No fan of LBJ, but I gotta say…

Some folks are really, really happy that President Obama emerged from his evolution closet today to support same-sex marriage. Fine by me. If gays and lesbians want to marry, it’s their business, not mine. For me it’s equality. My beloved 14th Amendment says that all Americans have “equal protection under the law.” Period.

I like to see happy people, like when the Celtics win in Boston. I believe that Barack Obama is a decent human being who cares about people, who’d like to see more Americans happy, or at least get a paycheck, have health care and be able to go to a movie once in a while. I believe that most Americans care about others.

When CEOs of major corporations have their income going up up up, while so many average Americans don’t even have jobs, something is rotten in Denmark. 

On my way to work the other day, I was listening to the Diane Rehm show on NPR. Her guests were talking about our “permanent political campaign.” No kidding!

Remember when Republicans began taunting Obama immediately after the 2008 election, insisting they would do anything to make him a one-term president? But that’s another story.

On Tuesday the Gallup Poll reported survey results of Independents on same-sex marriage: 57 percent approved; 40 percent didn’t. I hope that Michelle Obama, the president’s heartfelt sense of fairness, and his constitutional lawyer’s reasoning contributed to his decision. But c’mon, do you think the poll hastened the outcome?

I’ve been a political junkie since I was 6 years old. Public opinion matters. I’m not a fan of LBJ. But former president Bill Clinton’s NYT Book Review piece on “The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson” by  Robert A. Caro grabbed me.

Southern Democrats were staunch obstructionists, kinda like Republicans in Congress today. LBJ was advised “against using the political capital he’d inherited as a result of the [horrible JFK] assassination on such a hopeless cause” as civil rights, writes Wild Bill.

“According to Caro, Johnson responded, ‘Well, what the hell’s the presidency for?'”

For Johnson, toward the end of awful 1963, the presidency was for two things: “Passing a civil rights bill with teeth…and launching the War on Poverty.”

President Obama, it’s past time to push the power of the presidency, to do what you know is right. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but listen to LBJ.

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4 Responses to No fan of LBJ, but I gotta say…

  1. Sheila says:

    nice post. I think we’ll see a big change from him during his second term. I like to think he was “dancing carefully so as not to step on people’s toes.” Hopefully ain’t nuthin’ gonna stop him.

    • sheilawill says:

      Funny, the above comment is from Nikki, not me. Thanks for your comments, Nikki and Erica. Let’s hope that Barack uses the power of the presidency in his second term — for all of us!

  2. Gina Rossi says:

    Great Article. I hope you are right about the 2nd term!!! It would be wonderful!!!!

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