Ed Driscoll

NYT: Dallas 'Willed the Death' of JFK


Willed it. With their minds. It’s Science.


The left will never get over the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald, a self-described Marxist who had previously claimed to be a communist, assassinated John Fitzgerald Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

The latest evidence of that detachment from reality came online Saturday evening at the New York Times, and appeared in today’s print edition. Writer James McAuley, described as “a Marshall scholar studying history at the University of Oxford,” wrote that Dallas collectively “willed the death of the president,” and that it has prospered disproportionately in the subsequent 50 years because of “pretending to forget.”

To give readers an idea of where McAuley is coming from when he isn’t engaging in dishonest guilt by association, he considers the financial meltdown of 2007-2008 a failure of the “neoliberal paradigm” of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher (yes, he calls them “neoliberals”). Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the U.S. government-sponsored enterprises whose mismanagement and comprehensive frauds by design actually caused the meltdown, are apparently irrelevant.

— “NYT Op-Ed: Dallas ‘Willed the Death of JFK,” Tom Blumer at Newsbusters.


The name “Lee Harvey Oswald” goes entirely unmentioned [in McAuley’s New York Times column]. As does the name “General Edwin Walker,” an arch-conservative Oswald tried to murder. As does the phrase “Russian defector,” which is what Oswald was. No no. The fact that Kennedy was killed by a communist is not worth mentioning at all; rather, McAuley chooses to pronounce that the people of Dallas hated Kennedy even more than they did “the Soviet Union or Communist China.”

The kind of cognitive dissonance it takes to write something so remarkably foolish long ago lost the power to surprise. James Piereson, in his remarkably smart book Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism, laid out the myriad ways in which the left has been trying to cope with the killing these last 50 years. Wrote Piereson:

President Kennedy’s assassination stalled the advance of twentieth-century liberalism, then the nation’s reigning public philosophy and, in the opinion of historians at the time, our only genuine public philosophy. It did this in several ways: first, by undermining the confidence of liberals in the future; and second, by changing their perspective from one of possibility and practical reform to one of grief, loss, and frustrated hopes. It also compromised their faith in the nation because many concluded, against all factual evidence, that in some way the nation itself was responsible for President Kennedy’s death. A confident, practical, and forward-looking philosophy, with a heritage of genuine accomplishment, was thus turned into a pessimistic doctrine—and one with a decidedly negative view of American society and its institutions.

McAuley, of course, is just the latest in a long line of writers at the Grey Lady to deflect blame for Kennedy’s murder from the left and try and pin it on the right. Indeed, immediately following the assassination, James Reston penned a remarkably ugly and stupid piece entitled “Why America Weeps: Kennedy Victim of Violent Streak He Sought to Curb in Nation.” Wrote Reston, 

The indictment extended beyond the assassin, for something in the nation itself, some strain of madness and violence, had destroyed the highest symbol of law and order. … From the beginning to the end of his administration, he was trying to tamp down the violence of the extremists from the right.

Liberals were so perturbed by the fact that a man of the left had killed Kennedy that they simply waved away the inconvenient truth like so much smoke. It wasn’t left wing ideology that killed our dear prince but the meanies on the right who created a culture in which something so senseless could happen.

“The Kennedy Assassination Drove the Left Utterly Insane,” Sunny Bunch, the Washington Free Beacon.

“Your moral and intellectual superiors! NYT embraces new ‘voodoo’ theory of JFK assassination, with Julie Andrews on the grassy knoll,” Kathy Shaidle adds, spotting this ludicrous passage from McAuley’s article:

The wives of these [powerful Dallas] men — socialites and homemakers, Junior Leaguers and ex-debutantes — were no different; in fact, they were possibly even more extreme.

(After all, there’s a reason Carol Burnett pulls a gun on Julie Andrews at the end of the famous “Big D” routine the two performed before the assassination in the early 1960s. “What are ya,” she screams, pulling the trigger, “some kinda nut?!”)

Hey, I shouted out who killed the Kennedys, when after all, it was Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett.

But more seriously, does a leftist who believes that the right killed Kennedy, sabotaged the World Trade Center, and most recently sabotaged the Obamacare Website ever question his mounting paranoia?

Well, not if he can will his paranoia into a column in the New York Times, or a series on Showtime, I suppose.

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