Operative BG writes in after a too-long absence, and saves the Czar from having to think an original thought:
|I read Robert Caro’s Master of the Senate, about Lyndon’ Johnson’s years as Senate Majority Leader, a few months ago. Say what you want about LBJ, but he was a master politician. He got the job as Majority Leader during his first term as senator, because no one else wanted it. It was a thankless, powerless job, for someone who was willing to be a shuttlecock between Republican President Eisenhower and the Senate’s Democrat committee chairmen, who wielded the real power. Johnson sought the job because he understood how to make it the Senate’s center of power – and set about doing just that.
As majority Leader, Johnson controlled what legislation got through the Senate and actually got some civil rights legislation passed in 1957, with the cooperation of the racist southern Democrats who held unbreakable filibuster power – a remarkable feat, especially since Johnson himself was a member in good standing of the racist southern Democratic caucus. In his first year as president, he got the landmark 1964 civil rights bill passed by negotiating with both its supporters and its opponents, after Kennedy had given up completely on the project, unable to beat the southern Democrat filibusters.
I was thinking about this the other day when I heard that our current president has finally decided to help the Kurds in northern Iraq, and is actually bombing the ISIS monsters. But why are we doing this alone? Everyone – even Iran – is scared to death of ISIS and would love to see them destroyed. Why isn’t Obama putting together a “coalition of the willing,” even if he has to call it by a different name so as not to remind everyone that that moron Bush did just that in invading Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein? Why isn’t Obama negotiating such a coalition with foreign leaders?
Then I’m reminded that there are no U.S. troops in Iraq any more because, he claims, we couldn’t reach a status of forces agreement (SOFA) with the Maliki government. I wonder how hard he tried. If no agreement could be reached, then that would be all the justification he would need to pull all our troops out of Iraq and go brag that he had “ended” the Iraq war. That would suit his purposes just fine, wouldn’t it? Why didn’t he work hard to negotiate a SOFA?
And then I’m reminded of how little he’s dealt with John Boehner and the other House Republican leaders other than to childishly call them names. Is there any evidence anywhere that he’s sought any common ground between the House and the Senate on any issue at all? Obamacare? Immigration? Where is his, “Come, let us reason together” moment on those issues? They don’t exist; Obamacare opponents want to see poor people sicken and die or go bankrupt paying their medical bills. Immigration opponents are heartless fiends who want innocent children to go back to El Salvador to be raped. Obama’s most famous meeting with Republican leaders was in the 2010 health care “summit” when he smugly brushed off John McCain’s objections with a reminder that the election was over and that he had won.
More and more, I’m coming around to the conclusion that Obama doesn’t know how to negotiate, doesn’t know how to compromise, doesn’t know how to cut a deal – and hasn’t the slightest interest in learning.
He may be the smartest president ever, but a president who doesn’t know how to negotiate with his opponents is like a carpenter who doesn’t know how to use a hammer.
The Czar sighs and admits he agrees across the board. Sometime back in 2009, perhaps it was, the Czar began to realize that President Obama was, um, hardly the intellectual giant of his campaign. There is no doubt in our mind as to why, exactly, his grades have been concealed from us. Not because he took courses with a radical bentnot in itself a big dealbut because year after year his grades were lower than George W. Bush’s, and what a blow to the Left that would be after eight years of laughing at Bush’s above-average intellect.
Johnson was a master politicianand by all reports such an insufferable jackass that this was pretty much the only job he could get. And he knew it, and he made the most of it. Most of his brilliant victories were scored because the opposition just wanted him to leave their offices, but so what? A win is a win, and Johnson got a lot of them by going nose to nose, rather than mano a mano. But the Czar will not defend himthe more you get into LBJ’s history, the worse a leader he looks. Indeed, to your point, perhaps he should never have left the Senate.
And LBJ’s record with civil rights is a sham. He got on board only because he knew he’d never get his War on Poverty welfare scam passed without addressing the root cause of black inequity prior to the 1960s: the lack of civil rights.
But this is exactly the gist of your letter: Obama couldn’t even have managed that. The Czar, who has been around for centuries, has a keen ear for the soundtrack of history; he can already hear the kazoo and honky saxophone theme that plays whenever Obama does anything, and is sorry to report that history’s take on Obama is going to be brutal.
Doubts? Not when Hillary Clinton is overtly ridiculing his foreign policy as she has done last week. Even the Left is done with this guy’s pretensions of brilliance. As you say, he doesn’t even know how to use the tools that work for him.
Ah, a great pun.