Photo by Edward F. Palm)

About Me

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Forest, Virginia, United States
A long time ago, my sophomore English teacher, Father William Campbell, saw something in my writing and predicted that I would someday become a newspaper columnist. He suggested the perfect title for my column--"Leaves of the Palm." Now that I have a little extra time on my hands I've decided to put Father Campbell's prediction to the test. I'm going to start using this blog site not just to reprint opinion pieces I've published elsewhere but to try to get more of my ideas and opinions out there. Feedback is welcome. To find out more about me, please check out my Web site: www.EdwardFPalm.com (Click on any of the photos below for an enlarged view.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Guns and Butter Revisited

I've been thinking of late about a parallel between President Johnson and President Obama.  I've come to understand that LBJ was a decent man who sincerely wanted his legacy to be a "kinder, gentler America"--a "Great Society."  But he inherited a war he couldn't win, and his political opponents were quick to put him between a rock and a hard place.  If he pulled out of Vietnam, given the Cold-War tenor of the times, he would have been labeled "soft on Communism."  Hence, he tried to wage the war in cold blood.  He dared not try to mobilize or otherwise greatly inconvenience the country.  As the old saying goes, he tried to have guns and butter.  And the more LBJ escalated, the more the left turned against him.  I fear that Obama will find himself between his own rock and hard place.  If he pulls out of Afghanistan, the right will denounce him for failing to keep America safe.  And the more he escalates, the more he will lose the support of the left.  Let's hope that Obama doesn't allow himself to become obsessed with winning an unwinnable war, thereby frittering away his opportunies to do some lasting good for the country.  --EFP    

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