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When Administrations Implode


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Administration meltdowns are hardly novel. In almost every presidency there comes a moment when sheer chaos takes hold, whether self-induced or as a result of an outside crisis.

Vietnam had effectively destroyed Lyndon Johnson by 1967. Watergate unraveled the Richard Nixon administration, as the disgraced president resigned in the face of certain impeachment. Gerald Ford could not whip inflation and was not re-elected. One-termer Jimmy Carter was undone by the Iranian hostage crisis and skyrocketing oil prices.

For a time, it seemed that Ronald Reagan's second term might not survive the Iran-Contra scandal. George H.W. Bush could not be re-elected after he broke his promise not to raise taxes and Ross Perot entered the 1992 race. The popular Bill Clinton was impeached over the Monica Lewinsky affair and limped out of office tainted. The insurgency in Iraq and the fallout from Hurricane Katrina crashed for good the once-high poll ratings of George W. Bush.

The Obama administration over the last month has seemed on the verge of one of these presidential meltdowns.

An open mic caught the president promising Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would be more flexible after the election -- as if Obama might grant concessions that would be unpalatable if known to the general public before November. That embarrassment followed an earlier hot-mic put-down of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year.

The president also unwisely attacked the Supreme Court as it deliberated the constitutionality of Obamacare. He needlessly referred to the justices as "unelected" and wrongly claimed that that they had little precedent to overturn laws that dealt with commerce. The gaffe about the court and its history was doubly embarrassing because Obama has often reminded the public that he used to teach constitutional law.Scissors-32x32.png

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The assertion that "Vietnam had effectively destroyed Lyndon Johnson by 1967" is a totally wacked (according to LBJ). I have impeccable source material, i.e., Reader's Digest .


Page 191 of the September 1973 Reader's Digest quotes LBJ:



"I've served my time with that bunch, and I give up on 'em. The new style is advocacy reporting - send some snotty-nosed reporter down here to act like a district attorney and ask me where I was on the night of the 23rd. I'm always guilty unless I can prove otherwise. So the hell with it."


The article continues:


...a phone call would dispatch an Air Force helicopter to carry [LBJ] 67 miles from [his] ranch to Austin, where a landing pad had been built on the library roof. A visitor expressed suprise that LBJ could still summon a helicopter. An aide responded, "He was living this way when he was in the Senate."


LBJ is cited by the Digest as saying:


..."If I became dicator of the world", [LBJ] said, "I'd give all the poor a cottage and birth-control pills - I'd make damn sure they didn't get one if they didn't take the other."


"...[LBJ] had never doubted the he could have won the 1968 election had he chosen to run for another term. But in 1967 he launched a secret actualrial study of his life expectency, supplying personal histories of all the males in the recent Johnson line, himself included...The prediction handed to him was that he'd die at the age of 64." - [emphasis: mine]

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"The effect of all these unnecessary missteps was to make the Obama administration appear inept..."


That's about the first time Victor Davis Hanson said something that I disagree with. The Obama administration appeared inept no later than the moment it picked Joe Biden to be Vice President. The rest of this has been entirely predictable. Unfortunately, too many Americans simply don't care. They liked putting "O" stickers on their Prious and waiting for free handouts.

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