One of the best things about the internet is the ability of readers to quickly and easily post their reactions to articles. In the strictly hard copy era before the web, authors who wrote completely absurd articles could be easily shielded from reader reaction. This is no longer the case as evidenced by this Daily Beast article by Lyndon B. Johnson biographer Robert Dallek: Obama’s LBJ Moment with His Gay Marriage Endorsement.
Yes, a few days ago Richard Cohen of the Washington Post was yearning for President Obama to become more like LBJ. And now we have Dallek declaring that Obama did indeed have his "LBJ Moment." So break out your peanuts and Cracker Jack as you enjoy the entertainment ahead starting out with Dallek setting himself up to be mocked out of the ballpark with this incredibly slow pitch of a silly article:
Why was the president willing to take on this issue now when it could work against him in what promises to be a tough reelection fight? It could be that Obama campaign officials believe that very few opponents of gay marriage are going to vote for the president anyway—so why not boost and solidify his standing with liberals and some sympathetic independents whose enthusiasm for a second term may make a difference in the November out come?
It’s also possible that the publication of Robert Caro’s fourth volume on Lyndon Johnson, which includes a discussion of LBJ’s courageous stand on the 1964 civil rights bill, triggered President Obama’s decision to come out for a gay right that he sees as long overdue. What makes the Johnson analogy so plausible is that, like Johnson, Obama is taking this on in an election year.
It is also possible that Obama wanted to have Richard Cohen's LBJ yearnings fulfilled. But enough of your humble correspondent's observations. The best is yet to come from the Daily Beast readers themselves but first let us allow Dallek to continue with his absurdities especially the idea of Obama as candidate for inclusion in JFK's Profiles In Courage:
Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage is hardly as consequential as Johnson’s legislative success on civil rights. Obama’s support is little more than a verbal gesture; he has no capacity to overturn state constitutional amendments or state referenda banning same-sex marriage that passed in thirty-one states all over the country. Only six states and the District of Columbia have enacted measures approving such unions. Nonetheless, it is no small action for a sitting president to have taken a stand in support of a social arrangement that clashes with traditional convictions about what constitutes “marriage.” Moreover, it could help stimulate court battles and national efforts to add an amendment to the United States Constitution, though the failure during a sixty-year struggle for an Equal Rights Amendment assuring gender equality offers little comfort to those eager to turn the issue into a national referendum.
Whatever the long-term legal prospects for same-sex marriage, President Obama’s willingness to put the matter front and center in an election year can at least make him a candidate for inclusion in Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage.
This is going to be difficult but I must resist my natural inclination to make light of Dallek's article in favor of watching the Daily Beast readers making mincemeat of his absurdities. Take it away folks!
What a LOAD....the country is going broke and we are worried about gay marriage. The workforce is failing apart...Gay marriage. China scams us out of billions...what ahout Gay marriage. Investment bank using billions from the FED loses 2 BILLIONs...and Gay Marriage.
Comparing BHO to LBJ is laughable in itself, as LBJ knew how to work with Congress and "twist" the arms of Congressional members. BHO has not developed that skill nor probably ever will. He's more inclined to talk, talk, and talk some more, ceding his first 2 years to Pelosi and company to create his agenda. Now he's between Barack and a hard place trying to defend his economic policies and jobless recovery.
His LBJ moment is just that - a "moment". And Obama has supposedly had a Reagan 'moment" - but unfortunately for us the rest of his term has been all "Obama moments".
Are you seriously equating Obama giving his 'personal opinion' on an issue, to LBJ actually SIGNING monumental civil rights law.
if obama had a son, he'd look like lyndon johnson?
Obama is LBJ, Obama is FDR, Obama is Reagan.....sorry folks Obama is Obama!
Profiles in Courage? You've got to be kidding. Obama was being pushed off a cliff by Biden and the extreme left, so he decided to jump. That's not bravery, that's spin.
Obama's hagiographers have morphed him from being Lincoln to T.R. To FDR, to Truman, to Kennedy and now LBJ over the past three years. Each time the comparison flops resoundingly.
Thank you Robert Dallek for producing an article that proved to be a great catalyst for so many entertaining responses.