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Friday, June 24, 2005

The Best of Enemies

Jack Valenti reminisces about bi-partisanship during the Johnson administration in The New York Times:

They were like two old medieval warriors who had fought a hundred battles against each other. But when night fell, they would sit around a campfire, on neutral ground, and talk. L.B.J. understood that the role of the opposition was to oppose. Dirksen (and Ford and Halleck) knew that opposing didn't mean you couldn't give a little here and there. Neither surrendered core beliefs. But they both knew that in politics, nothing lasts for long. Mandates fade. Power passes. And majority, as sure as the seasons change, eventually becomes minority.
I certainly wasn't around for the Johnson administration, and we certainly do have a lack of bi-partisanship today. Still, this sort of thing always tends to amuse me. Life has always been better back in the 'golden age,' everything was noble and pure before laziness, today's youth, or whichever evil you prefer crept in an corrupted everything. I am sure that during the Johnson administration there were those who complained about how things were so much better and more congenial during the Hoover administration. I don't think things in general get worse. Sure, there are ups and downs to everything. On the whole though, things are better now then they were a hundred years ago, and I see that trend continuing.


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