With Bill in the background
By Michael Moriarty
While the mainstream media are touting our new president as a Lincoln or an FDR, or at least a JFK, I'm seeing a new Lyndon Baines Johnson -- an LBJ who, because of the well-known ambitions within his "team of rivals" could end up with a Nixon-like second term.
LBJ rode into the White House on the embarrassingly predictable necessities arising from President Kennedy's assassination – please recall the off-Broadway satire, Macbird – and instituted, in the spirit of FDR's New Deal, the largest, domestic expenditure by the Federal government till then, all in the name of "The Great Society".
Now, in the name of "Change We Can Believe In", President Barack Obama, duly heralded as America's first black president and also as one of the most politically ambitious graduates of Harvard in its history, has outdone The Great Society with his "Stimulus Package", a federally invested outlay of one trillion dollars of taxpayer's money, a "bailout" that reduces The Great Society to a Texan country-boy's daydream.
Meanwhile, the new First Lady, if you drop the Southern maple syrup, has a Lady Bird quality about her, an ambition that is hardly as veiled as the first Lady Bird's was.
With Islamic fundamentalism eager to replace the Soviet Union as America's most mortal enemy, President Obama is facing an even more ruthless and unpredictable set of foes than Johnson did. Ho Chi Minh of the former North Vietnam and his legend exude a saintly aura about him now when compared to the dark and menacing infamy of Osama bin Laden, still hissing like a cobra somewhere in northwestern Pakistan.
Whether Bin Laden is a dying serpent or not pales to insignificance in the face of his potential as an Islamic martyr. Perhaps that is why the Bush administration may have decided not to capture the author of 9/11. Osama is more helpful to the West as a fugitive than as a martyr. Besides, leaving it up to Obama to play the "bad guy" in the eyes of Islam - letting him deliver the death-blow to someone considered a saint among many Islamic fundamentalists - this, perhaps, has all been part of the conservative game plan. Not removing Bin Laden from the earth may have been Bush's stroke of genius. Let the Progressives and their new wunderkind earn the eternal damnation of all Muslims.
I'm not sure that Republicans playing such a quintessentially progressive game with progressives is a good idea. The former liberals are the masters of passive aggression … and their Progressive Messiah appears to be President Obama.
That, however, does not lessen my belief in Obama as ultimately a second LBJ. The Obama Team, or the Obama Nation, which is far more grassroots and, perhaps, all-encompassing, has certainly whipped the Democratic Congress into a lethally docile servant of "The One".
This would have made LBJ, the great Congressional arm-wrestler, quite proud.
"What," you might ask, "must happen if Obama, unlike LBJ, runs for a second term?"
Of course he's going to run! If anything separates Obama and LBJ it's Obama's complete and undeniably hardboiled commitment to abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Would an embarrassing war in Afghanistan slow him down?
Besides, the mainstream press surrounding Obama like bodyguards, unlike its fickle loyalties to LBJ, will still be on his side. They'll have to be!
In for a trillion dollars worth of "Stimulus", in for an eternity of "Change".
The second term will, however, be the moment of Obama's transformation from LBJ to Richard Nixon.
President Obama, in his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and her ever-Presidential husband, will have his own version of Prof. Henry Kissinger.
You don't see the similarities?
With "Bill" hovering in the immediate background, only Machiavelli and Shakespeare, of course, could predict the outcome.
What is inevitable, however, is Liberal America's ironically shocking but voiceless disenchantment with their profoundly progressive destination, the direction in which both Presidents, Bill and Barack, have been leading them.
Blind to the self-loathing implications of legalized abortion, Obama will also remain ignorant of the liabilities within his own blind ambition.
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.