WASHINGTON Sen. Johnson of Texas may be aiming, not only at a possible 1960 presidential nomination, but at a reshaping of the Democratic Party in a Southern-Western image to the diminution of Northern and Eastern influence and therefore of strong pro-union and pro-civil rights impulses. He dominated the opening of Congress more than did the President. On. civil rights he engineered the thwarting of Senate advocates of majority cloture of filibusters, causing astringent bitterness among some of the hardiest liberals and satisfaction in the South. Many of the new senators from the West voted with him. Then he announced a four-point civil rights program of his own which apparently anticipated the President’s but which also seemed secure against a Southern filibuster. Sen. Yarborough voted with Sen. Johnson on all the test votes against the effort to change Rule XXII to let the majority or threefifths of the entire Senate end filibusters after 15 days’ debate. Yarborough would not comment on the merits of Johnson’s civil rights bill. The important idea that Johnson may be attempting to reshape his party in a composite Southern-Western imagevented mainly in the past through Johnsonoriented appreciations of the rising power of the West in the Senateemanated from both the left and the right, from Americans for Democratic Action and the Dallas News’s Washington correspondent, Robert Baskin. ADA spokesmen indicated they suspect Johnson’s plan will be based on trades with Western senators who need water and other projects but to whom civil rights is not as burning an issue as it is in other parts of the country. Baskin wrote that the Southerners are beginning to follow Johnson tory gestures designed to wrest the initiative from the GOP and the liberals. “In the next few years this prove to be the first step in a grand strategy to change the di rection in which the Democratic Party is going,” Baskin wrote. “This grand strategy, which is in the mind of Senator Johnson, would bring about a strong, dominant coalition of Democrats in the South and the rapidly growing West. “These two vast areas of the nation have in common their need for development, for tremendous water projects. In the background of citizens of both areas are agricultural concerns. Political and economic independence of the East are desired by both. “If this grand strategy succeeds, it is possible that the trend toward labor domination of the Democratic Party will be halted, and even reversed. The power of -Anybody Want to Argue Al out Other Rules?” The Washington Post Herblock for Jan. 12 the Eastern political machines at the national level will be broken,” Baskin wrote. Whether such a strategy is in Johnson’s mind or not, his offering of the civil rights bill was pertinent to the question whether he is running for president. So also was his response, at a Washington dinner, to the statement of that he would make a fine president. Not remarking directly on the reference, he did tell Smathers with a grin, “I enjoyed what you had to say more than anyone in this room.” He denied any such ambitions to the Houston Post. Ralph Supports Padre Island; Lyndon Rips Ike’s Budget . BY BOB TAYLOR Times Heal. SEW CarBoalit -0ING LIKE ’60! Sen. Johnson and the Civil Rights Initiative In other events in Washington: Sen. Yarborough. re-introduced his bill to make Padre Island a national park. “As a national park, Padre Island would become the winter park of America, just as Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier National, and the Great Smoky Mountains a r e summer playgrounds,” he told the Senate. Yarborough endorsed Hawaiian statehood, which is generally opposed by Southern senators. He supported more federal airport aid for several cities in Texas, ineliding San Antonio and Austin. Sen. Johnson announced hearings on the nation’s preparedness. He also attacked the President’s budget as propaganda and said it failed to deliver promised tax cuts. He also said it was based on a federal gasoline sales tax and that he does not want to travel the sales tax road. “This budget proposal would open the way to imposition of more and more sales taxes,” he said, “and finally, I believe, sales taxes would come on everything. I, for one, am unwilling to travel this road.” Speaker Rayburn predicted rough going for the 1.5 cents a gallon gasoline tax increase Eisenhower requested. Yarborough said it was “a plan of retreat instead of progress” and dedicated to balanced ledgersheets instead of a better America. Rep. Bruce Alger, Dallas, said it contained “areas of self-contradiction.” Alger said he was reluctant to raise the gasoline tax until all the revenue is dedicated to highways. \(Alger was named to the ways Railroad lobbyist Ken Reagan was host at a luncheon in. the Speaker’s private dining room, with Rayburn’s permission. The U. S. Office of Education approved $1.6 million for Texas programs under the national defense education act. Yarborough appeared before a Senate commerce committee considering federal aid to educational TV development and charged that lobbyists for commercial interests in Texas “have managed to stop appropriations of state funds” for such aid. Rep. Frank Ikard, Wichita Falls, was an unadvertised guest of a medical conference of about 300 county medical society representatives at the Texas Medical Assn. building in Austin. He cued in. the doctors on the likelihood of passage in Washington of various medical reform laws. Stewart Alsop said in the Saturday Evening Post’ that obviously he’d like to be president but knows he can’t because of civil rights \(of course the article was written before the events of JanuLeap to the Controls Even before the issue was drawn in the Senate, the debate took an atypical form for civil rights issues: columnist Walter Lippman, as well as the liberal Washington Post, endorsed the Johnson plan. to replace the twothirds. rule based on the total Senate membership with one based on those present and voting. Baskin said the new senators “are conscious of Johnson’s power over committee assignments.” Liberal columnists Drew Pearson and Robert G. Spivack speculated that Johnson was using his authority over appointments to gain votes for his plan. Pro-Johnson columnist William S. White called the plan of Sen. Paul Douglas for majority cloture after 15 days’ debate “indefensible extremism.” The liberals lost on every vote in the Senate, never getting more than 36 votes, and Johnson’s plan won final approval, 72 to 22. Johnson, recognized by virtue of being majority leader, leapt to the control post in the debate Jan. 7 by proposing his plan, which permits cloture by twothirds of those present and voting, extends cloture to motions to consider changing Senate rules, and provides the rules continue from one session to the next unless changed. Johnson would not yield to anyone for any other motion until Nixon told him his motion could be supplanted, whereupon Johnson moved for immediate adjournment. Douglas sought to interrupt the roll call for an inquiry but Johnson objected and the Douglas question was not finished. Next day Sen. Anderson \(D.invoking plan would accomplish “practically nothing.” He emphasized that Russell had said that Johnson’s plan was little different from the present rule because “most members would be present anyway, on a disputed question.” Russell said he was “unalterably opposed” to the change but it was “less obnoxious” than majority “gag rule.” Douglas said “We believe that there is … the right of a majority at some time to reach a vote.” Jan. 9 Johnson said he was amazed to learn senators believed a two-thirds vote was necessary to amend a rule. \(Such a motion can be filibustered, and the filibuster can be stopped only by a ienced senators did not realize,” Johnson said, “that any time any senator wants to amend any rule he can do so if he has a majority vote and can get a vote.” There was ironic laughter in the chamber at this, and it evidently rankled Johnson. Douglas interrupted to say only: “If he can get a vote.” A moment later Johnson was saying toward the liberalsaccording to reporters “Where are your parliamentarians?” \(This is recorded as “Where are the parliamentarians” in the Congressional Record, which senators can docLater in the day, Douglas and Johnson had a bitter exchange. Douglas asked for more extended defense of the Johnson plan from the Johnson side. “I suggest,” Johnson said, “that the senator from Illinois attempt to guide himself and control his own conduct without attempting to direct the activities of his colleagues.” Douglas: I thought possibly the senator from Texas, feeling his high obligation to the tradition of the Senate, would not try to railroad this proposal through” Johnson: “Oh, the senator” Douglas: “Just a moment, please, without an adequate explanation as to what it is he is proposing.” Johnson: “The speeches may not have had the quality the senator from Illinois would expect, but they represented my best efforts.” ‘Fine Print’ Johnson proposed an agreement to limit debate on the subject. Douglas: “I wonder if the senator from Texas would be willing to write out his proposal, so that we may see whether or not there is any fine print in. it, and be able to study it in some detail.” Johnson: “I shall be glad to do that, if the senator can see better than he can hear.” \(There was Douglas: “I think it is always important to study the fine print in a document submitted by the senator from Texas.” Johnson asked the parliamentarian to write his proposal out “in the largest print available.” A moment later Sen. Humphrey asked Johnson to “be a little tolerant in his hour of triumph.” This was changed in the Record to, “be a little tolerant in this connection.” Douglas said in a long speech said, “We regret that the senator from Texas has become an extremist on this subject. He has gone far over to the right.” He said responsibility for the Johnson plan “flimflam,” “a fake” rests with the Democratic leadership. He noted the Democratic platforms of 1952 and 1956 called for majority cloture in the Senate and said that if the platform says this again in 1960, “one can imagine the guffaws which will go up over the country.” Opening Monday, Jan. 12, Johnson said, “Those who want majority cloture can have itif they can get a majority to vote for it.” They did not have the votesif they had, there would have been a filibusterand Johnson won. The Dallas Times-Herald Bob Taylor for Jan. 23 Texas newspapers generally were pleased. The Temple Daily Telegram called it “a sane and sensible compromise” which “reasonably well served” the public interest. The Dallas Times-Herald called it “a brilliant victory over extremists on both sides.” The returns from the East were somewhat different. The New York Post was bitter: “Too many liberals have too long tried to do business with Johnson. They have let him use patronage, position, and pork-barrel to blur their principles and mute their voices. Let them now understand that the price of doing business with him is the forfeiting of their self-respect and the moral disintegration of their party.” Marquis Childs said the John son theory whick had prevailed “draws off the fire, the fight, the conviction, the zeal” of politics. He asked “whether the capacity of the Democratic Party to rally with zeal and conviction has been impaired.” Douglas said on a CBS show that the Democratic Party has taken on “the image created by the political necessities of Texas and the South.” He does not think Johnson illiberal, he said, but Texas oil and gas interests “must find representation at his hands.” He did not blame Johnson “in the slightest” for his stand. “This is a real world,” he said; but the image of the party from Texas and the South is “unfortunate.” Johnson replied: “I have never found it in my heart to condemn another man because he comes from another state or to assert that the views of another state should not be taken into account when reaching national decisions.” The Dallas News also took um . brage. “What is wrong with the oil and gas industry finding representation in the senator from Texas?” it asked. “Does Senator Douglas deny that he represents the great manufacturing industries of his state?” Subpoena Powers On Jan. 20, Johnson again stepped forward for the initiative, proposing his four-plank civil rights bill. Too many such proposals, he said, try to “punish people for the sins of their fathers” and have an “underlying tone almost of blood guilt.” He proposed “a step which is modest, but which presents a new direction.” To wit: A community relations service as an independent federal agency to keep open the channels of communication among our people; make the interstate transporting of explosives for bombing and interstate conspiracies to intimidate people with bombs federal offenses; grant the U. S. Attorney General subpoena powers in voting rights cases”subpoena powers that can be enforced if necessary by a three-judge federal court”; extend the life of the civil rights commission. President Eisenhower said he could be convinced to go along but doubted the conciliation service would be fruitful. “I just haven’t had the idea before,” he Johnson’s plan fell short of the GOP proposals, was “a snare and a delusion” and a “Faubus field day bill,” and was designed to obstruct getting an order to inspect records in voting cases. Sen. Russell said he’s against all civil. rights legislation but Johnson’s was “not as vicious” as others.
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