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Archive for April 22nd, 2009

Barack Obama has a sweeping progressive agenda for the nation that is closer in content to the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson than either of the Presidents that Obama has sought to emulate,  Abraham Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt. Johnson, a Democrat who had extensive experience in championing legislation while serving in both the House and Senate prior to becoming Vice President and assuming the Presidency following the assassination of President Kennedy. Following his election in 1964, Johnson’s agenda for Congress included civil rights legislation, education, health, Medicare, beautification, conservation, the war on poverty and economic development through urban renewal.

Obama’s progressive agenda may appear new and shiny but to a large degree is really Great Society II. The names may have changed but the agenda hasn’t.Obama’s focus on health insurance, redistribution of wealth, education and the greening of America are merely contemporized versions of entitlement programs. As with President Johnson and Viet Nam, Obama must contend with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as remain vigilant with respect to pirates, terrorists and Mexican Drug Cartels while navigating through a global economic crisis.

The risk to the nation, is that Obama is a true believer in the progressive agenda with a messianic ego and limited experience. His actions at recent international conferences would indicate that he also possesses a naivete or such an exalted ego that he believes he is transforming the perception of America in the eyes of the world by denigrating America through apologies for the actions of previous administrations. He has proved that decisions in the White House are based upon political considerations such as the decision to declassify and release CIA files as they related to the use of torture by agents on suspected terrorists.

Lyndon Johnson is seldom mentioned by the progressive media nor I suspect are his policies frequently reviewed by Obama and his advisers. His was a challenged Presidency that culminated with his decision not to seek election to another term after receiving a mandate  by winning  in a landslide just four years prior. He was an experienced leader who succumbed to the burdens of a broad agenda that was designed to transform America. Time will ultimately determine whether or not Barack Obama succumbs to the same pressures as Lyndon Johnson. We can only hope and pray that our nation does not.

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