HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Why do democrats rarely t...

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:32 PM

Why do democrats rarely talk about Lyndon Johnson?

I was going to ask this in the primaries forum as we've got Bernie Sanders invoking FDR as a pillar behind his campaign, Harry Truman's "The Buck Stops Here" motto has been brought up by Cory Booker in a way of contrasting earnestness with what we currently have, JFK's light always shines bright, at least three candidates have met Jimmy Carter and he was name-checked in the last debate by Amy Klobuchar. But this isn't just a 2020 thing. I've wondered this in the past.

That timeline of democratic presidents takes us from 1933-1981. Six of those years however were occupied by a very complicated man, but arguably the most consequential, Lyndon Johnson. And he's the one I have yet to hear embraced as someone to look up to.

He will always have Vietnam associated with him. But that war started years before and didn't end until years after. FDR put Japanese Americans into camps and Truman dropped the bomb. They did dark things.

And yeah Johnson was a SOB. Hard nosed and uncouth. But you know he got things done despite his personal failings. He was power hungry but once he got to the top he realised there's no point being there if you're not going to do anything good.

Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, The Great Society/War on Poverty (Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamp Act - the precursor to SNAP). He achieved legislative goals to expand investment into education, environment (with help from Lady Bird), protect seniors and public services. He signed into law an immigration act which repealed a past era law that was discriminatory.

When people talk about structural change, surely he is the guy to namecheck. So why don't we?

41 replies, 1408 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 41 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why do democrats rarely talk about Lyndon Johnson? (Original post)
Otto Lidenbrock Dec 1 OP
X_Digger Dec 1 #1
Xipe Totec Dec 1 #2
Sanity Claws Dec 1 #3
emmaverybo Dec 1 #8
brooklynite Dec 2 #20
UTUSN Dec 1 #4
UTUSN Dec 1 #5
madville Dec 1 #6
Grins Dec 2 #22
Celerity Dec 3 #37
MicaelS Dec 1 #7
Xolodno Dec 1 #9
Grins Dec 2 #23
Xolodno Dec 2 #27
Blue_true Dec 2 #24
Xolodno Dec 2 #28
Blue_true Dec 2 #30
NYC Liberal Dec 2 #35
empedocles Dec 1 #10
Raine Dec 2 #11
Norbert Dec 2 #12
former9thward Dec 2 #13
HAB911 Dec 2 #14
JonLP24 Dec 2 #15
Ron Green Dec 2 #16
UTUSN Dec 2 #18
marlakay Dec 2 #17
MineralMan Dec 2 #19
itcfish Dec 2 #21
Tarc Dec 2 #25
elleng Dec 2 #26
orangecrush Dec 2 #29
blogslut Dec 2 #31
orangecrush Dec 2 #32
TeamPooka Dec 2 #33
Post removed Dec 2 #34
Prosper Dec 3 #36
NBachers Dec 3 #39
Hotler Dec 3 #41
Jake Stern Dec 3 #38
Buckeyeblue Dec 3 #40

Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:36 PM

1. Maybe because the man couldn't keep his dick in his pants- literally!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:38 PM

2. Dunno. I quote him at least once a week.

It's better to have them in the tent, pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.

Don't ever pass up a free meal, or a chance to go to the bathroom.

I don't want loyalty, I want LOYALTY! I want them to kiss my ass and say it smells like roses.

He couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel.

That dog won't hunt.

That man was a master of timing.... Bad timing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:44 PM

3. Vietnam escalated under him

Vietnam tore the country apart. He was so unpopular because of Vietnam that he did not even run for reelection.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Sanity Claws (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:17 PM

8. Yes, there it is!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Sanity Claws (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 02:00 PM

20. And rather than support him in 68, we elected Nixon. That showed 'em!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:47 PM

4. 1) Vietnam/theDraft; 2) JFK; 3) proto-CLINTON-penis. Yet best since FDR/HST.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to UTUSN (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:50 PM

5. Corollary: Where's Jimmy?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:57 PM

6. He had many faults but got some great stuff done

Many don’t feel comfortable embracing a well documented racist and sexual harasser these days regardless of his accomplishments.

Any many will never forgive him for greatly escalating our Vietnam involvement.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to madville (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 05:10 PM

22. Bunk

You can call him a racist but that’s false. LBJ was race conscious and sympathetic to the poor since he was an adolescent and - literally - harnessed like an animal to road construction equipment. His getting the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts came from that experience.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Grins (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 3, 2019, 01:02 AM

37. he was a racist (and a sexist), some of his policies notwithstanding

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/the-most-vulgar-american-president-ever-it-sure-as-isnt-donald-trump

snip

And then there was the N-word. Although Johnson styled himself as a civil rights crusader and did make progress on race relations, he still presided over a United States torn by racial violence. His public and private statements showed that he never realized he himself may have been part of the problem. For example, Robert A. Caro says he referred to the manual labour of his youth as “n—-r work.”

A recorded 1964 telephone conversation with the hapless Jack Valenti touched on Johnson’s electoral chances in Texas for an upcoming presidential race: “I think I can take every Mexican in the state and every n—-r in the state.” Several weeks before that presidential vote, Johnson spoke before a New Orleans crowd about how Southern politicians constantly twisted all issues towards race. That was a valid point, but then the speech became strange: “All they (the voters) ever hear at election time is n—-r, n—-r, n—-r!” Woods discovered that somebody sanitized the official record of the speech, substituting the word “Negro,” but witnesses confirmed what was really said. Robert Dallek learned of a 1967 meeting in the Oval Office with Texan state official Larry Temple, concerning possible black candidates for the Supreme Court. Johnson stressed he would consider only high-profile people: “When I appoint a n—-r to the bench, I want everyone to know he’s a n—-r.”

Unsurprisingly, when black rioting erupted in Los Angeles in 1965, Johnson was bewildered, and he confided to aide Joseph Califano his fear that “Negroes will end up pissing in the aisles of the Senate.”

In the end, however, it was the uncontrollable Vietnam War that destroyed Johnson’s administration and wrecked his legacy. William Doyle unearthed a fitting quote from a moment in mid-1965, when Johnson was moodily strolling on the grounds of the White House, cursing: “I don’t know what the fuck to do about Vietnam.”


snip


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 08:59 PM

7. Vietnam.

Everything he did was eclipsed by this. I remember him as a great President for everything else he did.

Not Vietnam.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:21 PM

9. Sure he gave us some good things...but....

..we got the EPA, Clean Water Act, China normalization, etc under Nixon.

And Nixon did eventually get us the hell out of Vietnam (after exacerbating it). So using your logic....

All Presidents are flawed and a despite these flaws, most still do a lot of good. But sometimes, their personal traits or other activities can bring their legacy down and the value of mentioning them. For example, Clinton, he could have had a better legacy, but his womanizing got to him. Nor his signing off on the repeal of Glass-Steagall, revamp of Bankruptcy Laws that make student loans indentured servitude.

GWB had plenty of admiration and loyalty from the country after 9/11. He squandered that away with Iraq and will be regulated as the President who was in charge when the economy came crashing down.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Xolodno (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 05:14 PM

23. No!

Nixon SABOTAGED the peace talks with N. Vietnam just before the ‘68 election. Nixon and his thugs thought if those talks were successful and peace came from it, Nixon would lose.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Grins (Reply #23)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 10:50 PM

27. I did say he exacerbated it.

Thought that would cover it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Xolodno (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 08:50 PM

24. You equate your list with the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, support for education?

Wow!!!!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Blue_true (Reply #24)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 10:54 PM

28. No I equate the examples I mentioned to...

...Climate Change. I find that very important, even if it did start with a corrupt GOP politician.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Xolodno (Reply #28)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:11 PM

30. Well, it's a matter of priorities.

I think that it is more important that kids of color have better healthcare and better educational opportunities due to LBJ's efforts.

Maybe I am blinded by the arrogance of being a technologist, or maybe I have read enough about scientific matters to know that history is filled with the skeletons of people who claimed that the major problem of their day was not solvable.

It could very well be that a Black or Brown kid that got better nutrition and didn't die from a curable disease will come up with solutions that will prevent our climate debacle. All because of LBJ and others that worked with him to craft and pass monumental legistlation that indeed made this country better.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Xolodno (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:49 PM

35. Uh, Nixon vetoed the Clean Water Act and the Democratic Congress overrode it.

In response, he impounded the funds allocated for it, refused to enforce it, and fought for his right to do so all the way to the Supreme Court (which ruled against him).

The EPA was just a consolidation of existing agencies — there was zero additional money budgeted for environmental protection when it was created. Nixon only supported it was easier for him to maintain control over a single agency.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 09:28 PM

10. Various aggressive 60's Dem factions splintered the powerful FDR coalition,

[leaving the opening for the unpopular Nixon to slip into the Presidency], and the conflicting ghosts of those Dem factions, tend to have Presidential candidates avoiding the problem ghosts.

LBJ's Great Society, social programs, [Medicare, medicaid, civil rights legislation [women included, etc.], are huge. No Prez since comes close to rival his works, [which are simply taken for granted. My favorite is the voters who are against Obamacare, but expect the medical benefits they get to come automatically].

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 04:24 AM

11. Vietnam and his

bathroom habits, gag! 🤢 🤮

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 05:39 AM

12. The Vietnam war overshadowed his presidency

My father was a lifelong Democrat but was against the war. He faced the prospect of two sons and eventually me being impacted by it. Because LBJ kept escalating my dad swore he would never vote for LBJ again. Since HHH was LBJs hand picked VP he had reservations about voting for him but his cooler head prevailed and he did vote for Humphrey. I guess the thought of voting for Nixon and the ideologue Agnew was not an option for him.

Back then we didn't know about keeping his pants zipped or bathroom habits and such. After all, there was no internet, no cable news and Rush Limbaugh's biggest concern at the time was whether he could cut school and if he could get a draft deferment.

I take stock of what he did during his presidency. I think it took a lot of guts for him to take the stand he took against Jim Crow laws and for the voting rights act. This was not a popular decision for some and the the Dems would lose the South, even today, but we are a much, much better country for it. If he didn't take such a rigid stand on the Vietnam war I think he would have been one of the most transformative presidents to the good we ever had.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 09:17 AM

13. No, the war did not start "years before"

JFK had a minor number of combat advisers in Vietnam. The war began when Congress authorized full scale combat with the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in 1964. Most historians think the fact circumstances which lead to that resolution were highly exaggerated by Johnson. He poured hundreds of thousands of troops into Vietnam and dropped countless bombs on that country. There is a reason the Democratic party was ripped apart in 1968.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 09:18 AM

14. 'Nam

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 09:28 AM

15. Also Domestic Spying happened under his watch

Operation CHAOS or Operation MHCHAOS was a United States Central Intelligence Agency domestic espionage project targeting the American people from 1967 to 1974, established by President Johnson and expanded under President Nixon, whose mission was to uncover possible foreign influence on domestic race, anti-war and other protest movements. The operation was launched under Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Richard Helms by chief of counter-intelligence James Jesus Angleton, and headed by Richard Ober. [1][2] The "MH" designation is to signify the program had a worldwide area of operations.[3]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_CHAOS

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 10:10 AM

16. Let's wait until Robert Caro's 5th volume of his LBJ biography comes out

and then talk again.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Ron Green (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 12:02 PM

18. Yip. Vol. 1 was absolutely masterful. #4 seemed broad strokes, so 5?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:25 AM

17. I read a book about him years ago

In my bookclub. It said he kept a file on everyone and would threaten them to get them to vote his way which is how all that great stuff got passed.

While I am grateful it got done his methods were awful and probably why dems are silent about him.

Then he took the Vietnam war and instead of stopping it thought he could win it and brought in the draft and made it way way way worse, so many were killed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 01:55 PM

19. Vietnam kept him from running again.

Even though he was there when some good things happened, his stance on the Vietnam War poisoned his presidency. He took the wrong direction with it, which cost him the support of those who were dead-set against that war. That gave Nixon the opportunity to win an election he should have lost handily.

Johnson took the wrong path in Vietnam. That's why we don't talk about him a lot. That's always there as part of his legacy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 04:08 PM

21. He was a great domestic

president but a terrible foreign policy president also, may associate him with JFK's assassination.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 10:19 PM

25. Some things are just plain unforgivable, i.e. falsifying a naval battle to get us into war

Fuck LBJ, honestly.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 10:39 PM

26. Civil Rights Act Leaves Deep Mark On the American Political Landscape.

'The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 have proved to be among the most powerful agents of partisan realignment since the Civil War and have helped each party secure its hold on one branch of Government, politicians and political scientists say.

Recalling the dramatic and painful birth of the 1964 act, aides who were present at its creation say advocates and opponents alike saw its potential to obliterate the old political order and install a new one in its place. White Flight Worried Johnson

Some of President Lyndon B. Johnson's advisers recall how Democrats rejoiced at the thought that millions of grateful black voters would come flooding into the Democratic camp. But some also remember that Mr. Johnson was warned that whites would flee the party, and they say he worried about it late into the night of July 2, 1964, after signing the bill.'>>>

https://www.nytimes.com/1989/07/02/us/civil-rights-act-leaves-deep-mark-on-the-american-political-landscape.html

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:05 PM

29. He was a friend

To the poverty stricken

I read he grew up in a dirt floor shack.

My brother was drafted in '67 under him and sent to Vietnam, but still says he was a great President.

His story is incredible and should be a movie.

Vietnam was his great mistake.

The beginning of this clip illustrates that, from one of his speeches... he could be quite stubborn.

My brother told me that the soldiers in Vietnam loved him so much, they actually named a body part after him, an expression that is used to this very day.












Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:12 PM

31. LBJ gets lots of love here

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to blogslut (Reply #31)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:20 PM

32. Erma Brombeck



Traveled with him on his campaign, and adored him.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:34 PM

33. LBJ will always live in JFK's shadow. Even though he passed the Civil Rights Act he fucked up

the Vietnam War to the point where he was unable to run as an incumbent for gosh sakes, thus opening the door to hand the White House to Dick Nixon and the GOP in '68.
We love LBJ but it's a complicated relationship.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2019, 12:57 AM

36. Two things. First: LBJ walking to helicopters on White House

lawn. Marine says to LBJ “That is your helicopter Mr. President. LBJ puts his arm around soldier and says: “There all mine son”.
2nd: Read

https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKestes.htm

It is about graft and corruption in 1960s LBJ Texas that would be multi billions in today’s dollars. Abuse of power and cronyism match corrupt dollars in degrees of abuse. It is like quid pro quo or we’ll kill you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Prosper (Reply #36)

Tue Dec 3, 2019, 02:38 AM

39. Thanks for the link. I read it all. It makes sense to me.

I remember Billie Sol Estes being big in the news, but, being 13 at the time, it didn't really all sink in. Thanks for helping flesh it out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Prosper (Reply #36)

Tue Dec 3, 2019, 09:05 AM

41. That is a great website. I could read for hours. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2019, 01:39 AM

38. He willingly went along with that little white lie known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident

to put even more boots on the ground in VN.

Really overshadowed his legacy other areas.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2019, 07:39 AM

40. He is portrayed on the second episode of The Crown's third season

Interesting timing of your post as I just watched that episode last night. I won't spoil the episode but he comes off as a cantankerous man who can be charmed.

Johnson took on issues that should have been dealt with during reconstruction a hundred years before. I think he understood how complicated race was in this country at that time and he also understood that there were some basic hurdles to get over before we could begin to improve those relations.

But Vietnam. His ego led him to believe he could win an unwinnable war. Imagine how different the last 56 years would have been if he had pulled out of Vietnam.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread