11/22/1963 — Frank Rich is Still Chasing Right-Wing Hatred up the Grassy Knoll…
Well, here we go again.
Jackie’s Pink Pillbox Hat, the huge and lumbering SS-100x black Presidential Limousine, the blurry Kodak snapshots of the Texas School Book Depository. Late November always conjures up images of the Ghosts of Kennedy Past, and this year the echoes are getting a little more shrill in the winds and eddies of the Pop Culture.
Brace yourself: in two more years, the drumbeat will become so loud, you won’t be able to sleep at night.
You think the coverage of the assassination of John Kennedy was wall-to-wall in late November of 1963? Well, wait until the 50th Anniversary reaches full crescendo in 2013. There is no more seminal event in the lives of the nursing-home bound Baby Boomers than the horrific murder of the 35th President that Friday afternoon all those years ago in Downtown Dallas, Texas.
The JFK Assassination is the generational touchstone.
You see, in the years Before JFK (–those stultifying, uptight 1950’s), lies the entire catalog of leftist girdles, constraining a culture yearning to break free of Squaresville. After JFK is the unbridled hedonistic freedom of the 1960’s. Whether or not this mythology is true is unimportant: As William L. Shirer said in discussing the Teutonic roots of Hitler’s Germany, he made a fascinating observation:
“Often, a peoples myths are the highest and truest expression of its spirit and culture, and nowhere is this more true than Germany.”
Of course, Shirer was writing in the 1950’s, and America was a young nation, and it was still deciding what it’s myths would be: The Western Frontier, the Civil War, Horatio Alger? The Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock? Well, now in the second decade of the 21st century, the issue seems to be settled, and we have decided that one of our mythos is prior to the Assassination of JFK , we were were a nation of racist WASPS that Tuned In, Turned On and Dropped Out only after the great Liberal Messiah was martyred by Right Wing Hatred in Dallas.
It’s a narrative that’s been part of the leftist Eucharist starting at 12:36 that afternoon. Democrat Senator J. William Fulbright (-a man, by the way, that ought to know all about petty hatreds and adolescent fears), walked into a senate anteroom after hearing the news, slammed the phone down and yelled “Dammit, I told them not to go to Dallas!” Dallas, you see, was a seething vipers pit of Archie Bunker-types: John Birchers, Anti-UN’ers, and so on. And, it followed that, because Adlai Stevenson had been smacked with a protest sign late that summer by an old lady in Dallas, that naturally, if the President visited, he’d get shot. And like all myths, this one is steely-hard, and it won’t die easily. No, Right Wing Hatred killed the handsome young president, the grand Knight of Camelot.
According to the Latest Papal Bull emanating from the New York Times television-critic-cum-Philosopher King Frank Rich, this epic Right Wing Hatred not only snuffed out young John Fitzgerald Kennedy, it is continuing to send it’s slimy tentacles out in all directions to this very day, and it is even now, as we speak, destroying the presidency of Barack Obama.
Yes, the very same Right Wing Hatred.
But, it wasn’t Right Wing Hatred that killed JFK. It was Left Wing Hatred.
Actually, it was Lee Harvey Oswald that killed Kennedy, not this group, or that group. It was a single, lone malcontent laboring under the delusions of his sick and utterly polluted mind, and who wrapped his beat-up World War Two Manlicher-Carcano rifle in brown shipping paper (claiming to his workmates that the bag contained “curtain rods”) and carried it to the sixth floor of of the building where he’d worked for the last two months, sat in the southeast corner window, and shot the president as he rode by on Elm Street, all those sun-lit autumn days ago.
Why? Why did Oswald do it? My Answer? “Who cares what deranged malcontents do, or why they do it?”
The American Left has created an industry caring about the motives of deranged malcontents: They take crack because the can’t afford coke; they assault little old ladies because they weren’t breast-fed; they live in poverty, so they hold up liquor stores.
The Leftists seldom look at such things through the lens of justice, righteousness, virtue, and honor. They look at such things as causation, victimhood and compulsion.
And yet, when it comes to the Crime of the Century, this yardstick is never applied Lee Harvey Oswald. –And, if it were, the accusatory finger would point solidly back at themselves– the foul, odious left.
Lee Oswald was raised by his mother. His own father died two months after he was conceived, and so,Lee obviously never knew him. His mother, Marguerite, was a petty, scornful, arrogant woman who went through a number of men and husbands, none of whom stuck around for more than a year or two. In twelve years of life, Lee knew ten different homes and at least as many schools. He lived off an on with half-brothers and various cousins, most often in squalid apartments and houses with Upsom board for walls. Marguerite availed herself of government assistance when it was available, and of no-fault divorce laws where they were only beginning to bloom in places like Nevada, New York and Oklahoma.
Pretty early on, Lee absorbed his mother’s class resentments. She was fixated on wealth (or lack thereof), and she passed these observations about the rich onto her son. Soon after the assassination, Marguerite (calling herself “the accused mother”) would only grant interviews if she was paid handsome sums. In Marguerite’s world, landlords were forever trying to “steal” from her, and “ruin her good name”. Utility companies were just trying to profit from others’ misfortunes. She was notorious, at one minute being a flinty miser, the next a spendthrift.
Lee, in his turn, became miserly. Because his mother moved around the country like an errant croquet ball, Lee never formed any friendly attachments. He jumped at the first chance to escape his mother’s chaos and domination at the age of 16, and followed his brother Robert into the United States Marine Corps.
As a fellow who was constantly running afoul of the truancy police, and was forever decrying those in authority over him, the Marine Corps was an especially bad choice for the young malcontent. He was constantly in trouble with his superiors, but he managed to stay through two hitches. Toward the end of the second, after an intense period of “self indoctrination”, Lee Oswald had moved from run-of-the-mill class jealousies to full-blown Marxism. He also saved enough money –barely– to travel to Russia, where he was sure he would find a paradise for the working class grunt.
Lee kept a rambling, horribly misspelled “Historic Diary” of his time in the Soviet Union. It is at first full of paeans to Soviet way of life, but after a few desultory entries, it devolved into dramatic scenes of scorned love, and finally disillusionment of his adopted home. It didn’t help matters that the Russians, too, had branded him a loser after he tried to commit suicide when he was told after a few days after his initial arrival, to beat it, and go home.
He slashed his wrists in his hotel bathroom, and the Soviets let him stay while he healed. Eventually, they put him to work assembling TV boxes in Minsk. But, here too, he found the work menial, beneath him– and anyway, the money he made couldn’t be spent anyway. (“there are now boweling [sic] allys [sic] or theaters to go the mony [sic] I make has no where to be spent” said Oswald’s version of Mein Kampf ) So the Soviet problem was, to Oswald, the inverse of the American problem. Like all leftist extremists, the world just simply would not conform to his Utopian vision, and he was constantly agitated at how unfair the world was to a prophet like Lee Oswald.
And, like most starry-eyed Leftist Extremists, he was puffed up with his own sense of self-importance. Oswald was rather convinced he was the storehouse of crucial information about the word (he even wrote several very incomplete treatises about how he would order a future classless society –with himself as an eponymous leader), and that he was destined for some great cause.
Of course, this didn’t stop the earth-bound Oswald from acquiring a Russian wife, Marina –the type of standard-issue Soviet girl who only wanted her own apartment and washing machine. Marrying the odd little American Oswald would allow her to have both. When Lee finally soured on the Soviet Union, he brought his wife with him when he returned to the states.
He was quickly repatriated, and given the standard-issue amounts of bureaucratic attention and courtesy monies. Back in the states, Oswald bounced from one menial job to the next (printing shop cleaner, photo-developer, coffee equipment maintenance, book gofer). He soon had kids he couldn’t support, performing degrading work he despised. He had no drivers license, and by virtue of his intimate knowledge of Soviet faceless bureaucracies, hated the fact that the government constantly was asking for licenses, permission slips, identification. Like today’s Occupy Crowd, Oswald was a typical leftist that despised authority and all its rules and trappings, but yearned for a police state to enforce his collectivist vision.
Back in Dallas in early 1963, Oswald was soon wrapped up in the tiny Russian Ex-Pat community, and got acquainted with a few of its radicalized members. He met Michael and Ruth Paine through these connections. The Paines were typical 60’s Pete Seeger-type Quaker Leftists, stewing in all the up-to-the-minute leftist bromides from Planned Parenthood meetings to memberships in the American Civil Liberties Union. That their marriage was also falling apart fell into the general motif. So, Ruth Paine had empty rooms that she quickly filled with the homeless Oswalds and their exotic language (-always a bona-fide to the leftist) and general state of chaos (another attractor to the leftist enabling-mindset). Through Ruth’s contacts, Lee landed work again after months of joblessness, at the Texas School Book Depository.
Marina was again pregnant, and Lee was up against himself. Before landing the job at the Depository, Lee did what all responsible fathers-to-be might do in the spring of 1963 by attempting to join Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution. At first, he wanted to hi-jack an airliner (which seemed the ultimate expression of leftist revolution in those years), but settled on entering Cuba through Mexico. The Russian authorities ratted Oswald out, and he was refused entry to Castro’s Island Paradise. Only after his rebuke did he relent to Marina’s insistence that their new baby not be named “Fidel”.
Oswald was now dying to throw some sort of a “monkey-wrench in the Capitalist cabal” (as his brother Robert put it). Lee was disgusted with the Soviets; Cuba had rebuked him. All of his pamphleteering on behalf of one crack-pot leftist organization or journal after another had come to exactly zilch…, except an arrest for disorderly conduct. His wife was pregnant again for a second time, and he couldn’t even afford the most bare-bones apartment for his new family to reside. Oswald was a loser’s loser. Even Ruth Paine supported the decision that he take a small rooming house nearest the Depository so that his violent rages wouldn’t disrupt her Quaker home– but she could continue her self-same friendship with the young Russian mother Marina. Leftists all…
So, on November 21st, 1963, Lee Oswald, self-affirmed Marxist-Leninist hitched a ride to Paine’s suburban Dallas home to retrieve his rifle when he finally confirmed the route of the Kennedy motorcade by reading the day old Dallas Morning News paper left in the Depository lunch room. He’d earlier practiced with the rifle at length earlier that spring in his painstakingly-planned assassination attempt on local right-wing leader General Edwin Walker. He’d practiced how to disassemble the weapon, reassemble it in the dark, shoot from about 80 yards away, and melt into the surrounding scene. His shot at Walker missed, but it made nationwide headlines that April in 1963. But, Oswald now had a bigger target now.
So, he threw in the monkey-wrench at 12:30 Central Standard Time on November 22, 1963.
Frank Rich, and all the other apologists on the Left still claim it was the “atmosphere of right-wing hatred” that killed JFK. It was nothing of the sort. JFK was killed by a Marxist, who was sheltered by an avowed Socialist, and whose life was steeped in the most violent hatreds of Capitalism and the meritocratic American system. Oswald’s life is the very picture of the leftist malcontent, who finally sees their ultimate destiny only in terms of rage-filled violence and nihilism.
Oswald’s chroniclers have tied themselves in knots for nearly a half-century to square this circle. William Manchester, the iconic lefty biographer who was chosen by Jacqueline Kennedy as her “official” biographer of the days events goes to great lengths to impugn Dallas as filled with “bottle-blondes with high-arched eyebrows” who drink “Seven-up and rye, the official wine of that strange country”, a place of ill-refined new money and unsophisticated Insurance brokerages. “what a sordid place for the majesty of the Kennedy era to end”, Manchester reported in his volume “The Death of a President”. And yet, Oswald, the unabashed Marxist, absolutely acted alone, according to Manchester. In the tome he refused even to refer to Oswald as the “accused” assassin: He, according to the erudite author, had the “mark of Cain upon him”.
To Manchester then, to Frank Rich today, Dallas is the epitome of Right Wing hatred, and yet even Jackie said “(JFK) didn’t even die for something like Civil Rights. He was just killed by some silly little Marxist”.
Say what you will about the Right. We have no Marxists. And we don’t “hate”, either.