taking sides: lyndon baines johnson vs. richard milhous nixon

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pace this thread. the two greatest american political geniuses of the past 50 years, corrupt and ornery as all fuck.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Thursday, 27 May 2004 02:47 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

LBJ actually did some great (not JUST good) things. Both were corrupt as hell though.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 27 May 2004 02:52 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

LBJ was much more entertaining in his corruption - good ol' boy/Huey Long-ism vs. Nixon's Machiavelli from hell.

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Thursday, 27 May 2004 02:56 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

LBJ was much more entertaining in his corruption - good ol' boy/Huey Long-ism vs. Nixon's Machiavelli from hell

you should read caro's means of ascent -- a/k/a how LBJ got his original nickname, "landslide lyndon" -- for some real hellish machiavellianism!

Eisbär (llamasfur), Thursday, 27 May 2004 03:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'd rather read a book of LBJ quotes - and I have!

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 27 May 2004 03:03 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

chicken salad or chicken shit!
inside the tent pissing out, instead of outside the tent pissing in!
yer pecker, my pocket!

Eisbär (llamasfur), Thursday, 27 May 2004 03:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Everett McKinley Dirksen

gabbneb (gabbneb), Thursday, 27 May 2004 03:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Favorite curse word showdown as both liked to curse:

Johnson's "sonofabitch" vs. Nixon's "cocksucker"

earlnash, Thursday, 27 May 2004 03:13 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

which president would've been most likely to use "motherfucker" as his showdown cussword of choice?

Eisbär (llamasfur), Thursday, 27 May 2004 03:17 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Wasn't Clinton a big emmer-effer-dropper back in the day?

Scott CE (Scott CE), Thursday, 27 May 2004 03:24 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

or, even better, Michael Joseph Mansfield

gabbneb (gabbneb), Thursday, 27 May 2004 03:33 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

LBJ was a mean old cuss and corrupt as hell, but he also signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. At the time, he remarked that the Civil Rights Act would certainly destroy the Democratic Party coalition as it had existed since FDR. He signed it anyway.

Nixon who saw the same political facts and in response devised the infamous "Southern strategy" to win the solid South for the Party of Lincoln, by turning it into the party of preference for southern racists.

LBJ also had the guts to withdraw from the race after the New Hampshire primary, even though he was a sitting president and he actually won that primary. Eugene McCarthy only got 38% of the New Hampshire vote in '68.

Nixon, even after Watergate had busted wide open and his many, many crimes were common knowledge practically had to be pried out of office with a crowbar.

LBJ screwed up badly in Vietnam and mired the country in an unwinnable war. Nixon was a flat-out war criminal.

So, LBJ gets my vote, if those are the only two choices. No contest.

Aimless (Aimless), Thursday, 27 May 2004 03:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Nixon who saw the same political facts and in response...

er not to be an apologist (I don't think this is being one anyway but still need to put that disclaimer out there) but the political facts were not the same as Nixon had to contend with George Wallace running against him, whereas LBJ didn't.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 27 May 2004 04:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

and I hate to seem cynical but it could be said that two reasons LBJ could get away with signing the CRA are that:

1. he was running barely less than a year after JFK ate it in Dallas.
2. he was running against Goldwater, a total nutcase who LBJ very astutely portrayed as such.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 27 May 2004 04:03 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Wallace was a thorn in his side because Wallace gave disaffected racist Democrats an alternative to Nixon and Nixon couldn't fight back at Wallace by overtly appealing to racism - as that would lose him too many votes outside the south.

But Nixon's southern strategy was more a long term plan than a short term tactic. A glance will show that the solid south has now turned pretty solidly Republican - which is where Nixon wanted it. He taught others to follow the path he trod first.

Aimless (Aimless), Thursday, 27 May 2004 04:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

oh yeah, I'm not denying that his was a long-term strategy, but I do think it did help him overcome short-term obstacles like Wallace (and of course that sniper didn't hurt either).

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 27 May 2004 04:19 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

the sniper was 1972, not 1968.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Thursday, 27 May 2004 04:32 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

yeah, that's a long-term strategy, dude.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 27 May 2004 04:37 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Nixon Reconsidered

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Thursday, 27 May 2004 05:45 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

stence: you should teach history at some hippy alternative high school.

Ian Johnson (orion), Thursday, 27 May 2004 06:17 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

nixon's plot to sabotage vietnam peace talks in 1968 - by using a go-between to urge south vietnam's president to boycott them, promising that he'd provide better terms if he were elected that year - was one of the most despicable acts in the history of the republic. lbj was a bastard too but he never sunk that low, and he said some pretty entertaining things now and then.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Thursday, 27 May 2004 06:44 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

LBJ - a great man, brought low be events. Arguably anyway. I have the suspicion that the Vietnam war was like a trainwreck that no electable American President could have avoided.

Nixon - a raving lunatic. The nearest thing to a certifiably insane nutbag the USA has ever had in the White House.

Both therefore have their advantages.

DV (dirtyvicar), Thursday, 27 May 2004 16:13 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Ian actually you know I've always wanted to do that. Maybe if I ever move back to Louisville I could teach at my alma mater.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 27 May 2004 16:15 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Inspired by the link, I spent a few moments reconsidering Nixon. After reconsideration, he's still scum.

Aimless (Aimless), Thursday, 27 May 2004 16:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

apparently when Nixon was President the army had special orders not to obey any order to fire nuclear missiles at Russia if it was given by Nixon after 6.00 in the evening, unless it was confirmed the following morning.

DV (dirtyvicar), Thursday, 27 May 2004 16:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

the Army? You sure about that?

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 27 May 2004 16:24 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

also, LBJ wins because of this:

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 27 May 2004 16:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

the Civil Rights Act was championed by Mansfield, and might not have happened without Dirksen

gabbneb (gabbneb), Thursday, 27 May 2004 16:26 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The CRA only barely justifies the cynical asshole Johnson was for most of his life. Read Master of the Senate for details of his political genius. Nixon was a sui generis asshole.

Michael White (Hereward), Thursday, 27 May 2004 16:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

THE SCAR, PEOPLE!

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 27 May 2004 16:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"You couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the directions were on the heel" -LBJ

"If you think the United States has stood still, who built the largest shopping center in the world?" - Nixon

dave225 (Dave225), Thursday, 27 May 2004 16:33 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

PANSIES! COWS!

GLADIOLAS!

gabbneb (gabbneb), Thursday, 27 May 2004 16:47 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

apparently LBJ used to make Senators go for skinny dips with him to make them vote his way.

DV (dirtyvicar), Thursday, 27 May 2004 16:55 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

el B.J. is a folk hero in Mexico...

dave225 (Dave225), Thursday, 27 May 2004 17:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

With LBJ, he knew psychology well enough to know that showing your huge knob to less well-endowed men is a good way to assert alpha status.

suzy (suzy), Thursday, 27 May 2004 17:59 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

we've lost so much since Al Gore invented the internet.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 27 May 2004 18:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
"If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin."

hunter s. thompson, "he was a crook," rolling stone (Jun. 16, 1994).

Eisbär (llamasfur), Saturday, 24 July 2004 21:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

that's quite possibly my favorite piece of political writing ever (maybe tied with h.l. mencken's equally great obit for william jennings bryan, which HST says was his model for the nixon piece).

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Sunday, 25 July 2004 19:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

That there Mencken obit for Bryan:

http://www.albion.edu/history/tchambers/mencken.htm

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 25 July 2004 19:06 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
NIXON IS MY HERO!!!

art vandeley, Tuesday, 2 May 2006 17:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

How's that working out for you?

My Vileness Is a Dream (noodle vague), Tuesday, 2 May 2006 17:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

LBJ's failure to follow his instincts against conventional wisdom (ie Vietnam) destroyed him, while the steady core of Nixon's personality (finally) was his undoing.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 2 May 2006 18:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Nixon is funnier.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 2 May 2006 18:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

LBJ had bigger huevos.

kingfish doesn't live here anymore (kingfish 2.0), Tuesday, 2 May 2006 18:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

no way, LBJ was funnier. x-post

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Tuesday, 2 May 2006 18:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one of my fave LBJ quotes, early in Viet quagmire: "I'm tired of all this coup shit."

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 2 May 2006 18:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

(btw I don't mean personally funnier, I mean as a source for comedy material)

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 2 May 2006 18:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

oh yeah, RMN in China: "This is TRULY a Great Wall."

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 2 May 2006 18:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...
four months pass...

Love this thread, and also just finished Walter Isaacson's Kissinger; it's impossible, after also reading Sy Hersh's Kiss bio and Hitchens' Trial of Henry Kissinger to decide who was more corrupt.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Thursday, 23 August 2007 16:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Favorite hitter, Williams; pitcher, Koufax. He remembers arcane details surprisingly well. At one point, he mentions getting back from Russia in 1959, when he says the Senators were coming off an 8-game losing streak, and that he went to the next game and they won. I checked that...He got back Aug. 5; the Senators were indeed in the midst of a seventeen game losing streak at the time. They played a double-header on Aug. 5; lost the first game to make it 18, won the second. I can't find the start time of the second game, but maybe he attended that one. Which would be pretty close for a 65-year-old guy remembering something 19 years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVn_Odo0I4Q

clemenza, Saturday, 6 December 2014 13:25 (four years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Too bad there are never open houses for those types of places around here. It's a 20 minute drive away

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 4 April 2015 00:53 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

reading Caro's bios I'm kinda struck by the similarities between Nixon and LBJ, the harsh, humiliating conditions of their youth, their flexible political positions, their pathological need for power, their self-destructiveness

Οὖτις, Thursday, 30 June 2016 16:26 (two years ago) Permalink

also jowls

Οὖτις, Thursday, 30 June 2016 16:26 (two years ago) Permalink

The Bryan Cranston LBJ movie on HBO was kinda weird. You could easily tell it was based on a theater show.

pplains, Thursday, 30 June 2016 16:33 (two years ago) Permalink

think we talked about that somewhere else - I couldn't take more than 15 minutes of it

Οὖτις, Thursday, 30 June 2016 16:35 (two years ago) Permalink

Didn't see the thread.

Sometimes you see makeup on an actor that's so good, you just keep reminding yourself throughout the whole thing, "Wow, that makeup's pretty good."

pplains, Thursday, 30 June 2016 16:37 (two years ago) Permalink

Richard M. Nixon ‏@dick_nixon 4h4 hours ago

Johnson is coming into the life that's rightfully his: bad books, an ugly mistress. Cirrhosis. He won't die early, though. They never do.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 30 June 2016 16:38 (two years ago) Permalink

different johnson

helpless before THRILLARY (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 30 June 2016 16:39 (two years ago) Permalink

I'm aware.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 30 June 2016 16:40 (two years ago) Permalink

perfectly clear

helpless before THRILLARY (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 30 June 2016 16:42 (two years ago) Permalink

pplains my issue with it was that they seemed to take dramatic liberties with the material, except the choices they made made the story *less* dramatic. Like having him being all nervous and shaky about assuming the presidency - which very much runs counter to all the accounts given in Caro's book - is less interesting than him rising to the challenge with steely determination; or portraying his championing of civil rights as being strictly about votes rather than the deeper, more nuanced but genuine commitment he worked himself into, etc. It's like they decided to make one-dimensional cliched choices instead of more interesting ones.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 30 June 2016 17:00 (two years ago) Permalink

Absolutely.

And how someone found a way to make Hubert Humphrey into even more of a namby-bamby golly gee-whiz whiny liberal wasn't necessary.

pplains, Thursday, 30 June 2016 17:15 (two years ago) Permalink

ha yes

Οὖτις, Thursday, 30 June 2016 17:21 (two years ago) Permalink

thought of another thing LBJ and Nixon shared: bottomless wells of self-pity

Οὖτις, Thursday, 30 June 2016 17:21 (two years ago) Permalink

They both loved their mamas.

pplains, Thursday, 30 June 2016 17:23 (two years ago) Permalink

long-suffering spouses

Οὖτις, Thursday, 30 June 2016 17:25 (two years ago) Permalink

First or last names that are also slang terms for a penis.

pplains, Thursday, 30 June 2016 17:27 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

42 years since Dick left

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32GaowQnGRw

The Hon. J. Piedmont Mumblethunder (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 9 August 2016 21:11 (two years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Very glad to see the spirit of Black Friday everywhere.

http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=1b467fe3b2c9cbc8c7ded8810&id=e298ba760a&e=ee11fe0254

clemenza, Friday, 25 November 2016 20:05 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Yet another smoking gun:

During a phone call on the night of Oct. 22, 1968, Richard M. Nixon told his closest aide (and future chief of staff) H.R. Haldeman to "monkey wrench" President Lyndon B. Johnson's efforts to begin peace negotiations over the Vietnam War. Nixon long denied giving such an order, but Haldeman's notes, which were quietly made public in 2007 and were recently discovered by the historian Jack Farrell, prove he was lying.

Gets better too:

Time has yielded Nixon’s secrets. Haldeman’s notes were opened quietly at the presidential library in 2007, where I came upon them in my research for a biography of the former president. They contain other gems, like Haldeman’s notations of a promise, made by Nixon to Southern Republicans, that he would retreat on civil rights and “lay off pro-Negro crap” if elected president. There are notes from Nixon’s 1962 California gubernatorial campaign, in which he and his aides discuss the need to wiretap political foes.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 1 January 2017 21:33 (two years ago) Permalink

forever a Dick

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Monday, 2 January 2017 02:12 (two years ago) Permalink

I had never heard that apparently Tricky Dick and Zsa Zsa Gabor had a fling together, at least according to a couple articles on the ladies life a couple weeks ago. I hadn't really heard of Nixon having affairs, but I guess that is another power trip too.

earlnash, Monday, 2 January 2017 02:45 (two years ago) Permalink

If poor old homely Wilbur Mills could have an affair with a stripper, then surely Nixon, the goddamed President of the United States of America, had a decent shot at an affair with no-talent opportunist like Zsa Zsa Gabor.

a little too mature to be cute (Aimless), Monday, 2 January 2017 04:09 (two years ago) Permalink

good grief I could totally hear that in Nixon's voice.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 8 January 2017 23:15 (two years ago) Permalink

Richard M. Nixon ‏@dick_nixon Jan 1

The key term is "monkey wrench." It is used to fix things. President Nixon sought to improve the yield and efficacy of the peace talks. - RZ

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 8 January 2017 23:19 (two years ago) Permalink

wow smh

k3vin k., Monday, 9 January 2017 03:37 (two years ago) Permalink

My deal was that Tricky Dick seemed more like a guy that would get his rocks off making lists and counting money than doing the nasty. Sex seems way too personal and sticky. It actually humanizes him a bit.

earlnash, Monday, 9 January 2017 05:12 (two years ago) Permalink

nixon's erotic side comes out when he talks about his enemies

difficult listening hour, Monday, 9 January 2017 05:22 (two years ago) Permalink

that's how they play it and we're gonna play it just as dirty. get them on the ground where we want them. stick our heels in hard. twist.

difficult listening hour, Monday, 9 January 2017 05:22 (two years ago) Permalink

Nixon supposedly came out of WWII working with a bank roll that helped get him into Congress. In the rear with the gear could be quite profitable.

earlnash, Monday, 9 January 2017 05:36 (two years ago) Permalink

Won most of it playing poker according to Nixonland

Number None, Monday, 9 January 2017 08:16 (two years ago) Permalink

nixon's erotic side comes out when he talks about his enemies

― difficult listening hour, Monday, January 9, 2017 12:22 A

real lol (and true)

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 9 January 2017 11:10 (two years ago) Permalink

http://i.imgur.com/DNiIIPx.jpg

pplains, Monday, 9 January 2017 15:59 (two years ago) Permalink

Won most of it playing poker according to Nixonland

seems like politicians who excel at poker do better than those who excel at chess

a little too mature to be cute (Aimless), Monday, 9 January 2017 18:59 (two years ago) Permalink

Slate: That also sounded to me like a chess player’s analysis. You’re the greatest chess player ever. Is Putin playing chess, or is he playing a different game?

Kasparov: No, I always wanted to defend the integrity of my game—when people said, Oh, Putin played chess, Obama played checkers. Putin, as with every dictator, hates chess because chess is a strategic game which is 100 percent transparent. I know what are available resources for me and what kind of resources could be mobilized by my opponent. Of course, I don’t know what my opponent thinks about strategy and tactics, but at least I know what kind of resources available to you cause damage to me.

Dictators hate transparency and Putin feels much more comfortable playing a game that I would rather call geopolitical poker. In poker, you know, you can win having a very weak hand, provided you have enough cash to raise the stakes—and also, if you have a strong nerve, to bluff. Putin kept bluffing. He could see his geopolitical opponents—the leaders of the free world—folding cards, one after another. For me, the crucial moment where Putin decided that he could do whatever was Obama’s decision not to enforce the infamous red line in Syria.

Mordy, Monday, 9 January 2017 20:11 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
one month passes...

Farrell's Nixon bio is out.

“The press is the enemy,” Nixon told his aides. “Write that on the blackboard 100 times and never forget it.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/books/richard-nixon-biography-john-a-farrell.html?_r=0

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 30 March 2017 21:04 (two years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Didn't realize till a FB post just now that today's the 43rd resignation anniversary. Trump seems to taken his Madman-Nixon mask off the shelf to commemorate.

clemenza, Wednesday, 9 August 2017 00:32 (one year ago) Permalink

The Farrell bio, by the way, is excellent, and he gives the fullest account of his "monkey wrenching" the '68 peace talks.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 9 August 2017 00:33 (one year ago) Permalink

Don't have it. I bought Tim Weiner's One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon recently, but haven't read it yet.

clemenza, Wednesday, 9 August 2017 00:42 (one year ago) Permalink

five months pass...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. PRESIDENT!
Funny gifts appear to have been a tradition in the Nixon White House. In 1973, he received some caricature figures, a framed image of Massachusetts and DC (he didn't win them in '72) & this Halloween mask from daughter Tricia. (WHPO-D1193-19) pic.twitter.com/zLfd4HFMQd

— RichardNixonLibrary (@NixonLibrary) January 9, 2018

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 22:12 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Last time I get to do this: spend 15 minutes talking to nine-year-olds about Richard Nixon on his birthday. He’s the greatest object lesson ever in the lie being worse than whatever led to the lie, and if you frame his downfall that way, kids immediately understand. Trump’s lies are so numerous and (often) so bizarre, I don’t think there’s much meaning there. Nixon was a much more interesting liar.

Obviously, you won’t come across a clearer explanation of Watergate than my diagram. The burglars are the x’s at the bottom right, Nixon is the check mark at the top left.

http://phildellio.tripod.com/watergate.JPG

clemenza, Thursday, 10 January 2019 00:57 (five months ago) Permalink

Nixon was born 106 years ago tomorrow—here in 1974 offering cake to dog King Timahoe, San Clemente: pic.twitter.com/1aZkYptdDW

— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) January 9, 2019

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 10 January 2019 01:13 (five months ago) Permalink

https://i.imgur.com/O81x9cV.jpg

"Well I'll be damned – your birthday's the day before mine!"

pplains, Thursday, 10 January 2019 02:17 (five months ago) Permalink

RMN shares a birthday with Joan Baez. Guess where Joan was when Nixon bombed Hanoi at Xmas '72... Yep.

Josefa, Thursday, 10 January 2019 02:27 (five months ago) Permalink

Graceland?

pplains, Thursday, 10 January 2019 03:04 (five months ago) Permalink

Hanoi Joan

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 10 January 2019 21:38 (five months ago) Permalink


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