Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Anniversary of a Good Thing

44 years ago, today, then-President Lyndon Baines Johnson (D) signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law. The single most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever crafted, it finally gave teeth to the 15th Amendment.


August 6, 2009 - Posted by | race


  1. On social issues LBJ deserves a lot of credit.The Viet Nam War was his downfall. The Voting Rights Act was a tremendous piece of legislation.

    Comment by Paul | August 6, 2009

  2. Yes, LBJ gave us the Civil Rights Act of ’64, the Voting Rights Act of ’65, Medicare (which not one Republican voted for), Medicaid (ditto), and the War on Poverty–which was working until Vietnam took all the money needed to make it work. I am very afraid that Afghanistan could do this to Obama–even if he is successful in getting his progressive domestic agenda passed.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | August 7, 2009

  3. Well the jury is still out on Obama and Afghanistan. I hope that he does well, but a lot of people don’t like the man or his agenda. I say this as one who voted for him…

    Comment by Paul | August 7, 2009

  4. He’s very popular. The decline in the polls is because he hasn’t produced the healthcare bill–so the dissatisfaction on the right is added to that on the left. What is true is that those who don’t like him REALLY don’t like him. Also, the rightwing media will attack him mercilessly for 4-8 years, just as they did Clinton. The media are controlled by a rightwing cabal that manufactures a skewed picture of the world.

    As for Obama’s agenda: closing Gitmo., reforming healthcare, green energy, reforming our schoolss,–these all start out polling very popular–until the rightwing media machine spreads lies about them. We saw the same thing in the ’90s. The media are the problem. They refused to investigate Bush’s lies for 5 years.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | August 7, 2009

  5. Thanks, MIchael. There is much for which to be thankful, and much from which to repent.

    Comment by Mike | August 7, 2009

  6. Michael a lot of the media sure built Obama up during his bid for the Presidency. A few actually fawned over him. I even heard the odd comparisons to Camelot. I voted for Obama, but I did not expect to get a Lincoln in return. And he has to produce or history will judge him unfavorably. That’s the fact of the matter. I still hope that he does well.

    Comment by Paul | August 7, 2009

  7. Of course he has to produce, but he can’t do it without Congress. It’s harder to get Democrats to work together than it is Republicans–who play follow the leader. Of course history will judge him–and I remain a leftwing critic. But I think it a little early to count him out, yet.

    I remember how many times he was counted out in the campaign. 6 months before Iowa, Hillary was 20 points ahead in the polls. After New Hampshire they said he was dead. Then, after SC, they said she’d finish him off on Super Tuesday. Then they said she was dragging on the primaries too long and McCain would trounce him. Then they said McCain/Palin had killed the post-Convention bounce and he was through. Then they said white racism would trounce him in the Bradley effect. They said Hispanics wouldn’t vote for him. They said the GOP would steal it with computers or other dirty tricks. And then he won.

    So, yes, he’s slipping now and the healthcare bill which looked like a sure thing 3 weeks ago is in trouble. But betting against Obama has not paid off, yet. I’m not willing to wait to criticize when I think he’s wrong–as I have repeatedly on this blog. But I’m willing to wait before concluding that his presidency is a failure. Good grief, George W. Bush had a 49% approval rating in ’04–and he won reelection!

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | August 8, 2009

  8. Obama’s Presidency is no failure-it is a work in progress and the honeymoon period is over. He sought the job and now he has to deliver.

    Comment by Paul | August 8, 2009

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