THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED: And Other Deceits by Arthur Krock


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Fifty years of watching the inner workings of ""the second oldest profession"" and Washington life under a dozen presidents have made the granddaddy of Washington pressmen sour and crotchety. Short of miraculous regeneration he tells us in no-nonsense fashion that ""the United States governing system will dissolve into the dustbin of history."" The chief menace is a warped and distended constitution -- national policy dictated by ""judicial fiat."" Usurping power left and right, but particularly left, the Supreme Court has helped ""reduce state sovereignties to the vanishing point"" notably by the '56 Brown vs. The Board of Ed. decision and the more recent lowering of the voting age. An austere Burkean, Krock is for strict construction, separation of powers and even such unjustly maligned institutions as the seniority system (""as Winston Churchill said of democracy, seniority is probably the worst form of chairmanship selection except for any other""). Like Burke, he believes in politics run by the professionals containing and cracking down on the new swinish multitude composed of ""male and female unwashed and malodorous hippies and yippies, drug addicts, communal VD-ridden sexualists and anarchists."" Krock even regrets the decline of ambassadorial parties which have lost class and style since the admission of pseudo-dignitaries representing ""a patch of desert or a partly cleared jungle."" But fifty years of snooping around the corridors of power watching the wire-pullers has given him an inexhaustible store of deflating anecdotes about the great and the near great and there are well-chosen and often witty memories of White House advisers from Bernard Baruch to Walter Jenkins and Joseph Kennedy, Sr., and even an assessment of the hidden powers of First Ladies including Eleanor, Ladybird and Jackie. The anecdotes, if not the judgments, will assure wide interest.

Pub Date: June 7th, 1971
Publisher: Little, Brown