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Webb to Shrubby: Mind your own damn business

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by dog428, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. I love the AARP. A great place to meet women.
  2. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Caro's books on Johnson are great. I'm halfway through Master of the Senate now. Domestically, in terms of getting important legislation through, Johnson was one of the most accomplished presidents in history. Yeah, there was Vietnam and he was at times an atrocious human being, but, overall, far, far superior to Bush, who's been a foreign and domestic failure.
  3. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    "Accomplished" is a very, very, very apt word.

    Johnson did a lot. But how much of it was really valuable work? What he established was a huge, underfunded, overstaffed, bureaucratic welfare state that his successors went right to work tearing down. That doesn't exactly qualify him as a great domestic-policy president...just as a very busy one.

    He was certainly a visionary, but time appears to have shown that the bulk of his vision -- the Great Society, the War on Poverty -- was just wrong.
  4. Pinning 58,000 US deaths in Vietnam on LBJ is just dumb, Boom, particularly in light of what we now know about Nixon'x dicking around with the Paris Peace Talks in order to help get his sorry ass elected in 1968 and his prolonging and widening the war -- hello, Cambodia! -- in order to end it in time to get his sorry ass re-elected in 1972. Do better.
    I am occasionally the subject of much derision from my lefty friends because of my ambivalent attitude toward LBJ, whose accomplishments in the area of civil rights and social justice rival those of Lincoln in the first place and of FDR in the second. Although the greatest domestic program in US history -- the GI Bill -- was a bipartisan effort between Truman and the R's. (What Boom and the Winger refer to as the collapse of LBJ's domestic initiatives began when he tried the guns-AND-butter approach to Vietnam, and then picked up speed under Nixon, who invented what MW calls "big-government" conservatism, at least at home. But, still, things like the Job Corps and VISTA and a lot of community development work were very valuable and, statistics show, actually did lift people out of poverty.)
    And, Winger, I think you make a mistake when you refer to Bush's "big government" conservatism. This implies there was an actual governing philosophy that reached beyond winning the next election. John DiIiulio said it first and best, everything was run by the political shop.
  5. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    I agree with you that many of LBJ's policies ultimately failed, but at least he tried. It's better than having our President vacationing at the Crawford Ranch four months out of the year (hyperbole, I know).
  6. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    I read the middle book that Caro wrote, and I sent it to somebody else on the board. I want to read the other books.

    The reason I say LBJ made it happen is because Kennedy tried and didn't get close. No doubt eventually there would have been laws because of economic and political factors, but I don't think there would have been that one grand stroke and the one big statement. That is what I give LBJ credit for.

    Yeah, LBJ tried to fund domestic programs and the war on Viet Nam at the same time and that was economic dishonesty.

    And now I remember the title... Means of Ascent.

    good point about the steel deal. I had forgotten that.
  7. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    I'm going to assume you're kidding...Obviously it's better to have a president do nothing than to have him do the wrong thing. The problem with Dubya, of course, is that when he's not busy doing nothing he's almost always busy doing the wrong thing.

    And F_B, I hope you're not trying to accuse me of being a Nixon backer. God forbid. You're dead on about him being the original "big-government conservative." Wage and price controls? Honestly...
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I thought you were a conservative. How about a little support for the Commander in Chief?
  9. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Domestically, Jack Kennedy was largely running in place.

    Lyndon knew what buttons to push, and after the assassination, the Civil Rights Act, and the subsequent electoral wave, he had a clear path.

    One-party government -- always goes too far. Always.
  10. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    C'mon, Ace: I hate freedom. That much is clear...why else would anyone criticize the Commander in Chief in time of war?[/hannity]

    And honestly, I've never defined myself as a conservative, here or anywhere else. I only define myself as a Republican because when you talk politics, you generally have to define yourself as something.
  11. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    You hit upon the salient point I was trying to make. When he isn't doing nothing (sorry for the double-negative), he's doing the wrong thing. And what's more, it seems like he doesn't care. Instead of the malaise we had among the populace when Carter was in office, we have it in the White House. I agree with you that he's probably not the worst President EVER (how do you even quantify that?), but he's certainly among the worst.

    That being said, it's nice to have someone from your side of the aisle (other than PDB) bring reason and courtesy to the table.

    EDIT: And I agree that you have to define yourself as something. I'm a Democrat, but I would define myself as socially left of center and fiscally right of center. So the current administration appeals to neither of my ideals.
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    In most historical rankings, LBJ is in the top half of presidents. He's controversial, though. Most now agree that he created the welfare state and many of his social programs became quagmires. He also escalated Vietnam. But he got the voting rights and civil rights acts through, as well as funding for the arts and significant clean air and water legislation.

    I don't see how history can possibly be kind to George W. Bush. I don't think he ends up in the Nixon, Harding, Buchanan, Pierce group, but he doesn't end up very far above. Most of you are focussed on Iraq, but forty years from now, Iraq will seem much less immediate or a big deal. It will be a blip that wouldn't have registered as strongly as it feels while we are in the thick of it, if Bush had all kinds of accomplishments to offset it. Kind of how Truman isn't judged by the Korean War, as much as he is judged by WWII and his other significant accomplishments.

    Bush doesn't have significant accomplishments. He's created a debt problem so large, with tax cuts combined with increased spending, that it is going to dog several administrations after his and have a lasting effect on the U.S. economy. This is going to be the main thing he's remembered for. It's just hard to see at the moment, but in the coming years it is going to be a mess we've been left with.

    And when you think of other things he has done, you come up with things like the Patriot Act, the mishanding of the Hurricane Katrina response, Guantanamo Bay, NSA wiretaps, the MCA Act... They are just not things we're going to be proud of 50 years from now. His domestic agenda is underwhelming. His biggest success has been "No Child Left Behind," and that is hardly a history maker.

    The guy has been a dog. So my sense is that he will go down with the "blah" presidents, not considered on par with the obviously corrupt ones, such as Harding, or the guy who allowed the Civil War to happen, Buchanan, but just above that group.
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