Splitting Hairs

going deeper

Hillary as Lyndon Johnson


Last night, I attended a party celebrating the 25th year reunion of our 1991 Stanford Law class. It was nice to catch up with these amazing, talented people.

During the party, the conversations ranged all over the map. This post is about the political conversations and the effect of those on my views.

Entering the party yesterday afternoon, my core political view was that Obama — the guy for whom I voted twice — might just be remembered by history by Edward Snowden and Colin Kaepernick. In other words, Obama’s failings as the leader of the over-reaching security state, and as the black president who did next to nothing to cure the complaints of #BlackLivesMatter, would be remembered dimly by history.

This thought of mine troubled me because Obama seemed to be and still seems to be probably the best human being America has had as President — even if he still is a smoker. And we ain’t never doing any better than Michelle Obama in her role.

But the conversations last night opened me up to a different view. This different view has Hillary serving as Lyndon Johnson to Obama’s Jack Kennedy.

Kennedy serves as the bridge from the 1950s to the ‘Sixties’, and all that that decade meant to the advancement of the downtrodden.

But Kennedy wasn’t the person to lift up these needy people; Johnson was (see the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act). I’ve read that Johnson got those epic laws passed not due to his public charm, but rather due to his secret political arm-twisting and graft-gifting talents (i.e. the “sausage-making of the American political sausage”).

I haven’t liked Hillary as a human being for decades. Probably for similar reasons as most Americans who find her “unfavorable”.

But some of those distasteful reasons make her the perfect person to succeed Obama.

For example, Obama tried to rein in Big Food, but failed miserably. Tried to stick it to the health insurance companies … blowback. Tried to move toward marijuana legalization; came off looking worse than Bush. Tried to control the banks; was ridiculed.

I see Hillary tackling these same issues from the same positions as Obama, but going after it all differently. Before announcing anything publicly, she’ll secretly go to the “gatekeepers” on these issues (Senators, lobbyists, etc.), and do some Lyndon-like brow-beating and carrot-promising to get them to move toward her (and Obama’s) position.

Finally, here’s what I see as being different between Kennedy→Johnson, versus Obama→Hillary. The “job” of the former team was about liberating the dispossessed against the racists and misogynists who had kept them down for centuries.

As I see it, the job of the latter pair is to promote the interests of:

  • the anti-establishment against the establishment (Robert Reich’s terms)
  • the 99% against the 1% (OWS terms)
  • the people against the corporations (my terms)

It’s all the same thing. I hope Hillary’s people come up with really catchy names for the combatants.

BTW — Kudos to the Hillary team. Yeah, you were corrupt and venal. But you were damn smart. Holy crap, did you ever play that Hilter-wanna-be Trump for a Drumpf (John Oliver’s term).

I didn’t vote for you. But on this Sunday morning, I’m glad you’re going to win.

Now go finish what Obama started.

5 comments on “Hillary as Lyndon Johnson

  1. Kathy Graham
    October 26, 2016

    You’re making her sound like Bernie Sanders. If this actually does go down like you are suggesting, then maybe there is room for secrecy and dishonesty as a path to growth and functionality. Bernie would have laid all of his cards on the table: the epitome of ethics and honesty. Maybe the end justifies the means sometimes?


  2. Kathy Graham
    November 8, 2016

    It’s almost official. I’m watching Election 2016 tonight and it’s 244 for Trump and 216 for Clinton right now, and not looking good for the Democrats. It’s almost official that America is the stupidest nation on the planet. Unbelievable.


  3. Kathy Graham
    November 9, 2016

    Whoa. It is official. America is the most stupid nation on the planet. Here’s my prediction: within 4 years there will be a US civil war, US will be the most hated country in the world, and Trump will be the most hated president ever because his economic promises would be juxtaposed with the impending financial crash that will happen in the next few years (regardless of whether he was president or not).

    Why are 50% of Americans stupid? Because when economy trumps sexual assault and bigotry, it’s a demonstration of sheer ignorance regarding priority.

    I won’t be travelling to the US anytime soon. 😦


    • peter
      November 9, 2016

      Obviously, last night merits some blogging. As I was picking up my jaw off the floor watching the returns come in, I realized that my California liberation theology theory just got a shot in the arm. When you speak of a coming civil war in America, I couldn’t agree more. Only now it’s East vs West, not North vs South.


  4. Pingback: A Little Less Crazy | Splitting Hairs

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This entry was posted on October 23, 2016 by in people vs. corporations, politics.



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