Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pres. Obama Better than LBJ?

Once again I have to thank Bob @ for pointing me in the direction of this story. I have been slack lately at checking out some of my favorite reading sites, such as CQ Politics and this is one story I missed. But Bob picked it up from another site and posted on it... so I thought I would elaborate on his post some.

I have been hearing from everyone how if Pres. Obama was "More like LBJ" he could get things done. In the comments just this week after his weekly address I think there were at least 2 or 3 references to that fact, mistaken though they are.

For one thing, as another commenter and I pointed out to them, LBJ had cooperative Republican's who actually voted for the legislation he was trying to get through, and for another, LBJ had been in Congress for a number of years and had been an arm twister and knew where the bodies were buried of a lot of members. No, I am not putting him down, I am just saying it was a different time and a different climate for LBJ.

Even so, it was still hard for him to get Medicare and Civil Rights legislation through Congress and the bills he got through, were not the bills we have now. They have been added to many times to make them what they are today.

That's the way all big Omnibus Legislation is done. That's the way this Health Care Bill is going to be. No, it isn't what we all wanted, no it isn't everything it maybe could be.. But the President, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have to work with the members they have to pass what they can.

Yelling that they are sell outs and demanding that the bill be killed if it doesn't have this or that.. not supporting them and talking about how bad they are is not the answer.

Harry Reid can only work with what he has. Blaming him for Traitor Joe, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln and the others is not right. How would him trying to be more forceful with them have gained us anything? By him compromising his values, and in some cases ours, he has lost the support of his state, he has lost stature with progressives, BUT, he has gotten the Health Care Bill to a point it has never been before.

Not to mention, that Harry Reid has done some other things, maybe you aren't aware of.

This from CQPolitics:

President Obama set a new record last year for getting Congress to vote his way, clinching 96.7 percent of the votes on which he had clearly staked a position

That was a bit less than 4 percentage points higher than the previous record, set by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, according to an annual study by Congressional Quarterly.

Yes, you read that correctly. Pres. Obama has surpassed LBJ's accomplishments in his first year.
With the help of the "sell out" Harry Reid.

Congressional Quarterly has compiled statistics on presidential support since 1953. Editors select the votes based on clear statements by the president or authorized spokesmen before the vote.

In all, Congress took 151 votes in which Obama had taken a position ahead of time.

His wins in his first year in office included votes for creating a massive economic stimulus package, bailing out the auto industry, allowing the Food and Drug Administration regulate tobacco and confirming Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

But they also included key moves toward overhauling the health care system, regulating financial services and reducing greenhouse gases which have not yet passed both chambers of Congress.

That unfinished work will be taken up in the second session, which begins Tuesday. Obama’s ultimate success will depend on how well his second year in office goes.

“If this Congress passes both health care reform and climate change legislation on top of the economic stuff, it will go down as a historic achievement,” says Rich Fleisher, a political science professor at Fordham University in New York City. “But unless they continue to manage the agenda in a way that is very, very careful, that could all fall apart.”

In the House, Obama won 68 votes and lost four.

Among the losses: a vote to disapprove further spending on a bank bailout and a July vote to pass a food safety overhaul. Both were temporary setbacks since Congress eventually ended up supporting the president’s position.

In the Senate, Obama won 78 votes and lost one.

The Republican win there came on an amendment which would have barred spending money to transfer detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to the United States. In the end, the bill allowed the transfer under certain conditions.

To build this record, Obama relied heavily on Democratic majorities with only occasional support from the GOP. As in the health care overhaul, he also had to keep the entire Democratic caucus in the Senate in line.

Yeah, see that last line... "keep the entire Democratic caucus in the Senate in line" Whose job is that? Why that ineffectual sell out himself, Harry Reid. The man who can't lead, the man who has let everyone down. The man who has helped Pres. Obama get more legislation through the Senate than LBJ.

So, there you have it..... Pres. Obama is better than LBJ and Harry Reid is doing his job as the Leader in the Senate.. No matter if you like it or not.. He may seem like he isn't doing a job like you think. But there is much more behind the scenes you don't see.

Think about that, the next time you criticize the President for not being strong enough, and think about it the next time you say Harry Reid isn't doing a good job as Leader. I think they are both doing good. At least better than LBJ.


Mauigirl said...

Thank you for posting this! It's very true that nothing can be done all at once and that there have been a lot more accomplishments by this administration than a lot of people are willing to admit! It is very encouraging to read this.

Annette said...

Thanks Maui, I just get tired of people putting the President and everyone down. It just seems he is never doing enough for anyone it seems and he has done so much. They need to realize he has done a lot more than they think. So has Harry Reid. He can't make the Senator's he deals with more Liberal, he can only deal with what he has and that means compromise.

Jerry Critter said...

LBJ also had a filibuster-proof Senate.

Annette said...

So does Obama.. Jerry... what is your point.. and the Democratic Caucus LBJ had was as divided as the one Obama has.. but LBJ still got Republican votes.. Many more than Obama has... remember he has gotten virtually NO GOP votes for anything, in the House or the Senate.

Jerry Critter said...

LBJ had about 68 democratic senators. As a result, he did not have to make as many concessions to conservative democrats in order to keep a 60 vote majority. It was easier for him to pass legislation in the Senate than it was in the House.

K. said...

Johnson was also on top of the world in 1965, coming off of an electoral landslide and drawing massive, adoring crowds wherever he went. Arguably, no president has been in a better position politically since then. I do think that Johnson thought bigger than Obama does -- "can" might be a better word -- but times were different. Liberalism was still the dominant force in American politics; many of the Republicans who supported civil rights legislation (like Clifford Case and Jacob Javits) were legitimate social progressives. You don't see that in today's Republican party, which is essentially a product of Nixon's 1968 Southern Strategy. And -- and I can't stress this point enough -- a powerful civil rights movement had raised public consciousness about the issue and radically redirected public opinion outside of the south. That was unquestionably a major help for Johnson who, whatever his considerable skills, was rarely out in front of public opinion.

Obama, in contrast, has to turn around an ocean liner in the middle of the journey. It's an arduous, methodical process and most of it happens below the radar. In the face of 10% unemployment, it is very difficult to get people excited about jobs that might have been lost were it not for the stimulus.

The frustration with Obama and Reid from the left is a result, I suspect, of raised expectations. We can debate about whether these expectations are legitimate or not, but I believe that they are there. It's also the case that -- especially re health care reform -- the insurance lobby has tremendous influence in Congress and that there is no coordinated mass movement outside of Congress to serve as a counterweight.

Obama hasn't been perfect. He could have come out stronger for a public option. I have grave misgivings about the Afghanistan strategy and I wish that his economic team better reflected the Democratic party constituency rather than the party Wall St establishment. But I'm not president and don't face walking a high wire like he does every day.

Love the "Traitor Joe" crack! I've been calling him Holy Joe ever since he self-righteously twitted Clinton from the floor of the Senate in 1998.

Annette said...

I agree it was easier for LBJ Jerry, that was my point, and as K points out.. and I pointed out.. He had a LOT of help from the GOP in passing his pet projects, that is something Pres. Obama DOES NOT have... In fact just the opposite.. He has MAJOR opposition from the GOP and from the Corporate Media on top of it... which is also something LBJ didn't have... we didn't have the 24/7 news cycle then we have now. We didn't have the Tea Partiers getting coverage and getting the same respect as are Senators and Representatives. That's just galling to me... To think someone with the brains of a gnat is considered to be worthy of face time on TeeVee is beyond all ken to me.

Yet every day they are given a platform to spout their idiocy. While serious people and serious subjects are let go by the wayside.

Sue said...

is the public just too busy, too lazy to seek out the facts on the politicians? It's so important to be informed on the records of our elected and those up for re-election. How can we vote if we don't even know who we are voting for? You did a great job here showing us Reid is working hard for us, and so is Obama! Thanks Annette

Annette said...

You are welcome Sue, and I just get sick of hearing how ineffectual they are.. and it seemed a good time to point out that without Harry Reid, Pres. Obama couldn't get this all done and vice versa. So to say Harry Reid is worthless, is just wrong.

Jerry Critter said...

I think Lieberman and Nelson are more worthy of the label "worthless", plus a long list of republicans.

Annette said...

Oh it is more than just LIEberman and Nelson that are bad characters.... there are several others in the Senate that could be painted with the same brush.....

I still think Traitor Joe is the best name for him, and Nelson is clearly an alcoholic.... so I guess Drinker

TomCat said...

This is great Annette. I still wish he'd do a little more arm-twisting, though. :-)

Leslie Parsley said...

LBJ had a lot of help but he was also the proverbial arm twister. He would go nose to nose or literally grab a politician's arm and get them to understand that to vote for his bill was the right thing to do. Or he'd call them at three in the morning.

Great post and a refreshing change of pace.