Maureen Dowd

Comparing Obama To FDR And LBJ: The Circumstances Are Dramatically Different!

Maureen Dowd of the NY Times has complained that Barack Obama needs to be more like Lyndon Johnson, and others would say Franklin D. Roosevelt.

This is preposterous, as both LBJ and FDR had MASSIVE majorities in the US Senate, while Obama has to deal with having only 55 members of his party in the Senate, plus a Republican House of Representatives for the past two and a half years, the next year and a half, and likely beyond that!

Johnson had 68 Democrats at the time of the Civil Rights Act, and 64 for the Voting Rights Act, and FDR had 75 Senators at his peak.

It is true that LBJ had to deal with segregationist Southern Senators, but he also had moderate and liberal Northern Republicans he could count on, and FDR had progressive Republicans, including those that this author published about in his monograph, TWILIGHT OF PROGRESSIVISM (1981), who were willing to cross party lines to back him on many issues!

Obama has found the opposition party unwilling, in either house of Congress, to back him on almost anything he promotes, with an occasional few Senators helping out, but with the filibuster requiring 60 votes, the result is a total stalemate, something he has not been able to overcome, even after having lunches and dinners with Republicans, particularly in the Senate, as they are dedicated to prevention of any legislation that might make him look good in history.

But despite that, Obama is accomplishing a record that will make him look good in history, even with the opposition of conservatives and Republicans, and the criticism of Maureen Dowd and other unrealistic liberals and progressives!