Bob Schieffer concluded last Sunday's Face The Nation with a lament for his version of the end of The America That Worked(TM) in Dallas in 1963.

His premise about what came before was "We believed in our leaders.  We came to see our presidents as all but invincible."  That's not quite the way I remember it.  The Kennedy cult was all about Presidential Activism after what the chattering classes of the time thought of as an eight-year nap with President Eisenhower, which came after "To err is Truman."  Popular culture, in the form of Chicago, only rediscovered Harry Truman after Lyndon Johnson, who could twist more arms in the Senate in a morning than John Kennedy could twist in a year, demonstrated the limits of Presidential Activism, and in the middle of Richard Nixon's perversion of Presidential Activism to suit his paranoia.

Now, if we had a Washington press corps that had a healthy skepticism about Government, including but not limited to, doubts about Presidential Activism, perhaps we'd have less lamentation for a Camelot that never was.

Mr Schieffer concludes his meditation with "America lost its innocence."  Come off it.  Pearl Harbor.  Fort Sumter.  Aaron Burr settling scores with Alexander Hamilton.  The innocents are those members of the press corps that see Presidential Activism and Got a Problem, Get a Program as default settings for dealing with national affairs.

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