Posted 8 years ago on March 24, 2012, 9:37 a.m. EST by factsrfun
from Phoenix, AZ
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
As I remember it in 1968, a sitting President didn’t run for his parties nomination because a large group of Americans were calling attention to lies about a war. I think this sort of thing can be done again, but I think we should smarter this time. Bold added: “Johnson's problems began to mount in 1966. The press had sensed a "Credibility gap" between what Johnson was saying in press conferences and what was happening on the ground in Vietnam, which led to much less favorable coverage of Johnson. By year's end, the Democratic governor of Missouri warned that Johnson would lose the state by 100,000 votes, despite a half-million margin in 1964. "Frustration over Vietnam; too much federal spending and... taxation; no great public support for your Great Society programs; and ... public disenchantment with the civil rights programs" had eroded the President's standing, the governor reported. There were bright spots; in January 1967, Johnson boasted that wages were the highest in history, unemployment was at a 13-year low, and corporate profits and farm incomes were greater than ever; a 4.5 percent jump in consumer prices was worrisome, as was the rise in interest rates. Johnson asked for a temporary 6 percent surcharge in income taxes to cover the mounting deficit caused by increased spending. Johnson's approval ratings stayed below 50 percent; by January 1967, the number of his strong supporters had plunged to 16 percent, from 25 percent four months before. He ran about even with Republican George Romney in trial matchups that spring. Asked to explain why he was unpopular, Johnson responded, "I am a dominating personality, and when I get things done I don't always please all the people." Johnson also blamed the press, saying they showed "complete irresponsibility and lie and misstate facts and have no one to be answerable to." He also blamed "the preachers, liberals and professors" who had turned against him. In the congressional elections of 1966, the Republicans gained three seats in the Senate and 47 in the House, reinvigorating the Conservative coalition and making it impossible for Johnson to pass any additional Great Society legislation.”
Here we see that main parties can indeed be split apart:
“Johnson was not disqualified from running for a second full term under the provisions of the 22nd Amendment; he had served less than 24 months of President Kennedy's term. However, entering the 1968 election campaign, initially, no prominent Democratic candidate was prepared to run against a sitting president of the Democratic party. Only Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota challenged Johnson as an anti-war candidate in the New Hampshire primary, hoping to pressure the Democrats to oppose the war. On March 12, McCarthy won 42 percent of the primary vote to Johnson's 49 percent, an amazingly strong showing for such a challenger. Four days later, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy of New York entered the race. Internal polling by Johnson's campaign in Wisconsin, the next state to hold a primary election, showed the President trailing badly. Johnson did not leave the White House to campaign.
President Johnson meets with Republican candidate Richard Nixon in the White House, July 1968 By this time Johnson had lost control of the Democratic Party, which was splitting into four factions, each of which despised the other three. The first consisted of Johnson (and Humphrey), labor unions, and local party bosses (led by Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley). The second group consisted of students and intellectuals who were vociferously against the war and rallied behind McCarthy. The third group were Catholics, Hispanics and African Americans, who rallied behind Robert Kennedy. The fourth group were traditionally segregationist white Southerners, who rallied behind George C. Wallace and the American Independent Party. Vietnam was one of many issues that splintered the party, and Johnson could see no way to win Vietnam and no way to unite the party long enough for him to win re-election.”
What went wrong? You may ask, IMHO they didn’t kill the republicans first so when they split the dems, the GOP just stepped in. If we do that again, what’s the worst that can happen? Watergate? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyndon_B._Johnson#Backlash_against_Johnson:_1966.E2.80.9367