Ed Driscoll

'Don't They Realize I'm Really One of Them?'

At the Daily Beast, Mark McKinnon compares and contrasts BHO and LBJ, and features this anecdote regarding the 36th president:

As casualties in the Vietnam War mounted, Goodwin writes, “The percentage of Americans who approved of Johnson’s handling of the presidency dropped from 48 to 36 percent…”

“The issue was not simply Johnson’s loss of popularity, it was his loss of credibility.” Reflecting on this turning tide, Johnson admitted to Goodwin, “I felt that I was being chased on all sides by a giant stampede coming at me from all directions.”

“When Johnson continued to insist that America was making progress, fewer and fewer people believed him,“ historian McCullough remarks. “No one directly accused the president of lying; they called it ‘the credibility gap.’”

“Among many of the young, for all the misdeeds of America they found a single symbol, a primal villain.” Goodwin continues, “Johnson knew this, and it saddened him. ‘I just don’t understand those young people,’ he said in his last years. ‘Don’t they realize I’m really one of them?’”

It took a while to make the connection, but now we do.