March 28, 2023
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Here’s a brainteaser:
Was Samuel Byck a would-be assassin?
To refresh your memory, here’s his story:
Sam Byck was a miserable failure. Born to a Philadelphia Jewish family, Byck was the child they didn’t brag about. A failure at business, a failure at marriage, a failure at life in general.
In 1974, after being rejected for an SBA loan, rather than blaming himself for his previous business disasters, Byck blamed NIXON! He became obsessed with putting Nixon out of office. Nixon was destroying the country with high taxes, social unrest, and racism. He’d damaged the nation’s prestige with Watergate.
The man had to go!
First, Byck tried peaceable means: He picketed the White House dressed as Santa Clause demanding that Nixon step down. When that didn’t work, he realized, “What other option do I have but to kill him?”
On February 22, 1974, Byck drove to Baltimore/Washington International Airport armed with a .22 pistol. His plan? Hijack a jet and crash it into the White House. He approached a gate where a Delta flight to Atlanta was finishing embarkation.
Here’s Byck himself (from an audio “last testament”) describing his brilliant scheme:
I’ll try to get the plane aloft and fly it towards the target area, which will be Washington, D.C. By guise, threats, or trickery, I hope to force the pilot to buzz the White House—I mean, sort of dive towards the White House. When the plane is in this position, I will shoot the pilot and then in the last few minutes try to steer the plane into the target, which is the White House.
He thought that would work. He thought he could use “guise” to “trick” the pilots into buzzing the White House.
“Hey, I know I’m just a passenger, but, uh, I promised my dying grandma I’d see the White House from above! Could you let me fulfill that promise?”
“Sure thing! I can take this baby anywhere you wanna go; after all, I’m the pilot!”
Byck shot his way through security, killing an airport cop. This caused Byck to jettison “guise” for “threats.” He ordered the pilots to take off. When they told him the plane wasn’t ready—the chocks were still on the wheels—he shot them both. He then tried to figure out how to fly the plane himself, but by then an army of cops had caught up and he was gunned down (severely wounded, he shot himself dead).
Okay, here’s what we can say with certainty about Byck’s plan:
(1) It failed.
(2) Byck was an idiot whose plan was so badly conceived, it would’ve been laughable had innocent people not died. Byck was no skilled assassin; he was a loser who had no idea what he was doing.
(3) There’s no way in hell the plan could’ve worked. Even if Byck had managed to threaten the pilots to take off, and even if he’d forced them to fly through restricted airspace toward the White House, Nixon would’ve had plenty of time to be evacuated by the Secret Service (ironically, air security over D.C. had been increased a week earlier after a disgruntled soldier landed a Huey on the White House lawn). Bottom line: Byck could not have accomplished his objective. Period.
(4) The objective was vague and stupid: Killing Nixon wouldn’t have resulted in Byck getting a loan (he’d be dead anyway), and it wouldn’t have cured any of the societal ills he railed about.
Okay, there’s the story. Now answer the question. Should Sam Byck be considered a would-be assassin, alongside Richard Lawrence, Giuseppe Zangara, Squeaky Fromme, and Sarah Jane Moore?
Every list of would-be presidential assassins includes Byck.
His plan was vague (with no concept of how to actually achieve the objective), badly conceived, and poorly executed. It failed, and—most important—it could not possibly have succeeded. Yet everyone everywhere still refers to him as a would-be (or failed) assassin.
What say you?
Hold that thought…
It’s high time, past time, to let go of January 6th. Because you’re the only ones obsessing about it anymore. The left took its shot with the committee hearings, which laid an egg with the public. 1/6 was a national embarrassment, and citizens of a nation typically prefer to forget national embarrassments. But the right won’t allow that. Rightist media superstars, influencers, and politicians have decided to turn 1/6 into the Alamo—a battlefield loss but a long-term win. A rallying cry.
The smart move after 1/6 would’ve been to say, “It was inexcusable, those who took part in it committed criminal acts, let’s move on.” But rightists never make the smart move; there’s usually a better con to be found in the wrong one. So now the scam is to turn something in which rightists were the bad guys into something that proves the existence of a grand conspiracy to frame and destroy the right. Two years on, 1/6 should be a memory. Instead, it’s become the Cadillac in the right’s showroom of “proof you’re being oppressed.”
A bunch of rightists riot and commit numerous crimes, and then complain that the fact they’re being prosecuted is proof that “the man” is keeping them down. It’s the greatest magic trick in American political history: Trump turned his followers black. “Why you hasslin’ me? All I wuz doin’ wuz breakin’ shit. Besides, man, dem cops framed me!”
Lee Atwater harnessed the “angry white male” to lead GOPs to victory after victory. Trump took the angry white male and made him the whiny black male, leading to defeat after defeat (it’s hilarious how these Groyper types started the Trump era with “Helicopter rides! Physical removal” and ended it with “No fair! They no treatin’ us fay-yuh!” Pathetic little bitches).
The morons at Fox, the high-follower rightist influencers on Twitter, and the vegetative statesmen in the GOPs MAGA wing are trying to craft a wholly false portrait of 1/6 in which a few lovable MAGAs strolled peacefully into the Capitol, no violence was committed, and anything bad that did occur was all feds feds feds. They want you to stay obsessed with 1/6. They want 1/6 to become your Gulf of Tonkin, your Kuwaiti incubator babies, but in reverse: the claim of a hoax, not an actual hoax, utilized to inculcate the gullible with righteous fury. The hucksters want you to cling to 1/6 as proof that an all-powerful “they” orchestrated a lie of unprecedented magnitude just to keep you down.
Last week, Tucker Carlson declared, “January 6 is, I think, probably second to only the 2020 election as the biggest scam in my lifetime.” The grifters have moved beyond wanting to merely play down 1/6 violence. They’re now denying not only the violence but the entire event (in terms of MAGAs as perpetrators). And I hate to say this, but I know the topic all too well: They’re following the Holocaust denial playbook. It’s the exact same scam. Deniers purposely misrepresent innocuous photos from non-extermination camps (POW camps, labor camps, ghettos) and say, “Well, you don’t see any Jew-killing here! So therefore there wasn’t any.”
A meme currently circulating on Twitter shows a photo from the Nováky camp swimming pool. Nováky was a fascinating place (not that anyone cares about history anymore): a WWII Slovakian camp/ghetto coadministered by Slovaks and a Jewish committee. The inmates were Slovakian Jews whose labor skills had exempted them from Nazi deportation. And yeah, it had a coed pool. And a school. And arts and crafts.
So deniers use this photo of a Slovakian/Jewish-run camp and say, “This means no Jews were killed anywhere. Even Auschwitz had a pool” (a true claim, but it was in the penal/political prisoner camp, not the Jewish internment camp).
What deniers will never show you is the mound of evidence for the Reinhard extermination program.
Deniers: “See this no-context photo? It proves the Holocaust is the biggest scam of my lifetime. Sure, Jews were put in labor camps, and that wasn’t cool. But the Nazis have been slandered with lies that they did worse.”
Tucker Carlson: “See this video of nonviolent guys strolling around the rotunda? It proves 1/6 is the biggest scam of my lifetime. Sure MAGAs did trespass, and that wasn’t cool. But they’ve been slandered with lies that they did worse.”
Meanwhile, Tuck never shows the hours and hours of footage of how the rioters got inside: the beating of cops, the hand-to-hand combat, the bear spray.
Gosh, I wonder why people thought Brian Sicknick died after being hit on the head with a fire extinguisher. I dunno; maybe because there’s footage of 1/6ers hitting cops on the head with fire extinguishers.
“Well, yeah, we dun dat, but not to that particular cop. Quit oppressin’ us, homes.”
I’m not comparing MAGAs to Nazis; I’m making the point that hoax-hoaxes (falsely claiming that a genuine event was a hoax) follow the same pattern in terms of how they’re constructed, even if the specifics and goals are different.
The main purpose of the 1/6 hoax-hoax is (first and foremost) to rake in ratings, views, clicks, and money. But there’s a second purpose: to further distance the right from reality.
“If they can fake 1/6, they can fake anything! You want proof that nothing is real, here it is!”
This Alex Jones “it’s all a simulation” reality-detached craziness is what’s killing the GOP electorally. It’s what alienates voters who want to hear about issues that matter to them. It’s what leads to idiot gubernatorial candidates who tell potential voters, “I don’t want your vote,” and then, after they lose, wail, “Why you no vote fo’ me? The election must’ve been rigged!”
If the fraudsters can lighten you of a few IQ points, that’s the best guarantee they have that you’ll support the next Lake and Mastriano (and, of course, Trump himself).
The fraudsters want you to have an emotional reason—a personal reason—to never let go of 1/6. Because they gain from you not letting go of it.
Let go of it.
The 1/6ers were violent thugs. They (not all, but enough) were genuinely trying to overturn a lawful election. That was their goal. They loudly and proudly announced it going in. They forced the entire Congress to flee. They kicked in doors and ransacked offices looking for government “intel.”
Their plan was vague (with no concept of how to actually achieve the objective), badly conceived, and poorly executed. It failed, and—most important—it could not possibly have succeeded.
Were they “would-be” or “failed” insurrectionists? That’s not for me to say. But if your answer to that question is different from the one you gave regarding Byck, ask yourself why.
And by the way, “We wuzn’t hurtin’ nobody; we wuz just playin’” is the standard response of black kids caught red-handed assaulting a classmate. Trump turned his followers not into whiny black men, but whiny black children.
1/6 is not a win for the right. Don’t let the con artists convince you otherwise.