Remember this before ranting too much on Lennart. He is not in any position to force any distribution to do anything. Distributions choose to use his software because it actually is better than the stuff that came before it.
Yes, of course Lennart's just a developer with a better idea. He's never seen software development as a means to a larger political end.
Except when he has:
Getting a clear message out what Linux is supposed to be is definitely a social issue, but to make that happen the Linux platform needs to be streamlined first, and that's a technical task, and not done yet.
All of these disingenuous statements that there's no other agenda in place are just bullshit. They're simply and self-evidently not true, because you can't do system design without some kind of vision of what you want. And you don't change the system design unless you don't like the one you've got. Lennart's vision, as he says, is a 'streamlined' Linux, which is to say catholic, not agnostic, unified rather than pluralistic, with fewer options rather than more. And when you cut away all the cruft, it's his stuff that remains.
Poettering and his acolytes can argue all they like that their vision is simply better. I disagree, but I accept that this is always an argument worth having. But when you start arguing that POSIX is a constraint and that Linux should be 'leading' the way (and that POSIX can just catch up, thank you), you're taking a stance that is not simply in opposition to others, it cannot coexist with the others because the alternatives have become mutually exclusive within a particular space.
POSIX is a limiting factor. That's true. Its limitation is that we've all agreed on a basic subset of behaviours in order that we all have enough in common to interact. So when you discard POSIX, you have effectively announced that you do not see the value of playing nicely with the other children. From that moment, your 'better idea' is being implemented at the expense of interoperability.
Which is a really fucking bad idea.
(The quote above is from an interview with Lennart, linked from his Wikipedia page.)
Lastly, to respond directly to the assertion that he is not in a position to force any distro to do anything. The tight web of dependencies, his position at RedHat and the support and assistance provided on the corporate level is perhaps not sufficient literally to force a distro to use his software, but it's enough to raise the question that undue influence is being brought to bear and that rather questionable tactics are being indulged in expressly because Lennart and his cohorts think that doing the right thing does not imply contributing in an open[*] and inclusive way.
[*] Lennart's idea of openness is allowing others to interact with his software, but fuck you if you want him to take a second look at your requirements. And then, of course, to act shocked (shocked!) when others get upset.