Short Fingered Vulgarian Useful Foil For Obama Team

The latest on Trump from Mediate. As Mediate writes, the Fox and Friends' segue from Trump's attacks on President Obama to Gary Busey's activities on Celebrity Apprentice was classic.

Previously, there was a Trump/Gail Collins dispute, after Collins delivered a Gail Collins' Daily News era style skewering of the "thousandaire."

Vanity Fair, where Graydon Carter (who created the great Spy magazine, coiners of the Short Fingered Vulgarian moniker) runs the show, also get in the act.

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    I think it's going to be useful to the (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:01:13 PM EST
    GOP, as well; they'll let their crazier members out for a while, but when push comes to shove, will put them away and trot out someone who seems just as reasonable as Obama.

    I'm not 100% convinced that (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:22:36 PM EST
    they will put a more reasonable candidate forward in 2012. Obama is doing a very good job of moving their agenda along and validating their more radical policies and segments of their party.

    If I were the Republican Party, I would let Obama and the Democratic Party take all the credit {snark}for freezing government workers pay, firing teachers, cutting domestic programs, job losses associated with the cuts, and cutting Medicaid, Medicare and SS.

    2016 would be the time to capture the presidency and put the finishing touches on Obama's elimination of all New Deal and safety net programs.


    Their problem is (5.00 / 0) (#51)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 10:58:24 PM EST
    they don't have a believable "reasonable" candidate that can get past their primaries.  Pawlenty and Daniels, supposedly the "adult" potential candidates, are both excruciatingly boring, uncharismatic, uninspiring and long-winded.  Romney would be their only long shot, but I think it's a very long shot.  He's got enough of a nutso flippity-floppity record that the GOPers don't trust him.

    And I keep saying that all his opponents would have to do is resurrect that piece of video during the senate campaign debate with Teddy when he loudly bragged how much better a friend he would be to the gay community than Kennedy ever was.  And there are lots and lots of other clips that are only slightly less devastating.

    I just don't see who they have for 2012.  


    Still don't see the powers that be in (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:08:06 AM EST
    the Republicans Party putting any great effort into finding a great candidate for 2012. Let all the crazies run and get it out of their system. 2016 is IMO another matter and they will field someone like Brown who will use Obama's play book (outsider going to change D.C.) to win. Or they may think that the public would be ready for another Bush and get Jeb to run.

    Nor do we (5.00 / 0) (#67)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:23:30 AM EST
    Their problem is (none / 0) (#51)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 10:58:24 PM EST

    they don't have a believable "reasonable" candidate that can get past their primaries.  

    Sadly (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by cal1942 on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:32:33 PM EST
    I wouldn't be surprised if you're right, that they'd take a bye and let Obama finish off the New Deal/Great Society and take the blame which could very well attach to the whole Democratic party, a possible death blow.

    I was worried Obama would do great damage to the party and unfortunately it's beginning to look that way.


    If, and I know (none / 0) (#11)
    by NYShooter on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:24:03 PM EST
    why it's a big "if" they put up Romney, we're screwed.

    I think people are screwed anyway (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:31:48 PM EST
    but YMMV.

    sorry (none / 0) (#18)
    by NYShooter on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:51:50 PM EST
    don't know that one; urban dictionary: "your mileage may vary?"....only acronym

    It does stand for (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Zorba on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 05:12:38 PM EST
    "your mileage may vary," which appears in all car ads when talking about tested gas mileage, and can vary depending upon road conditions, how you maintain and drive your car, etc.  In blogs, it basically means that your opinions, experience, or taste may be different.

    Thanks for providing the definition (none / 0) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 06:02:43 PM EST
    Much clearer and more detailed than the answer I would have given.

    Zorba did a really fantastic job (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 05:59:25 PM EST
    explaining that acronym. She gave you the background and a detailed explanation of how it is currently used on the blogs. You should be thankful that she answered before I got around to it since her explanation is much better than the one you would have gotten from me.

    gotcha, thanks (none / 0) (#34)
    by NYShooter on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 06:15:58 PM EST
    just saw Romney on tv....very Presidential, not scary, soothing even.

    quite a contrast to the field

    just saying


    Not if you know anything about him (none / 0) (#52)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:02:15 PM EST
    and his primary opponents will make quite sure the voters do.  He's got multiple strikes against him from the start-- Massachusetts (oh, the horror!), the Mass. health care plan with its individual mandate and exchanges, just like "Obama care," and the fact that he's a Mormon, which the evangelical base has a very hard time swallowing.

    Add to that the fact that he's made flip-flopping into an art form, most of which is on tape, and I'd honestly be shocked if the GOP voters would be willing to trust him.


    If judging (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 05:20:51 AM EST
    by my friends posts on Facebook is any indication, Romney's religion isn't that big of a deal this time around. The Ted Kennedy thing is probably worse than anything to the GOP base. You have to remember though that these people are willing to swallow anything to get rid of Obama. If they think that Romney is the only one that can beat him, they will vote for him.

    That's (none / 0) (#14)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:38:04 PM EST
    why we must vote democratic.

    We don't want all of the advances of the New Deal - and the Union Movement - to be wiped out during a Republican administration do we?

    I want a Democratic captain of the Titanic.


    You do not want a Democratic (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by Buckeye on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:45:14 PM EST
    administration eliminating the blue social model.  You want Republicans to try with Democrats opposing them.  It could be stopped or reversed by angry voters giving the Dems the power to do so.  If a Dem administration does it and champions the action as a victory, then America will no longer have a party defending/promoting FDR's government.  We will have two parties that essentially agree that the social safety net must be destroyed.  They just disagree on how and how fast.  If I were a republican, I would welcome that.

    In a word, (none / 0) (#26)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 05:45:45 PM EST
    You do not want a Democratic administration eliminating the blue social model.  You want Republicans to try with Democrats opposing them.


    Although I would prefer that both parties had some level of intelligence, conscience and social awareness.

    Just dreaming.


    I agree with Buckeye (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 05:47:57 PM EST
    Why is it better to have them seriously gutted or wiped out during a Democratic administration? Why would you want a Democratic president to be the person responsible for pushing through and signing legislation eliminating the New Deal and safety net programs?

    To use your metaphor, the Titanic sinks whether it is a Democratic Capt. Obama or a Republican captain steering it into the iceberg.  


    It's worse, actually (5.00 / 0) (#53)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:03:26 PM EST
    I agree with you. (none / 0) (#32)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 06:06:16 PM EST
    I was being snarky - not too successfully.

    I admit that I did a double take on (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 06:35:20 PM EST
    your response based on some of your past comments but my snark meter did not go off. Just hiccuped a little bit.

    Remember (none / 0) (#70)
    by cal1942 on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:21:52 PM EST
    that in 2005 Democrats in the Senate finally got some backbone defending Social Security against the Bush privatization threat.

    Possibly the only reason they got some gonads was for the political advantage of making sure that Bush and the GOP had their feet firmly attached to the third rail.


    I think you are right on and (none / 0) (#43)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 07:11:37 PM EST
    the worst part of it is that given the extremely poor messaging and lack of opposition to the GOP messaging, the radical wingers actually have a better and better chance of giving Obama a run for his money.

    Speaking of lunatics (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by NYShooter on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:14:30 PM EST
    Tweety just put up a R. primary poll...........

    Rick Santorum leads with 31%

    Maybe that's why Mitt Romney announced today.

    Hahahahaha! (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Zorba on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:49:59 PM EST
    Rick Santorum!  I just shot Diet Pepsi out my nose.  Seriously, if Santorum gets the Republican nod, and if he wins, this country is even farther in the toilet than I thought.  And I thought it was pretty far in the toilet as it is.

    LoL (5.00 / 0) (#35)
    by NYShooter on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 06:17:57 PM EST
    sorry, I really should have lead with a disclaimer to prevent accidents such as yours.

    lol, again


    Isn't that amazing? (none / 0) (#55)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:07:56 PM EST
    Santorum is one of the biggest losers of all time-- got tossed out of his Senate seat in Penn. by some incredibly huge margin, and somehow figures that makes him prime presidential material.

    Speaking of lunatics Tweety had (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 07:12:29 PM EST
    Alan Simpson on and praised him as some sort of paragon of truth.

    That was incredibly disturbing and maddening.


    I still don't get why anyone .... (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 07:33:27 PM EST
    ... takes Tweety seriously (not saying you do, of course).

    BTW - Did he experience a "tingle up his leg"?


    Just part of the corporate selling of (none / 0) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 08:17:24 PM EST
    gutting Medicare, Medicaid and SS along with lowering the corporate tax rates and the taxes of the top 2%. Also, Tweety, with an annual income of  $5 milion has a real financial interest in keeping the tax rates for the wealthy alive and well.  

    I saw that (none / 0) (#48)
    by NYShooter on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 09:22:31 PM EST
    I know its childish, but couldn't stick around to listen (or watch) Ichabod Simpson.

    Didn't see the whole thing, but (none / 0) (#56)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:11:51 PM EST
    the part I did see, Simpson turned his massive scorn and insults on specifically Republican anti-gay and pro-life sentiments. He went so far as to say that male congressmen shouldn't be allowed to vote on anything to do with abortion.

    Odd cat.  I've always loathed the guy and was majorly surprised to hear not only his feelings on social issues like this but the intensity of them.


    He's a libertarian of the (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:11:41 AM EST
    personal freedom ilk.

    He's not his brother's keeper on any front - which at least makes him a bit more consistent than some of his buddies - but still lacking in any ability to conceive of caring about anyone but himself.


    Why, oh why (none / 0) (#74)
    by NYShooter on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 12:11:53 PM EST
    does no host on any program that simpson appears call him out when he reflexivly refers to people suffering economic distress as "whining?"

    You don't have to be a partisan to recognize the disgusting,condescending, elitism in comments like that.

    Just something simple like, "Senator Simpson, in reference to that statement, "poor people whining," you're a millionaire, no?"


    Which Will Be More Annoying ... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 05:03:38 PM EST
    if Trump runs:

    a) the endless "you're hired/fired" jokes;


    b) the endless bad comb-over jokes?

    A close run thing, I know, as they're already both really annoying.

    But you gotta chose one.  It's one those lady or tiger thingies.

    You know, (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 06:12:29 PM EST
    I saw an interview with Trump the other day - and during parts of the discussion - especially the part where he was gonna get tough with China - he looked and sounded as dumb as anybody I have ever seen or heard.

    He says he's a bright guy.
    He says he did well in school.

    He has made oodles of money.

    But he just seems so stupid.

    I don't get it.


    He made money on ... (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 06:24:07 PM EST
    NYC real estate in the Eighties.  Not a huge amount of brain power to figure that one out.

    In fact, if you look at his career, he's rarely beat the trends.  He generally has only done well in boom times.  When times turn bad so have his fortunes.


    Ditto that (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by NYShooter on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 06:54:48 PM EST
    You're exactly right. He inherited his father's lifetime construction company (building nice moderate brownstones in queens & brooklyn) Then, as you stated, in the 80's, when any fool could throw a dart in real estate and come out a winner, trump went berserk. Over-leveraging himself big time, overpaying for everything, he made a name for himself. Then, at the first slight downturn, he found himself bankrupt to the tune of several billion dollars. The lending banks had had enough, so they pulled him in, stripped him of any authority, sold off all his toys (Boats, planes, cars, etc) and put him on an allowance while they overhauled, and stabilized, the company.

    Side note: I know several very big builders and investors in NYC, and they universally hated Trump. The reason was (if you recall, he constantly bragged how fast he got jobs done) he grossly overpaid his labor force. This, naturally, raised the wages for everybody, and made building in NYC far less profitable than it would've been had this inexperienced "publicity seeking, wild man" cared more for profits than for fame.

    Now, I understand, his primary source of income is from franchising out his name to actual builders for a fee.

    He is a clown, and yet, it doesn't seem as a single pundit, or "reporter' has done a minutes worth of research into this 'elmer gantry."


    That's the best thing I've ever heard about him (none / 0) (#68)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:24:23 AM EST
    I know several very big builders and investors in NYC, and they universally hated Trump. The reason was (if you recall, he constantly bragged how fast he got jobs done) he grossly overpaid his labor force. This, naturally, raised the wages for everybody

    I might consider him "bright" (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by brodie on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 06:36:02 PM EST
    wrt his very narrow niche, that of making money in real estate.  Bright at both making and losing money, apparently.

    "Did well in school" -- well, even GW Bush managed to graduate from Yale and the Harvard Business School, and probably with marks in the "doing well" range.

    But Trump seems stupid because he too often seems to offer such simple answers for complex, not to mention dicey, questions.  Such as "getting tough with China."  A touch of Barry Goldwater dealing with Moscow or Vietnam (ca 1964) there, mixed with a little of Ross Perot's often simple, multi-millionaire businessman's my way or the highway way of looking at the world.  Ronald Reagan, too -- talk tough to get elected; deal with complex reality only at later date once elected.


    Yeah, "bright" in that ... (none / 0) (#40)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 06:41:47 PM EST
    condescending way that people use it when they really mean "stupid".  

    It's not (none / 0) (#42)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 07:08:51 PM EST
    the content, really, that I was referring to... which I will agree is stupid enough.

    It is the expression in his face.
    He looked so... stupid. So dumb.


    Trump is okay at "trends" - strategic (none / 0) (#45)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 07:14:25 PM EST
    thinking and vision on the level that a decent Presidency requires - one that Obama is ignoring, too - is not his gig.

    In fact, in some ways, they are very much alike in their priorities.  They both follow trend instead of setting trends.


    Trump (none / 0) (#71)
    by cal1942 on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:30:08 PM EST
    got a jump start on the money thing.

    He inherited.

    As for smarts I find it hilarious that people swoon over a rich guy buying property in prime locations on Manhattan.  I mean, buy property in a traditionally hot real estate area.  Gee, I'm so impressed.


    Hey, anyone who can get away (none / 0) (#1)
    by observed on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 03:48:58 PM EST
    with a double comb-over has my respect, at least in a limited sense.

    He's rich (none / 0) (#72)
    by cal1942 on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:33:02 PM EST
    That's how he gets away with whatever he wants to get away with.

    The point is, an insane poor person is insane.  An insane rich person is eccentric.


    Weird (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 03:56:38 PM EST
    is all I can say. Trump writing all over an article of himself and sending it to Vanity Fair??? Total egomaniac behavior.

    As well as (none / 0) (#73)
    by cal1942 on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:33:37 PM EST

    Do not count him out. (none / 0) (#3)
    by Buckeye on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 03:57:47 PM EST
    Could the lunatic republican birther party nominate him?  Sure.  And the party that picked Quayle as a VP and won, dubya as a Presidential candidate and won two terms, and Palin as a VP and nearly won could concievable put Trump on the ballot and win with him if things go really south on Obama 2H11.

    I see Palin is a having a good (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by observed on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:01:45 PM EST
    shot to be the nominee.
    Any party that nominates a floridly senile coot (1984), or a completely ignorant cokehead/alcholic, has already hit bottom.

    The first time I heard Quayle speak (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Buckeye on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:15:26 PM EST
    and learned of his background, I thought to myself Bush 41 just lost the Presidency.  No way he wins with that guy on the ballot ('92 was my first election I was old enough to vote).  I was wrong.  The first time I heard dubya talk, I thought "no way in hell that guy gets the nomination.  I mean come on."  Well, he became a two term President.  When Palin was picked, I thought "McCain just cooked his goose.  No way he wins with her, dumbass move, he is done."  Well, if not for the Lehman meltdown, McCain might have won, he was ahead that late in the election.

    I am not falling for it again.  I do not think it is inconceivable for Trump to not be elected President by our public.


    You could tell W. was going to win in (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by observed on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:20:12 PM EST
    1998. IIRC, TIME did a cover story which practically anointed him as the next President.
    The big money was obviously behind him.

    Big money (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by star on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 05:13:40 PM EST
    is all that matters. rest of the voting population is just the face of democracy. We saw how things can be manipulated and votes can appear miraculously, a whole state can suddenly NOT count - all of MSM can start salivating on a candidate (pre decided) let what people really want be damned.
    He can be a bumbling idiot like W or an inexperienced clean slate like Obama - it does not matter what people want anymore. Who can raise billions is all that matters to the the party (be it R or D). king makers and corporate puppeteers behind the scenes are true masters. It is naive of us to believe we will get a leader for the people, by the people any more.

    How can anyone raising /promising to raise a billion dollars NOT work for those from whome he is getting that billion?
    How can the media waiting to get their hands on those Billions via ads and TV spot NOT blindly root for the person who has most money to channel their way? I am so disillusioned,it does not matter who wins or gets nomination in either party. end of the day there is not going to be too much difference between the 2.


    Not just Time, but all the (none / 0) (#21)
    by brodie on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 05:09:42 PM EST
    major MSM at the time in the year or so before the election year were curiously singlemindedly positive about one George W. Bush, Jr and his presidential prospects.  And a lot of the pre-primaries polling was showing up with strong R vs D numbers for Bush in hypothetical matchups -- all very strange since he was such an unknown quantity himself, and since just a few years earlier his father had been overwhelmingly rejected for another term as prez.

    Yes indeed, these improbable or oddball candidacies, P or VP, sometimes work out. And almost always because they've been given a huge assist in cushy corp media coverage, reporters in lockstep acting not to report on the real person and the real candidate with his/her questionable grasp of the standard issues or peculiar interest in fringe issues.  


    The first time I saw (none / 0) (#50)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 10:50:02 PM EST
    on video, I think it was on a PBS Frontline program, George Bush work a crowd of pols and money people back when he was governor of Texas, I knew we were in big trouble.  The charm and charisma (not to sound like Karl Rove or anything...) and easy confidence were pretty impressive.  That's why he got the nearly swooning backing of the GOP establishment and money people.

    The very odd thing, which has been noted a couple of times but not extensively dug into, is how totally different he was when he was governor from the moronic, bumble-mouthed, defensive, obnoxious creep he was as president or even presidential candidate.


    He was always this guy (none / 0) (#65)
    by Buckeye on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:06:22 AM EST
    moronic, bumble-mouthed, defensive, obnoxious creep

    He was marketed very well.  People around him chose clips of his speeches and helped him interact with big money donors very well.


    I have a better shot (none / 0) (#6)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:12:38 PM EST
    At being president than Trump has. Real estate business is in the tanks. He's burnt so may people in the business world they don't want to deal with him.  So he's found a new way to maintain his lifestyle. Look at the money Palin and her kind have be able to pile up.

    This is just a new cash cow for Trump.

    He's not running (none / 0) (#54)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:04:44 PM EST
    He's doing what he's done the last several election cycles, using the media's gullibility to get heeeuuge amounts of publicity.  He's a master of tittilation.

    I am (none / 0) (#13)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:34:36 PM EST
    not in the least interested where Obama was born.
    I do not think it should be a constitutional requirement that a president be born in the USA. We need all the help we can get from wherever we might get it.

    But this birth certificate thing is amusing to me.

    If Trump were to succeed in his quest to show that Obama was not born in the USA - bam - we have President Biden.

    Now that could be interesting.

    Biden is a heathen and a neanderthal, but I cannot help but think he would have more credibility and persuasive powers within the legislative branch of government than the floundering Mr. O.

    He reminds me of Lyndon Johnson - someone I detested - but who got some social programs passed simultaneous with his horrendous war crimes and suppression of dissent and civil liberties.

    Oh, no (4.50 / 2) (#57)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:13:42 PM EST
    Not a chance.  Biden can't stick to anything.  He's less of a fighter, by far, than Obama.  He talks a good game, but then backs down the minute somebody so much as frowns at him.

    And btw, Biden admirers should look up his performance in the Clarence Thomas hearings.  Totally disgraceful.


    And cowardly (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:14:01 PM EST
    I forgot to add.

    If something blows up over Obama's (none / 0) (#16)
    by Buckeye on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:48:37 PM EST
    BC (not that we was not born here - he clearly was - but something embarrassing that Obama does not want people to know) Trump will own the issue and have a good shot at the White House.  

    Believe me, our public is capable of doing that.  HL Menken once wrote "no ever went bankrupt underestimating the intelligence of the American people."


    I like this one: (none / 0) (#29)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 05:51:19 PM EST
    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

    - Albert Einstein


    You're were doing fine ... (none / 0) (#19)
    by brodie on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 04:59:24 PM EST
    until that sentence beginning with "He reminds me of ..."

    Now, you know better than to get me started about Lyin' Lyndon.  So let me be brief about some basic differences:  

    LBJ's character:  about as low as you can go.  The Dem's version of Nixon, only worse.  Biden: flawed, but merely flawed like most are.  I.e., no crook, no stolen elections, and no (alleged) other criminal activity(ies) in home state as with Johnson.

    LBJ record as prez (apart from VN):  good from 1964-5, thereafter rather sketchy, even dismal.  Reason in major part for cong'l success early on:  he enjoyed a massive D-R 68-32 and 290-145 senate and House advantage, the Rs then had a moderate wing, and LBJ was operating largely with JFK's bills and close in time to the Dallas tragedy so the sympathy factor was operative.  MSM very friendly to him, too.  Iow, by the time he took over from Kennedy, in terms of getting cooperation from Congress, it was like he was starting on 3d base and had only 90' to go thereafter.

    Biden and Congress:  experienced, better positioned than Obama to deal with them, but still hampered by a slender majority in only one chamber, and a strong and united far-right GOP with a willingness to filibuster at the drop of a hat.  Compared to 3d base runner LBJ, Biden would have to take his turn at bat and work his way on base and then around to score, against a solid and determined defense, aided and abetted by umpires (MSM) eager to call out the baserunner.


    Chastened. (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 05:41:37 PM EST
    Biden and Congress:  experienced, better positioned than Obama to deal with them

    Really, that's all I meant to say.

    I agree with your assessment of Lyndon.


    On your first point about (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by brodie on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 05:46:45 PM EST
    LBJ, that's the traditional general story that generously gives inordinate credit to Johnson, but the actual situation was he was afraid it wouldn't pass and so decided to give most of the heavy lifting, inside the senate and with public relations, to Sens Mansfield for overall shepherding and strategy (which was crucial, and importantly, different in comparison to what LBJ recommended), to Sen Humphrey for floor leadership of the bill, and to AG RFK for both lobbying Congress on its behalf and for his very positive PR for the Johnson admin as it joined forces with the late beloved president via his brother.  

    RFK later said in his oral history interviews that LBJ carefully planned it this way -- not letting himself be the front man for the '64 bill but letting others take charge -- in order to shield himself politically in case it didn't pass.  And I would add it was the hard work by Mansfield and Humphrey in buttering up GOP leader Dirksen (and letting him manage the bill's amendments, contrary to senate custom) and who finally backed cloture, that turned the tide.

    (btw, as to JFK getting his CR bill passed, and he always knew it would be tough going, it had passed a key committee in the House the day before Dallas -- so not quite "going nowhere" as you state)

    As to the timing of the bills, you are off on several of the external events.  The 64 bill passed the senate, its last hurdle, several days before the 3 c.r. workers went to MS, so their murders couldn't have been the reason.  And the Birmingham church bombing was in Sept '63, 3 months after JFK introduced the bill, but months before it began its long journey in the senate.  Not relevant.  

    As to the '65 bill, no question the Selma marches had an impact. But interestingly there, LBJ was seen by CR leaders to be dragging his feet in proposing the bill up to that time.  Even GOP Gov of Michigan George Romney, the Mittster's dad, was publicly demonstrating on behalf of a strong voting rights bill before Johnson finally acted.


    Couple of follow-ups (none / 0) (#36)
    by brodie on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 06:20:39 PM EST
    to the above:  first, it's probably more accurate just to say the Birmingham church bombing wasn't an "immediate catalyst" as Donald stated, rather than a flat-out "not relevant" as I stated too strongly above.  Not irrelevant as it combined with other major external events, including the positive March on Washington of August '63, in moving public opinion forward on c.r.

    Second, people who want to know more about the way the 1964 CR bill went through the senate can see a more detailed write-up about it in the very useful book by senate aide Valeo about Mike Mansfield, a slender political biography by a man who worked closely with him in the senate.  Also on Mansfield and the senate of that time, see the Oberdorfer bio of Mansfield -- much longer but contains some very interesting anecdotes, including one about a wolfish LBJ getting his signals mixed up in the Oval one day with the young 20-something daughter of senate majority leader Mansfield, causing her to have to flee the room ...


    Brodie (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:26:15 PM EST
    I don't always agree with your conclusions, but boy do I ever appreciate like heck your clear, detailed knowledge of the political history of the past half century or so and your ability to write about it so clearly.

    Since this is all stuff that happened during my lifetime and that I lived through, I find your mini-treatises on it fascinating.  Among other things, you frequently remind me of stuff I'd forgotten-- such as Mike Mansfield and Hubert Humphrey's dogged efforts on behalf of Civil Rights, something that really has gotten lost in popular political history.  Poor old HHH, a genuine hero in many respects who ultimately just disgraced himself in his lust to be president.

    THanks for all of this.


    Thank you, gyr. (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by brodie on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:48:32 PM EST
    That period of our political past is one of my favorites to study, and along the way over the years I've developed some very firm views, pro and con, about certain major pols of that era as I'm sure everyone here has noticed.

    As for the liberal HHH, the VP whose office phone Pres Johnson arranged to have tapped, what might have been had he worked up the courage to substantially distance himself from LBJ on VN in that '68 race.  But no, he allowed himself to be bullied by his boss, and the rest is history.  Only that one time during the fall campaign, w/n Johnson's earshot just outside the Oval, did he raise his voice in protest and dare call his master some bad words.  


    Good for your (none / 0) (#61)
    by brodie on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:32:18 PM EST
    grandmother.  Sounds a little like the sort of cut-through-it-all blunt outspokenness that my mother has and that tends to run with the womenfolk on her side of the family.

    Dirksen's nickname was the Wizard of Ooze as he loved to hold forth in his peculiar long-winded, arcane, and flowery style on the senate floor.  He might well have been among those relative few in that time period pushing for a larger US military role over there. All the more reason LBJ should have ignored the advice to go in full bore.

    But Dirksen was necessary to get that CR bill unblocked, so kiss his behind Mansfield, Hubert and Lyndon did, for months.  Dirksen could be very annoying to some for his attention-seeking manner, but JFK especially and later LBJ found they could work with him.  And of course, compared to some of the hardline Gooper leaders of more recent vintage he was practically soft putty in Demo hands.


    Gail Collins (none / 0) (#59)
    by Politalkix on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:16:37 PM EST
    has set the Donald's hair on fire. May need some Hawaii beach sand to extinguish.