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It is an oft-told story that is repeated in view of Friday’s developments in Washington.

As Joe Califano describes it in “Triumph and Tragedy,” Lyndon Johnson’s revealing memoir of his time in the White House, the president called on civil rights leaders during the racial unrest in the explosive heat of 1967.


Detroit and Newark were burning and Democrats were sharply divided over a number of issues, including how to respond to the rioters. LBJ had been using their famous arm-twisting methods with NAACP leader Roy Wilkins and Urban League executive director Whitney Young, but without much success.

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Frustrated, he attacked his party’s Left, declaring, “A liberal is intolerant of other views. He wants to control your thoughts and actions.”

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As Califano writes, Johnson moved closer to his guests to deliver the final punch: “You know the difference between cannibals and liberals? Cannibals only eat their enemies.”

Joe Biden knows the sentiment. More than five decades later, they, too, are being eaten alive by the Left of Dems, now called progressive rather than liberal.

Whatever be the name, the hunger is the same.

But this is where the similarities end. LBJ was a fighter and a brilliant strategist, but Biden is neither. Johnson respected his leadership instincts in the Senate, but Biden spent nearly 40 years there and only learned to talk.

The contrast was on display Friday as Biden surrendered without a fight to the most radical element of his party. His visit to Capitol Hill was billed as a bid to resolve the Dems’ divide, but instead Biden waved a white flag in the blink of an eye.

By giving his blessing to the hardliners for refusing to vote on a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal until they get the vote on a $3.5 trillion grab bag of socialist garbage, he has turned his back on the central promise of his election and guaranteed guarantees. Granted that his presidency would continue. Public support is bleeding.

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Biden’s comments after the meeting revealed his dedication, first saying that “we’re going to get it done.” But when he said: “It doesn’t matter whether it’s in six minutes, six days or six weeks. We’re going to get it done.”

Try to imagine LBJ was fine because minorities in his party were sidelining his agenda unless they felt like addressing it. In fact, try to imagine any president like Biden folded.

Rape.  Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., speaks to reporters after a meeting of Progressive House Democrats on Capitol Hill Friday, October 1, 2021 in Washington.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

His flop is particularly odd in the sense that passing the infrastructure bill will give him something he desperately needs: a win.

So far, they have given nothing but trouble and failure and their polling numbers continue to decline. Afghanistan’s debacle, border disturbances, the still-raging coronavirus and rising inflation taking their toll on his presidency, and the passing of the infrastructure deal that nearly garnered GOP votes in the Senate give him bragging rights. will get. a popular issue.

This should make it a no-brainer for all Dems. After all, a failed, unpopular president could cost the Congress party control next year, given the party’s narrow margins.

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But the rejection of common sense is a key symptom of the irrepressible nature of the Left. Johnson, by the time he made his cannibalistic comparisons, had already delivered the Great Society’s agenda, from voting rights to civil rights to Medicare and Medicaid, but that wasn’t enough for the left.

For his part, Biden has supported almost every far-right nonsense in the air, including a voting rights bill that would put Washington in full charge of federal elections. He talked about making Puerto Rico a state, packing up the Supreme Court, and ending the Senate filibuster.

He has also shown himself to be an open-border president and has adopted the language of the worst race-beaters, blaming the nation for “systemic racism,” while he calls Americans “the good guys.”

None of these positions were known to Joe Biden from his long tenure in Washington, where he coined the term liberal. In fact, when he spoke repeatedly about “unity” in his campaign and at the inauguration and worked hard for those who did not vote for him, there was reason to hope that he would fix the country’s violations. Were serious about trying to. .

Yet here we are, with the president remaking himself as a leftist, the left calling it insufficient, and he shrugs his shoulders and says okay.

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House Dems refuse to give Biden their infrastructure bill until he gets a vote on a $3.5 trillion spending-Apalooza, when you consider that a monster that’s inconsequential and costly enough to ever pass the Senate. will not. Biden is said to have talked about reducing it to $2 trillion or so, even as Joe Manchin, DW.Va., says $1.5 trillion is his maximum.

Bargaining on materials and price can take weeks or months, with the final route uncertain. And there is no guarantee that the Infrastructure Bill will pass muster with the Left after all this.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of the progressive caucus said no to Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which is why college students try to silence conservative voices.

They’re in Congress but still don’t understand that in the adult world, you can’t always get what you want. And to get that along, you have to get along sometimes.

This is true in every family, workplace, and neighborhood, but it is telling that such basic truths of everyday life remain far from many lawmakers. No wonder Congress is taking the country to hell.

Still, because all streets in Washington lead to the White House, the answer to the question of why Biden has delegated so much of his power to the insatiable far left.

Unfortunately, the answer is obvious. He is a weak, sly president who is the emptiest of empty suits. All talk and no faith, he could not stand up to the Taliban and could not even stand up to the wing nuts in his party.

What the hell.

Click here to read more from Michael Goodwin