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2019年2月13日 星期三

RCP Morning Note, 02/13/2019: Dems and 'MeToo'; Presidential Qualifications; Righteous Singers


02/13/2019
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Carl Cannon's Morning Note

Dems and 'MeToo'; Presidential Qualifications; Righteous Singers

By Carl M. Cannon on Feb 13, 2019 09:09 am

Good morning, it's Wednesday, February 13, 2019. On this date in 1965, Nicholas Katzenbach was sworn in as attorney general of the United States. By then, he had already had a distinguished record of answering the call whenever Uncle Sam beckoned.

A junior at Princeton in 1941, he left school to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps after Pearl Harbor. As a navigator on a B-25 crew deployed out of a base in North Africa, Katzenbach was shot down over the Mediterranean in 1943 and spent two years in enemy prisoner of war camps. He read so many books as a prisoner (over 500) that he was able to graduate from Princeton in 1945. From there it was on to Yale Law School.

By 1965, Katzenbach was widely known to Americans as the Justice Department lawyer -- he was deputy attorney general -- dispatched by President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, to confront Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace in the famous "schoolhouse door" showdown over civil rights at the University of Alabama.

When RFK stepped down from the AG job in 1964 to run for the Senate, he suggested to President Lyndon Johnson that Katzenbach replace him. Robert Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were not close. Quite the opposite, actually, but this was a suggestion so sound that Johnson agreed to it, notwithstanding the source.

By the way, also on this date in 1965, a melody with striking vocals topped the pop music charts. It was sung by an interesting duo from Orange County, Calif., named the Righteous Brothers. What, you ask, do those musicians and their hit song have to do with civil rights? Well, nothing, really. Or maybe everything, as I'll explain in a moment. First, I'd point you to our front page, where we aggregate stories and columns spanning the political spectrum. We also offer a complement of original material from RCP's staff and contributors.

* * *

Democrats' "MeToo"' Struggles Extend to California. Susan Crabtree reports on the sexual abuse controversy surrounding Rep. Tony Cardenas, whose troubles have been overshadowed by those of Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.

Who Is Qualified to Be President (2020 Edition)? Myra Adams revisits the qualifications she posited four years ago, which were rendered null and void by Donald Trump's arrival on the scene.

Ohio Democrat Brown Not Backing Green New Deal. Phil Wegmann has the story.

Americans Won't Buy the Green New Deal, But GOP Needs Alternatives. In RealClearEnergy, Heather Reams explains why Democrats' new climate resolution opens the door for Republicans to gain ground on the issue.

Why GOP Has a Better Climate Change Solution. In RealClearPolicy, lawmakers Greg Walden, Fred Upton and John Shimkus highlight free-market strategies to promote a cleaner environment and reduce emissions.

Health Care Steps That Are Improving Lives. Also in RCPolicy, Brian Blasé, Casey Mulligan and Tomas Philipson hail the Trump administration's creation of more affordable health insurance options.

The Salafi-Jihadist Movement Is Winning. In RealClearWorld, Katherine Zimmerman warns that U.S. counterterrorism policies have not kept pace with this group of Sunni Muslims that has been operating under the radar.

The Deadly Toll of World War II Air Training. In RealClearHistory, Robert Blanchard spotlights the sobering statistics that stemmed from rushed production of aircraft as the U.S. ramped up its involvement in the war.

* * *

Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley knew they had a special sound, although no one quite knew what to call it -- just as the young men didn't initially know what to call themselves. They'd met at Long Beach State and had sung in a musical group, the Paramours, that later fizzled out. Although rock music and the California surf sound were both evolving at the time, these two young men gravitated toward rhythm and blues.

William Medley was born in Santa Ana, Calif., and as a boy had sung in his family's Presbyterian church choir. The music he liked to sing in his distinctive bass-baritone voice, however, was heard on radio stations that catered to African-American listeners. In later years, he would cite Little Richard, Ray Charles, and B.B. King as his early influences.

Bobby Hatfield's family moved to Southern California when he was 4. He flowered in the sunshine, starring at football and baseball at Anaheim High School, co-captaining the basketball team and serving as student body president. But his passion was music, and in Medley he found the perfect complement for his own tenor voice.

When hearing them for the first time, many radio listeners -- white and black -- assumed that the young men were black. That name, the Righteous Brothers, only added to the mystique. But the moniker was a tribute, bestowed by U.S. Marines from a now-defunct military base outside Irvine called Marine Corps Air Station El Toro when the boys, then in their early 20s, were employed at local club called John's Black Derby. In his autobiography, Medley explained:

"At that time, Orange County was about the whitest place in the country, but all these black Marines from El Toro heard that there were these two guys singing rhythm and blues, so they came down to hear us," Medley wrote.

"In those days," he continued, "if you really liked something, like a great shirt, a white guy would have said, ‘Boy, that's cool,' or ‘bitchin' -- but a black guy would say, ‘That's righteous, that's a righteous-looking shirt.' And if they liked you as a friend, they'd call you a ‘brother.'

"A lot of times, we'd be coming to work and pass one of the black Marines, and he'd say, ‘Hey, righteous brother, how you doing?' I loved that and so did Bobby. Sometimes at the end of our songs, they'd yell out, ‘That's righteous, brother!'

One day as they were still searching for a name for their act, Bobby said to Bill, "What about the name the Marines have been calling us, the black guys? How about, the Righteous Brothers?

"Oh, man," replied Bill. "I would love that."

"That was it -- we put it on the record," Medley later wrote. "That's the true story. The black Marines from El Toro named us."

Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
@CarlCannon (Twitter)
ccannon@realclearpolitics.com

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