As the dog days descend upon us, the mind starts to wander.
It may wander so much that it occasionally turns into Fox News, although this is not recommended. Same with trolling though right-wing blogs.
It's a scary world out there, folks. And it brings to mind an equally paranoid, hyperventilated time when Texas became ground zero for -- well, no one wants to think about it.
On the other hand, there are at least five ominous parallels that force you to think about JFK and Barack Obama. They're not exactly "John Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln, Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy," but they're there:
And to be clear, it does not mean anyone who opposes Obama is in favor of assassination. Got that?
We're just saying we see things....
1. The "outsider" elected after eight years of comfortable GOP rule
Barack Obama's a strange outsider with weird religious beliefs? Tell it to JFK. It may be hard to fathom now, but a Catholic in 1960 was the member of some strange cult seeking to dominate America. W.E. Criswell, patriarch of the gigantic and influential First Baptist Church of Dallas, famously thundered against Kennedy's religion. Billy Graham didn't exactly exert himself defending Catholics, either. W is no Ike, but he represented eight years of Republican dominance, and he was replaced by someone thought to be not a part of the mainstream.
2. The Vice-President
Kennedy's Vice-President was an absolute Senate insider who came across somewhat clownishly on TV, but who was respected by those inside the Beltway. Compared to his president, he seemed exceedingly old and unhip, causing a startling visceral change when he first had to be recognized as "Mr. President." Obama's Vice-President is Joe Biden.
3. The Glamour Factor
A young president whose idea of entertainment goes beyond the cornpone, staid, dull tastes of his predecessor? One whom the hot artists of the day -- whether they're the Rat Pack or Jay-Z and Beyonce -- are clamoring to identify with? Like we say, parallels.
4. The Hatred Factor
Following their elections, both JFK and Obama -- for no real discernible reason -- became the subject of frothing hatred, especially in the South. Sure, Kennedy was at least considered to be aligned with Civil Rights (although civil-rights leaders of the time wouldn't agree with that) and Obama is at least considered by some to be a socialist-Marxist (although any socialist or Marxist would laugh). During Kennedy's term, a putatively normal Dallas housewife got so worked up about the rhetoric she was hearing that she slammed a protest sign on the head of JFK's U.N. ambassador, who was giving a speech in town. Who does that? These days, the Tea Party people -- or at least people who go to Tea Party events -- are out there with crazily ugly signs and slogans.
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It's just odd. Neither JFK nor Obama are examples of particularly radical agendas. Yet the hatred is boiling.
5. The Conspiracy Theories
A lot of people have gotten very rich peddling conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination. Let the word go forth from this time and place: Although the CIA, FBI and other agencies covered their ass on a million mistakes they made, Oswald was a stupid loner.
But -- should the unthinkable happen -- you ain't seen nothing yet.
So let's not let it happen.