Daily Kos: Tea Parties Much Like Texans Who Cheered JFK's Assassination in 1963

The Daily Kos could not let the anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination pass without making comparisons between the "far right" greeting JFK received in Dallas in 1963 and the greeting President Obama receives from the Tea Parties today. The blogger with the handle "Devtob" claimed some Texans cheered the death of Kennedy in the "nut country," and presumes today's Texans would cheer Obama's death:

Dallas was also the site, in 1961, of the National Indignation Convention, which Rick Perlstein relates to the tea partiers of today:

Thousands of delegates from 90 cities packed a National Indignation Convention in Dallas, a 1961 version of today's tea parties; a keynote speaker turned to the master of ceremonies after his introduction and remarked as the audience roared: "Tom Anderson here has turned moderate! All he wants to do is impeach (Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl) Warren. I'm for hanging him!"

Today, the tea-partying political descendants of early-'60s Birchers are spinning similar conspiracy theories and using practically the same extreme language about a young, non-WASP Democratic President, and played an important role in electing scores of like-minded neo-Birchers to office earlier this month.

Notice the Kosmonaut doesn't have the decency to actually produce evidence of the "same extreme language" about killing public officials. But it continued:

On the occasion of an Obama trip to Texas this year, Texas Observer Editor Bob Moser wrote about the obvious connections between the Birchers of the early 1960s and the tea partiers of today:

The denizens of Texas nut country did not kill Kennedy that day. But many celebrated openly and joyously after Lee Harvey Oswald did. Birchers and Klansmen gloated. Elementary-school students in the Dallas 'burbs broke into spontaneous applause. In Amarillo, a reporter witnessed jubilation in the streets, with men whooping and tossing their hats in the air and one woman crying out, "Hey, great, JFK's croaked!"

Fast-forward 46 years and nine months. To a right-wing Texas that can once again be aptly described as "nut country." To another presidential visit, slated for Aug. 9. To another time when a vocal minority of Texans are expressing open, slanderous and rhetorically violent hostility toward a president whose greatest crime is not being a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant...

 

Back then, the right-wing extremists were backed by ultraconservative newspaper publishers, oilmen and preachers. Nowadays, the White Right's bigotry is openly shared and encouraged by the state's highest official, Gov. Rick Perry. Another notable difference: In the Texas of today, most of the state's leading Democrats are too puny and poll-driven to have their president's back...

That (the Secret Service would keep Obama "safe and sealed off from our wingnuts") won't change the fact that the sense of shame every decent Texan felt in late 1963 -- from the knowledge that plenty of folks in this state would have relished killing the president if they'd had the guts to do it -- should be felt afresh in 2010. And it won't change the fact that those who stay silent, in the face of this latest outbreak of un-American bigotry, are every bit as culpable as Perry and the Tea Partiers.

A new generation of white Texans has inherited the violent rhetoric, belief in absurd conspiracies, hatred of the other, and inchoate rage of the 1963 Dallas Birchers, with only somewhat less emphasis on the evils of communism and integration.

And, it's not just happening in Texas.

[Hat tip: Doug Hart]

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis