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View Diary: What JFK Would Have Done with Today's Senate (155 comments)

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  •  Always nice when history (29+ / 0-)

    gives us such lovely parallels and precedents

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 05:21:57 PM PDT

    •  Here's another (18+ / 0-)

      I just finished reading A Great Improvisation:  Franklin, France, and the Birth of America by Stacy Schiff.  

      One of Benjamin Franklin's biggest problems as minister plenipotentiary to France during the Revolution was borrowing money.  It was a problem because of America was a terrible credit risk;  France was unwilling to believe that Americans could ever pay back the loans.  Their fears were founded on the premise that Americans had the wherewithal to fight and win the war, but they refused to tax themselves in order to do so.

      Plus ça change...

      Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

      by Big River Bandido on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 04:37:10 AM PDT

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    •  I always direct people to Robert Caro on LBJ (13+ / 0-)

      President Kennedy just wasn't that good at driving legislation through the senate. It took LBJ who really understood the body to get things done. That doesn't mean that even LBJ could work with the current crop of Republicans, but JFK is not the model we want to consider.

      I have never been able to figure out if Fox is the propaganda arm of the Republican party or is the Republican Party the political subsidiary of Fox.

      by Dave from Oregon on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:57:19 AM PDT

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      •  Caro's book (0+ / 0-)

        I've got a copy of The Passage of Power that I will start reading very soon. It was given to me with a very high recommendation.

        •  Every Democrat should read all of the Caro (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          midwesterner, jconway

          books on LBJ. That is an unvarnished view of how power works in this country. If you want to get things done, there it is in black and white.

          I have never been able to figure out if Fox is the propaganda arm of the Republican party or is the Republican Party the political subsidiary of Fox.

          by Dave from Oregon on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:03:23 PM PDT

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      •  Not to mention the assassination and 1964 election (4+ / 0-)

        Few cryptofascists were willing to stick their heads up to rail against the 'Kennedy bills' that became the 1964 Civil Rights after his death, except the radical right and bigots.  Many of those thought they were insulated by gerrymandering (sound familiar?).  And, indeed, many were (which is why R votes were so critical to passage of the '64 Act).  

        Of course, they became pretty irrelevant after 1964 gave LBJ majorities of 68-32 in the Senate (up from 66D-35R!) and 295D-176 (up 35 seats for D) in the House.  And even then Rs were lead by Dirksen in the Senate and Ford in the House, not exactly reactionaries.

        But after the halcyon days of the' 64 Congress passed, Rs rebounded in the (always in modern times) much lower turnout, more reactionary, more Thug mid-term by 48 seats
        in th House(248D), but only 3 in Senate.  Of course, LBJ then squandered those the jungles of Vietnam... but that's another story.

        If BO had anything like the majorities of LBJ, and even half the Thugs like Dirksen and Ford, we'd have single-payer, huge-magazine bans, and pretty much as much liberal nirvana as we could reasonably hope.

        But he never had anything like that.  So we don't.  And Dirksen would vomit at today's Thugs.

        But nevermind history, or what objective scholars like Ornstein say.  Blame Obama for everything!  Blame him for being too tough! (They did not 4 months ago, see FiscalCliff etc.), weak, or whatever.

        'Course, for most of them, they really mean too black.

        •  so you think BO is a liberal? (0+ / 0-)

          More liberal than, say, Dirksen or Howard Baker?

          "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

          by nailbender on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:25:18 PM PDT

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          •  Obama is (0+ / 0-)

            a mainstream left of center Democrat on most issues.

            Nancy Pelosi passed 400 bills that were obama's 2008 agenda.

            That was left of center progressivism.

            Obamacare's 80/20 rule is very key to establishing single payer in a few years. Vermont is taking the lead using its federal funds from Obamacare to set up Single Payer.

            Obama always believed in getting single payer long-term.

            Furthermore, Obamacare's medicaid expansion really tears a wall of poverty. LBJ would be proud of that.

            Obama is way underappreciated in terms of liberalism and progressivism. He is not the ideal president and there are legitimate criticisms no sugarcoating. But a lot of context is not considered when it comes to Obama.

            •  You point to his main weakness: he's operating (0+ / 0-)

              under right wing framing by leaving it to the states.  I wonder what agency will have to be instituted in order to deal with folks from MS heading up to New England to get that gall bladder surgery, just had to set up a PO box in Burlington and start having some mail sent there.

              That same underlying flaw, the tendency to work within the frame of the right by tempering it with sprinkles of liberalism and copious diversionary but liberal-sounding speechifying, is what causes him to behave as he has (or hasn't) with climate change, domestic security, terror war propagation, deportations, environmental oversight, financial oversight, Justice Administration, hell you name it.


              created the Environmental Protection Agency, created OSHA to oversee workplace safety and comfort, created the Consumer Product Safety Commission, created Title IX for women’s sports, added the cost-of-living adjustment to Social Security, and expanded food stamps and welfare assistance. He also supported the Equal Rights Amendment, though that failed out among the States.  
              I'd settle for him being just that liberal.

              "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

              by nailbender on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 12:54:09 AM PDT

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      •  How revisionist (0+ / 0-)

        LBJ also ran the Gulf of Tonkin and Viet Nam War thru the Senate too. Rescinded JFK's NSAM calling for the removal of 1000 troops from Viet Nam in 1964 while Kennedy was not yet  cold.

        Appointed the Warren Commission to COVER up his complicity in the assassination. I could go on and on.

        It was easy for LBJ to push JFK's agenda through after Kennedy's assassination.

        May I suggest you read : Promises Kept- JFK and the New Frontier.

        All I want is the truth. Just gimmie some truth John Lennon

        by gimmie truth on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 12:26:30 PM PDT

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    •  it's always good when the president studies (0+ / 0-)

      these precedents and learns from them to enhance the presidency.

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