Three cheers for Great Society II!

Lyndon Johnson is not a comfortable model for President Obama to imitate. He is an all but forgotten president — pilloried for the failed war in Vietnam and criticized for grandiose reforms conservatives denounce as the epitome of federal social engineering that costs too much and does too little.

But Mr. Obama can take heart from the knowledge that all Johnson’s major initiatives remain a part of the national life: civil rights and voting rights; Medicare and Medicaid; federal aid to elementary, secondary and higher education; the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development; environmental protections; consumer rights; medical research; and support for the arts and humanities.