Friday, April 30, 2010

Landslide Lyndon Johnson: Fraudiest President Ever?

Hey everybody, remember America's thirty-sixth president? Probably not, because you are reading my blog on the internet and it's almost guaranteed you're under thirty forty years old. Anyway, he was a guy from Texas. Lyndon Baines Johnson was born to some white people who at some point had four more kids near Johnson City, Texas--named for Lyndon's father's cousin--in a farmhouse. Sounds a little bit backwoodsy to me. The 'Pedia tells me that Lyndon Fog was an "awkward and talkative" teen, which sounds like a perfect combination. His dad was in the Texas legislature, so you know, connections. Eventch LB ended up at Southwest Texas State Teacher's College (now TSU-San Marcos or something), where he worked at a job, debated, politicked, school-papered, etc. He dropped out for a year but did graduate in 1930. Then, you know, he was a teacher. He taught poor Mexican children for a bit, then moved on to some (presumably white) high schools where he taught public speaking and debate. He got into politics during the thirties, got hooked up with Sam Rayburn, who eventually became the Speaker for Life of the House of Representatives. They became close; all surrogate father-son shit.

In 1934, LBlowJob married Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Taylor. By 1937, he was ready to run for Congress. And he WON (possibly super-sketchily)! He served in the House 1937-1949. Once in Washington, Johnson became pals with FDR and had some serious influence, what with Rayburn serving as Speaker. 1941 brought a controversial Senate bid on Johnson's part, but he totes couldn't fraud his way into that one. In the House, he was appointed to the Naval Affairs Committee, and was commissioned an officer in the Naval Reserve at the beginning of WWII. Though LBJ had an itchy trigger finger, he was assigned to inspecting shipyards and shit. His old pal Franklin Delanobodybeatsaroosevelt had him go to the Southwest Pacific area and figure out what the deal with the American war machine was. In the process, he somehow earned a Silver Star for what seems to be no particular reason. Once he got back to Congress, Johnson aggressively tried to re-outfit the Pacific Theater of Ops and got some of the reforms he proposed, though alienating many people in the process (shock).

In 1948, LBizzle ran for Senate again and was part of a VERY close primary runoff. Anyway, he totally defrauded everyone and was dubbed "Landslide Lyndon," a nickname he was quite fond of as he ultimately triumphed and joined the Senate. Ol' Landslide set out to court senior senators immediately, and it paid off. He become Senate Majority Whip 1951-53 and served on the Senate Armed Services Committee. When the Republicans swept in on Eisenhower's coattails in '52, Johnson became Senate Minority Leader AKA America's Most Obstructionist Elected Office. Luckily, he won reelection in 1954 and true to midterm election tradition, the Democrats won back Congress, promoting our friend Johnnyson to Majority Leader. From this position, he was instrumental in pushing through the stop-gap, though still historic Civil Rights Act of 1957. As a Senator, Johnson used to aggressively corner people in the coatroom or urinal or whatever and give them "The Treatment," which, whatever it was, was very convincing. Johnson was good at politics and probably blackmailing people and whatnot, is what I'm saying. (Photo: Johnson terrorizes an old man.)

Despite working against Kennedy in the 1956 presidential race, Johnson somehow got nominated as the VP in 1960. He had Texas law changed so he could run for reelection in the Senate at the same time. Most recently, Joe Biden pulled the same shit. He got reelected to the Senate from Delaware at the same time as he got elected VP, but obvs the Constitution required that he resign from the Senate. Anyway, we all know how totally un-sketchy or contested the 1960 presidential election was. As Kennedy's VP, Johnson worked on civil rights (faster than the Kennedys wanted!) and spearheaded various science/NASA initiatives. When JFK was assassinated, Johnson got sworn in three hours later on Air Force One in Dallas (there was no Bible available, so he used some Catholic Church screed text found on the plane. Anyway, he basically had to start running immediately for the 1964 election. His campaign aired the infamous Daisy ad AKA "the world will nuclearly explode if you don't vote for LBAwesome." Though he won reelection (obvs), Johnson was the first Dem to lose the Deep South since the Civil War (because of that whole not hating black people enough nonsense).

La Bijjy pushed through a kind of ridiculously awesome domestic legislative agenda: Civil Rights Act of 1964, 1965 Voting Rights Act, The Great Society measures which are totes socialist with the "War on Poverty" and all the Medi-crap for old people and Wheelchair-Americans. Johnson also presided over the revolutionary Immigration Act of 1965, which was far less racist than its 1924 counterpart. He also nominated black guy Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court, which I think all of us socialists can agree was a good move. Unfortch, during his second term especially, race relations were basically terrible and worsening with all the summertime urban riots, etc. When it came to Vietnam (you know, that little "police action"), eventually a clear "credibility gap" appeared to the press* between Johnson's public statements and the reality on the ground. Though LBPenis was committed to the overall containment/domino theory/Cold War nonsense, he wasn't really that into Vietnam personally. However, he thought he'd look weak and unmanly in front of all the advisors he inherited from Kennedy if he pulled out. (I know, gross.) Though constitutionally, he could have gone in for another term, Vietnam shit and anemic returns from the New Hampshire primary convinced him to drop out early from the '68 race. And what with Nixon's eventual win, we can be totes grateful, amirite?

Johnson and his avian wife retired to their Johnson City ranch, he released his memoirs in 1971, and opened his presidential library at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1973, Lyndon had his third heart attack from all the drinking, smoking, heart disease, swearing, and holding meetings on the toilet (that should give you cancer just on principle). Anyway, the Secret Service found him dead in his bed with the phone in his hand. Who was he calling? Elvis? Ted Kennedy? Jane Fonda? Please speculate. Some shit got named for him but my favorite is the 1968 Cuban propaganda film called "LBJ." If Fidel makes a movie about you, you must be doing something right.


*Why is the press so slow at realizing that government administrators are lying to them? (See: invasion of Iraq, 2003)

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