Impeach 1/2 of LBJ (the Vietnam half)
I knew from the start if I left the woman I really loved - The Great Society - in order to get involved with that bitch of a war on the other side of the world, then I would lose everything at home. All my programs … All my hopes … All my dreams.
- Lyndon Johnson
Johnson, a skilled and savvy Washington operator for decades, was right. American escalation in the Vietnam War led to increasingly negative public opinion toward him and began to overshadow his cherished social programs, and would eventually figure into his decision to drop out of the race for re-election in 1968. Johnson’s Great Society, his agenda presented to Congress in 1965, was a landmark set of programs to tackle social concerns, chief among which were poverty and racial injustice. He also introduced programs addressing transportation, education, disease, Medicare, urban renewal and crime.
Congress enacted many of Johnson’s programs, many of which, such as Medicare and federal education funding, remain to this day, while others languished as more and more money was spent on Vietnam.
Anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy’s surprising showing in the 1968 New Hampshire presidential primary revealed that not only was the American public divided on the War, but the Democratic Party was split as well. Johnson withdrew his candidacy in March, paving the way for Robert Kennedy to step in.
Anti-LBJ button from Heritage Auctions (HA.com)
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