Sunday, December 25, 2016
He proposed bold reforms, but some were never enacted, while others seem set to be undone; his diplomatic bravery was offset by a sort of rash timidity. He was an incarnation of racial healing, yet at the end of his tenure the civil-rights triumphs of the 1960s seem more remote. His critics called his an imperial presidency. But in truth his presidency demonstrated the erosion of that office’s power, and maybe of the power of America itself.