Re: “Shutdown likely to be drawn-out standoff” (TNT, 10-5).
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson needed northern Republican congressional votes to pass historic civil rights legislation. He called Republican leaders to the White House and explained to them why he wanted and needed their votes.
Later, one of the Republican congressmen told how “respectfully but forcefully” they explained to LBJ why they could not support his legislation. He added, “The President leaned over and almost touched my face and asked, “So, congressman, you are telling me you do not want to see one more cent of federal money sent to your district while I am president of the United States?”
Johnson got his votes from the Republicans, and the civil rights bill passed.
Today, instead of LBJ, we have the 2013 version of 1860 James Buchanan – a weak president whose failure to recognize and deal strongly with an economic and political crisis lead to the Civil War.
Barack Obama has great leverage to direct or hold back federal funds from programs and the states. He needs to call Republican leaders to the White House and give them the choice of funding the U.S. government for the rest of us or losing “every cent of federal money” for their state and local projects as long as he is in the White House.