How remarkably easy it was for Richard Nixon in 1968 to flatter that Old Progressive Walter Lippman into servile submission!
Back in the 1980s Bob Dole expressed the Washington establishment consensus view on Ford, Carter, and Nixon: "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Evil." Here we have Walter Lippman, having been played like a kazoo by Nixon's team, endorse Evil for President in 1968.
It is hard to wade through the abstract verbal fog of Lippman's argument. But I think at the core it is: Only Nixon can--not go to China, but--put the Negroes in concentration camps should it become necessary. Humphrey cannot. And, anyway, what you do doesn't matter because there is likely to be a landslide for Nixon.
Lippmann was wrong: Nixon won by only 0.7%. It was an election in which every opinion leader who let himself be flattered into plumping for Evil had reason to wonder if his intervention had been decisive.
If our press corps is no better than it ever was, at least it is no worse:
Walter Lippman (1968): "New Nixon" Endorsement:
In the weeks that have passed since the Democratic convention in Chicago, it has become painfully clear that the Democratic Party is too disorganized to run the country. No doubt it is theoretically possible, though it is highly improbable, that Hubert Humphrey can do what Harry Trumen did in 1948. But it's getting late even for that.