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Will: Is it 1966 in Washington?-By George F. Will

September 27, 2009

MUG_GeorgeWill-thumb7George F. Will

Is it 1966 in Washington?

Or 2003, with a Shinseki moment.

Published Sep 26, 2009

As the president contemplates his choices regarding Afghanistan—when his incontinent campaigning about health care allows him time to think about anything else—he should study an episode from when he was 4 years old. It is rich in relevance.

In February 1966, a rancorous national argument about the deepening U.S. involvement in Vietnam had reached a rolling boil. A Democratic president was determined to enlarge benevolent government, as he understood it, more than any president since FDR, and more than any president would try to do for another 43 years. Just six months earlier—July 30, 1965—Lyndon Johnson, for whom expanding government provision of health care was a higher priority than any president would make it until 2009, had signed Medicare into law. LBJ was, however, acutely aware that his domestic agenda, about which he cared much more than he did about foreign policy, could be derailed by Vietnam—its costs and its potential for fracturing his party.

via Will: Is it 1966 in Washington? | Newsweek George F. Will |


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