Lyndon Johnson's Texas Roots Lyndon Term Paper

Length: 5 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Government Type: Term Paper Paper: #20555143 Related Topics: Texas Politics, Johnson And Johnson, Political Cartoon, Texas
Excerpt from Term Paper :


Getting liberal legislation passed into law was LBJ's benchmark of effective leadership. He knew how to do it. The most successful at this of any president ever, he followed every detail of legislation and demanded that his aides not simply think they had the support of a representative in Congress but know they had it! "You've got to know you've got him, and there's only one way you know'...Johnson looked into his open hand and closed his fingers into a fist. 'And that's when you've got his pecker right here.' The president opened his desk drawer, acted as if he were dropping something, emphatically slammed the drawer shut, and smiled" (p. 88). Meanwhile, Congress complained it was "bullied, badgered, and brainwashed" (p. 91) by President Johnson's strong-arm Texan tactics.

Schulman (1995) argues that Johnson's liberalism changed national social policy "profoundly" and "permanently altered the nation's political landscape" (p. 121). The Great Society might have come into fruition, and fulfilled all the liberal dreams of economic security and equality, if it hadn't been for the war in Vietnam. The war ate up the money for social programs and hogged all of the president's attention. A cartoon (p. 128) shows a beleaguered Johnson, in a suit that is too big and not looking Texan at all, caught between a huge, whorish looking woman (the Vietnam war) and a thin, orphan-like waif of a woman (labeled U.S. urban needs).

Because of the war and racial strife (riots, etc.) belief in liberalism and established institutions as the way to make society better began to fade among the voters as well as faith in him as president. "He knew that the war was dividing the nation, dominating his schedule, compromising his great plans, and killing his presidency.... His hopes for a liberal reconstruction of America, for a Great Society, for a record of achievement exceeding all other presidents, [rotted] in the jungles of Southeast Asia" (p. 123). Lady Bird Johnson perhaps explained the problem best when she commented that foreign relations problems "do not represent Lyndon's kind of Presidency" (p. 125). His kind of presidency focused on domestic issues and social programs.

He was caught, however,...


Schulman (1995) argues that Johnson held on to outdated cold war ideas as "an uncritical adherent of liberal anticommunism" (p. 126) believing that the U.S. had a duty to defend countries around the world from communist encroachment. Moreover, LBJ's communication style and talent for getting his way in Congress was ill-suited to foreign relations. He was "out of his element" and lacked the intimate knowledge of his opponents that he always had had in Congress. Instead of reliance on his political instincts, he had to rely on "experts" in foreign policy. He couldn't get together with foreign leaders face-to-face and work his persuasive magic on them. He sometimes bungled and misjudged his adversaries. In a sense, his Texas style of communication became a liability to him because he couldn't adjust. Caught in the middle between hawks and doves, he tried to create a consensus (as he always had in the past) but there was no consensus on the war.

Criticized on both sides, Johnson needed to win over the press and the people; and this, above all, LBJ was ill-prepared to achieve. Television had become the nation's primary news medium and LBJ, never a brilliant public speaker, looked terrible on the tube -- his wordy, folksy style looked forced, phony (p. 145).

Worse, the public started to see him as a liar. Califano said his "fixation with keeping options open on any new policy venture until he had every political stone turned and set in place was, in good part, why he was such an effective legislator. [but] the misleading body language played badly with the press corps and the public..." (p. 146).

Schulman argues that LBJ could not withdraw from Vietnam because "it would have meant a major defeat for the free world, disgracing Johnson's presidency..." Perhaps, then, the war represents the psychological space where Johnson's liberal politics met and mingled with Johnson the Texan -- the big man who faces insurmountable odds and never gives up. When the two converged, his leadership became ineffective and his…

Sources Used in Documents:


Schulman, B.J. (1995). Lyndon B. Johnson and American liberalism: A brief biography with documents. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press.

Cite this Document:

"Lyndon Johnson's Texas Roots Lyndon" (2008, April 22) Retrieved June 14, 2021, from

"Lyndon Johnson's Texas Roots Lyndon" 22 April 2008. Web.14 June. 2021. <>

"Lyndon Johnson's Texas Roots Lyndon", 22 April 2008, Accessed.14 June. 2021,

Related Documents
Lyndon Johnson
Words: 4132 Length: 14 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 7179128

Dallek used traditional methods of research and structure making his book a true "history" from a collegiate-academic point-of-view. But this does not invalidate Caro's work. The problem, then, in looking at both of these books to be authorities is to figure out if it really matters if Caro's lack of credentials and traditional (meaning library) method of information gathering actually denote a lesser effect on the overall impact of

Halliburton Is a Multinational Corporation
Words: 3176 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Business Paper #: 65795693

Selected financial ratios for Halliburton are presented below: Ratio Short-Term Liquidity Current Ratio Acid Test Capital Structure & Long-Term Solvency Net Worth to Total Debt Net Worth to Long-Term Debt Net Worth to Total Assets Return on Investment Return on Total Assets Return on Equity Capital Operating Performance Ratios Gross Margin Ratio Operating Profits to Sales Net Income to Sales Asset Utilization Ratios Sales to Cash Sales to Accounts Receivables Sales to Working Capital Sales to Total Assets Halliburton appears to be healthy in terms of short-term liquidity. The Acid Test

Validity of Data America Considers
Words: 15529 Length: 56 Pages Topic: Race Paper #: 27742090

Instead of pretending that racism and its effects no longer exist, we need to strengthen affirmative action and devise a new set of policies that directly tackle the racial gap in wealth." (Derrity, 1). That, in a nutshell, is the position of this paper. America has not given affirmative action enough time to act. Moving forward, we should continue our affirmative action policies, but with an end in mind. Economists

Social Welfare Policy Has Always Been a
Words: 3226 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Sociology Paper #: 50098666

SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY has always been a controversial subject in the United States because of the difference between its perceived and real benefits. Usually public is unable to decide who are social welfare programs designed for and whether they actually benefit the target population. The government on its part fails to convince the public of the benefits and advantages of having various social welfare programs running in the country. Some

No Child Left Behind -
Words: 5384 Length: 16 Pages Topic: Teaching Paper #: 87005254

For Bush, the "formation and refining of policy proposals" (Kingdon's second process stream in policymaking) came to fruition when he got elected, and began talking to legislators about making educators and schools accountable. Bush gave a little, and pushed a little, and the Congress make its own changes and revisions, and the policy began to take shape. The third part of Kingdon's process stream for Bush (politics) was getting the

College Tuition Cost
Words: 1343 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Teaching Paper #: 11650641

College?) It's become a widely recognized fact. College is expensive, and saddles students with lifelong debts. Moreover, observation shows that people learn very little in college and that knowledge and talent in a field may be unrelated to the degrees that one has. There's a simple solution to this problem: the youth of this nation should refuse to go to colleges where they will be saddled with debt and useless