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Entries in Lyndon Johnson (4)


US Politics Opinion: Lessons from the Campaign and the Election

Anti-Obama billboard in Missouri

The Republicans are between a rock and a hard place. Because of that, there is a possibility that business can actually be done in Congress, especially if Obama takes a leaf from Lyndon Johnson’s book in how to deal with legislators --- studying, for example, the passing of Civil Rights legislation in the mid-1960s. Indeed, the bigger risk for the President may be that his own party’s legislators will try to exact revenge for the past two years of gridlock, ruining the chances of good governance by the Executive and Congress.

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Afghanistan Opinion: Let's Be Clear --- "The Surge" Was A Failure of US Strategy and Policy (Cohen)

Rajiv Chandrasekaran's newly-released book, Little America: The War Within The War for Afghanistan (see extract in separate EA feature) has prompted soul-searching amongst US analysts about what went wrong, more than a decade after the situation was supposedly resolved with the ousting of the Taliban.

Michael Cohen's comment for The Progressive Realist resonates, in part because it returns to the key period in 2009 --- covered extensively by EA at the time --- when the US military bounced President Obama into an expanded intervention. Ostensibly, this was for development and political resolution as well as the vanquishing of the Taliban; in practice, the development and political resolution never followed the additional boots on the ground.

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US Politics Opinion: Loathing and More Loathing in Washington DC

A wise man once told me there were two things in this world you do not want to see made: sausages and a political deal.

And so it is with the news that that the legislative and executive branches of the US Government have reached agreement on lifting the US debt ceiling, a step which should have been a formality. We are being treated to congratulatory statements by America’s political leaders of common sense prevailing and of the spirit of compromise.

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US Politics Opinion: "A Plague on All Your Houses"

Sen. Harry Reid, Barack Obama, Sen. John BoehnerWhilst Congress remains gridlocked, which will be the case until January 2013 at the earliest, the markets will look askance at efforts to control American debt and react accordingly, hurting us all. This is what happens when economic issues are politicised. Maybe, Obama will take a leaf from Bill Clinton’s book, moving to the centre and getting popular support for legislation which Congress hears, but I doubt this will happen.

It is in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that I find the words to sum up my feelings: “A plague on all your houses.”

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