In his era, Johnson was rightly vilified in his escalation of the Vietnam War, but in other areas of legislation (the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, the anti-poverty Great Society) LBJ sought to uplift the underclass in this country, based on an empathy that is smartly expressed in the film. The assassination of JFK was a shocking act, and it was Johnson in the aftermath who had to reset the path of a nation.
Tag Archive for LBJ
Donald Trump isn’t the first.
While the front-running candidate’s fact-free claim that Ted Cruz’s father once associated with accused assassin Lee Oswald, has provoked criticism, at least five previous inhabitants of the Oval Office have expressed strong opinions related to the Kennedy assassination story. Read more
While a large number of Americans shudder at the turbulent transition currently underway, the change in administrations that took place a half-century ago in Dallas was equally historic – as well as sudden and violent.
Recommended: Alan Dale speaks with Joan Mellen about her new book “Faustian Bargains: Lyndon Johnson and Mac Wallace in the Robber Baron Culture of Texas.”
In her new book about Lyndon Johnson, Faustian Bargains, Joan Mellen does something all too rare in the world of JFK research. She checked an oft-asserted “fact,” and found it isn’t a fact at all, but a fiction.
But first, the book. Faustian Bargains is intended less as a biography of LBJ than a portrait of the “robber baron culture” of Texas” and corrective to Robert Caro’s magisterial multi-volume biography, which Mellen scorns for its favorable depiction of LBJ’s political skills and legislative accomplishments.
The movie chronicles LBJ’s private fears, questions, and ideological splits with Kennedy before the rivals became running mates—and how JFK’s assassination changed LBJ’s politics. “He did adopt a big swath of JFK’s policies so it would be hard to not see it that way,” said Harrelson. “I’m not sure how much of it was motivated by his depth of emotion or by what he considered to be politically expedient. It’s really hard to read him. He’s a fascinating character.”
Our 7th podcast. This week we discuss:
Defenders of the semi-official theory of JFK’s assassination sometimes suggest that anyone who disagrees is deluded or dishonest. Dale Myers and Gus Russo have dubbed the benighted souls “the conspirati,” a term intended to convey disdain for those allegedly emotionally needy or intellectually incompetent people who doubt the claim that one man killed JFK for no reason.
The problem with this trope, alas, is the facts. There were plenty of astute observers of American power in 1963 who rejected the official theory of a “lone nut” and concluded President Kennedy had been killed by his enemies.
Here are six six U.S. government insiders in 1963 who suspected a JFK was killed by a conspiracy.
Audio flashback: On November 29, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson and FBI Director J Edgar Hoover discussed how to investigate the mysterious assassination of President Kennedy. (H/T DVP and
Dan Hardway offers another gem of historic audio to our discussion of how Allen Dulles came to be named to the Warren Commission. He cites this phone call that President Johnson made to Allen Dulles on November 29, 1963, informing him he would be on the Commission.
Listen to the conversation here: