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View Diary: Chained CPI, Social Insurance and Two Kinds of Politics (66 comments)

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  •  And who blew it all on war (4+ / 0-)

    LBJ took office with ~16k American "advisors" in 'Nam, and escalated to about 500k.  He won a massive landslide in 1964 yet gave up in 1968 when he knew he'd have trouble winning renomination, let alone re-election.  And his later budgets were all about guns, not butter.

    That's the trajectory issue, not what he did at first.  He blew his lead, badly.  And for no good reason other than stubbornness or, perhaps, mental illness.

    But I agree with another commenter that there's a contrast here; Johnson went down because he stuck to his guns, while Obama's problem is a lack of principles.  Obama still thinks Dick Morris' advice to triangulate is good politics.

    •  Well, personally, I think LBJ had rotten advice (1+ / 0-)
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      from MacNamara and others.

      That war started on JFK's watch. Perhaps maybe possibly LBJ didn't want to do to the South Vietnamese what JFK did to the Cubans.

      Our current President appears to ignore good advice, repeatedly, and seems happy to do to the American people what they voted against Paul Ryan's promises to do, just last year.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 11:23:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What did JFK do that compared? (2+ / 0-)
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        Whatithink, mightymouse

        The war sort of started on JFK's watch -- actually the war against the French sort of continued as an insurgency within South Vietnam, and JFK sent "advisors" while ARVN did the bulk of the combat.  But what did he do to the Cubans?  He invaded the Bay of Pigs, and then pulled back the invasion as it turned into a debacle.  The two are simply not even possible to compare!

        Yes, I'm sure Johnson got bad advice, from McNamara and from Rusk, among others, but he had final say.  He could have stepped back but instead jumped in whole-hog, which Kennedy seemed to me at least to have been less likely to do.  Remember, LBJ campaigned against the war in 2004; it was Goldwater who wanted to escalate.

        Obama is probably getting tons of bad advice from Jack Lew and other Rubinites, triangulators, and fans of the veddy best cocktail parties where the VSPs hang out.  Again it's his fault to take their advice to go against what he was elected to do.

        The other real question, though, is whether Obama is actually in charge -- whether any elected official or government is really in charge -- or whether the E1s are pulling the strings and forcing him to dance to their tune.  The old "deal with the devil" bit -- you get the title, not the power.

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