McNAMARA - AT 7:49 A.M. ET: On the day that I received my graduate degree from Columbia University, Robert McNamara, then secretary of defense for John F. Kennedy, was receiving an honorary doctorate......
I never cared for McNamara, who rarely seemed to get the main point of anything. He was one of those men who intellectualized all subjects to death. He was the perfect example to illustrate a famous story told about Lyndon B. Johnson.
After attending his first Cabinet meeting as Jack Kennedy's vice president, Johnson rushed to Capitol Hill to consult with his old mentor, Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn. Johnson told Rayburn of his wonder at the assemblage of men he'd just left - from Harvard, Yale, MIT, with all kinds of degrees. Rayburn thought about it for a moment, then replied soberly, and the exact words differ depending on who's telling it, "Lyndon, I'd feel a lot better if one of them had run for sheriff."
Those were days when it was thought by some that every problem had an intellectual solution, that running for sheriff was for the lesser classes, that practical experience was a way out for those with average college board scores. If you're getting the sense that you're seeing a sequel today, you're right. The Obama administration has much the same character: We are omnipotent because we are smart, because we know how to reason, because we speak well.
Rayburn had a way with words. He was also very smart. Kennedy's whiz kids led Johnson around. Obama's are being led by Obama. Neither groups were actually smart. Both caused great harm to the country.