A Cautionary Tale

Hey, hey, LBJ. How many kids did you kill today?

Anybody here remember 1968? I do. Bobby Kennedy. Martin Luther King. Eugene McCarthy. The Battle of Chicago. Viet Nam.

Lyndon Baines Johnson. LBJ. The villain of the piece. Or so many people have pegged him. He was a reluctant warrior in a war he didn't particularly want to fight but which he made the mistake of believing America couldn't afford to lose. Not on his watch. Tragic mistake.

But let's retreat just a bit: Civil Rights, PBS, Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protection, aid to education, the War on Poverty. The Great Society. A vision worthy of FDR and, I truly believe, Barack Obama. That was also LBJ.

There was a little chant that many of us (actually, I never liked it, never used it, but I'm a wuss when it comes to defamatory statements) shouted along our anti-war protest routes.

"Hey Hey LBJ. How many kids did you kill today?"

I don't know how effective that chant was on exciting revulsion for the war. Maybe it was very effective. That's hard to assess. But it was very effective at driving Lyndon Baines Johnson from the presidential race in 1968. And I think that one of the consequences of the ensuing fallout was to drive the country into the waiting arms of Richard Milhouse Nixon.

We liberal/progressive/lefty pinko commies - whatever - are not being nearly as harsh on President Obama. We're a little more sophisticated, a little more insidious. We are "disappointed."

The way I see it, from my little outpost here on the watermelon rind, blue bubble, left coast (pardon the mixed metaphors), we want to have all of 2013-2016 to bitch slap Obama up one side and down the other. Our "disappointment" won't drive him out of the race, but if we toss our ballots in the trash in ideological disgust, we may find ourselves in the embrace of someone we would prefer to have not met in the first place.