and other notables present. This may just be a more graphic description of what actually happened.

Also that Jackie O. knew and always was careful to send word ahead when she was coming to the White House so that they could clear her path, which was not always successful.

Roman said...

In the early 90's, there were some Army Basic Training Instructors who were convicted and and sentenced to reduction in grade, and hard labor. They had consensual sex with recruits. It was said that because of their position of authority, the recruits could not consent properly. I believe the same standard should apply to the President and a college age intern. The President, as long as there is a D after his name seems to be immune, if not protected by the dinosaur media.

DADvocate said...

"the thrill of being desired."

I've read several places recently that women want to be irresistibly desirable. When ever I read something like this, I remind myself of the irresistible part and it all makes sense. "I must be really hot, etc. Pres. Kennedy/Clinton can't resist me." Maybe that's why Carter didn't get re-elected. He could resist.

Saint Croix said...

Good luck with your rape prosecution while your victim is saying, "It was fun! I liked it!"

Women are turned on by men with power. That's not rape, you beta males. It's called hot sex.

You can see the immorality in his actions without making bullshit felony accusations. God I am sick of feminism.

Patrick said...

They named the rubber duckies after JFK's family members? Oh for crying out loud.

kcom said...

Maybe we need a poll for Teddy, too.

I'll pre-vote that he was a pig and a monster.

Mary Jo Kopechne is, of course, unavailable to register her vote. The toxic sludge of hypocrisy surronding the Kennedy family and the Democrats for looking the other way on that incident has still not dissipated. Let's get feminists to explain that one before we worry about anything else.

Sorun said...

Roman, those drill instructors likely broke an explicit rule. There is no current law preventing the President from screwing college-age interns. Only lying about it under-oath is illegal.

YoungHegelian said...

@Roman,

Back in the Kennedy days, the press covered for both D & R.

No one ever discussed Eisenhower's affair doing the war in the press, even if the troops knew all about it. The press covered for GHW Bush, too.

That is, unless you got caught doing something public & stupid, like driving into the tidal basin with a stripper in your car.

Nowadays, you're absolutely right, as the sordid episode with John Edwards shows.

Jim S. said...

Your options on the poll aren't mutually exclusive. I want to vote yes on the first and third options.

Chuck66 said...

I totally understand AA's (and others) point...that at the time she seemed to enjoy the attention and wasn't a total victim. It was kind of fun. Now, years later, she sees that she was just a seamen receptical for Kennedy.

By 21st century standards, she was very much a victim of assualt and sexual harrassment.

The only other alternative for here then would be to do what Juanita Broaddrick did after Bill Clinton raped her.....just go home and shot the curtains. In 1961, I doubt going public with this was an option.

Unlike today, I don't think Eisenhower-Goldwater Republicans would have really had the taste to pursue this.

Chuck66 said...

Sorun, I think today you would have to disclose it to HR.

"Yes, I am banging the 19 year old employee."

David said...

write_effort said...
How many 19-year-olds would have fought off the POTUS?! I think about my own daughter in such a situation. She's a straight arrow type, but in that time and place and probably even today, being a "good" girl might have translated into going along with the President. It was rape and he used his position to accomplish it.


Then you have raised a spineless fool.

JAL said...

All of the above?

write_effort said...

kcom, I'm with you on the Ted Kennedy issue. He should have left public life. As a whole, the Kennedy's double standard on just about every issue is appalling. And a significant portion of the Dems followed along.

Amexpat said...

I don't doubt she had an affair with JFK, but I do doubt the veracity of the details since she's revealing this to sell a book and not to set the record straight.

William said...

There's the concept of transference. People, especially younger people, transfer their feelings about their parents onto the authority figures in their life. And well brought up, well adjusted young people respect the authority figures in their life even more and are more eager to be obedient...... These are strong feelings and for just that reason we ask some authority figures--teachers, ministers, therapists, etc-- to refrain from sex with those who are subject to the ministrations of their office. I think one could say that the paternalistic quality of President/intern surpasses that of therapist/patient and for sheer sacrilege exceeds that of minister/parishioner.....I don't think this woman is culpable. Kennedy played with her feelings of respect for his office in order to get laid. She didn't submit because she was a tramp but because she was raised to be repectful of her elders......This affair cast a long shadow on her life. She confided the secret to her husband. He said that he wanted her to never mention it again. She claims that her marriage was remote and unsuccessful. Guess why?....When I saw the interview, the confusion, anger, and love she directed towards Kennedy reminded me of an incest victim describing her feelings about her father.....Kennedy acted very, very badly. She was a teen-age hors de combat of Kennedy's sex drive. It is compounding the offense to hold her in any way responsible.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

From the book: On one visit, Kennedy was embroiled in one of the most defining moments of his presidency, the Cuban Missile Crisis. For 13 days in October 1962, the United States and the Soviets were at a nuclear standoff.
Although historians have dissected Kennedy’s actions, none was privy to what he confided to Mimi.
“I’d rather my children red than dead,” he told her."

Link

This from the story of the intern seduced by JFK. How about all of our generation that went to VN? We were terribly used. I can remember waking up at about 2 AM the night of Kennedy's election and hearing Nixon, on the radio, optimistic about returns, and he did probably win except for fraud in Chicago.

JAL said...

I am not going to read the book.

When did she tell her husband -- the one she married but JFK reputedly (this is all reputedly, but not surprising) didn't give a crap about, as he intended to keep playing with her and the rubber duckies when he got back from Dallas and post marriage ...?

write_effort said...

I'm curious. Was this intern Catholic? Kennedy was a god to Catholics, for obvious and understandable reasons.

Chuck66 said...

Ted Kennedy is a typical example of liberal vs conservative spending.

Ted always called for higher taxes to fund Big Gov't programs. yet he spent millions on partying (including buy whores). Money that a conservative would have given to charitable causes instead.

David said...

My next door neighbor, an attractive girl, lived near the Kennedys in Cape Cod during the summer. She was not in their league financially but she had the requisite good looks and youth.

When JFK first surfaced as a presidential candidate, she told me the stories about the Kennedy sexual goings on that were circulating, and said that she had been propositioned by one of them before her 18th birthday.

This stuff was well known by lots of people even before JFK ran for President.

I bet even Walter Cronkite knew, that paragon.

It's worse now though. Now the press is ignoring the financial destruction of the country.

Chuck66 said...

Ted Kennedy is a typical example of liberal vs conservative spending.

Ted always called for higher taxes to fund Big Gov't programs. yet he spent millions on partying (including buy whores). Money that a conservative would have given to charitable causes instead.

Sorun said...

I wonder what JFK really thought about his family members.

"Oh look, Mimi, here's Teddy-duck. Teddy-duck is tubby little perv, aren't you Teddy-duck. Quack quack"

YoungHegelian said...

@Veterans,

Was his tryst with this intern during the Cuban Missile Crisis any worse than the stories that he took over the Casino Royale adult theater at 14 & H NW for private showings and then had his staff deliver situation reports to him in the theater?

I think that this episode alone made the Casino Royale an historic building, but they demolished anyway.

edutcher said...

Hagar said...

The rubber duckys were known and a subject for a skit in the famous Kennedy impersonation record by Vaughn Meader, so I think some ones were talking.

The rubber ducky was right alongside the PT boats in the skit.

In those days, everybody had a rubber duckie.

Carol_Herman said...

Another example of an old broad, hooking her star to JFK, claims she has intimate information.

Monica didn't have to write a book to let us know how Bill Clinton's penis bends when it is erect.

Most people shrugged off Bill Clinton's blow job.


No, dear, it was perjury.

YoungHegelian said...

Back in the Kennedy days, the press covered for both D & R.

Bo, they might cover for POTUS, if they liked him, but, if Nixon had done something like that, had he been elected, they would have crucified him.

No one ever discussed Eisenhower's affair doing the war in the press, even if the troops knew all about it. The press covered for GHW Bush, too.

There were rumors about Ike among the brass, but it wasn't something "the troops" knew. When Harry Truman, at his spiteful best, told Merle Miller, it was the first most people ever heard of it.

As for Bush 41, what's-her-face was a slime op by the Ozark Mafia.

shiloh said...

The one thing that stood out for me was the small details as if she must have kept a diary or maybe she had a photographic memory. And no, I'm not sayin' she's lying but everybody embellishes, even conservatives ie Rubio etc.

And shocking Althouse is making more than her usual 1 or 2 or zero comments in this thread. :D

Sex, religion and politics rolled up in a taco! :)

rcocean said...

JFK's private life needs to be exposed because he was a hypocrite. Pushing "family values" in public while being a naughty boy in private.

Kinda like Newt.

Seriously, its odd people can't express disapproval without becoming hysterical. "Rape", "Sexual harassment" "A Monster". Good grief, give me a break.

And stop acting as if women are little kids and not responsible for their actions, while at the same time demanding full equality.

Chuck66 said...

While Clinton was on the phone to Republican Senator, trying to get support for sending American troops into...was it Bosnia? That was when Monico was servicing him.

There is so much wrong with that.

write_effort said...

I think the issue is age, not gender. My opinion would be the same if it were a boy and he turned out to like gay sex.

Chuck66 said...

write-e....that's what it is. Yes, a 19 year old is an adult, but a 19 year old vs a 45 year married CEO. And it didn't develop through a relationship. He banged her silly on her 4th day at work.

YoungHegelian said...

@edutcher,

There were rumors about Ike among the brass, but it wasn't something "the troops" knew. When Harry Truman, at his spiteful best, told Merle Miller, it was the first most people ever heard of it.

As for Bush 41, what's-her-face was a slime op by the Ozark Mafia.


Gotta disagree with you again here, buddy.

I remember seeing a documentary on D-Day where they showed a cartoon that circulated among the troops that had Kay Sommersby's head working under an open car hood, and she says "Screwdriver?" and Ike says from the back seat "Sure! Why not."

As for Bush I, we've had this discussion in this forum before, and the links are everywhere to google. There was a lot more to it than just the Clintons. But last time this was discussed, the standard of proof seemed to be a photo of Bush Prime going at it doggie-style with said female, so I'll pass on the discussion this time.

Jon Burack said...

I don't know, maybe this isn't on point, but it's how I feel about all this. Kennedy was a pig with regard to women, but frankly it is old news. What bothers me more is that he was a reckless mediocrity as president, who somehow has managed to garner the likes of fools such as Chris Mathews. It is truly ironic, since his policies, to the degree he had any at all, where much closer to McCain or Romney than to Obama or Clinton. He cut taxes. He was obsessed with seeming tough with the Russians. He did not save our butts over the Cuban missile crisis, one of the most overblown non-crises in history (in which an old-fashioned deal was struck that Khrushchev actually came out ahead on) and he got us into Vietnam too far for us to get out. Meanwhile, he temporized about civil rights at a point where it cried out for the brave leadership that LBJ, for all his many flaws, was able to provide. He does not deserve as much space as I have devoted to him already. So I will stop.

David R. Graham said...

"leave them in the Oval Office for the next kid who comes along"

Isn't it on record that he loathed the next kid who came along.

Americans are such puritans, which is to say such dichotomies between their words and their deeds. A "link up culture" that shakes its head and points it's finger over gallantries and dalliances. And holds sexual harassment witch hunts at Yale during Sex Week at Yale, neither one supported by human kindness.

OK.

This anti-human juggernaught descending on humanity is puritanical in nature. Clean skies, eliminate humans. Clean lands, rope out humans. Clean water, deny for human use. Keep it clean, get rid of the humans.

That's Puritanism. Makes as much sense and has as much chance of success as tisk-tisking a young temptress and an mature philanderer. She had fun. He had fun. They had fun together. They enjoyed each other's company and intimacy. What's to condemn? Such love as they shared?

Was it Mencken who defined Puritanism as the horrible suspicion that someone, somewhere is enjoying their life?

Rob said...

For pure chutzpah, you had to see Barbara Walters attacking Alford on "The View" for writing about her affair with JFK. Walters had an affair with the married Senator Ed Brooke (at a time Walters was a lot older than 19, btw) and wrote about it in her own memoir. But Alford writing about her affair was somehow wrong? As Walters herself might say, that's widicuwous.

Hagar said...

The Kennedys also made a point of trying to score with their brothers' girl friends. How sick is that?

But that is how Judith Campbell got roped in with them.

Sorun said...

"Americans are such..."

Zzzzzz

rhhardin said...

Jackie was no fun in the tub.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harold said...

Left out d. Both A and C

rcocean said...

Barbara Walters is just jealous. Who wants to hear about her having sex with anyone?

Mick said...

Another D President philanderer.... and murderer Lyndon Johnson. Mind blowing. This old broad got around. At the end she describes the fateful day in 1963, and how Johnson was afraid of an indictment for kickbacks on agricultural subsidies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POmdd6HQsus

Rusty said...

So bottom line is the Kennedy family has more in common with Appalachia than Bar Harbor.

Darrell said...

No one ever discussed Eisenhower's affair doing the war in the press, even if the troops knew all about it.

Because it never happened. The Brits had a secret detail on him 24/7/365 that even he didn't know about and their reports have no record of any such thing [and it would have been recorded because of security concerns and ammunition for blackmail and propaganda.] His American security detail always maintained that it never happened, too. The only person who ever said it did was Kay Summersby. But not in her 1948 bio that was published. She didn't mention it until the 1970s.

edutcher said...

YoungHegelian said...

There were rumors about Ike among the brass, but it wasn't something "the troops" knew. When Harry Truman, at his spiteful best, told Merle Miller, it was the first most people ever heard of it.

As for Bush 41, what's-her-face was a slime op by the Ozark Mafia.


Gotta disagree with you again here, buddy.

I remember seeing a documentary on D-Day where they showed a cartoon that circulated among the troops that had Kay Sommersby's head working under an open car hood, and she says "Screwdriver?" and Ike says from the back seat "Sure! Why not."


One of those Sex in WWII things?

Right. Most of those strike me as some guy trying to remember how he wished it had been*.

When the Truman bio came out (mid 70s), it was news to the WWII generation.

As for 41 (again), all I see are allegations on the usual Lefty sites (Kos, DU, Salon, etc.) augmented by a couple of Bush haters on the Right.

When you have a real news item, let me know.

* If you've ever seen a Kay Summersby interview, she strikes one as someone who's going to say whatever the interviewer wants to hear IMHO, so, since Mamie and Ike (by no means my favorite post-war POTUS or WWII general) can't give their side, I just wonder how much did go on.

Rabel said...

"Define rape"

Here's a quote you left out:

"Could I have done anything to resist President Kennedy? I doubt it: once we were alone in his wife’s bedroom, he’d manoeuvered me so swiftly and unexpectedly, and with such authority and strength, that, short of screaming, I don’t think anything would have thwarted his intentions."

So I quess it's not rape unless the non-rapee fights back. Good to have that marker laid down.

Of course it is a "she said-he's dead" situation.

John Stodder said...

What bothers me more is that he was a reckless mediocrity as president, who somehow has managed to garner the likes of fools such as Chris Mathews.

Off-topic, but reading this sentence, was I the only one to stop for a half-second to wonder whether the writer meant "likes" in the Facebook sense of the word?

I know he didn't, but if my son read that sentence, he would assume he meant that JFK somehow got a lot of "likes." including from that fool Chris Mathews.

Unknown said...

This is just normal people having normal sex. With all its peculiarities. If we think Gay is genetically driven we shouldn't be shocked that a POTUS and a married POTUS at this has an affair with a young woman. In parts of the world this would be normal. In a country driven by a foundation in Puritanism it's SCARlet letter time.

Sorun said...

So I quess it's not rape unless the non-rapee fights back. Good to have that marker laid down.

Can we at least expect that she should have to say "no" or "stop" or something? Anything?

William said...

I think alpha males who wish to leverage power for nookie should become executives in the entertainment or modelling industries. There's just too many cross currents when they go into politics. It debases the whole concept of nookie. In addition, the alphas in such fields score with far better looking women.

John Stodder said...

JFK was a very practiced seducer/rapist. He had her clothes off and his before she really knew what was happening. Especially her, a virgin.

Yeah, she could have screamed. But it would have just made him work faster. Apparently, as it was, JFK was a pretty fast fuck.

It's very sordid, but only adds about 0.05 percent to what we already knew about him.

Freeman Hunt said...

It seems Kennedy greatly enjoyed corrupting a young, inexperienced girl. That makes him a detestable lowlife.

The girl seems to have had a stunted sense of ethics at nineteen. That makes her inextrordinary. She also had an older, extremely powerful person leading her down a bad path.

Freeman Hunt said...

Someone who lived through it, how was it that the Kennedy family came to be beloved and seen as glamourous?

Rick Lee said...

There's one thing about the Clinton/Lewinsky affair that everybody has forgotten. When the word first leaked out, everybody on the left (I specifically recall Molly Ivins saying this) said "well, IF the allegations were true, it would be very serious indeed... the president taking advantage of an intern!... sexual harassment of the first order... but he says it's not true and I believe him". After it became apparent that it WAS true after all, the story changed dramatically. All of a sudden it wasn't about a man taking advantage of a lopsided power arrangement... suddenly it was just 2 consenting adults doing something in private.

Joe Schmoe said...

Re: Ike having an affair, like Darrell, I also have not seen any hard evidence. The most detailed account of Ike that I've read was the Ambrose biography, and Ambrose concluded that there was no proof of an affair. (and yes I'm aware that Ambrose exaggerated or lied about his interactions with Ike, thus raising alarms about the veracity of the bio, but over time I think the book has held up. If Ambrose exaggerated then I suspect he'd lean more towards exposing a juicy affair than having to conclude that if it did happen, they did a darn good job keeping it a secret.)

MayBee said...

This story gives us another reason to pause and reflect on why we never learn that politicians are manipulating us with their families.


Think of how silly this week was, with Mimi on the night time news shows telling us about how JFK cheated on his lovely wife when she was out traveling, while Michelle Obama - the new Jackie!- traveled to the late night talk shows telling us about how we can better live our lives.

deborah said...

Or she needed a different sub commander.

RichardS said...

Is it his based on memory or notes from then? My understanding of memory is that it often softens things that happened to us, in order to help us move on. (Perhaps it cuts the other way sometimes, too)

edutcher said...

FWIW, for some reason Give 'Em Hell Harry wanted to take the great generals of WWII down a peg.

He said nothing about Marshall, but he told a completely false story in the Miller bio (where he mentioned Kay Summersby) about Douglas MacArthur's first meeting with Jonathan Wainwright in Tokyo.

According to HST, MacArthur brusquely dismissed him saying, "General, I told you I would see you at 3 o'clock and I will see you at that time".

Carl Mydans, a LIFE photographer who was there said that MacArthur was so overcome with emotion, he bolted up out of his chair and rushed across the room to his former subordinate (who, after 3 years in Manchuria, was a shadow of his former self) and, when Wainwright mumbled something about being sorry for muffing his assignment, MacArthur put his arm around Wainwright and said, "Jim, your old corps is yours any time you want it".

Make of that what you will.

Freeman Hunt said...

Someone who lived through it, how was it that the Kennedy family came to be beloved and seen as glamourous?

I was 12 when he was elected and they were packaged and sold to us by the news, advertising, and entertainment media like soap flakes (just the way Old Joe wanted Jack to be marketed for the election). Some saw through it, but the drumbeat of Kennedy propaganda snowed a lot of people.

Also remember this was the first Catholic elected POTUS and a lot of Catholics had a picture of Jack next to the Blessed Mother or the Holy Family. One of "us" had made it.

For the Irish, who had to go through about 80 years of discrimination and bigotry (to the point some social critics during the Civil War era thought blacks were better off), this was especially felt.

Fen said...

we shouldn't be shocked that a POTUS and a married POTUS at this has an affair with a young woman. In parts of the world this would be normal. In a country driven by a foundation in Puritanism it's SCARlet letter time.

Sex with a subordinate employee. Its not Puritanism, its Feminism 101.

Henry said...

Your poll needs an "all of the above" option. Even a monster may be complicated and a victim can be callous.

Henry said...

Freeman Hunt wrote: The girl seems to have had a stunted sense of ethics at nineteen. That makes her inextrordinary.

Nicely put.

John Stodder said...

Someone who lived through it, how was it that the Kennedy family came to be beloved and seen as glamourous?

I was just a little kid, but my mother worked for him and was obviously smitten with him.

So part of it was his raw sex appeal to women.

Part of it was that he was articulate, witty and ironic. He wore his troubles, some of which the public knew about, lightly. In that, he was an embodiment of the post-WWII man, particularly veterans, who had seen the worst that life has to offer, but buried their wounds and traumas behind a smile, ambition, irony, cigarettes and booze. (See: Frank Sinatra. "Mad Men.")

Part of it was Jackie. No one knew about his philandering, they just thought he had an amazing, very cultivated wife who combined shyness with sexuality.

Part of it was their kids, which they used shamelessly, and the whole big Kennedy clan.

Part of it was his politics. He was "Stevenson with balls." Liberalish, but not really a "bleeding heart." A tough Cold-Warrior, and a true centrist economically. JFK would hardly have recognized what Teddy K. turned the Kennedy myth into. He was clearly to the right of FDR and Truman, his two Democratic predecessors, and in some ways he ran to the right of Richard Nixon.

And finally, a big part of it was his martyrdom. A famous journo of the time wrote an article in 1964 called "Kennedy Without Tears," but it was hardly an apt title for more hagiography, the kind of hero-worship we hadn't seen until 2008. We really aren't fully able to see him clearly even yet, so long as people my age and older are still around and still remember the mind-blowing impact of his assassination.

EDH said...

The amyl nitrate incident surprised and made me wonder about...

Maybe Kennedy wasn't this much of a creep all that much (though Alford also tells of him once forcing her to take an amyl nitrite "popper" in Bing Crosby's living room).

...that Bing Crosby - David Bowie duet, I mean.

rhhardin said...

It's feminist dogma vs. rubber duckies.

Peter said...

All those women JFK nailed had one thing in common: they actually looked like adult women.

God damn it.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Young Hegelian had it right.
The press, which loves to bleat about the "peoples right to know", covers up unethical and illegal behavior all the time. Why? Remember CNN's excuse for covering up for Saddam? It's all about money, power, and influence.

wv: koksch - but I couldn't think of a way to blame the Koksch for JFK's actions, so sorry...

The Crack Emcee said...

Reading the comments here sometimes, and understanding it as Ann's "ethics-free zone," I seriously don't think the country stands much chance for survival considering the brilliance on display:

You people are seriously confused,...

JAL said...

@ David R Graham -- It's Utopianism, not Puritanism.

Fen said...

Hey Crack!

Could you be more specific?

William said...

I'm Irish-Catholic, and you cannot overstate the pride and love we took in JFK and, later, his brother Bobby. There was something intimate and tribal about it. It was like the Obama moment squared. I really believed that the Kennedys were who they claimed to be. Why not? Everything you ever read about them was laudatory, and, at any rate, the good looks and charm were for real......Some guys like Chris Matthews continue to make excuses for them. "Great heroes sometimes have great flaws." Yeah, right..... It's so much easier to find a reason to believe than to admit that not only are you a dupe, but all your people are dupes as well. Chris probably has the right idea. I feel betrayal, distrust, and cynicism. It so much better to keep the faith.

Sorun said...

Hypothetical: America's first female president invites a 19 year-old male intern into the living quarters and becomes sexually aggressive with him. The intern doesn't resist the advances and they have sex.

Rape?

What if the woman is 35? What if she's 70? What if he's 25? What if he's 60?

The Crack Emcee said...

Fen,

Hey Crack!

Could you be more specific?


Nope - getting tired of being the guy who spells it all out for you. Hell, we're all adults, all live in the same country, all went to the same schools - we know right from wrong - sort it out for yourselves.

If that's even possible in a feminist's "ethics-free zone."

I will say this to Carol Herman:

There are always prudes who intervene in every which way possible, to try to pass laws that interfere with other people's pleasures. They are called KILL JOYS.

I, too, am against the passing of new laws, because the ones we have on the books seem up to the job (it's the "ethics-free" folks who aren't up to enforcing them) but calling people "KILLJOYS" for wanting things to actually straighten out is pretty lame.

I get it - I really do - evil is fun. Betraying those closest to you can be a thrill. You're a rebel. Whoopie - who ain't?

I think one advantage I have is - while I see the world as it is - I can also consider the alternative (there is an alternative,...)

Petunia said...

Mimi must need some money.

I find it very interesting that she quit JFK when she was getting married, because, you know, she was getting married. Never mind that HE was married the entire time she was doing him.

30yearProf said...

A handsome, personable adulterer is still just a cheat.

Presidents shouldn't be cheats. It's dishonorable.

It soils the man whoever he is.

MayBee said...

Great post, John Stodder.

Ann Althouse said...

"JFK was a very practiced seducer/rapist. He had her clothes off and his before she really knew what was happening. Especially her, a virgin."

Not so at all, unless you are stupid, which she was not. When you are a virgin — or just not the sort of woman who has sex for lightweight reasons — you're alert about men cornering you somewhere and you deflect the attention before there is even any touching. This is instinctive in a woman inclined to chastity. No one can get your clothes off before you know what's happening. An effort to get your clothes off puts you on high-emergency alert. You wouldn't let a single button be undone.

I'm not saying the man wasn't a lout. I saying the woman is an autonomous individual and not a baby.

ricpic said...

As to Mimie Alford's trite (to use Althouse's term) rationalizations for committing adultery: let he who is without sin cast the first stone. You want what you want when you're young and the hormones are raging. Morality? You can barely hear its distant muted french horn notes.


edutcher said...

...I thought we fought a war from 1770 - 1783 so american women wouldn't have to be subject to the droit de seigneur.

Uh...she wanted to be bedded by the great
man.

rhhardin said...

[L]et he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Him.

The Crack Emcee said...

ricpic,

As to Mimie Alford's trite (to use Althouse's term) rationalizations for committing adultery: let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

This quote from Christopher Hitchens is so cool, because it encompasses so many of my bugaboos, but is especially apt here:

Fine, now that I know that, to you, medical ethics are nothing, you've told me all I need to know. I'm not trying to persuade you. Do you think I care whether you agree with me? No. I'm telling you why I disagree with you. That I do care about. I have no further interest in any of your opinions. There's nothing you wouldn't make an excuse for. You know what? I wouldn't want you on my side. I was telling you why I knew that Howard Dean was a psycho and a fraud, and you say 'That's O.K.' Fuck off. No, I mean it: fuck off. I'm telling you what I think are standards and you say, 'What standards? It's fine, he's against the Iraq War.' Fuck. Off. You're MoveOn.org. Any liar will do. He's anti-Bush. Fuck off...Save it sweetie, for someone who cares. It will not be me. You love it, you suck on it. I now know what your standards are, and now you know what mine are, and that's all the difference -- I hope -- in the world.

edutcher said...

ricpic said...

...I thought we fought a war from 1770 - 1783 so american women wouldn't have to be subject to the droit de seigneur.

Uh...she wanted to be bedded by the great man.


Maybe.

If he "overwhelmed" her, she may not have wanted it all that much.

Maybe it was "the thrill of being desired" for the first time.

Seducers are adept at getting vulnerable women (young and not so young) to do things they wouldn't ordinarily, or don't particularly otherwise want to, do.

That's why we tend to despise seducers. That's why Dante dedicated a special circle of Hell to them.

The Crack Emcee said...

Anybody out there with a 19 year old virgin daughter, please, send her over to my house:

I promise you she'll like it,...which is all that matters, right?

"If you can't be with the one you love, Honey, love the one you're with,..."

The Crack Emcee said...

Or, at least, give him and his friends blow jobs,...

Beldar said...

Your poll choices are very confused, Prof. Althouse. The first two focus on JFK, but the third focuses on Ms. Alford, and combines two things that don't necessarily go together to boot. I simultaneously and without contradiction assert that: JFK was a monster to do those things (not because of the things but because of his position of trust and the necessary relationship imbalance that ensued), and that she was a consenting adult entitled to do so (despite his monstrosity). And I don't think her callousness toward Jackie or co-workers has much to do with whether she was or wasn't a consenting adult. But it's simultaneously possible that he was doing something very wrong, and yet that her capacity as a consenting adult gave her options which included deliberately acquiescing despite his misbehavior.

ricpic said...

Crack,

I'm not condoning what a 19 year old did. I understand it. I sure as heck am not going to condemn what I too did. As did many on this thread. You had the opportunity, your hormones were raging, you took the opportunity. Not all that terrible in a 19 year old. JFK's actions are another matter entirely.

Beldar said...

My formulation above -- focusing on the fact that JFK occupied a position of trust -- applies because he was POTUS and she was a presidential intern, a subordinate. That's the same position of trust that Bill Clinton occupied and violated.

When JFK bedded Marilyn Monroe, by contrast, that's only a violation of a position of presidential trust if you presume that the POTUS has an implied obligation not to commit adultery. Some people, but fewer, also so presume.

And of course, most people consider being married to be yet another example of occupying a position of special trust -- not vis-a-vis the public, but one's spouse. That's the most common, but probably least interesting, aspect of JFK's affairs to me, despite the glamour of Jack & Jackie.

Beldar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MayBee said...

You want what you want when you're young and the hormones are raging. Morality? You can barely hear its distant muted french horn notes.

Appalling.
You can hear morality and decide whether or not to listen.
The morality alarms going off when one is contemplating sex with a married person are loud and clear.
Anyone that goes ahead and does it knows they are making a bad moral choice. Don't pass it off as something nearly impossible not to do.

The Crack Emcee said...

ricpic,

Crack,

I'm not condoning what a 19 year old did. I understand it. I sure as heck am not going to condemn what I too did. As did many on this thread. You had the opportunity, your hormones were raging, you took the opportunity. Not all that terrible in a 19 year old.


My statement, as quoted by Hitch, still stands. You're an adult. Did you do wrong or didn't you?

Grow up.

traditionalguy said...

I recommend reading Bobby and J Edgar by Burton Hirsch.

The sons of Joe Kennedy were just as determined to be like their daddy as Mitt Romney and W are.


Joe Kennedy was a mixture of a Mafia associate bootlegger and a Machine politician that used both talents to make it big using FDR's New deal slush funds.

Joe screwed the teenage daughters of his friends whom he hired as a routine employee benefit for the women.

Marilyn Monroe was doing both Jack and Bobby upon demand and got herself killed for threatening not to keep the secret.

Sorun said...

Horny just ain't as fun as it used to be.

Ann Althouse said...

I realize it's possible to agree with all 3 statements or with 2, but it's that kind of a poll: Quick! Think! Which of the 3 options sounds most like your thoughts.

Sorun said...

Another sign of the dwindling away of America's moral fiber. Oh, wait...

John Stodder said...

When you are a virgin — or just not the sort of woman who has sex for lightweight reasons — you're alert about men cornering you somewhere and you deflect the attention before there is even any touching.

I'm just going from what she said. It sounds like the time lapse between the moment when she might have realized she was being cornered and when he was actually having sex with her was very short.

He was the president. He was her boss. His reputation was not known to her, yet. She might have felt safe for a longer period than she would have if the moves were being put on her by another older man, just because of the context.

What I'm saying is, I would agree with you completely, except in this very unusual case. A practice rapist/seducer uses what he's got to overcome his object's safety shield, and JFK had the majesty of his office and his (at the time) pristine public image.

Maguro said...

After she sucked off Powers, did he say "Yeah, baby, yeah!"?

Chip S. said...

Quick! Think!

"Blink", not "Think".

William said...

She did not have an obligation to be chaste, and she did not make such a bad choice. It's like Harlequin porn. She lost her virginity in a White House bedroom to the most powerful man in the world, a man who also had movie star good looks. I suspect that many here lost their virginity in less romantic and elegant circumstances. She did not have an obligation to be chaste. He had an obligation not to trade her adulation and respect for a quickie. It was a far more grievous offense on his part, than hers.......I think the affair cast a shadow over her life, but one cannot say that her life was ruined. Her marriage lasted longer than mine, and my wife, so far as is presently known, didn't sleep with JFK. Her one mistake was in telling her husband that she had had an affair with JFK. Women, if you've slept with Elvis, JFK, or a NFL quarterback, for God's sake shut up about it with your husband. Claim that your only carnal knowledge prior to just now was with a clumsy young man who was struggling to come to terms with his microphallus......By the same token, I give JFK a pass on his affair with Marilyn Monroe. If you get a chance to make love to the most most famous and beautiful sex goddess in the world, take it. There was no imbalance in their fame and celebrity. They played in the same sandbox, and as someone who had frolicked with Joe Dimaggio, she had no reason to be overawed. How was JFK to know what depths of neurosis underlied her seductive qualities. But I think JFK had a burden of care to the young woman who served as his intern. It did not end as badly for her as it did for Mary Jo, but in the final balance, she did not profit from her relationship with him.

Ann Althouse said...

@John Stodder And take into account that afterwards, even prodded by her friends to call it rape, she thought of it in love-stricken terms.

Now, of course, women (and men) of all ages can fall for someone, we can be swayed by power (and beauty and other things). We can have terrible judgment at these times.

But that's not rape, and I don't think that you would want to establish that as a general rule. Oh! That man is just so amazingly attractive that if he moves really fast and the woman doesn't stop him... it's rape?

Fen said...

Hey Crack!

Could you be more specific?

Nope - getting tired of being the guy who spells it all out for you. Hell, we're all adults, all live in the same country, all went to the same schools - we know right from wrong - sort it out for yourselves.

You think you are the one who routinely "spells it all out" for us? Really? Care to provide one example?

And this is the response I get for trying to engage you in good faith?

Noted.

RichardS said...

If marriage is only the concern of two people, and not of society as a whole, why is adultery a concern for someone who is not part of the couple?
And if open marriage is an acceptable option, why is it not reaonable for someone to proposition any married person, acting on the presumption that that person may be part of an open marriage? If they say no, because their marriage is exclusive (or because they're not interested in this case), that ends it, but until that's said, why presume otherwise?

Methadras said...

She is cute. She is now a gilf. thank you.

MayBee said...

When you are a virgin — or just not the sort of woman who has sex for lightweight reasons — you're alert about men cornering you somewhere and you deflect the attention before there is even any touching

Only if you want to remain a virgin or the sort of woman who doesn't want to have sex for lightweight reasons.
At that age, I knew plenty of girls who went from 0 to slutty in record time. It was like a levy being breached.

MadisonMan said...

That makes her inextrordinary.

If you're inextraordinary, aren't you just ordinary?

Damon said...

Not sure I follow Ann's logic. Whether she was an adult, whether she enjoyed it, whether she thought it was a dare is irrelevant to the fact that JFK was a monster and his abuse of power and position is despicable.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Noah implies that Ted Kennedy's responsibility for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne was merely a "dark moment". The left's blind hero worship is truly pathetic.

Penny said...

Dear Ann Althouse Landers,

I was recently gifted with two adorable rubber duckies and a little bar of soap shaped like a duck.

Feeling positively victimized already!

What would you suggest? Should I keep the gift and have fun with it, or consider it a rapist's tool for fools?

Sincerely,
Penny

Gene said...

I have a hard time feeling this woman was raped. JFK unbuttons the top of her shirtdress and feels her breasts. What is her panicky reaction? To scream and twist and try to get away? Naw. She unbuttons the rest of her dress herself.

Freeman Hunt said...

If you're inextraordinary, aren't you just ordinary?

Yes, exactly.

The Crack Emcee said...

Fen,

This is the response I get for trying to engage you in good faith?

Noted.


Please accept my sincere apology. Certain topics/situations put me in a mood, and when I see so many with, what seems to be, no clue about the nature of ethics, it shows. Again, I'm sorry.

Friends, still?

Dark Eden said...

"Yes: Define rape."

If a Republican did this, would the main stream media call it rape?

Yes.

I always try to flip the parties around and in this case if a Republican did anything even in the ballpark of this their career would be over, everyone who knew would never work again and that president would forever more be known as the creepy rapist president.

Since its a beloved Democrat, oh well nothing to see here consenting adults.

William said...

Yes. Liberals, to understand the full horror of this story, picture Newt Gingrich as the protagonist.

John Stodder said...

But that's not rape, and I don't think that you would want to establish that as a general rule. Oh! That man is just so amazingly attractive that if he moves really fast and the woman doesn't stop him... it's rape?

In 2012, no. But I think in 1962 -- maybe.

How do you define rape (and as I'm thinking about this, my opinion of JFK descends another big notch)? Ultimately, it's all about intent. Did the alleged rapist give the victim an opportunity to say "no?"

If the scene as described happened in 2012, then I don't think this would be rape. A woman in that situation is less inhibited about fighting to protect herself, calling out for help, etc. But a woman of 19, sexually inexperienced, in 1962, might so overidentify with her attacker, that she might think thoughts like, "I can't scream, I can't hit him, I'm in the White House and he's the President." And JFK -- very practiced at all this -- might have anticipated these barriers existing in her mind, and figured, if he moved fast enough, he'd get what he wanted before she could mentally process a plan to defend herself.

I don't know; there's plenty of ambiguity. But I think the context, what year it was, how old and inexperienced she was, and what was going through JFK's mind makes it something near to rape.

So maybe Noah's right.

B.S. philosopher said...

I'm curious as to what the age of consent laws in D.C. were at the time and whether the adultery laws were still on the books at the time.

Were you considered an adult as a 19 year old female then or was it 21?

Can any relationship where there is such a power differential (Leader of the free world Vs. Teenager) be consensual?

Doug1 said...

I don't have any problem with JFK's sexual behavior at all.

I take rather a elite French attitude towards these things.

Kennedy loved and respected his wife. His having some discreet flings on the side didn't change that.

Doug1 said...

BS Philosopher--

Can any relationship where there is such a power differential (Leader of the free world Vs. Teenager) be consensual?

What a cultural Marxist way of thinking.

Yes it can be consensual and was. The power differential turned her on enormously, obviously.

Women tend to be attracted to men with more status and power than themselves, and not to men with less. There are exceptions but that's the pervasive general rule, despite false feminist propaganda to the contrary.

Doug1 said...

No US state has ever had the age of consent be over 18.

Only 11 states do now. In the majority it's 16, and next more frequently 17.

In many states it used to be 14. It still is in much of Europe although more often 15 or 16.