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Bad liberal mistake by LBJ for the US Supreme Court?

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Jul 27 in Politics & Government ✌ by Virginia (7,565 points)

I have a new friend on Quora, and he seems VERY well informed politically as well as a number of other areas. Here is part of his answer to a Q about SCOTUS. Do you know about the Supreme Court? I am really upset with SCOTUS now, because they just (maybe June or May) handed down a decision that makes it more difficult for organized labor to negotiate.

Knowing almost nothing about politics, in the past year I have been pondering and I have come to think that we are losing our middle class and working class here in the USA, with polarization between very rich and very poor. And that without strong middle/working classes, you cannot have a thriving democracy. So here is Lawrence Bloom's comment or part of it, you comments on any or all of this post is appreciated.

"The greatest political blunder in court nominations happened in 1968. Earl Warren announced his retirement and LBJ appointed his good friend Abe Fortas promoting him from associate justice to Chief Justice. In 1968 the Democrats had 63 senate seats but not all votes were party line at that time. Many of the Southern Democrat Senators did not approve of his advocacy of civil rights. A combination of Southern Democrats and Republicans denied approving Fortas. The Fortas hearings revealed some scandal and he resigned in 1969.

"Warren still resigned, Fortas also resigned. This was the greatest Democrat political blunder ever and LBJ the master politician was to blame. Nixon was elected in 1968 and was given the gift of two court vacancies to fill in 1969. He appointed two Republicans and the court was then controlled by the Republicans until the present day."

3 Answers

Rooster Jul 28

Please don't get me started on LBJ! I still think he was one of the worst and crooked Presidents this country ever had. Nothing about him surprises me.

Kninjanin Rooster Jul 28

I know he started a war in Vietnam. 

Rooster Rooster Jul 29

@Kninjanin: President Truman was the first send anyone to Vietnam and it was actually President Kennedy that sent the first U.S. "advisors" there also. Johnson just escalated it during his reign! But he didn't actually "start" the war.

Kninjanin Jul 28
He was a president during the Vietnam War. I did not know anything else about his rule. Thank you for information. 
TheOtherTink Aug 1

I think both parties were more reasonable in those days.  The Northern Democrat/Dixiecrat coalition, artificial as at was, kept the Democrats from going too batsh*t crazy left, and the Republicans were moderate center/right.

That all changed when the Dixiecrats became Republicans and pulled the party too far right, and the remaining liberal Democrats went too far left. :(

Tink it's an interesting observation...actually, a piece of the puzzle I have been searching since I (ahem) took up the cause of figuring out where the US went wrong and our options for righting ourselves...

The last election where the South went Democrat, left over from the Civil War (as Lincoln was Republican), that was apparently 1964; LBJ and Goldwater.

By 1968, Nixon/Humphrey/Geo. Wallace, there was much more red among Southern states. And those dates may also fit fairly well with the progressive dismantling of the middle/working classes, increasing the polarization of wealth and poverty.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_presidential_election_results_by_state#South

https://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/presidential-elections

I am laughing, mostly at myself because I did not notice the "batsh*t crazy left" stuff until all this at Evergreen State College! But yes it is bad...and indeed as bad as the radical neo-Nazi skinhead extreme right, I am convinced.

Virginia, I think that in fact, the batsh*t crazy left stuff may be even worse than the extreme right.  I say this because almost no one in a responsible position says the extreme right-wing stuff is ok, but there are PLENTY of university faculty and administrators, and some politicians, who say the far left-wing stuff is ok, or at the very least, make excuses for it.

Tink, I don't even know what to say...I don't know how to compare...left v. right...

But I don't think we can just go with one way better than the other...both really scary. I do believe the right-wing philosophy has led to the extreme wealth polarization now destroying the USA democracy. I can hardly conceive of anything worse than that, at least not here in the USA.

Then what I learned after Evergreen State College last year? My confidence in liberalism is gone; but I still cannot see it as worse than the right wing garbage. Basically, I think we should cease contending R v. L and just get busy on cleaning up the WHOLE mess.

Virginia, you make a good point about wealth distribution, but I don't think this is exclusively a right-wing phenomenon, since there are plenty of liberal multimillionaires, who you can be sure will do everything to protect their fortunes; they seek not only to keep their wealth, but to get permanent control of government.

Up above, I was comparing physically violent leftists with physically violent rightists.

But I agree that the whole mess should be cleaned up.

Tink point very well taken...point in fact, is Bill Clinton considered liberal? I do recall he ran Democrat ticket...anyway, I have read he was one of the worst offenders in the forced upward redistribution of wealth and purchase control of government.

Physical violence, interesting you make that observation...I have always associated that with extreme R...however, in the present day I am no longer so convinced of that, and perhaps it never has been so, idk. 

And in the long run, again does it really matter? The difference between a rock and a hard place. We are in trouble; Obama dropped the ball, there was no FDR (nor Bismarck, for that matter) with the skill and wisdom to re-vamp "the system," keep it going.

Virginia, the extreme left has always had a penchant for violence, dating back at least to the French Revolution. And of course, so did the Communists, in Russia, Weimar Germany and many other places.

Received, Tink...

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