Observer Notebook Navy Secretary John Connally’s announcement for governor comes as no great surprise. Everything has been pointing in that direction for some time. Vice-President Johnson, who for years has been Connally’s employer and tutor, feels the need to retain a direct hand on the Democratic political apparatus in’ Texas, to dampen the steady exodus of conservative Democrats and old-line Dixiecrats into the GOP, and, long-range but nonetheless very real, to prepare in advance for his inevitable effort for the presidential nomination in 1968. Gubernatorial candidate Will Wilson was right when he said : “The shadow of Lyndon B. Johnson is cast over this event. Johnson is doing his job as vice-presidentand one office at a time is enough.” What else does one say about John Connally for governor? Great politicians appeal to a sense of crisis, enjoin the popular imagination for reform and change ; Connally’s candidacy gives us only a sense of monumental boredom. He offers the same mild remedies and pale nostrums undergirded by the same apathetic popular front, the same lackadaisical stance against a developing twoparty system which threatens the wellsprings of power and patronage and which have made of statecraft in Austin a miasma of meaningless jargon and expediency. As far as we have been able to tell, Connally possesses not the faintest understanding of the towering inadequacies of state government in Texas. His professional Remember the straight-faced claim of the Texas Research League that it is an impartial, objective, never-never research organization? We gave it the horse-laugh at the timemajor oil companies provide the League’s major financingbut now none other than Alvin Burger, executive director of the League, has given up the sham. Speaking this week to the annual meeting of the Travis County social workers, “Researcher Burger” said: “Our welfare programs were originally set up to do things ‘for’ people. The big question that now looms is, what are they doing `to’ people? . . . Tens of thousands of families had been subsidized, even unto the third generation ; they had lost both the will and the ability to re-establish themselves on a self-supporting basis . . . Our Congress passes a minimum wage law, and then keeps upping the minimum wage until tens of thousands of marginal and handicapped people are crowded out of the labor market and forced on permanent relief.” No doubt many persons, especially Republicans, will find Mr. Objective’s observations refreshing -and we would not deny them some validity. n office There is a sign beside the cash register in the Conroe Hotel coffee shop: “We didn’t start the ‘tax’ so please pay cheerfully.” Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. DECEMBER 15, 1961 Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Bob Sherrill, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Ronnie Dugger, Contributing Editor “moderation,” his expressed appeal to all factions for all things, suggests the usual reluctance to tackle that vast conglomerate of shortcomings, from education to industrial safety to proper care for the aged, that has left Texas among the poorest and most calloused of all the states in basic social services. Drawing on the same financial sources that Johnson has used through the years, Connally can be expected to run an expensive and well-groomed campaign. But he can be beaten. If Congressman Wright does not enter the race, and it appears likely that he will not, Texas liberals should be expected to offer a vigorous alternative. We frankly hope Sen. Ralph Yarborough, whose urge to run for governor is quite understandable, does not place a lifelong Senate seat on the line, an action which would leave him susceptible to the same charge which Connally deserves : of leaving an office of national importance to shore up the political situation back home in the provinces. Don Yarborough, the young Houston lawyer who ran so well against Ben Ramsey in 1960, could well be the man with the political ability to galvanize the liberal challenge. With conservative Will Wilson nibbling on the right flank of Connally’s support, and with large numbers of Republicans voting in the GOP primary, a tough and articulate liberal of Don Yarborough’s persuasion would be almost assured of a place in the Democratic run-off. The implications, furthermore, are not likely to offend the officials of Magnolia Petroleum and the Humble Energy Co. who put up the League’s money. Nor are these concluding research conclusions from Mr. Burger : It use to be thought shameful to be thought to be a person who believed “the world owed him a living,” but “today too many people think that way . . . Even large numbers of our farmers . . . have accepted subsidization and restrictions upon their freedom, as a way of life. If this trend should continueand God grant that it will not”.it can only end in,” etc., etc. Walk, General Walker says in Dallas he quit the Army because he could not go on collaborating with “the release of U.S. sovereignty to the U.N.” Offering himself, therefore, as a civilian hero, he said, “My symbol is the American eagle . . . I am a free man. I can neither be bought or sold.” No doubt the General’s availability as a hero will come as a great relief to all true Americans. We have been rather short on qualified heroes lately. Eleanor Roosevelt is a woman. Adlai Stevenson is a divorcee. Chester Bowles is a socialist. Mort Sahl is a Jew. Martin Luther King is a Negro. General Walker saw the opening when Ted Dealey said, what this country needs is a man on horsebackan authentic, military, Christian, white, really American hero. Texas can be proud. Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5.10 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 15c each. Quantity prices available on order. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE : Mrs. R. D. Randolph, 2131 Welch, Houston 19, Texas., AUSTIN EDITOR JOHN FISCHER of Harper’s, in his column in the current issue, quotes the famous civil liberties lawyer Morris Ernst, who has established a special award for outstanding teachers at the University of Texas. “While he was at the University of Texas arranging for his award, Mr. Ernst spent many hours talking with students and faculty members. He felt convinced that ‘this is the most underestimated campus in America . . . that it is bubbling with more intellectual excitement than I have encountered at any Eastern college’ . . . and that Texas itself has not yet realized ‘what an extraordinary intellectual renaissance it has on its hands.’ ” TIMES do change, sometimes too rapidly’ for our tastes. We note that the U.S. Army has given its highest civilian award, the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, to General Halder, who was chief of the general staff of the German Army from 1938 to 1942. PAUL BLANCHARD, the author and lecturer on church and state relations, whose best-selling book American Freedom and Catholic Power was an issue in itself during the last election, spoke at a meeting sponsored by the Austin Unitarian Church this week. He said, in part : “President Kennedy has stood firm in support of his Houston pledge to observe separation of church and state in his educational program. He has resisted the pressure of the bishops of his own church for public money. Unfortunately, however, some of his subordinates have not followed his policy faithfully. They have tried to make deals with sectarian groups to by-pass the President and the Constitution. “The most conspicuous opponent of the President and the Supreme Court on church-state matters in Washington has been Cong. John W. McCormack of Massachusetts. He has consistently supported the special interests of his own church. He led the Bill Porterfield of the Houston Chronicle told this story last week: Anyone who claim’s that President Kennedy is inaccessible to the ordinary citizen will have to answer to Michael Schipper, a 19-year-old University of Houston student. Schipper, a psychology major from New York, was engaged in a heated bull session the other evening with some dormitory mates. “Our government has become such an unwieldy bureaucracy the President is out of touch with the people, completely inaccessible,” Schipper argued. “That’s not true,” a freshman cried. “I’ll prove my point,” Schipper announced dramatically. He picked up the telephone and called President Kennedy at the White Housecollect. The call went through two secretaries and Schipper heard the last one ask, “Mr. President, will you accept a collect call from a Mr. Michael. Schipper in Houston, Texas?” There was a short delay. An unmistakable voice, precisely fight for a Vatican ambassador and last year he sabotaged the President’s educational program in order to gain special privilege for parochial schools. His proposed elevation to the speakership of the House is causing much anxiety in Washington. “In many parts of the United States today Protestants as well as Catholics are violating the principle of the separation of church and state. Protestants have no right to use public school buildings for any religious instruction which is connected with school classes in any way. The Supreme Court has declared such use unconstitutional, and it is also unfair to non-Protestants. Released time classes away from public schools are constitutional in some cases if state law permits the practice but religious classes in public school buildings are illegal.” THAT PERSONAL FEUD between our good friends Price Daniel and Will Wilson shows promise of becoming one of the major human events of the century. Will pounces on Price about three times a week these days, and Price replies to Will every time he can get the poor, harassed capital press corps rounded up for a press conference. This curious battle of wits, we feel, must be viewed in dialectical rather than mere mechanistic terms. Destiny somehow hangs in the balance ; the very future of bourgeois democracy may very well depend on the outcome; the fate of conservative states’ rights Democrats in the whole of Western civilization could be in the hands of these two dreadful and perspicacious adversaries. Can Price persuade Will to investigate dormant accounts in national banks ? Will Will stave off this crass, machiavellian attempt to stir him into some form, any form, of activity ? The reader may already sense the almost frightening similarities between this symbolic personal battle and an earlier one more than 30 years ago. Remove a mustache here, a pince-nez there, and see how history re-enacts itself, as though in a cycle. W.M. History Repeats Itself? Bostonian, came on the line : “This is President Kennedy, Mr. Schipper. What can I , do for you?” Schipper gasped and nearly dropped the receiver. “Well . . . yessir . . . Mr. President . . . ,” Schipper replied weakly, “I ah . . . I am a student at the University of Houston . . . and I ah . . . just called . . . ahto wish you a Merry Christmas . . .” ‘A rather long silence. “Oh,” the President said in measured tones, “Well, I wish the same to you. Kind of you to call.” The freshman tugged at Schipper’s arm. “Mr. President,” Schipper said in a trembling voice, .”There’s a friend here . . .” “Very well . . . put him on,” the President said, still calm., “Merry Christmas, sir,” the freshman said gleefully. “Thank you,” the President replied. “And now I have to hang up. I’m very busy.” “Yessir, good-bye.” “Good -bye.” Plop! Monumental Boredom Connally O Announcement -_9mpartiality, etc. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 701PP= CHRISTMAS CHEER
You May Also Like
The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.