Friday, November 22, 2013

My, how America has changed



A compilation of JFK's humor, in his honor on this sad anniversary of his assassination.

He was a deeply flawed man, like the rest of us, and did some sordid things in his personal life, but he was undeniably charming and brought a public warmth and gentility to the presidency that has only been equaled since by Reagan. In his public life as president he was a decent man. His policies were what we would today call neoconservative-- he strengthened the military, was a passionate anti-communist, and professed supply-side economics and cut taxes. The speech he was carrying in his jacket pocket when he was assassinated was a call for corporate and personal tax cuts. In fact, his Republican bonafides were lacking in only one major aspect: he was luke-warm at best on civil rights, which of course has always been a prime Republican cause. It seems that he was coming around to the Republican view on civil rights in the year before his death.

In a president, we could have done, and have done, much worse than JFK.

It's worth reflecting that in 2013 we now have a president who began his political career in the living room of a man and woman whose far-left politics and proclivity for violence are hardly distinguishable from the politics and violence of the sniper in the sixth floor window on that day in Dallas. Our current president's leftist friend and original campaign bundler even wrote a book extolling political violence and dedicated the book to the murderer of JFK's brother. Our current president moves quite comfortably in the social circle of JFK's and RFK's assassins.

My, how America has changed.

JFK was cut down on that horrible day 50 years ago. I was eight years old, and I remember the day well. A kid on a bicycle was shouting "somebody killed the president" as I left school to walk home. My father picked me up in our car, and he was very upset. We watched the coverage on our TV (an old black-and-white set with rabbit ears) all weekend. My mom was so stunned she found it difficult to say anything at all. It was the first time I ever saw my dad cry.

For years afterward my father would tear up even at the mention of President Kennedy's name. JFK was revered in our house.

He was a seriously imperfect man, but he had a place in our hearts, and even his political opponents had more than a bit of fondness for him. His death was a tragedy from which our nation has still not recovered.

On this terrible anniversary, say a prayer for President Kennedy and for his family and for our grieving nation. May God bless him. 

20 comments:

  1. Let's inject a dose of reality into Michael's fantasy.

    Tea party has roots in the Dallas of 1963

    An excerpt:

    To find the very roots of the tea party of 2013, just go back to downtown Dallas in 1963, back to the months and weeks leading to the Kennedy assassination. It was where and when a deeply angry political polarization, driven by a band of zealots, burst wide open in America.

    It was fueled then, as now, by billionaires opposed to federal oversight, rabid media, Bible-thumping preachers and extremist lawmakers who had moved far from their political peers. In 1963, that strident minority hijacked the civic dialogue and brewed the boiling, toxic environment waiting for Kennedy the day he died.

    As he planned his trip to Dallas in November 1963, President Kennedy knew that hundreds of thousands across Texas adored him — or at least, respected the office he held. But he also knew that there was an increasingly hysterical fringe.

    As Kennedy approached Dallas, he turned to his wife, Jacqueline. “We’re heading into nut country today,” he said.


    Even Rush Limbaugh and the death panels had their historical roots back then:

    Not far away in downtown Dallas, oil billionaire H.L. Hunt was pouring millions into a ceaseless anti-Kennedy radio campaign; it was the dawn of extremist radio in the nation. Hunt’s program, “Life Line,” reached 10 million listeners a day with its scorching attacks against “the mistaken,” the term Hunt’s announcers used to describe the president’s supporters.

    When Kennedy proposed Medicare to provide health care for the elderly, Hunt’s shows warned that government death panels would follow: “a package which would literally make the president of the United States a medical czar with potential life-or-death power over every man, woman and child in the country.”


    Hoo

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    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyNovember 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

      Minutaglio is a paranoid conspiracy theorist.

      Kennedy was shot by a Communist.

      The Tea Party has "roots" back to 1773.

      Delete
    2. There is no conspiracy theory in the article. The author (a professor of journalism at the University of Texas, Austin) presents specific facts, not a theory.

      Would you like to dispute the facts, Grandpa? Is H.L. Hunt a fictional character? How about Ted Dealey? Is Wikipedia in on the conspiracy?

      Hoo

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    3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyNovember 22, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      Ooooooh. Are you skeert? I sure am! The bogeymans are out there!

      "Meet the Dominionists -- biblical literalists who believe God has called them to take over the U.S. government.
      --- democratic underground

      Delete
    4. Grandpa, you're not even half-coherent. Pull yourself together and make an argument.

      Hoo

      Delete
    5. Hoo:

      What exactly is the point of the article? That the Tea Party has it's roots in Dallas, circa the fall of 1963?

      If that were true, why would it matter? And what does the Tea Party have to do with a newspaper publisher in the mainstream media who wanted a "man on horseback to lead this nation"?

      The Tea Party is profoundly skeptical of the mainstream media, and the last thing Tea Partiers want is "a man on horseback" in the White House.

      The Tea Party asks for s-m-a-l-l government, Hoo.

      Libs are the ones who love Men On Horseback and newspaper publishers.

      Get a clue.

      Delete
    6. And do tell, Hoo, what is the relevance of the posited Tea Party emergence in Dallas in November 1963? Why not in Ft. Worth in April of 1965, or in Tallahassee in 1986?

      Surely you're not claiming that the proto-Tea Partiers had anything to do with the events of Nov 22, 1963?

      That would be an odd claim, given that it was one of your partisans who was quite busy in the 6th floor window just after noon on that day.

      What would the Tea Party have to do with that?

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    7. And Hoo, as I recall the gist of the "proto-Tea Partiers" brief against Kennedy was that he was soft on communism. They asserted that communists posed a serious threat to our nation.

      It's hard to imagine a political viewpoint that was proven true more immediately and brutally than the warnings about the danger of communists that were provided by the embryonic "Tea Partiers" on that day in Dallas.

      Why would you, Hoo, who share so much of Oswald's politics, imply that the people who warned us about Oswald are guilty of Oswald's crime?

      Lewis Caroll couldn't have dreamed up anything more bizarre.

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    8. Can't see the forest for the trees, doc? Let me show you.

      When Kennedy proposed Medicare to provide health care for the elderly, Hunt’s shows warned that government death panels would follow: “a package which would literally make the president of the United States a medical czar with potential life-or-death power over every man, woman and child in the country.”

      Sound familiar, doc? Death panels? Does that ring the bell?

      Back in Dallas, Dealey ordered his reporters to investigate whether Kennedy had been married to another woman and whether the Kennedy dynasty had somehow erased evidence of that marriage.

      You remember the birthers, don't you?

      Hunt’s pastor in Dallas was the thundering W.A. Criswell, head of the largest Baptist congregation in the country. Criswell was deeply suspicious of the president’s Catholic religion, and he assailed Kennedy’s candidacy as a possible plot that would undermine America’s true Christian values.

      And Obama is a Muslim, isn't he?

      Dallas was represented in Congress by an eloquent, Ivy League-educated ideologue regarded by some as the most extreme politician in Washington. Bruce Alger had cast the lone “no” vote against a federal program to provide free surplus milk to needy children. Even among his conservative peers, Alger was considered on the outer edge.

      He reminds me of... let's see... Can't recall the name of that junior Senator from Texas... I'm sure you can figure it out.

      And in case you're still under the impression that the article pins JFK's death on conservatives: it doesn't. It draws historical parallels between the southern conservatives of the 1960s and the Tea party of today. A comparison not entirely out of line.

      Hoo

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    9. Michael,

      I don't know for a fact about Hoo, but I gather that he's (as I am too) a liberal. Not a Marxist. Oswald was a wannabe Communist who was rejected by even the Soviets as being too mentally unstable.

      The proto-Tea party was wrong about the threat of Communism to America in the '60s. They were a much weaker force owing to the basic incoherence of their political platform - as put into effect in the Soviet Union and China.

      You don't need to pull the trigger to precipitate an event. The basic political and social atmosphere is sufficient. The anticommunist turmoil of the '60s was mirrored by the nationalist fervour of Europe pre-1914, which led to the Great War. The assassination of Franz Ferdinand had little to do with the outbreak of war.

      What might have happened if the Kennedy assassination been slated as a Soviet conspiracy, and it was seen as an excuse and an opportunity to destroy the Soviet Union before it acquired more power to destroy America?

      Delete
    10. Hoo:

      [And in case you're still under the impression that the article pins JFK's death on conservatives: it doesn't.]

      So the fact that the author chose November 1963 to claim the birth of the Tea Party, and published the article one day short of the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination, doesn't represent an attempt to correlate the Tea Party with JFK's assassination?

      And if one can locate such precedents, we might as well locate the current liberal passion for big government with Oswald's little enacted polemic. LHO certainly believed in socialized medicine, and socialized everything. LHO's ideology meshes very nicely with Bill Ayers, who was 0bama's first campaign bundler.

      Maybe modern liberalism began in Dallas in 1963, too.

      Delete
    11. I'll respond by citing a few more paragraphs from the article. Try to read and to understand what the author is saying.

      If today’s extremist rhetoric sounds familiar, that’s because it is eerily, poignantly similar to the vitriol aimed squarely at John F. Kennedy during his presidency.

      And just like today, Texans were leading what some of them saw as a moral crusade.

      To find the very roots of the tea party of 2013, just go back to downtown Dallas in 1963, back to the months and weeks leading to the Kennedy assassination. It was where and when a deeply angry political polarization, driven by a band of zealots, burst wide open in America.


      Hoo

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    12. Hoo:

      He's clearly linking the "proto-Tea Party" with JFK's assassination.

      Could you help me understand the link?

      Delete
    13. "Clearly linking?" In what way? Can you find a specific passage that does that?

      In my humble opinion, the author uses the anniversary of JFK's association to point out a historical parallel between political movements of today and early 1960s.

      You are a little sensitive and imagine things that aren't there.

      Hoo

      Delete
    14. I see.

      I do note that Obama did a lot of campaigning in October 2008, which was the 91st anniversary of the Great Socialist Revolution in Russia.

      And Obama's middle name is Hussein, which was the name of the late murderous Socialist dictator of Iraq.

      I'm not claiming any correlation of course.

      Delete
    15. That's a good start, Dr. Egnor. Choose one of these themes and draw historical parallels between the specific actions of the US president and one of those dictators.

      Hoo

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    16. Michael,

      History tends to repeat itself. There are parallels between Europe pre-1914, America in 1963 and America now.

      If you don't like public policy today, then cut your vitriol and work towards the Republicans winning the next election(s). Which means having electable candidates, not Tea party loons, who will appeal to only a minority of electors.

      The trouble with American politics is that most congressional districts have been gerrymandered, largely by Republican states, with most districts being safe Republican or safe Democrat. So, in safe Republican districts the greatest threat to a sitting moderate Republican is from another Republican in the primary. Who can appeal to and inspire the Tea party fringe to vote in the primary. And then turn off electors in other electorates in the subsequent election.

      Delete
    17. Michael,

      'I do note that Obama did a lot of campaigning in October 2008, which was the 91st anniversary of the Great Socialist Revolution in Russia'.

      LOL. The October Revolution occurred in November, owing to Russia not changing from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar till afterwards, I think in the '20s.

      Delete
  2. Our current president moves quite comfortably in the social circle of JFK's and RFK's assassins.

    Sure, and the previous president moves quite comfortably in the social circle of Bin Laden, and you move quite comfortably in the social circle of child rapists and holocaust deniers. So?

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    1. @troy:

      If Bush accepted Bib Laden as his first campaign bundler, he should be tried for treason.

      And I have no political aspirations, but if I did, I would not begin my career in the living room of a child-rapist-holocaust-denier.

      I also wouldn't sit through 20 years of Sunday sermons by a raving anti-Semitic loon.

      Delete