theatlantic
theatlantic:

Why the LBJ of 1964 Wouldn’t Succeed In Washington Today

The LBJ Library recently held a multiday program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and by all accounts, the program was stirring and stimulating, up to and including President Obama’s speech.
But there was one downside: the reactivation of one of the most enduring memes and myths about the presidency, and especially the Obama presidency. Like Rasputin (or Whac-A-Mole,) it keeps coming back even after it has been bludgeoned and obliterated by facts and logic. I feel compelled to whack this mole once more.
The meme is what Matthew Yglesias, writing in 2006, referred to as "the Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics," and has been refined by Greg Sargent and Brendan Nyhan into the Green Lantern Theory of the presidency. In a nutshell, it attributes heroic powers to a president—if only he would use them. And the holders of this theory have turned it into the meme that if only Obama used his power of persuasion, he could have the kind of success that LBJ enjoyed with the Great Society, that Bill Clinton enjoyed in his alliance with Newt Gingrich that gave us welfare reform and fiscal success, that Ronald Reagan had with Dan Rostenkowski and Bill Bradley to get tax reform, and so on.
If only Obama had dealt with Congress the way LBJ did—persuading, cajoling, threatening, and sweet-talking members to attain his goals—his presidency would not be on the ropes and he would be a hero. If only Obama would schmooze with lawmakers the way Bill Clinton did, he would have much greater success. If only Obama would work with Republicans and not try to steamroll them, he could be a hero and have a fiscal deal that would solve the long-term debt problem.
If only the proponents of this theory would step back and look at the realities of all these presidencies (or would read or reread the Richard Neustadt classic, Presidential Power.)
Read more. [Image: JD Hancock/Flickr]

theatlantic:

Why the LBJ of 1964 Wouldn’t Succeed In Washington Today

The LBJ Library recently held a multiday program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and by all accounts, the program was stirring and stimulating, up to and including President Obama’s speech.

But there was one downside: the reactivation of one of the most enduring memes and myths about the presidency, and especially the Obama presidency. Like Rasputin (or Whac-A-Mole,) it keeps coming back even after it has been bludgeoned and obliterated by facts and logic. I feel compelled to whack this mole once more.

The meme is what Matthew Yglesias, writing in 2006, referred to as "the Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics," and has been refined by Greg Sargent and Brendan Nyhan into the Green Lantern Theory of the presidency. In a nutshell, it attributes heroic powers to a president—if only he would use them. And the holders of this theory have turned it into the meme that if only Obama used his power of persuasion, he could have the kind of success that LBJ enjoyed with the Great Society, that Bill Clinton enjoyed in his alliance with Newt Gingrich that gave us welfare reform and fiscal success, that Ronald Reagan had with Dan Rostenkowski and Bill Bradley to get tax reform, and so on.

If only Obama had dealt with Congress the way LBJ did—persuading, cajoling, threatening, and sweet-talking members to attain his goals—his presidency would not be on the ropes and he would be a hero. If only Obama would schmooze with lawmakers the way Bill Clinton did, he would have much greater success. If only Obama would work with Republicans and not try to steamroll them, he could be a hero and have a fiscal deal that would solve the long-term debt problem.

If only the proponents of this theory would step back and look at the realities of all these presidencies (or would read or reread the Richard Neustadt classic, Presidential Power.)

Read more. [Image: JD Hancock/Flickr]

pbsthisdayinhistory
pbsthisdayinhistory:

April 21, 1989: Tiananmen Square Protests Begin
On this day in 1989, students began protesting in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the symbolic central space of China. Several weeks later, when the government sent in the army to end the demonstrations, the citizens of Beijing poured into the streets in support of the students.The demonstrations ended in a massacre on the night of June 3-4, when the government sent the troops into the city with orders to clear Tiananmen Square. One day later, a single, unarmed young man stood his ground before a column of tanks on the Avenue of Eternal Peace. Captured on film and video by Western journalists, this extraordinary confrontation became an icon of the struggle for freedom around the world.
In 2012, FRONTLINE took a look back at how the iconic image of the “tank man” came to be, more than twenty years after the massacre at Tiananmen Square. Photo: A Chinese man stands alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing’s Changan Blvd. in Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989. (AP/Jeff Widener)

pbsthisdayinhistory:

April 21, 1989: Tiananmen Square Protests Begin

On this day in 1989, students began protesting in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the symbolic central space of China. Several weeks later, when the government sent in the army to end the demonstrations, the citizens of Beijing poured into the streets in support of the students.

The demonstrations ended in a massacre on the night of June 3-4, when the government sent the troops into the city with orders to clear Tiananmen Square. One day later, a single, unarmed young man stood his ground before a column of tanks on the Avenue of Eternal Peace. Captured on film and video by Western journalists, this extraordinary confrontation became an icon of the struggle for freedom around the world.

In 2012, FRONTLINE took a look back at how the iconic image of the “tank man” came to be, more than twenty years after the massacre at Tiananmen Square.

Photo: A Chinese man stands alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing’s Changan Blvd. in Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989. (AP/Jeff Widener)

fastcompany
fastcompany:

Happy 25th Birthday, World Wide Web! Our Gift: An Intentionally Brief History Of You
On March 12, 1989, the visual layer of the Internet was quietly revealed, fundamentally changing the way we communicate, research, consume and share media, waste time at work, and, well, do everything else really. It was called the World Wide Web. To celebrate, we’ve put together a purposefully brisk and oversimplified history (trust us, you don’t want to see the unabridged version) leading up to its now 25 years of existence.
Read> Fast Company

fastcompany:

Happy 25th Birthday, World Wide Web! Our Gift: An Intentionally Brief History Of You

On March 12, 1989, the visual layer of the Internet was quietly revealed, fundamentally changing the way we communicate, research, consume and share media, waste time at work, and, well, do everything else really. It was called the World Wide Web. To celebrate, we’ve put together a purposefully brisk and oversimplified history (trust us, you don’t want to see the unabridged version) leading up to its now 25 years of existence.

Read> Fast Company