Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Sainted Dead

I'd have to say that I was a fan.

I think that LBJ was a severely underrated president. The man had a hard run. He suffered mightily for a series of bad decisions that led him to cave in to the then-strong impulse to fight Commies. No one had yet disproved the Domino Theory (for some real fun, read the Wikipedia article on the same topic). Postwar babies were fueling all kinds of scary stuff like cultural upheaval and civil rights. Johnson himself was a product of smoke-filled rooms, of ticket-balancing, and of the yellow-dog era of Democratic politics.

And yet? He propelled forward his sainted predecessor's civil rights agenda, the single most important sociological development of the century, let alone the decade. He guaranteed himself a place where he could be reviled by peaceniks and racists alike.

Into all this stepped his lovely and gracious wife--an early political manifestation of the nascent environmental movement, among other things, a woman who sealed her place in the American consciousness as the person comforting a blood-soaked Jackie Kennedy on the day every boomer remembers. No one could hate Lady Bird and still face their God in the morning. It just couldn't be done.

Now, some might say that putting up with a rattlesnake-and-bunny-rabbit-dicked motherfucker like Lyndon Johnson and holding a blood-stained Bible on America's Bad Day, Part One, were funny ways for a nice old Southron lady to achieve a state of grace in the hearts of the American people. But it was a funny time. And there's no cause to hold anything against her. Rest nice, Lady Bird.


Kimmah said...

she always just seemed like good people to me.

Sasha said...

I think a whole lot of goodness happened in this country because Lady Bird said "Now Lyndon" a time or two. You said it just right. Rest in peace. And thanks for all the flowers.

J. D. T. Saul said...

Remind me to leave instructions in my will that you write my eulogy.

Well said my friend. I just last year got to see some 2000 year old trees that are still there directly as a result of Lady Bird.