September 23, 1978
"Happy the country," Bertolt Brecht wrote, "which requires no heroes." But our country is unhappy, and it is looking for a hero. That's what the polls tell us, and have told us for more than a decade now—in fact, ever since Ted Kennedy's older brother was cut down at the threshold of victory in the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel. Not a martyr's death exactly, Robert Kennedy's, but that of a victim of the bitter mood he simultaneously exploited and tried to bend to hope. Will Teddy pick up the fallen banner? The question is being posed again for the fourth consecutive presidential campaign.
Kennedy the President
Edward Kennedy favors national health insurance, everybody knows. He also favors detente with Soviet Union, a break-up of the big oil companies, immediate normalization of relations with Communist-China, the Equal Rights Amendment and Medicaid-financed abortions. He doesn't think Russian mucking about in Africa should affect our willingness to negotiate arms limitation treaties. He co-sponsored the Humphrey-Hawkins full employment bill. He publicly criticizes human rights violations in Chile, Argentina, South Africa and Nicaragua, but prefers the "quiet approach" to the Soviet Union.
April 22, 1978
Another Good Season
Eugene McCarthy: Why baseball is different from all other sports.
November 12, 1977
Becoming a Pro
James Cramer: At the Eagles' training camp, meritocracy really works.
September 03, 1977
A House Built on Sand
Jungle Beach at Chilmark on Martha's Vineyard used to be the toniest plage in Massachusetts. A haven for bathers clothed and nude, it derived its name from the thick brush that cut it off from the island's south shore road. Reaching the beach involved hacking through the thicket, but the reward was a beach free of the crowding, vendors and photochemical oxidants of more popular spots. That was until a syndicate led by Robert Strange McNamara won control of Jungle Beach in an estate sale.
July 23, 1977
The Moral Equivalent to Football
Wilcomb E. Washburn: Why football reflects the true nature of the American character.
Baseball in the Mind
Sometimes it seems, in these days of contract squabbles and franchise shifts, that baseball is a game best played in the mind, in what Roger Angell once called "the interior stadium." At the very least, it is a game peculiarly suited for recollection. Across our minds, on winter nights and summer mornings, we recapture the images of marvelous moments: of Willie Mays flying back to haul in Vic Wertz's smash in the '54 Series, of Carlton Fisk popping one out to win a game 21 years later, and so on.
July 09, 1977
It's Even Worse in Brussels
Twenty years ago, in the majestic Piazza de Capitole Marcus Aurelius in Rome, the treaty was signed establishing the European Economic Community. For Europeans, it is as discomforting today to reread the Rome speeches of 1957 as it is for Americans to reread the Kennedy inaugural address of 1961. Like diaries written in childhood, they embarrass by their blend of naivete and self-importance. The ringing call of 1957 for a United States of Europe is mocked by a Europe in 1977 more fragmented and uncooperative than at any time since 1950.
The Rewards of Enterprise
Now the Republicans are doing the same thing. And in style, too. The Democrats' seminar-attenders and program devisers in most cases at least had the decency to work out of dusty little cubby holes in elderly buildings in the Dupont Circle area of Washington. But the AEI, as the Washington Post noted, has "well appointed offices" which are "spread over four floors of a modern building." Corporate-style, the Post might have added.
The Revolving Door
There is realty only one industry of any consequence in Washington, DC. Whatever else that goes on spins in some orbit around the federal government. So when an incumbent President is turned out of office, the revolving door starts spinning too. Nobody leaves town, they just trade places. It occurs at every level. Members of congressional and committee staffs who spent the last several years developing legislative programs and engaging in "oversight," as it's called, have now moved with the new administration into the agencies they previously oversaw to direct the programs they created.