Discussion: Selma Pays Tribute To Lyndon Johnson For Voting Rights Act

Discussion for article #234076

LBJ’s achievements put him in FDR’s class among great presidents, at least in domestic affairs. His War on Poverty raised income levels of the poorest Americans. He understood the importance of education in raising standards of living, and he was one of the first presidents to focus on environmental protection before its time. His administration created Medicare and Medicaid, extensions of the New Deal policies of FDR. The Voting Rights Act he championed transformed America, though he knew it would lose the South to the GOP “for generations”. Were it not for the Vietnam war he escalated, historians probably would rate him in the top 7 of presidents.

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Selma, the city, pays tribute.

Thanks for that. I wonder what Obama’s legacy on civil rights will be? Aside of course from Hope and Change.

Maybe not in the LBJ’ category - but you are conveniently ignoring gains in LGBT rights and the Lily Ledbetter Act.

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He will be the LBJ for the LGBT community.

Obama had to deal with a GOP Congress for all but two of his eight years many of whom are not the least bit subtle about hating the president for his race, imagined birthplace, etc. LBJ had BOTH houses of congress by wide margins all the years he presided 1963-1969, and his 60-40% landslide in 1964 made it relatively easy for him to get stuff done. Now THAT was a mandate to govern.

Even so, Obama made his mark primarily with unprecedented healthcare reform, and he had to fight tooth and nail with the haters every inch of the way. His plan was really no different from Romney’s in MA, but only O got called a socialist for his trouble.

I saw a Siena survey of historians that had Obama as 15th among presidents, but that was in 2010. Historians are much more accurate assessing presidents’ performance 50 years after they were president. It may well be that Obama’s biggest positive was guiding the country through the economic recovery that could very well have been a disaster for the nation given the collapse of financial markets during the last year of Bush’s terms.

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