Author Topic: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson  (Read 67798 times)

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Offline Nictionary

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Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« on: April 20, 2015, 09:23:37 PM »
In the past few years, I have read several books on Lyndon B. Johnson.  While doing so, I have been struck by how many similarities there are between him and Rasputin.  Specifically, both men had tendencies toward outrageous behavior, in ways that sometimes seem to correspond to each other. 
     Both men had a penchant for sexual exhibitionism.  During the Yar Incident in April 1915, Rasputin was arrested for exposing himself in a Moscow restaurant while drunk; according to some witnesses, he pointed to his genitals and yelled, “This is what rules Russia!”  In his memoir A Journey for Our Times, Harrison Salisbury claims that “Rasputin used to brawl with his fine ladies off the balcony of the great dining room” of the Metropol Hotel in Moscow, “sometimes leaning over the railing and taking down his trousers to expose his private parts to the diners”.  Likewise, when Johnson was in college he would exhibit his member to his roommates, calling it “Jumbo.”  “Returning to his room after a date, he would say, ‘Jumbo had a real workout tonight,’ while relating the physical details of the evening, including details of his companion’s most intimate anatomy”(Robert Caro, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate).  When Johnson was serving in the House of Representatives, if a fellow Congressman walked into the bathroom of the House Office Building while Johnson was finishing at the urinal, he would spin around without zipping up and begin talking to the other man while holding Jumbo in his hand.  On one such occasion, Johnson indicated Jumbo and asked, “Have you ever seen something as big as this?” (Another source describes this incident as taking place in Johnson’s office with a friend visiting from Texas; perhaps both sources are correct and Johnson did this with more than one person.)   In 1967, LBJ was meeting privately with a group of reporters who kept pressing him to explain why America was in Vietnam.  Johnson unzipped his fly, took out Jumbo and roared, “This is why!”  On his trip to East Asia that same year, Johnson reportedly exposed himself and mused that his hosts probably weren’t used to seeing members that massive.  Johnson also urinated in public whenever he felt like it, even when women were present.
      Both Johnson and Rasputin were reputed to be well endowed, and both were prodigious womanizers given to bragging about their conquests.  Johnson was supposedly jealous of John F. Kennedy’s affairs and wanted to top him.  When people used to mention Kennedy’s philandering to him, Johnson would bang the table and declare that he had gotten more women by accident than Kennedy had gotten by design (this was probably pure braggadocio, however; Johnson's physical appetites were nothing like Kennedy's).  Several of Johnson’s male aides used the term “harem” to describe Johnson’s bevy of secretaries, all of whom had been chosen by virtue of being gorgeous instead of for their typing skills, which, indeed, several of them lacked completely.  George Reedy, Johnson’s longtime press secretary, said of his boss, “He may have been just a country boy from the central hills of Texas, but he had the instincts of a Turkish sultan in Istanbul.”  Both Johnson and Rasputin’s wives were aware of their husbands’ fooling around and put up with it.  Rasputin justified his womanizing by claiming that sin was the first step to salvation.  While Johnson made no such claim, he was a profoundly religious man who spent many hours in prayer with the Rev. Billy Graham.
   Both men liked to shock people.  “In polite conversation, Rasputin used coarse barnyard expressions.  It was not a matter of the words slipping out accidentally; Rasputin used them often and with gusto, and he enjoyed the little gasps they invariably produced.  He liked to describe in detail the sexual life of horses which he had observed as a child in Pokrovskoe, then turn to a beautiful woman in a decollete dress and say, ‘Come, my lovely mare’”(R.K. Massie, Nicholas and Alexandra, Ch. 16).  Johnson’s language was littered with profanities.  As Richard Nixon said, “People think my language was bad, but Jesus, you should have heard LBJ.”  As with Rasputin, however, Johnson’s crudity “would always be controlled…the use of swearwords and obscenity usually had a point”(Doris Kearns, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, Ch. 1).  In April 1964. Time magazine ran an article, entitled “Mr. President, You’re Fun,” which described how Johnson had taken three female reporters on a joyride around his ranch in his Lincoln Continental.  Johnson had driven at speeds averaging 90 miles per hour, narrowly avoiding a collision with another vehicle at one point, and sipped Pearl beer from a paper cup as he drove around showing off his herds of cattle.  Between sips he talked a lot about his cattle, at one point launching into “what one startled newswoman described as a rather graphic description of the sex life of a bull.”
   Both Johnson and Rasputin were skilled at manipulating others.  Both were heavy drinkers.  Both had two daughters.  Both were the sons of farmers.  Perhaps if Johnson and Rasputin had been contemporaries, they would have been friends.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline edubs31

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Re: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2015, 11:22:22 PM »
I have to admit when I first glanced at the title at this thread I couldn't help but to laugh.

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Likewise, when Johnson was in college he would exhibit his member to his roommates, calling it “Jumbo.”  “Returning to his room after a date, he would say, ‘Jumbo had a real workout tonight,’ while relating the physical details of the evening, including details of his companion’s most intimate anatomy”(Robert Caro, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate).  When Johnson was serving in the House of Representatives, if a fellow Congressman walked into the bathroom of the House Office Building while Johnson was finishing at the urinal, he would spin around without zipping up and begin talking to the other man while holding Jumbo in his hand.  On one such occasion, Johnson indicated Jumbo and asked, “Have you ever seen something as big as this?” (Another source describes this incident as taking place in Johnson’s office with a friend visiting from Texas; perhaps both sources are correct and Johnson did this with more than one person.)

I'm aware that Johnson liked to swim in the nude, and I gather what you're saying about his comfort with exposing himself is true. But flashing his fellow students after some frat party and, if true, showing off his "Johnson" to subordinates, however inappropriate, is not quite the same as the charges that Rasputin did the same in public while suggesting he had sexual relations with the Empress of Russia. That would have been like Johnson saying, as VP, he had a sexual affair with Jackie Kennedy.

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Both men liked to shock people.  “In polite conversation, Rasputin used coarse barnyard expressions.  It was not a matter of the words slipping out accidentally; Rasputin used them often and with gusto, and he enjoyed the little gasps they invariably produced.  He liked to describe in detail the sexual life of horses which he had observed as a child in Pokrovskoe, then turn to a beautiful woman in a decollete dress and say, ‘Come, my lovely mare’”(R.K. Massie, Nicholas and Alexandra, Ch. 16).  Johnson’s language was littered with profanities.  As Richard Nixon said, “People think my language was bad, but Jesus, you should have heard LBJ.”  As with Rasputin, however, Johnson’s crudity “would always be controlled…the use of swearwords and obscenity usually had a point”(Doris Kearns, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, Ch. 1).

I guess we should start referring to it as the "Rasputin Treatment" :-)

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Both Johnson and Rasputin were skilled at manipulating others.  Both were heavy drinkers.  Both had two daughters.  Both were the sons of farmers.  Perhaps if Johnson and Rasputin had been contemporaries, they would have been friends.

Of course these types of general comparisons could apply to many many individuals. One thing that does come to mind is Johnson's "Great Society", and more specifically his push for social reform and Civil Rights legislation, mirroring, to a degree, Rasputin's progressive views on society, the equal rights and fair treatment of certain groups, and his defense of the Jews (not unlike Johnson's support of African-American civil rights). Both were socially liberal and, in many ways, personally obscene. But I think the logical connections end there. Comparing a 20th century American President to a Russian Starets who died nearly a half century before that President came into power is a bit of stretch.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2015, 04:47:34 PM »
In away comparing Rasputin to LBJ is insulting Rasputin when you look at all stuff LBJ pulled off.

There is a man in recent American politics that has been compared to Rasputin: Vice President Cheny. Some newsman once compared him to Rasputin and President G.W. Bush as Nicholas II.

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2015, 01:45:57 AM »
James,
Let me make my views clear.  I think Johnson was one of the top ten presidents.  His passage of civil rights legislation and the Great Society changed the face of America, and I think even with Vietnam he does not deserve the amount of blame heaped upon him (it was on Eisenhower's watch that the first troops were sent there and the first combat casualties incurred, yet Eisenhower has not been castigated for Vietnam the way LBJ has been).  Johnson was a genius at Congressional dealmaking, and were he president today we might not have so much gridlock in DC. 
I think Rasputin was one of history's most evil men.  My intention in starting this thread was not to insult Johnson or elevate Rasputin.  I wished merely to share my perception that the two men shared an almost Rabelaisian earthiness, and that some of their shenanigans seemed to mirror each other.
Eb, looking over your reply, I thought of another (possible) similarity.  You mention Rasputin's defense of the Jews (if only he had converted the tsar to his views in this area).  Johnson, too, was a friend of the Jews, as well  as a strong supporter of Israel.  Meeting a Jewish delegation shortly after Kennedy's assassination, he told them, "You have lost a good friend, but you have found a better one in me." "Even more an outsider to the Eastern political establishment than Kennedy had been, the new president had long maintained a close relationship with those other classic outsiders, the Jews" (Howard Sachar, "A History of the Jews in America", p. 731).  He had many Jewish advisers throughout his career, and in 1964 became the first president to tender an official White House reception to an Israeli PM.  "Indeed, from his days as Senate majority leader, when he had indignantly shot down Eisenhower's threat of sanctions against Israel, Johnson tended to regard the Israelis as modern-day Texans defending the Alamo" (ibid.).  In late 1966 and early 1967, Johnson and the Rostow brothers rejected the State Department's advice and approved the sale to Israel of tanks and self-propelled artillery, marking the first US sale of offensive arms to the Jewish state.  In 1967, when asked by Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin why the US supported 3 million Jews against 40 million Arabs, Johnson replied, "Because it is right." In May of that year, as President Nasser of Egypt started blockading Israeli shipping through the Straits of Tiran and as Arab armies massed on Israel's borders, Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban met with Johnson in the White House, finding a warmth of understanding that contrasted with the Eisenhower administration's cool detachment.  Johnson worked vigorously through the UN and with America's allies to contest and break Egypt's stranglehold, and when that failed, he allowed Israeli purchasing missions unprecedented access to US military equipment.  Once Israel launched its preemptive attack on June 5, LBJ moved decisively to position the 6th Fleet in the Eastern Mediterranean to ensure the Soviets didn't intervene on behalf of their Arab clients.  In the UN Security Council debate that followed, the US remained loyal, arguing that Israel should not be required to withdraw from captured territories except in return for Arab acceptance of Israel's independence and security.
Johnson pushed through the Celler-Hart Act of 1965, which eliminated the national-origins quota system from US immigration policy.  In 1964, when a wave of anti-Semitic violence threatened the physical safety of Argentina's Jews, Johnson withheld recognition of Argentina's Ongania government, which then belatedly put a stop to at least attacks on Jewish individuals and institutions.

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline edubs31

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Re: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2015, 07:51:18 AM »
In away comparing Rasputin to LBJ is insulting Rasputin when you look at all stuff LBJ pulled off.

There is a man in recent American politics that has been compared to Rasputin: Vice President Cheny. Some newsman once compared him to Rasputin and President G.W. Bush as Nicholas II.

You think it's an insult to Rasputin comparing him to LBJ? lol, he may not be your favorite President, but who of our leaders hasn't "pulled off" shady stuff? It's more a condition of power, Washington politics, and the sometimes unfortunate requirements of what it takes to get things done in the red hot spotlight of modern media coverage and under the crushing weight of special interest, than it is a indictment on the people themselves. Perhaps the two most honest President's since WW2 are Ford and Carter and they were also, arguably, the two least effective. What does that tell you?

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Let me make my views clear.  I think Johnson was one of the top ten presidents.  His passage of civil rights legislation and the Great Society changed the face of America, and I think even with Vietnam he does not deserve the amount of blame heaped upon him (it was on Eisenhower's watch that the first troops were sent there and the first combat casualties incurred, yet Eisenhower has not been castigated for Vietnam the way LBJ has been).  Johnson was a genius at Congressional dealmaking, and were he president today we might not have so much gridlock in DC. 

I think Rasputin was one of history's most evil men.  My intention in starting this thread was not to insult Johnson or elevate Rasputin.  I wished merely to share my perception that the two men shared an almost Rabelaisian earthiness, and that some of their shenanigans seemed to mirror each other.

Fair enough. Personally I rank Johnson 15th behind the following President's...Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, James K. Polk, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Woodrow Wilson, Ronald Reagan, James Monroe, William McKinley and James Madison. I also do not consider Rasputin "evil". He was misguided, self-centered and dubious. But through all of his shenanigans he did wish to help certain people/groups - the aforementioned plight of the Jews and autocracy for example - so long as benefited him personally of course. His overall influence was clearly negative but evil is a rather strong word. There were many adventurers who would have relished the opportunity to become public celebrities and work themselves into the imperial circle. Rasputin just happened to clever, cunning and lucky enough to pull it off...and then die a rather gruesome death as a result.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2015, 03:53:34 PM »
I sometimes wonder why I am not sent to AP version of Siberian excile:

Many people think highly of LBJ as president. I even read an article in a news magazine were many prominent people mostly Democrats rated him so. Then someone wrote a letter to the editor of this magazine saying there is one reason why he should not be rated so highly the Vietnam War. Lets face it the war was a disaster and LBJ micro-mismanaged it.

As for Rasputin the Yar resteraunt incident didn't happen. You wonder what other incidents where he supposedly behaved badly really happened or were invented and exaggerated to discredit him and Alexandra and Nicholas. In LBJs case you wonder what was he able to cover up and what Robert Caro and other historians will find out one day.

Caro points out that LBJ routinely treated people working for him like dirt to put it mildly. Rasputin on the other hand made some members of the upper classes "upset" because he made them wait in line with peasants when they came to ask favors of him.

Caro and others have pointed out when LBJ was elected to the Senate he was nearly broke and in the next 12 years he became a multi-millionaire

Then there is the 1948 Senate race where LBJ got the nickname "Landslide Lyndon". It seems some people liked LBJ so much they rose from the dead to vote for him. You also might want to read up on a man named George Parr AKA "the Duke of Duval" who did more than any other man to put LBJ in the Senate.

I have also read and heard of other things that LBJ supposedly did it makes you wonder why he didn't end up in the "Big House"  not the White House

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2015, 11:38:07 PM »
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Many people think highly of LBJ as president. I even read an article in a news magazine were many prominent people mostly Democrats rated him so. Then someone wrote a letter to the editor of this magazine saying there is one reason why he should not be rated so highly the Vietnam War. Lets face it the war was a disaster and LBJ micro-mismanaged it.

   I don't see why Vietnam should outweigh LBJ's domestic accomplishments.  We recovered from Vietnam, whereas Johnson's domestic policies created permanent sea changes in American society.  Furthermore, Eisenhower and Kennedy contributed their share of poor decisions that brought about the debacle in Vietnam, yet most people still consider them great presidents. 
As I stated before, I think the blame heaped on LBJ for the war is only partly merited, since it was a crisis he inherited, much as Obama has inherited Dubya's messes abroad.  It was Eisenhower, IMO, who was more responsible for the eventual mess in Vietnam than any other American.  He should have signed the Geneva Accords and compelled Diem to abide by them.  Instead he refused to sign the accords and "acquiesced in Diem's refusal to submit to the test of free elections.  That was a fundamental departure from American global policy in the Cold War, which had always rested on the contention that conflict between East and West should be decided not by force of arms but by a simple and honest poll.  Diem was permitted to evade this basic principle and, indeed, was rewarded by American military and economic assistance, for the first time direct and not through a French intermediary.   Thus it was Eisenhower who committed America's original sin in Vietnam(Paul Johnson, "Modern Times," ch. 18, pp. 632-3) .  By the time JFK took office, Vietnam was already one of America's largest and costliest commitments anywhere in the world.  Kennedy made no attempt to get back to the Geneva Accords and hold unified free elections.  "Kennedy's instinct was either to stay out or bring things to a head by a direct American attack on Hanoi.  An American invasion of the North, which would have been successful at this stage, would at least have had the merit of putting the clock back to 1954 and the Geneva Accords.  There could be no fundamental moral objection to such a course, since by 1961 the North had effectively invaded the South.  It must always be borne in mind, when analysing the long tragedy of Indo-China, that it was the determination of Ho [Chi Minh], his colleagues and successors, to dominate the entire country, including Laos and Cambodia, which was from 1945 onwards, the principal dynamic of the struggle and the ultimate cause of all the bloodshed.  America's errors were merely a contributory factor.  Nevertheless they were serious.  Unwilling to leave the country to its fate, or to carry the land-war to the North, Kennedy settled for a hopeless compromise, in which military aid, in ever-growing but never decisive quantities, was given to a client-government he could not control.  Diem was by far the ablest of the Vietnam leaders...But Kennedy, exasperated by his failure to pull a resounding success out of Vietnam, blamed the agent rather than the policy"(ibid., pp. 633-4).  It was Kennedy who made America's second critical mistake in Vietnam when he secretly authorized US support for the coup in which Diem was assassinated.  Since Eisenhower and Kennedy bore just as much responsibility for Vietnam as Johnson, I think that if they can still be considered great presidents, than so should Johnson.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2015, 11:39:53 PM »
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As for Rasputin the Yar resteraunt incident didn't happen. You wonder what other incidents where he supposedly behaved badly really happened or were invented and exaggerated to discredit him and Alexandra and Nicholas. In LBJs case you wonder what was he able to cover up and what Robert Caro and other historians will find out one day.
I am aware that historical revisionists argue the Yar incident never happened.  They point out that the official report on his behavior was dated June 5, 1915, 9 weeks after Rasputin's visit, and they think this is evidence of forgery.  It is equally possible the report was written at Dzhunkovsky's request after his visit to Moscow on May 31 (he had gone there to investigate the anti-German riots, and viewed Rasputin's file while he was there), or following his audience with the tsar on June 1.  "The traditional account of the Yar episode claims that Rasputin was accompanied by...a shady journalist.  The revisionists...claim that Rasputin never associated with journalists and did not go to restaurants after Guseva's attack.  In fact, Rasputin was friendly with some journalists in these years, including Alexis Filippov.  The police chronicle his constant forays to hotels, restaurants, and nightspots in Petrograd throughout the war. ... The revisionists claim that the British observer Gerard Shelley visited the Yar just after that evening and learned that 'no one at the restaurant knew anything about the matter.' A waiter supposedly told the Englishman that the story of a raucous evening was yerunda ('bunkum').  Shelley also claims that Rasputin was a 'tall, huge' man who hated Jews and never took bribes!  Shelley claims to have heard teachings from Rasputin's mouth that do not reflect the way he spoke in public or the words that he used to express himself.  Shelley imagines that imperial protocol permitted the empress to 'drop in' on folks in Petrograd.  He tells us that Alexandra came by Rasputin's flat and favored him with an interview.  That is simply preposterous.  Shelley was a silly, poorly informed partisan of Rasputin's; he is not reliable on anything pertaining to the Yar"(J.T. Fuhrmann, "Rasputin: The Untold Story").   The tsar sent Sablin to Moscow to investigate the Yar incident.  One source claims that Sablin found no evidence that Rasputin had visited the restaurant; however, Sablin did not visit the Yar or question its employees, and according to Paleologue, the captain confirmed Rasputin's misbehavior.  While questions remain, the available evidence supports the traditional view that Rasputin behaved outrageously at the Yar.
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Then there is the 1948 Senate race where LBJ got the nickname "Landslide Lyndon". It seems some people liked LBJ so much they rose from the dead to vote for him. You also might want to read up on a man named George Parr AKA "the Duke of Duval" who did more than any other man to put LBJ in the Senate.
I know that Parr almost certainly helped LBJ steal the Senate primary.  Yet Harry Truman won his Senate primary with the backing of Tom Pendergast, a political boss every bit as corrupt and sleazy as Parr, and who, like Parr, was eventually convicted of tax evasion.  Yet Truman is still considered a great president by many.  The truth is, quite a number of great presidents have engaged in skulduggery.  FDR had a private "intelligence unit", responsible only to himself, that was financed by State Department "Special Emergency" funds.  He used it to bug his wife's hotel room.  He also used Hoover's FBI and the Justice Department to harass his enemies, especially in the press, and tap their phones, one victim being the labor leader John L. Lewis.  He made a desperate attempt to "get" the Chicago Tribune, which he hated, in the courts.  In a taped conversation in 1940, he suggested smearing Wendell Willkie with word-of-mouth rumors that he was having an affair.  Lincoln authorized the Postal Service to examine the mails in search of treasonous correspondence.  He suppressed newspapers that attacked his government too vigorously or tried to discourage enlistments.  When Ohio congressman Clement Vallandigham made several speeches lambasting Lincoln and applauding the Confederacy, Lincoln had him deported behind Confederate lines.  JFK accepted a Pulitzer for "Profiles in Courage", even though it was ghostwritten.  He threatened lawsuits against journalists who questioned his authorship.  In his first month in office, during the run-up to a bill concerning Dominican sugar imports, Kennedy asked for wire-taps to be placed on several congressmen on the grounds that he suspected them of taking bribes.  No evidence of bribery was ever found, but the wire-taps provided JFK with valuable political information that helped his administration win the bill.   "At the Justice Department, Robert Kennedy in 1962 had FBI agents carry out dawn raids on the homes of executives of US Steel who had defied his brother's policies.  In their civil rights campaign, the Kennedy brothers exploited the Federal contracts system and used executive orders in housing finance (rather than legislation) to get their way.  They plotted against right-wing radio and TV stations.  Under Kennedy ...  phone-tapping increased markedly" (Johnson, 650).  It was Kennedy who first authorized the FBI's  bugging of Martin Luther King.
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I have also read and heard of other things that LBJ supposedly did it makes you wonder why he didn't end up in the "Big House"  not the White House

Does ethics matter to our overall appraisal of a President's legacy?  As Eb pointed out, some of our most moral presidents have been the least effective.  Perhaps a politician can be unscrupulous yet still accomplish great things for their country.  Or perhaps character is not so easily compartmented.  Complicated people, these politicians.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline edubs31

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Re: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2015, 02:02:51 PM »
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I don't see why Vietnam should outweigh LBJ's domestic accomplishments.  We recovered from Vietnam, whereas Johnson's domestic policies created permanent sea changes in American society.  Furthermore, Eisenhower and Kennedy contributed their share of poor decisions that brought about the debacle in Vietnam, yet most people still consider them great presidents.


But Eisenhower and Kennedy also helped lay the groundwork for many of LBJ's domestic accomplishments...Kennedy in particular on the issue of Civil Rights. Johnson's landslide victory in 1964 was made possible largely due to the immensely popular JFK's death in late-1963 (he averaged 70% approval ratings according to Gallup), and the results of that victory allowed him to cultivate the votes necessary to achieve the domestic agenda he sought.

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Does ethics matter to our overall appraisal of a President's legacy?  As Eb pointed out, some of our most moral presidents have been the least effective.  Perhaps a politician can be unscrupulous yet still accomplish great things for their country.  Or perhaps character is not so easily compartmented.  Complicated people, these politicians.

I agree with this.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2015, 06:39:08 PM »
This is from the Book "The Russian Revolution" R Pipes "A physician named R.R. Vreden who examined him in 1914 after he had been knifed by a jealous mistress, found Rasputin's genitals shriveled, like those of a very old man, which led him to wonder whether he was even capable of the sexual act: he ascribed this to the effects of alcohol and syphilis."

Note: STDs were widespread among the Russians of all walks of life at this time. I would also say if he exposed himself it seems there may not have been much to show.

More on LBJ:
He was awarded the Silver Star medal for heroism. Some people have commented how fearless he was under fire. Reality his "war record" consisted one  combat mission  where the plane turned back because of engine trouble and he didn't see any combat.

Then there was the incident where he got "upset" and shook the Canadian PM by the lapels.

There is supposed to have been at least one meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Vietnam War.  Where LBJ supposedly spent most of this meeting swearing at them.  There were studies and reports made in the 1964-65 period that pointed out that LNJs "strategy" was not going to work in Vietnam and the US could not win the war. This was reported or people tried to report this to LBJ but he didn't listen.

For the people on this site who think "Bush lied and people died" the same might be said of LBJ and the Tonkin Gulf Incident look that up on wiki. In Rasputin's defense he was against war.

You have LBJ drinking beer and driving. That is against the law. One has heard LBJ used to jacklight (illegal night hunt) deer on his ranch. I guess if you are LBJ you are above the law.

I hope this of interest and doesn't get me sent into AP version of Siberian exile

Offline edubs31

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Re: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2015, 02:12:04 PM »
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I hope this of interest and doesn't get me sent into AP version of Siberian exile

lol, I don't think you're going to find any truly passionate LBJ defenders on here James so I wouldn't worry about it.

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For the people on this site who think "Bush lied and people died" the same might be said of LBJ and the Tonkin Gulf Incident look that up on wiki. In Rasputin's defense he was against war.

Well sure. And most liberals now don't go too far in defending his foreign policy accomplishments, or lack thereof. And say what you will about the war-protesters and hippy counter-culture of the 60s, but at least they were pretty consistent in their opposition to Vietnam. When a social liberal champion like Johnson was in office they criticized him for his "warmongering". It's not like they waited until Nixon entered office to start protesting the war. Just that their criticisms continued.

Bush gets criticized for Iraq, sometimes unfairly in my opinion. But it's the full scope of Bush's failures - not merely the war - the sinks his reputation in the minds of so many. If you're basing the success of a Presidency on the most basic of measurements - Was the country better off when they left it than when they inherited it - than Bush is a spectacular failure. Johnson is probably a modest success. As was Clinton, Reagan, Eisenhower, and FDR. Truman and LBJ are maybes. Nixon is a no, ditto Carter, HW. Bush and W. Bush. Hard to say with Kennedy given the sudden end of his Presidency and how much change took place in the mere 34-months he was in office.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2015, 01:24:07 AM »
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Then there was the incident where he got "upset" and shook the Canadian PM by the lapels.
I think LBJ was justified in being upset with Pearson.  Pearson had made a speech on American soil calling for a halt to the bombing of North Vietnam.  This was the same kind of situation as Netanyahu's recent address to Congress, which outraged Obama and many Democrats.  Just like Johnson is supposed to have said,  attacking another country's foreign policy while on that country's soil is like coming into someone's living room and urinating on their rug.  This incident does not seem to have had a profound effect on U.S.-Canada relations, since Pearson claimed he and Johnson parted cordially, and the two had further meetings.

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There were studies and reports made in the 1964-65 period that pointed out that LNJs "strategy" was not going to work in Vietnam and the US could not win the war. 
Vietnam was not always "unwinnable." The Joint Chiefs reported on July 14, 1965: "There seems to be no reason why we cannot win if such is our will - and if that will is manifested in strategy and tactical operations ." The underlining was in the original.  When Johnson asked JCS chairman General Earle Wheeler what it would take to do the job, the answer was 700,000 to a million troops and 7 years.  Yale University's John Lewis Gaddis wrote in Foreign Affairs in 2005, "Historians now acknowledge that American counterinsurgency operations in Vietnam were succeeding during the final years of that conflict; the problem was that support for the war had long since crumbled at home."

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For the people on this site who think "Bush lied and people died" the same might be said of LBJ and the Tonkin Gulf Incident look that up on wiki. In Rasputin's defense he was against war.
 
It is a persistent myth that LBJ "lied" about a North Vietnamese attack on the USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin as a pretext for escalating American military involvement.  There is no evidence that the incident was contrived.  In 1995 Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, Hanoi's former defense minister, admitted the attack occurred.  In fact, Johnson was very reluctant to escalate: he was entering a presidential campaign on a peace platform against Goldwater, who wanted to use nukes, if necessary, to win the war.  Johnson made no use of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution for nearly 6 months.  He was fully aware that getting involved in a major war would halt progress toward the Great Society, which he had intended to stake his legacy on.

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You have LBJ drinking beer and driving. That is against the law.
 
Yes, drinking and driving is against the law.  So is smoking cannabis, but that did not stop Kennedy from smoking 3 marijuana cigarettes with Mary Pinchot Meyer one night.  As far as I know, Johnson never caused any accidents while under the influence.  Do crimes like these have a profound effect on a president's legacy?

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One has heard LBJ used to jacklight (illegal night hunt) deer on his ranch.
That's a new one to me.  Can you locate the primary source?  I think you may be confusing LBJ with George Parr, who was once caught spotlighting.

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And say what you will about the war-protesters and hippy counter-culture of the 60s, but at least they were pretty consistent in their opposition to Vietnam. When a social liberal champion like Johnson was in office they criticized him for his "warmongering". It's not like they waited until Nixon entered office to start protesting the war. Just that their criticisms continued.
Consistent, yes, but still gullible and often disingenuous.  A common antiwar chant was "Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, the Viet Cong are gonna win."   Along with mismanagement by politicians in both the legislative and executive branches, the other decisive factor in the outcome of the war was Hanoi's brilliant psychological warfare campaign.   In his autobiography, the GRU defector Stanislav Lunev stated that "the GRU and KGB helped to fund just about every antiwar movement and organization in America," and that during Vietnam the USSR gave $1 billion to American antiwar movements, more than it gave to the Viet Cong.  Lunev called this a "hugely successful campaign and well worth the cost." In general, Vietnam was more popular throughout than Korea.  LBJ's popularity rose whenever he turned up the pressure: it leapt 14% when he started the bombing.  The notion of a great swing away from the war in public opinion, and above all the axiom that the young opposed it, was an invention.  In fact, support for withdrawal was never over 20% until after the '68 election, by which time the decision to get out had already been taken.  Support for intensifying the war was always greater among the under thirty-fives than among older people; young white males were the most consistent group backing escalation.
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Nixon is a no, ditto Carter, HW. Bush and W. Bush.

Nixon's legacy is complex.  He will always be remembered for Watergate, but also had many accomplishments: Amtrak, the Endangered Species Act, the thaw with China, detente with the Soviets (even if it was temporary).  Had it not been for his dark side, he might be considered a great president.  James MacGregor Burns observed of Nixon, "How can one evaluate such an idiosyncratic president, so brilliant and so morally lacking?"
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I  hope this of interest and doesn't get me sent into AP version of Siberian exile
Isn't the whole point of having a forum being able to have discussions like this, even if the participants disagree?
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline edubs31

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Re: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2015, 04:48:07 PM »
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Vietnam was not always "unwinnable." The Joint Chiefs reported on July 14, 1965: "There seems to be no reason why we cannot win if such is our will - and if that will is manifested in strategy and tactical operations ." The underlining was in the original.  When Johnson asked JCS chairman General Earle Wheeler what it would take to do the job, the answer was 700,000 to a million troops and 7 years.  Yale University's John Lewis Gaddis wrote in Foreign Affairs in 2005, "Historians now acknowledge that American counterinsurgency operations in Vietnam were succeeding during the final years of that conflict; the problem was that support for the war had long since crumbled at home."

I understand what you're saying but in terms of the broader picture I respectfully disagree. I find the problems in the US occupation of Iraq (and the Middle East in general aside from Israel) parallel to our problems in Vietnam. Which is to say, if we occupied those countries with our troops for a hundred years on the 101st year the radicals and insurgents in the region would rebel. Winning the hearts and minds of the people is what matters in the long run unless your plan is to destroy and conquer that country (Japan and Germany in WW2 for example). That clearly was not the objective in the Vietnam or Iraqi conflicts.

What's unfortunate is how we left. Once we were foolish enough to get involved we probably owed it to the people we aimed to protect to at least stay long enough - into the 1980s if necessary - in the hope that tensions may have cooled some between the Communist North and quasi-Democratic South. Of course this somewhat contradicts my previous statement above which is all the more reason I believe both Vietnam and Iraq were pretty much hopeless pursuits and a major waste of money, lives and resources...Even those who argue that our government betrayed the South Vietnamese by our full scale departure, and the terror it helped unleash, have to admit that both Congress and the public were being provided faulty information for years in advance. This was the unfortunate legacy of Nixon-Kissinger in my opinion. Operating in secrecy and shady deal making is like lighting the fuse of a ticking time bomb. Many Presidents - including the current occupant of Oval Office - have found this out the hard way. Nixon needed to remain in office and at least somewhat supported by the public until January, 1977 for his schemes to have panned out in a positive way. His paranoia, dishonesty, and chicanery ultimately caught up to him however, and the situation in Vietnam turned from bad to worse as a result.

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In his autobiography, the GRU defector Stanislav Lunev stated that "the GRU and KGB helped to fund just about every antiwar movement and organization in America," and that during Vietnam the USSR gave $1 billion to American antiwar movements, more than it gave to the Viet Cong.  Lunev called this a "hugely successful campaign and well worth the cost."

I don't know. This sounds like typical conspiracy theorist nonsense. Millions of American protested the war. Some because of a radical far left ideology, some because it was trendy to do so, and some because they genuinely didn't like the war, its aims, and their friends and family members being injured and killed. To suggest that Jerry Rubin or the KGB engineered that opposition is a little ridiculous...I also have to imagine that in many instances war in general, regardless of its aims, was taking a pscyhcological toll on the American people. By the end of the 1960s you had forty consecutive years of Depression, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and a not-so cold Cold War, and the paranoia it produced. It's understandably that the public was collectively out of gas and crying out "enough!"

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In general, Vietnam was more popular throughout than Korea...In fact, support for withdrawal was never over 20% until after the '68 election, by which time the decision to get out had already been taken.  Support for intensifying the war was always greater among the under thirty-fives than among older people; young white males were the most consistent group backing escalation.

That number, assuming it's correct, is a bit misleading...I've looked into some Gallup polling which suggests that the percentage of Americans "who believe the US has made a mistake by sending troops to fight in Vietnam" was 54% by September of 1968 and never dipped below that figure through the end of the war. Looking back, today more than 70% of Americans claim Vietnam a misadventure. So while only 15-20% of Americans may have supported actual withdraw (perhaps many sensing the devastating effects withdraw ended up having when we did finally get out) that doesn't mean that more than half the country didn't disapprove of the war at any given time.

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Nixon's legacy is complex.  He will always be remembered for Watergate, but also had many accomplishments: Amtrak, the Endangered Species Act, the thaw with China, detente with the Soviets (even if it was temporary).  Had it not been for his dark side, he might be considered a great president.  James MacGregor Burns observed of Nixon, "How can one evaluate such an idiosyncratic president, so brilliant and so morally lacking?"

I very much agree. Perhaps you could say he was a "great" terrible President or a "terrible" great President.

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Isn't the whole point of having a forum being able to have discussions like this, even if the participants disagree?

Well it somewhat depends on what is being discussed. Lets not forget this is a forum dedicated largely to the Romanovs and European Royalty, not discussions on American Presidents or bizarre comparisons between those Presidents and Rasputin, lol. Though as you can see I'm happy to oblige you and James in debate :-)
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2015, 06:25:52 PM »
On LBJ and his Jacklighting deer. I heard this from older relatives. As for George Parr he liked to hunt deer from a helicopter, which is also illegal, and had one of the largest collections of trophy deer heads in Texas. There are pictures of his trophy room the walls are covered with deer heads.

FDR, JFK and LBJ did things that made Watergate look puny. The mainstream media knew about this but didn't say anything about it. Read the books:

It Didn't Start With Watergate
The Dark Side of Camelot
Unbrideled Power

As for LBJ there are accounts of him calling the news media outlets and stopping stories and investigations. Among the people George Parr had murdered over the years was a reporter. I have also read that there was a private detective who was investigating LBJ that "commited Suicide". he shot himself several times with a 22 rifle!

Either Time or Newsweek magazines some years ago pointed out the Joe Kennedy Sr often called news media outlets and stopped the publication of stories critical of his family.


Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Parallels between Rasputin and Lyndon Baines Johnson
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2015, 03:37:51 PM »
On the Tonkin Gulf Incident on wiki and elsewhere there is the 1965 LBJ quote "For all I know our Navy was shooting at whales out there." (!?)

I have read accounts of what it would take to win in Vietnam but the same accounts point out the American people would not have supported this. Also the US has other commitments in the world.

The insurgency in South Vietnam was pretty much defeated by the early 1970s but as you said support for the war back home had crumbled.

The Air War over North Vietnam "strategy" of LBJ were LBJ "they can't bomb a outhouse without my permission" was a bad idea from day one it led to all sorts of arguments between the military and LBJ It did not work LBJ was told this and he ignored it. The most damning part of this campaign is when US airmen spotted SAM (Surface to Air Missile) site under construction and requests were made to bomb them the airmen were told they were seeing things and they were refused permission. When the US started getting planes blown out of the skies by SAMs. Then they still had to wait a while to get permission from LBJ to bomb them! There are a lot of airmen who are still bitter over this and other incidents like it.

Back to Rasputin Dr E Botkin wrote in 1913 "If Rasputin didn't exist the opposition would have invented him."

Rasputin often spoke out in defense of Jews and other groups in Russia where a good part of the population was anti-sematic in some cases rabidly so. This is probably the main reason why he was so hated, bad mouthed and murdered. Not his bad behavior.