After a week in deepest aestivation (the summer version of hibernation), I was beginning to think I’d never write here again.
Much time was spent getting my predictions for the 400 State Rep seats onto paper (posted moments ago), but in point of fact, I admit to having perfected the art of doing nothing and enjoying it.
I’m reading an 1100 page book on Lyndon Johnson (Master of the Senate, the third of five volumes on LBJ from Robert Caro; the fourth volume just came out and I so enjoyed it, I went back for more). I’ve always disliked LBJ, but as I read more and more of this, I’ve come to detest the man even more. I’ve always ranked him as the third worst president (behind the other big government enablers Woodrow Wilson and FDR), but I am compelled to move him into the number one position.
A terrible president, and a rotten human being, and this is what I gather after reading someone who has spent the last 30 years writing about him.
Does the name Leland Olds ring a bell? He was a darling of FDR and Truman; he served ten years as a regulator of national energy, but then was tarnished as a Communist sympathizer by LBJ in an attempt (successful) to block his renomination.
Bobby Kennedy was right.
LBJ was not to be trusted. He was a proven liar; and a proven cheat; Caro admits he stole thousands of votes in various elections (Abe Fortas helped him get away with it).
Then there was this business about LBJ whipping out his sexual apparatus and bragging about it and of forcing his aides to come to confer with him while he was on the toilet, not standing outside the door mind you, but right inside.
Thus, I’ve come to despise LBJ in my summer of aestivation.
If I can ever get through this book, I’ve got the new biography of Walter Cronkite in line next (it’s 700 pages—must everyone write in such detail these days?). Talk about serendipity! Any idea what Cronkite’s middle name was? Leland. I don’t think I’d ever seen that name and now I run across it twice in the same week.
On a lighter note, while searched for the book on LBJ (J in the library shelves), I came across a fascinating biography of Harper Lee (L). Her first name was Nelle (she didn’t want to use it lest people mistake it for Nellie). I thought this book, Mockingbird, was going to explain why she never wrote another book after To Kill A Mockingbird was such a sensation in the early 60s. I never quite got an answer to that (perhaps because she came to realize that Mockingbird could never be equaled), but the bio was superb. The chapter on her going to Kansas to assist Truman Capote in researching In Cold Blood was perhaps the highlight of the book.
Thus, I’m breaking aestivation to read, albeit not to blog much this summer.