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  •  Kennedy (6+ / 0-)

    Even though he never had the profile that his brothers had, and history will likely not remember him the way they so Bobby and Jack, Teddy will certainly have had a larger impact on government policy than his brothers combined.

    I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat

    by OGGoldy on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 07:44:56 AM PDT

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    •  He was in the senate for nearly 50 years (4+ / 0-)

      John 8 years, and Bobby less than 4.

      by Paleo on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 08:01:10 AM PDT

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    •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)

      Jack was mostly in over his head as president, a few significant victories and a lot of poor strategy and bad beats. Bobby's record as AG was pretty lousy, actually, since he seemed to envision the office more as a clearing house for insane Castro overthrow/assassination plots than for prosecuting lawbreakers. Teddy had decades' worth of major accomplishments in the Senate. After the Boomers die off, no doubt he'll be best remembered by history.

      •  Untrue (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        propjoe, Inkpen

        JFK was not in over his head.  After a slow start, he successfully handled the Cuban Missle Crisis, pushed civil rights and introduced the civil rights act, and successfully negotiated and won approval of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

        RFK's AG's office brought lawsuits that led to the integration of universities and schools throughout the south.

        by Paleo on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 09:19:36 AM PDT

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        •  Hmm... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lordpet8, nimh

          The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred because of (1) the Bay of Pigs, a bona-fide Kennedy disaster that convinced Castro he needed outside help, and (2) Kennedy's misreading of Krushchev and poor handling of the Berlin crisis, which convinced old Nikita that JFK was a dilettante who wasn't tough or sharp enough to handle him. Which, considering the history of the Berlin crisis, was a fair conclusion. If you read Caro's most recent LBJ book, the picture painted is of a intelligent, driven man who was pushed into politics by his father and, while he enjoyed campaigning and being in office, paid little attention to his duties in Congress or the White House. The Test Ban Treaty was a win (that's one of the few significant victories), but he was mostly useless legislatively and virtually all of his proposals were stalled by the time he was killed. The budget, the tax cut, Medicare, Medicaid, Civil Rights Act, all idle because Kennedy didn't pay attention when he was in the Senate, had little understanding of where the power lied there. He only had one real friend there, anyway. George Smathers.

          Sure, Kennedy did some good things on civil rights as AG. He also tapped MLK's phone, freelanced on foreign policy, and tried to kill Fidel Castro with an exploding seashell. From the books about RFK I've read, the Castro stuff was what he spent more of his time on than nearly anything else.

          •  Medicare (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            That's one I forgot about.  He pushed that.

            Failure to get things through congress was no surprise due to the 67 vote fillbuster and southern committee chair domination.  It took his assasination and the '64 landslide for those bills to become law.  LBJ deserves credit, but without those two events, he would have had greate difficulty getting any of the legislation through.

            JFK was a mediocre senator, but it's not fair to judge his presidency the same because he barely had three years.  The final year or so he started coming into his own.


            by Paleo on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 09:52:44 AM PDT

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            •  Okay (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ChadmanFL, sacman701, lordpet8, nimh

              This is sorta correct, but not entirely. JFK's assassination had little to do with why the CRA passed in early 1964. The people hostile to the bill stayed hostile. The main difference was that LBJ knew the legislative process extremely well, and was able to get House Judiciary Chair Howard Smith (a Virginia conservadem hostile to civil rights) to knuckle under with the threat of a discharge petition. And he'd cleared out all important legislation from the Senate, so that the Dixiecrats had nothing to delay to keep CRA from passing. It was, in retrospect, just common sense strategy, basic sort of understanding of how Congress works, but Kennedy's guys simply had no clue on how to get it through.

              I don't deny he got a little better as he went on. But he would never have been a great president. I mean, the guy spent about three hours a day on the job at best. And between the health issues and the "treatment" Dr. Feelgood was giving him, he should never have held the office at all. With modern-day scrutiny, would never have happened.

              •  I actually think it'd be nice (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                to see another president with the kind of skill for getting his agenda through Congress that Johnson had.

                He gets a lot of shit, rightly so, for being a dick, but the man knew how to get the votes he needed.

                •  Such a president is currently serving. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  askew, Stephen Wolf

                  Obama has more or less used his leverage with Congress to maximum effect.

                  You don't fight the fights you can win. You fight the fights that need fighting. -President Andrew Sheppard (D-Wisconsin)

                  by Gpack3 on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 01:33:02 PM PDT

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                  •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    nimh, skibum59

                    You think LBJ would've stood by and let Lieberman, Baucus, etc., give us the weak-ass ACA we eventually got?  Or a watered-down stimulus package?  

                    Hell, he would've probably even worked out the whole fiscal cliff/debt ceiling thing in a way that ensured he wouldn't have to keep going rounds with Congress on it every year and a half or so.

                    Seriously, read up on Johnson and "the treatment."  The man knew every member of Congress he needed for his agenda, inside and out.  Knew what made them tick, and exactly what he had to say to get them behind him, whether it was threatening their seat, or agreeing to throw his weight behind some project for their district.

                    Those defections we had from Conserva-Dems on some of those issues I mentioned above?  They would've been less likely under a president like LBJ.  

                    I for one was hoping, especially during the stimulus and ACA debates, that Obama would tell the Dem defectors that if they voted against those things, he would do everything in his power to make sure they got a credible primary challenger.

                    •  lets not have a fight over this off-topic subject (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Stephen Wolf, Darth Jeff

                      lets just disagree about it.

                      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

                      by James Allen on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 02:57:27 PM PDT

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                    •  That's a hell of a lot harder to do though (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Gpack3, nimh

                      when your party caucus is much more ideologically driven and less driven by pork and regional issues. It's much harder to pressure someone like Ben Nelson and his band of merry bluedogs today than it was when such characters could easily be replaced. Even in the 2009 environment, primarying someone in a swing district over the stimulus wouldn't be guaranteed to elect a more liberal representative and our house majority was built on the conservadem caucus.

                      I don't think any of that is Obama's problem aside from the fact that he just doesn't seem to have been ready for Republicans to filibuster everything from day one. LBJ just had conditions that made it much more easy to manipulate a damaged system while Republicans had the means and the desire to break it once and for all.

                      That and it just suggests that what went on in public with Obama being "feckless" was the same that went on behind close doors. We have no idea how ruthless and vigorously he and people like Reid push for the priorities nor did the public know it at the time of LBJ to any appreciable extent.

                    •  It seems that you and I disagree (0+ / 0-)

                      on how much leverage Obama actually had.

                      You don't fight the fights you can win. You fight the fights that need fighting. -President Andrew Sheppard (D-Wisconsin)

                      by Gpack3 on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 03:09:15 PM PDT

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                      •  I apologize for how confrontational it sounded. (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Stephen Wolf, lordpet8, nimh

                        I just disagree with the idea that president Obama is some master strategist who is playing 11th dimensional chess.

                        Granted, Stephen Wolf's point is a valid one, about the environment being different.

                        But Obama also has another disadvantage that wouldn't allow him to do what Johnson did.  Simply put, if we combine his House and Senate tenures, Johnson was in Congress for 24 years.  He knew a lot of these people, and knew what made them tick.  And if he didn't know them personally, he knew how different TYPES of legislators and politicians tended to think.

                        President Obama was a senator for 2 years before becoming president.  That's nowhere near long enough to learn those kinds of things.  

                        So I guess to be more fair to him, I should just say he's more out of his element than Johnson.

                  •  honestly it's hard to compare (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Both you(Gpack3) and  The Dude 415 make some fair points.

                    The senate wasn't as far polarized back in the 1960's as it is now. You had plenty of liberal R's and conservative D's break ranks to make congress appear much more bipartisan.

                    LBJ was just one of best of deal makers when it came to passing laws out of congress. The fact that he was able to gather enough support to pass the civil rights act of 1964 with strong opposition of his southern base is a true testament to his skill. And this was before the Democrats made their massive gains in congress for the 1964 election.

                    Sure if we had LBJ here today trying coral votes for ACA I'd say he'd do a little better than Obama but it would pale in comparison to what he was able to do in the 1960's. Having LBJ here today would be like having a senate leader like Reid or McConnell become president. Sure they'd have a little better leverage in the senate but I think the partisan gridlock today would greatly limit their ability to pass legislation.

                    "It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument" ~William Gibbs McAdoo(D-CA)

                    by lordpet8 on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 07:24:21 PM PDT

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                •  Absolutely agreed (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jncca, ProudNewEnglander, lordpet8

                  if it weren't for Vietnam, LBJ would be remembered like the second coming of FDR among liberals. Getting Medicare and the Great Society programs ushered through was a monumental improvement over the past and that was really only possible through the Goldwater landslide.

                  Ah, Barry Goldwater was the original teabagger.

          •  RFK (0+ / 0-)

            Not sure which books you might be referring to but they certainly aren't the same I've read. After the Bay of Pigs JFK certainly got Bobby involved in Cuba but his focus if not obsession as AG was clearly organized crime.

            "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

            by conspiracy on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 10:23:05 AM PDT

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          •  The Bay of Pigs was planned during the Eisenhauer (0+ / 0-)

            years. Kennedy didn't stop it. Caro isn't noted for his objectivity. Other historians treat Kennedy more favorably.

      •  Impossible (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, propjoe, jncca


        Teddy will never be, and certainly does not deserve to be, remembered better than JFK or Bobby.

        Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

        by tommypaine on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 01:33:24 PM PDT

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        •  In tandem with Gpack's comment below (7+ / 0-)

          No one will remember Chappaquiddick except right wing trolls years from now. Ted will be remembered as the Lion of the Senate with a miles long legislative career.

          25, Practical Progressive Democrat (-9.38, -8.51), Gay, IN-02 - Defeat Wacky Jackie for 2014!

          by HoosierD42 on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 02:12:18 PM PDT

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          •  Good luck with that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jncca, askew

            This lion of the senate stuff is funny and all, but really, Teddy's legacy is of not rising to challenges.

            And it is nauseating to imagine a world where no one but "right wing trolls" would remember the drunken, disgusting, criminal actions of a politician.

            Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

            by tommypaine on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 02:41:00 PM PDT

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            •  "No one will remember" was wrong. (0+ / 0-)

              But it isn't the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or even 5th thing I think of when I think of Ted Kennedy. I doubt it would make the top 10.

              And trying to tarnish his decades of public service because of a mistake is just as nauseating.

              25, Practical Progressive Democrat (-9.38, -8.51), Gay, IN-02 - Defeat Wacky Jackie for 2014!

              by HoosierD42 on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 04:48:22 PM PDT

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              •  What wonks remember is different than (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jncca, askew

                the public.

                His public service is tarnished.  It exists, but it is in a context.  Teddy is a tragic figure, someone who hurt himself and progressive politics via his irresponsible behavior.  Trying to whitewash him historically is not a good idea, since he will never, ever be whitewashed in the general public's mind.

                Nixon had decades of public service too, but his accomplishments are not what history will dwell on.

                Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

                by tommypaine on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 05:31:36 PM PDT

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              •  It's my #1. (0+ / 0-)

                20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                Love the class war, hate identity politics and purism
                UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.4.12, -4.92

                by jncca on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 06:10:07 PM PDT

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    •  I don't think so (4+ / 0-)

      I think once the generation that remembers "Camelot"  dies out, JFK will be remembered as a promising president whose term was cut short before he accomplished much of substance. RFK will be remembered primarily as his Attorney General who later ran for president himself. But Ted Kennedy will probably always be remembered as one of the greatest senators who ever served, and definitely the greatest of our time.

      Think of who still gets remembered from 1900. You hear a lot more about Bob LaFollette these days than William McKinley.

      You don't fight the fights you can win. You fight the fights that need fighting. -President Andrew Sheppard (D-Wisconsin)

      by Gpack3 on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 01:28:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's because McKinley was a terrible president (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lordpet8, JGibson

        You hear a damn lot about the guy who followed him though. I really don't think there's a good analogue historically among people of similar ideology since LaFollette and McKinley were on distinctly opposite edges of the party and LaFollette would be a Democrat today.

        However I think you are right that JFK will be popularly remembered as you've characterized once that generation dies out, but so is Ronald Reagan. Historians will of course continue to rate JFK highly and in time one would hope rate Reagan negatively as over the course of many decades there is significant revisionism, such as that concerning the rehabilitation of Grant.

        •  McKinley WAS terrible. (0+ / 0-)

          I just got finished reading a book called The President and the Assassin, about the McKinley assassination.  And that book really gives one a feel for just how much he ushered in the age of empire in America.

          I would argue that our problematic foreign policy of wanting to "police" the world, really for our own ends, really started with McKinley, or at the very least was kicked up a notch.

          Also, Grant's been rehabilitated?  I wasn't aware of that.

          •  Indeed I'm still scratching my head (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            on how a guy that wrote the McKinley Tarriff (which was largely unpopular) and thus helped catapult Democrats to victory would end up winning the Presidency a decade later.

            It would be like if Willis C. Hawley (who co-wrote the Smoot-Hawley tariff) ran and won the presidency in 1940.

            Still it is amusing that Democrats in the Ohio legislature used him as punching bag by redrawing his district a few times.

            Recognizing McKinley’s potential, the Democrats, whenever they controlled the Ohio legislature, sought to gerrymander or redistrict him out of office. In 1878, McKinley faced election in a redrawn 17th district; he won anyway, causing Hayes to exult, “Oh, the good luck of McKinley! He was gerrymandered out and then beat the gerrymander! We enjoyed it as much as he did.” After the 1882 election, McKinley was unseated on an election contest by a near party-line House vote. Out of office, he was briefly depressed by the setback, but soon vowed to run again. The Democrats again redistricted Stark County for the 1884 election; McKinley was returned to Congress anyway.

            For 1890, the Democrats gerrymandered McKinley one final time, placing Stark County in the same district as one of the strongest pro-Democrat counties, Holmes, populated by solidly Democratic Pennsylvania Dutch. The new boundaries seemed good, based on past results, for a Democratic majority of 2000 to 3000. The Republicans could not reverse the gerrymander as legislative elections would not be held until 1891, but they could throw all their energies into the district, as the McKinley Tariff was a main theme of the Democratic campaign nationwide, and there was considerable attention paid to McKinley’s race. The Republican Party sent its leading orators to Canton, including Blaine (then Secretary of State), Speaker Reed and President Harrison. The Democrats countered with their best spokesmen on tariff issues. McKinley tirelessly stumped his new district, reaching out to its 40,000 voters to explain that his tariff
            was framed for the people ... as a defense to their industries, as a protection to the labor of their hands, as a safeguard to the happy homes of American workingmen, and as a security to their education, their wages, and their investments ... It will bring to this country a prosperity unparalleled in our own history and unrivaled in the history of the world.”
            Democrats ran a strong candidate in former lieutenant governor John G. Warwick. To drive their point home, they hired young partisans to pretend to be peddlers, who went door to door offering 25-cent tinware to housewives for 50 cents, explaining the rise in prices was due to the McKinley Tariff. In the end, McKinley lost by 300 votes, but the Republicans won a statewide majority and claimed a moral victory

            "It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument" ~William Gibbs McAdoo(D-CA)

            by lordpet8 on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 09:27:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Teddy will always be the disappointment (0+ / 0-)

      Besides Chappaquiddick, his utterly pathetic Presidential campaign will b the #2 thing he is known for.

      He's easily the most disappointing and underwhelming politician of his generation, in part because nobody will ever give a crap about the private workings of the Senate.

      Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

      by tommypaine on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 01:55:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  his presidential campaign did have some (0+ / 0-)

        benefits. It pushed the Carter campaign to the left. For the 1980 Democratic platform:

        Democratic leaders had everything to gain and little to lose by supporting gay rights, so they inserted a new plank in the party platform: "All groups must be protected from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, language, age, sex or sexual orientation."

        "It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument" ~William Gibbs McAdoo(D-CA)

        by lordpet8 on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 07:34:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Was there any sour grapes after his primary ended (0+ / 0-)

          towards Carter?

          "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

          by KingofSpades on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 07:37:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sure there were some hard feelings (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            on both sides.

            The Carter folks were probably angry with the primary draining campaign funds and weakening the campaign.

            The Kennedy folks despite getting Carter to capitulate on most of the demands probably were still pissed with Carter when he conceded the race before voting had finished on the west. We probably lost the likes of Senator Church and many other congress critters due to that early concession. Many Democrats decided to stay home.

            I'm reading a book called "And the band played on"

            There's brief story about Bill Kraus, who was a big Kennedy backer. He played a big part in changing the National Democratic Platform to include gays and lesbians. After Carter wins the nomination. Kraus begrudgingly campaigns for Carter in CA. During the 11th hour of campaigning he happens to knock on the door of voter who responds something to the matter of "We don't have to vote anymore as Carter has already conceded"

            "It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument" ~William Gibbs McAdoo(D-CA)

            by lordpet8 on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 08:52:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wow, that's awful (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              probably almost cost us the House as well, although Reagan still got what he wanted in the first two years.

              "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

              by KingofSpades on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 09:04:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We were able to undo some of the damage (0+ / 0-)

                Like in CA with the burtonmnader. But yeah we were lucky that there was still enough ticket splitting going on to let us still have the house.

                "It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument" ~William Gibbs McAdoo(D-CA)

                by lordpet8 on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 09:33:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Not sure about Church but early concession (0+ / 0-)

              probably cost Washington Sen. Magnusen his seat and could be responsible for Spellman's defeat of McDermott in the gubernatiorial race that year, too. The victory margin in both these state-wide races was roughly 10%. The state wide drop off in Democratic voting was almost 13%.

              In those years Washington Democrats were often the late voters going to the polls after work. Now we are a vote by mail state and the early call of an election or early concession would not have the same impact.

    •  Teddy's legacy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen

      I think Teddy's legacy wont be lost to history. I think, already, a lot more people know who he is than Bobby.

      I'd rate him as probably one of the top 10 most influential American politicians of the 20th century. He won't be lost to the annals of history.

      23, Male, LA-02, TX-08 (originally), SSP: sschmi4

      by Stephen Schmitz on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 06:53:04 PM PDT

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      •  There is no way to way to compare exactly (0+ / 0-)

        but according to Google searches there are about twice as many online references to Robert/Bobby Kennedy than Ted/Teddy Kennedy.

        It's hard to imagine how a person could come to know who Teddy is without also knowing who Bobby is.

        Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

        by tommypaine on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 12:58:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

          Ask any person born since Bobby's assassination that same question, especially anyone born after 1980. They'd know Teddy on TV, as a Senator, as a presidential candidate, when he helped negotiate with the Bush administration, when he endorsed Obama, his work on healthcare, etc.

          In modern American history classes, Teddy is taught, I dare say Bobby isn't unless to mention his assassination.

          23, Male, LA-02, TX-08 (originally), SSP: sschmi4

          by Stephen Schmitz on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 10:48:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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