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

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  •  "Will" and a dollar gets you a cup of coffee. (4+ / 0-)

    The diarist is historically inaccurate. JFK would have gotten next to nothing done with this Congress, just like he got next to nothing done with the Congress he had while in office.

    The netroots need to wake up to the reality that another New Deal or Great Society won't happen by looking for a Presidential savior to do it for us. We have to elect a decent President, give them a better Congress than Obama ever had, and then continue to put pressure on them all. No wizard is going to run for President and make Congress magically disappear.

    •  He has to earn a better Congress, as (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No Exit

      JFK was on the route to doing. He couldn't get his social legislation to pass; he stuck by his social legislation; he was going to go into his 2nd term with the majorities he needed as a consequence.

      FDR and JFK had the same Dixiecrats (now Republicans) to deal with, and by insisting on what the voters wanted and needed engineered their majorities in subsequent terms.

      Obama had majorities in 2009 and 2010, had the public will, and frittered it all away making senseless concessions to Republicans. This is history.

      Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest. route to More Democrats

      by Jim P on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:39:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow (4+ / 0-)

        If you're going to bring up Dixiecrats then at least acknowledge there was a white voting block from the south who would occasionally vote for with JFK, LBJ, and FDR that today will NEVER vote with Obama. The fact that Dixiecrats still existed gave previous Presidents the advantage of getting southern conservatives to vote with them at least once in a while. Obama has zero chance at getting a single conservative southern vote today because they're all part of the solid Republican tea party block.

        Imagining that the '64 landslide would have happened without the assassination is pretty fantastical thinking. History is that Obama never had the Congress of FDR or LBJ in '64. Obama had the Congress of Truman and the Congress of JFK, which resulted in very little getting done legislatively for any of them.

        And guess what, all of those Presidents made compromises that you would probably call "senseless concessions" as well.

        •  but they will yell 'you lie' at a SOTU (1+ / 0-)
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        •  JFK had a 58%-30% approve/disapprove (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          No Exit

          rating two weeks before he was killed.

          Goldwater, the GOP nominee regardless of JFK's death, presented himself as in favor of nuclear war first-strike.

          The Republican excuse that they lost in a landslide because of a sympathy vote is a complete load of shit, and I would hope people would stop repeating that Republican falsification of history.

          I'm using "complete load of shit" in the most technical sense. You have to know, literally, almost nothing about the political climate of the day to repeat the Republican lie. I understand the new pragmatism, properly named astigmatism, assumes that repeating Republican lies are a good basis for discussion, but be certain it's not good for Democrats. Nor the people.

          (The other Republican lie, btw, was that JFK won because the mob stole the election for him in Chicago. Chicago which had voted about 2-1 Democratic for decades. Try not to repeat that one, too.)

          Why was JFK popular? Civil Rights, Care for the Elderly, and Peace.

          Why did Democrats get a majority in 1964? Contrasted to Goldwater, the Dems represented Civil Rights, Care for the Elderly, and Peace.

          There's a difference between compromise and pre-compromise. Yes, FDR, HST, JFK, LBJ, and Jimmy Carter compromised.

          They did not negotiate with themselves in advance of offering their position.

          For instance, a pragmatist, seeing that practically every Economist said we needed a stimulus of $1.5T or more, would say "Okay, that's what the nation really needs." And propose -- not that -- but $2T or even $2.5T. Expecting to get negotiated down.

          A "DC Bubble pragmatist" says, "oh heck we'll never get what we actually need, so ask for about half."

          On the advice of Geithner, Summers, and other elements of the Organized Crime outfits we call Big Banks.

          So what happened? We needed $1.5T, minimum. We got half of what was needed. We didn't get the argument "well, Republicans stopped us from getting what was needed, vote Dem in 2010." Nor did we get $1.2T nor $1T which would have been closer to the mark.

          Instead we got an objectively inadequate stimulus (though it actually did help people get income for a while) and the Republicans got to say "See? Stimulus didn't work." Because, practically speaking, it couldn't.

          And when have you heard stimulus raised again? Why... never.

          Oh wait, there's the one exception: 72% of the American people, including 56% of Republicans, and 76% of Independents want a Federal Jobs Stimulus, regardless of it's effect on the deficit. (And let us remember, "deficit is our biggest problem" is a lie of the Republicans. Swallowed whole, without opposition or rejection by the Administration.)

          Only one of the differences between "Compromises" and "Pre-compromise" aka "selling oneself short."

          That's just history. This President, unlike previous Democratic Presidents in living memory, takes Republican positions as his starting point. That's a huge difference, and not fantastical, nor ahistorical, nor meaningless. That's been shown time and time again.

          One has to bend over backwards to make that reality go away. Or repeat Republican lies.

          Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest. route to More Democrats

          by Jim P on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:15:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  wasn't there a booming economy at the time? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            artmartin, wadingo

            That might account for JFK's approval ratings, as well as the whole "Camelot" stuff pushed by the MSM.

          •  Obama is more aggressive than JFK was. (0+ / 0-)

            Did JFK propose a strong civil rights bill? No, he proposed a weak one full of pre-concessions and didn't pass it. Johnson had to. JFK took the Republican position of cutting tax rates for the wealthy, while Obama increased them. Your criticisms of Obama can easily be made against JFK if you view him with the same critical lens.
            I'm glad you support Obama's call for another jobs bill. It's a shame the progressive netroots ignore it, like nearly everything else progressive Obama advocates.

            •  Calling for a bill, and pushing for a bill, and (0+ / 0-)

              forcing the public conversation to be about the bill; these are different things.

              When you hear him give more than lip service to the bill, pushing that as hard as he does c-CPI and "reforming" the safety-net, as hard as he pushes the Republican lie that the deficit is our major problem, then we'll all have something to celebrate.

              Until then, kabuki is as kabuki does.

              JFK's Bill was pretty strong, and Johnson's contained nothing new but, a needed, stronger enforcement. JFK made enemies of the Banking, Oil, and Military-Industrial complexes. His lowering tax rates was in response to the general prosperity of the time, and, yes, a concession. It DID NOT win him the love of the power-brokers.

              Obama has cultivated Banking, Oil, and the MIC. Obama did not raise the rates of the wealthy, he allowed a provision to expire, but only on the very very richest, after claiming he'd drawn a line in the sand at $250K. Which line, apparently, he later interpreted to mean "step over me."

              Of course, JFK worked to enhance rights; Obama has banished trial by jury, claimed a right to execute even American Citizens by decree, fought for and expanded every domestic spy initiative of George W Bush, and placed the first two entirely at the discretion of a President. Whether it be himself or a President Palin down the road.

              If you want to talk about rights.

              btw, during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations I lived in Bed-Stuy. In every friend's home, all of them, in the living room there was a picture of Jesus in the center and on then, about six inches down, a picture of Dr King on one side and of JFK on the other. I think people at that time understood JFK's legislation better than you do.

              Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest. route to More Democrats

              by Jim P on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 10:41:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Amazing that you worship one hero (0+ / 0-)

                who did very little but stick to a narrative about Obama that's completely out of ouch with reality. You seem invested in twisting the facts to fit your prejudices about Obama.

                You wrote: "pushing that as hard as he does c-CPI"
                False. He hasn't personally pushed for SS cuts at all. The most spokespersons have said is that he doesn't it like the cuts but it's an attempt at compromise. Only in the imaginations of the outrage-peddlers is he pushing hard for major cuts to the safety net. In fact, he expanded the safety net before Republicans took Congress, but I know you like to pretend Congress doesn't matter.

                Obama has done more to reduce oil consumption than any other President in history X10. No, he hasn't gained oil industry support after finally moving the country away from oil dependence. Seriously, learn about something other than the talking points about BP and Keystone.

                You wrote: "Obama did not raise the rates of the wealthy, he allowed a provision to expire"

                And this difference in wording matters because...? This line suggests you're desperate to deny Obama credit for anything positive. Taxes on the rich went up. End of story. I bet you supported that before Obama did it.

                You wrote: "fought for and expanded every domestic spy initiative of George W Bush"

                That is absolutely false. I also notice that trials by jury are still happening so Obama must not have "banished" them very well.

                JFK had charisma but did very little. Obama's progressive record is much more impressive. Maybe further down the road your hate will have dulled enough to see both the good and bad of Obama's accomplishments.

                Why is seeing the absolute worst in everything Obama does so important to you?

                •  Oh, fuck, look, talk to me after you've figured (0+ / 0-)

                  out what "must compete in the global marketplace" means, really means. (Hint: China uses "_" labor; India uses "_" labor)

                  And then take a look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership and tell me what that means.

                  And then take a look at the current childhood poverty at a rate not present since the early 1960s, its increasing rate, and how poverty hasn't even been mentioned by this President, and tell me what that means.

                  And then take a look at how the Justice Department hasn't put one person in jail in any one of several frauds and drug- and terror-money laundering outfits at the Banks: the Banks which have literally defrauded tens of millions; and then they get a 1 or 2% fine for all their crimes, and then invited to the White House to give him counsel.

                  I don't hate Obama. Bush was the last politician I hated. I have no emotion about the President.

                  YOU have the emotion about him. That's why you're so confused on the topic you misconstrue plain English to be nonsense.

                  If you think Obama has not pushed the surveillance state, go read what the ACLU, and hundreds of journalists, says about it and then talk to them about how they're wrong.

                  If you think Obama has not claimed the power to detain and kill solely on a President's own desecration then go read the fucking NDAA and work that out.

                  Get real. Goodbye.

                  PS: Tearing down taller buildings doesn't make the shorter building taller.

                  Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest. route to More Democrats

                  by Jim P on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:17:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Obama talked about poverty today. (0+ / 0-)

                    He talks about poverty often, but you think he "never" does. Remember that phrase "narrative trumps reality?" You should ask yourself why your perception of Obama is so far removed from reality. Just because Cornel West accuses Obama of never talking about poverty doesn't mean it's true.

                    Here's Obama talking about poverty today, as he very often does.


                    And things have stabilized since the crisis in 2008, but for a lot of folks, they’re still just barely keeping their heads above water.  There are millions of kids across this country who are still poorly educated or malnourished, or don't have any place to go outside of school.  And for them, college is just a distant dream.  They can't even imagine the prospect of actually creating a life for themselves that's similar to what they see on television, or maybe just walking down the streets of Dallas.  It’s like looking through a pane of glass.

                         We have made enormous strides when it comes to broadening equality in this country.  And I could not be prouder of the work that we've done under my administration to make sure that we have a strong civil rights division, that we ended "don't ask, don't tell," that we're championing the rights of the LGBT community, that we're making sure that women are getting paid the same as men for the work that they do.  But we all know that in all kinds of interactions, large and small, there are people out there who aren't getting a fair shot, still aren't getting a fair deal, still aren't being treated the way we would want ourselves to be treated.  And government has something to say about that.

                    Yes, Obama has made some bad decisions about civil liberties. So write that. Claiming he has expanded ALL of Bush's spy programs is a lie. In fact, he has put restrictions and safegaurds on many Bush policies related to domestic spying. Wild exaggeration doesn't lead to a realistic worldview.
                  •  And look (0+ / 0-)

                    FDR didn't jail bankers. He invited a Wall Street trader to be his first Treasury Secretary. So what? Does that mean the New Deal was bad? You can cherry-pick actions and turn them into whatever narrative you want, good or bad. Using your tactics, it's easy to make JFK and FDR look far more conservative than you're making Obama out to be. You choose to see things the way you do.
                    Getting back to the original topic, I think a better Congress would have resulted in Obama being a hell of a lot better President than what we've seen. A lot more would get done if the netroots spent more time pressuring Congress and stopped expecting ANY President to do that job for us.

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