Gore Vidal's memoirs

Both volumes are excellent, Palimpsest (the first) more inclusive and cohesive than Point to Point Navigation (the second). I’m just finishing up the second volume now, with a few questions, mostly about his political position, which seems to be rather undoctrinaire. From his last few collected essays, Vidal seems very far to the left-wing of American Politics, and he ran (for Congress from NY in 1960, and for Senate from California in 1978, I think) from a left-wing position, but he also expresses great fondness for his father’s politics, which he describes as pretty standard South Dakota Republican (with some personal affection for FDR) and his Grandfather’s politics, which he describes as generally right-wing (with a real loathing for FDR). In particular, I’m wondering about a passage where he describes Charles Lindbergh as having been “smeared” with other America-Firsters before WWII as a Nazi sympathizer by FDR. I don’t know very much about Lindbergh’s politics, but I’ve always thought that

  1. America-Firsters were basically isolationists, whose rationale held that the Nazis were no big deal, not worth getting American boys killed over, which sounds pretty Nazi-sympathizer to me, and

  2. Lindbergh was pretty approving of the Nazis himself, as Americans of the 1930s and 1940s go.

Was this a smear by FDR? IOW, was it a falsehood maliciously spread to degrade Lindbergh’s reputation? Or was it an accurate portrayal of Lindbergh’s politics (and thus NOT a smear)?

Mods–could you shift this over to GQ for me? It’s about a book, but specifically about a historical fact, and may draw a response in GQ. Thanks.

Lindbergh reported back to the War Department all the weapons his Nazi friends were developing that they just had to show off to him. Technically this makes him a spy for us, and perhaps it was intentional, and thus the bad press was to give him cover.

Vidal actually mentions this spying mission (he says his father was chosen to assess the Germans’ air-force, but FDR called him off, since Vidal sr. was a member of his administration, and selected Lindbergh to do it in his stead.) But he also says that FDR geniuinely hated Lindbergh and “smeared” him as a pro-Nazi. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, to ask someone to do you a service and then to smear him for doing it well.