BRYAN PRESTON: Frank Rich Is Wrong: Hate Didn’t Kill Kennedy, But It Is Killing Civil Discourse in America.

Frank Rich chose to mark the 48th anniversary by smearing Dallas, again, and by extension conservatives of the present. It’s a column which should get him ridiculed and fired; no one who is so irresponsible with the hard facts of life has any place in the commentariat.The title gives Rich’s game away. It’s “What Killed JFK?” not “Who Killed JFK?” as it should be. A “what” is much easier to abstract, isolate, and attack than a “who” who had inconvenient opinions and motivations, and a madness to move.

The cold, hard fact of that day in Dallas is this: Whether Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman or by a conspiracy that included others, Dallas’ “climate” had nothing to do with it. Dallas was the scene of the crime but wasn’t responsible for it. Lee Harvey Oswald was not a mainstream Dallas man. He would not have been a Tea Partier. Lee Harvey Oswald was a communist. He had defected to the Soviet Union, become disillusioned, and returned. He had tried to travel to Cuba and failed. If hate was Oswald’s motive in Kennedy’s killing, the hate lived in the chest of a man who had failed at life, had rejected the freedoms of his country, and used bullets to write himself into the history books. Lee Harvey Oswald was an America-hating leftist.

Indeed. But Frank Rich and his ilk have been unable to wrap their minds around that fact for nearly 50 years.