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Paul Deppler
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LBJ first passed civil rights legislation as senate majority leader (I think it was the voting rights act). It was very limited in its scope, it upset northern democrats for that reason, but set the stage for what was to come; and there's a parallel to be found there with the health care bill. (In a similar way also it only narrowly surmounted a filibuster from the southern block.) There are no guarantees but break throughs are real change.
Thanks for responding Alain! I just don't see, looking at the history of the presidency, how you can hope for much better than Obama, and in this climate. LBJ, after medicaid and civil rights, had his compromises also. Maybe the disappointment with Obama is disappointment with leadership as such -- the limits of what leadership can do for a movement.
Why doesn't it empower the left to have a capable President from the left? Obama has done what he's campaigned on and run the government well. He's made important incremental changes (important to the left) that can be improved on later. I feel that Obama is concerned about the country primarily, not about the left, and that this is a good thing for a president to be concerned with. It's just what Bush didn't do.
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May 20, 2010