contact
Main
Contact Me

about
About RightWing NutHouse

Site Stats

blog radio

Listen to internet radio with RINO Hour of Power on Blog Talk Radio
Click Here to Pay Learn More

testimonials

"Brilliant"
(Romeo St. Martin of Politics Watch-Canada)

"The epitome of a blogging orgasm"
(Cao of Cao's Blog)

"Rick Moran is one of the finest essayists in the blogosphere. ‘Nuff said. "
(Dave Schuler of The Glittering Eye)

archives
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004

search



blogroll

A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT
A Conservative Lesbian
ABBAGAV
ACE OF SPADES
ALPHA PATRIOT
AM I A PUNDIT NOW
AMERICAN FUTURE
AMERICAN THINKER
ANCHORESS
AND RIGHTLY SO
ANDREW OLMSTED
ANKLEBITING PUNDITS
AREOPAGITICA
ATLAS SHRUGS
BACKCOUNTRY CONSERVATIVE
BASIL’S BLOG
BEAUTIFUL ATROCITIES
BELGRAVIA DISPATCH
BELMONT CLUB
BETSY’S PAGE
Blacksmiths of Lebanon
Blogs of War
BLUEY BLOG
BRAINSTERS BLOG
BUZZ MACHINE
CANINE PUNDIT
CAO’S BLOG
CAPTAINS QUARTERS
CATHOUSE CHAT
CHRENKOFF
CINDY SHEEHAN WATCH
Classical Values
Cold Fury
COMPOSITE DRAWLINGS
CONSERVATHINK
CONSERVATIVE THINK
CONTENTIONS
DAVE’S NOT HERE
DEANS WORLD
DICK McMICHAEL
Diggers Realm
DR. SANITY
E-CLAIRE
EJECT! EJECT! EJECT!
ELECTRIC VENOM
ERIC’S GRUMBLES BEFORE THE GRAVE
ESOTERICALLY.NET
FAUSTA’S BLOG
FLIGHT PUNDIT
FOURTH RAIL
FRED FRY INTERNATIONAL
GALLEY SLAVES
GATES OF VIENNA
HEALING IRAQ
http://blogcritics.org/
HUGH HEWITT
IMAO
INDEPUNDIT
INSTAPUNDIT
IOWAHAWK
IRAQ THE MODEL
JACKSON’S JUNCTION
JO’S CAFE
JOUST THE FACTS
KING OF FOOLS
LASHAWN BARBER’S CORNER
LASSOO OF TRUTH
LIBERTARIAN LEANINGS
LITTLE GREEN FOOTBALLS
LITTLE MISS ATTILA
LIVE BREATHE AND DIE
LUCIANNE.COM
MAGGIE’S FARM
MEMENTO MORON
MESOPOTAMIAN
MICHELLE MALKIN
MIDWEST PROGNOSTICATOR
MODERATELY THINKING
MOTOWN BLOG
MY VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY
mypetjawa
NaderNow
Neocon News
NEW SISYPHUS
NEW WORLD MAN
North Star National
Northerncrown
OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY
PATRIOTIC MOM
PATTERICO’S PONTIFICATIONS
POLIPUNDIT
Political Byline
POLITICAL MUSINGS
POLITICAL TEEN
POWERLINE
PRO CYNIC
PUBLIUS FORUM
QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS
RACE42008
RADICAL CENTRIST
Ravenwood’s Universe
RELEASE THE HOUNDS
RIGHT FROM LEFT
RIGHT VOICES
RIGHT WING NEWS
RIGHTFAITH
RIGHTWINGSPARKLE
ROGER L. SIMON
SHRINKRAPPED
Six Meat Buffet
Slowplay.com
SOCAL PUNDIT
SOCRATIC RYTHM METHOD
STOUT REPUBLICAN
TERRORISM UNVEILED
TFS MAGNUM
THE ART OF THE BLOG
THE BELMONT CLUB
The Conservative Cat
THE DONEGAL EXPRESS
THE LIBERAL WRONG-WING
THE LLAMA BUTCHERS
THE MAD PIGEON
THE MODERATE VOICE
THE PATRIETTE
THE POLITBURO DIKTAT
THE PRYHILLS
THE RED AMERICA
THE RESPLENDENT MANGO
THE RICK MORAN SHOW
THE SMARTER COP
THE SOAPBOX
THE STRATA-SPHERE
THE STRONG CONSERVATIVE
THE SUNNYE SIDE
THE VIVID AIR
THOUGHTS ONLINE
TIM BLAIR
TRANSATLANTIC INTELLIGENCER
TRANSTERRESTRIAL MUSINGS
TYGRRRR EXPRESS
VARIFRANK
VIKING PUNDIT
VINCE AUT MORIRE
VODKAPUNDIT
WALLO WORLD
WIDE AWAKES
WIZBANG
WUZZADEM
ZERO POINT BLOG


recentposts


RINO Hour of Power: Baltimore Riots: Are we in for a long, hot summer?

RINO Hour of Power: Is the GOP doing a better job of running Congress than the Democrats?

RINO Hour of Power: Hillary Announces: Should we bother to count the votes?

RINO Hour of Power: A Preview of the 2015 Major League Baseball Season

RINO Hour of Power: Indiana religious freedom law: Bigotry or defending the 1st Amendment?

RINO Hour of Power: A Conversation with David P. Goldman, AKA ‘Spengler’

RINO Hour of Power: Eight Year Anniversary of Broadcasting on Blog Talk Radio

RINO Hour of Power: Political Potpourrie

RINO Hour of Power: Mr. Netanyahu Goes to Washington

Boycott CPAC

RINO Hour of Power: GOP playing chicken with Homeland Security funding

RINO Hour of Power: What does the Brian Williams fiasco tell us about modern journalism?

RINO Hour of Power: The Vaccine Controversy and the Anti-Science Right

RINO Hour of Power: The State of the Union - The State of Obama’s Presidency

RINO Hour of Power: A Tour d’Horizon of Global Terrorism

RINO Hour of Power: How will Republican factionalism in the House affect Congress?

RINO Hour of Power: The Opening to Cuba

RINO Hour of Power: The Death of The New Republic

RINO Hour of Power: Political Potpourri

Ten Reasons Why Thanksgiving is My Favorite Holiday

RINO Hour of Power: The Fallout from Ferguson

RINO Hour of Power: Gruber Fallout and the Lame Duck Session of Congress

RINO Hour of Power: Election Night Extravaganza

RINO Hour of Power: GOP eyes Senate majority status one week from mid terms

RINO Hour of Power: War Drums Beating in Washington


categories

"24" (117)
ABLE DANGER (10)
American Issues Project (11)
Arizona Massacre (5)
Bailout (32)
Bird Flu (5)
Birthers (16)
Blackhawks (2)
Blagojevich (9)
Blogging (404)
Books (10)
CARNIVAL OF THE CLUELESS (68)
Caucasus (1)
CHICAGO BEARS (40)
Chicago Bulls (3)
Chicago East (3)
CIA VS. THE WHITE HOUSE (29)
Cindy Sheehan (13)
Climate Change (3)
Climate Chnage (11)
conservative reform (96)
cotton candy conservatives (20)
CPAC Conference (13)
Culture (11)
Debt ceiling (2)
Decision '08 (402)
Decision 2010 (13)
Decision 2012 (34)
Deficit reduction (5)
Election '06 (9)
Entitlement Crisis (4)
Environment (15)
Ethics (290)
Fairness Doctrine (1)
Financial Crisis (53)
FRED! (28)
FrontPage.Com (79)
Frum Forum (2)
Gaza incident (1)
General (431)
GOP Reform (61)
Government (295)
health care reform (66)
History (298)
Homeland Security (18)
IMMIGRATION REFORM (28)
IMPEACHMENT (3)
Iran (114)
IRAQI RECONCILIATION (13)
Israel vs. Hamas (6)
KATRINA (29)
Katrina Timeline (5)
Lebanon (18)
Liberal Congress (12)
Manzine (1)
Marvin Moonbat (14)
Media (262)
Middle East (183)
Moonbats (81)
National Health Insurance (4)
NET NEUTRALITY (2)
Newsreal Blog (1)
Obama inauguration (2)
Obama-Rezko (15)
OBAMANIA! (80)
Oil Spill (2)
Olympics (6)
Open House (1)
Palin (23)
Pirates (1)
PJ Media (119)
PJ Tatler (5)
Politics (1271)
Presidential Debates (7)
Presidential Transition (9)
RINO Hour of Power (140)
RNC (2)
S-CHIP (3)
Sarah Palin (5)
Science (70)
Space (33)
Sports (18)
Star Trek (1)
SUPER BOWL (7)
Supreme Court (28)
Swine Flu (4)
Tea Parties (15)
Technology (5)
Tenth Amendment (3)
The Caucasus (1)
The Law (19)
The Long War (11)
The Rick Moran Show (306)
Too Big To Fail (8)
Torture (2)
UNITED NATIONS (22)
Walpin Scandal (2)
War on Terror (402)
WATCHER'S COUNCIL (117)
WHITE SOX (7)
Who is Mr. Hsu? (7)
Wide Awakes Radio (9)
WORLD CUP (11)
WORLD POLITICS (127)
WORLD SERIES (16)


meta

Admin Login
Register
Valid XHTML
XFN







credits


Design by:


Hosted by:


Powered by:
11/22/2004
ONE OF THE GREAT “WHAT IFS”
CATEGORY: General

What if John F. Kennedy had lived?

Such questions used to be the province of novelists. Only recently have historians begun to take such questions seriously.

As Niall Ferguson points out in his remarkable book “Virtual History” these “what if” questions or counterfactuals were considered little more than a parlor game until it became clear that scholars could, in fact, measure some of the impact one man or one event had on the historical timeline. (This book is a must read for its introduction alone which, in 90 pages, covers the history of historical philosophy in the western world from the time of Homer.)

This kind of alternative history is always fun. Let’s begin with a few basic alternative scenarios involving Oswald.

1. Suppose Roy Truly, Oswald’s employer at the book depository, had known or been told by the FBI that Oswald had been a defector? Oswald would have been fired and thus prevented from using the book depository as a sniper’s perch.

2. Suppose Oswald’s wife Marina hadn’t rejected his attempt at reconciliation the night before the assassination? This one’s sort of a stretch, but it’s clear Oswald was despondent over his failure to patch up his marriage. Marina also certainly would have made Oswald promise not to do “anything crazy” as she termed the attempted assassination of General Walker.

3. Suppose the FBI had told the secret service that Oswald was in Dallas? Agent Hosty of the FBI never thought of informing the secret service that Oswald was a threat. His reason? He didn’t know Oswald had left his job at the photo lab (which was nowhere near the motorcade route) and went to work at the book depository.

4. Suppose any one of several witnesses who saw Oswald in the 6th floor window of the depository had told a policeman or the secret service prior to the motorcade’s arrival in Dealy Plaza? Oswald sat in full view of the crowd below sighting his rifle for more than 20 minutes prior to the assassination. All the witnesses assumed he was a secret service agent.

What about Kennedy and his aides?

1. Suppose the Kennedy people had decided not to have the luncheon Kennedy was on his way to at the Dallas Trade Mart? There were two other possibilities that were rejected. If they had held the event somewhere else, Kennedy would have avoided the ambush.

2. Suppose Kennedy hadn’t gone to Dallas in the first place? John Connally didn’t want Kennedy interfering in the ongoing war he was waging against the liberal wing of the Texas Democratic Party and his nemeses Rep. Henry Gonzalez. Connally (among others) urged Kennedy not to go.

3. Suppose Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman had floored the limo after hearing the second shot hit the President? The bullet, which entered Kennedy’s back and exited right below his adams apple was serious but not fatal. Kellerman had almost four seconds between that shot and the third and fatal shot. Instead of speeding up, Kellerman slowed to about 6 miles an hour giving Oswald an almost stationary target 88 yards away. Kennedy’s head looked as big as a pumpkin in Oswald’s telescopic sight. He could hardly have missed.

This is all well and good. But what if Kennedy had lived?

Conventional wisdom is that we wouldn’t have gotten bogged down in Viet Nam and that civil rights legislation would have moved through the Congress earlier. This assumes that Kennedy would have won the 1964 election against Goldwater. But, is all of that true?

1. There is a myth that Kennedy was enormously popular at the time of his death and would, like Johnson, have buried Goldwater in 1964. Both suppositions are wrong. Kennedy’s approval rating was at barely 50% in November of 1963. And the entire purpose of his going to Texas was to patch up the political feuds that threatened to give the state to Republicans in 1964. It seems probable that Goldwater, who ended up being very competitive in the south against Johnson would have had a real shot at cutting into what, at the time, was a solid base of support for the Democrats in the old confederacy. Couple that with the loss of the “sympathy vote” Johnson got in 1964 and all of a sudden Goldwater looks like a serious competitor.

2. No myth has been more resilient than the belief that, if Kennedy had lived, America wouldn’t have gotten bogged down in Viet Nam. Kennedy apologists have advanced this theory for years. Unfortunately, history tells a different story.

First, if Kennedy had tried to withdraw from South Viet Nam after the election, his own party would have turned against him. All the major committees in Congress (yes, ALL of them) were chaired by Southern Democrats. At the very least, these southerners would have demanded some kind of quid pro quo on civil rights in return for Kennedy sticking it out in Viet Nam.

In addition, whoever was President in the Spring of 1965 would have faced the same decision that President Johnson faced; the imminent collapse of the South Vietnamese military in the face of communist aggression. Such a clear defeat of a US ally would not have been tolerated by the American people at the time and would have handed Republicans an election winning issue in 1968.

3. Detente with the Russians. This “what if” is cited most often by conspiracy buffs when trying to pin the assassination on the CIA or the military. Frankly, I can’t imagine where this kind of liberal fantasy came from. The fact is that John Kennedy was the best friend the CIA and the military ever had (until Reagan). He gave the CIA absolute carte blanche in wide swaths of the world including Latin America and Viet Nam. He almost DOUBLED the defense budget in less than 4 years.

And as far as detente with Russia, this is the President that said at his inaugural that “we will bear any burden, pay any price” in the cause of freedom. Kennedy was, in fact, the coldest of cold warriors. And while the Cuban missile crisis sobered him somewhat, he never the less made it clear that he would confront Soviet expansionism wherever he could.

4. How serious was Kennedy about civil rights? The history of the Kennedy administration and civil rights was one of reaction. Kennedy’s proposals were only made after Birmingham made it clear that the civil rights movement was determined to achieve equality. His somewhat modest proposals were in fact expanded by Lyndon Johnson and presented to the country as part of JFK’s legacy. It remains one of the great mysteries of the Kennedy administration as to whether or not Kennedy could in fact have even gotten his modest proposals through the Congress. Johnson’s legendary lobbying prowess would have been not have been utilized to the fullest if one were to go by how the administration used Johnson in the first term.

Now, wasn’t that fun? Send me an email or leave a comment if you have any other interesting “what ifs” about Kennedy. I’ll post as many as I can.

By: Rick Moran at 7:26 am
2 Responses to “ONE OF THE GREAT “WHAT IFS””
  1. 1
    The Owner's Manual Trackbacked With:
    12:01 am 

    Best of Me Symphony #64
    Those moronic, patchouli perfumed poseurs who picked up the mantle when the first wave started getting bent and gray and retreated to the halls of academe have been beaten into the dustbin.

  2. 2
    Jeff Cody Said:
    1:03 am 

    If JFK had lived, Bobby Baker and Billie Sol Estes would have taken LBJ down with them, and Hoover would have been forced to retire in 1965. Speculating about JFK surviving an assassination attempt makes the what-if scenario so endless, it’s impossible to speculate.

    I personally think Kennedy would have sought the middle ground in Vietnam as he did in Laos (trying to broker a coalition) and Cuba (using the quarantine rather than invade) and Berlin (accepting the construction of the wall). All of those things would not have hurt JFK in 1964. They were all too far away for Americans to care about and Cuba although close was lost during a Republican administration.

    Kennedy even after losing Vietnam could make the point that Americans were still free even if others around the world were not and that there was therefore hope for freedom for all the world not just for the Americans. If someone says, yeh, that’s in spite of Kennedy, so be it. The problems Kennedy was dealing with existed before him, during him, and after him, as is the case for any President whether liberal or conservative.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.