TLD at Midland v or The steering committee of the Texas Liberal Democrats, meeting last weekend at Midland, agreed to present an anti-LBJ resolution to the general membership meeting next February in Austin. Don Allford, Austin, co-chairman of the Dissenting Democrats of Texas, introduced the resolution, which would urge President Johnson not to run again because of his conduct of the Vietnam war. Ronald Platt, Beaumont, the TLD chairman, pointed out that two resolutions critical of US policy in Vietnam had been passed in 1966. The resolutions are still TLD policy, Platt said, and he believes most TLD members think it is not necessary to restate the resolutions at each meeting. V Don Gladden has again said he “most likely” will run for lieutenant governor, making the statement for the most recent time at the meeting of TLD in Midland. Possible gubernatorial candidate Don Yarborough said in Midland that he’s uncertain about making a race, since there are many ways to “stimulate the people.” For instance, Don went on, writing is a good way to arouse people. The Houston attorney said he is presently working on two books and may ultimately choose writing over politics. V As for Franklin Spears, he, as Don, may not run for anything in 1968. But there is a rumor that the Texas Trial Lawyers Assn. wants to back Spears in a race for the State Supreme Court. The association is unhappy with Justice Zollie Steakley, it is said. Spears still talks of a run for lieutenant governor, but not, evidently, if Gladden runs. Mainly, right now, prospective liberal candidates are waiting to’ see what Sen. Yarborough is going to do. V Republicans have taken heart for 1968 not only because of Connally’s standing aside but also because of their success in seven special legislative races on Nov. 11. Republican Ike Harris will replace the late Sen. George Parkhouse, winning better than 67% of the vote in a field of 20. GOP candidates led in the six special House elections and are in runoffs with Democrats. Republican officials have hopes of winning at least four of the seats, considering the other two no better than tossups. V If John Tower runs for governor, George Bush, the Houston Congressman would be the most likely Republican to run for Tower’s Senate seat. Should Sen. Yarborough make a gubernatorial race, Fort Worth Cong. Jim Wright is anxious to succeed Yarborough. State Sen. Don Kennard is mentioned as interested in succeeding Wright in Congress. Alternative Sought fro Allard Lowenstein, the chairman of the Concerned Democrats, a national group that is seeking to provide an alter 6 The Texas Observer native to Lyndon Johnson as the party’s nominee in 1968, was in Austin and Dallas on Nov. 12 to confer with Texas liberals. Minnesota Sen. Eugene McCarthy is presently the Concerned Democrats’ most likely candidate to challenge LBJ. McCarthy plans to run in the New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and California primaries in 1968, the hope being that he can demonstrate to Johnson that the president should not seek renomination. Since Texas does not have a presidential primary Lowenstein had suggested, in contacts with Texas liberals prior to his visit to the state, that perhaps the Texas Democratic party machinery could be captured by liberals in 1968 and that the state convention could pass a peace plank and send uninstructed delegates to the national convention in Chicago next August. Lowenstein was advised by at least two liberal leaders before he came to Texas that such a move surely would fail, since conservatives have firm control of the party machinery, due to the heavy vote their precincts gave Gov. Connally in the 1966 general election. Delegates to precinct, county, and state conventions are allotted on the basis of gubernatorial vote. And besides, as it was further said to Lowenstein, t h e Connally-Johnson forces would steal the state convention, if necessary, to prevent any such insurrection. V Lowenstein, in Austin that Sunday afternoon, met for two hours in a home with about 40 liberals, most of them from Austin, though other cities were represented since the Committee for Better Voter Participation meeting \(See earlier. Lowenstein said that, given the above considerations, the best Texans could do would be to elect a liberal governor such as one of the Yarboroughs. He urged the group to send delegates to a national organizational meeting in Chicago the weekend of Dec. 2, at which Sen. McCarthy is expected to speak. It is at this point uncertain whether any Texans will go to Chicago, at least any who might intend forming a Texas organization to work with Concerned Democrats. One Austin liberal said that if anyone does go to Chicago they most probably would represent only themselves. This apparently is the consensus of others who attended the meeting in Austin, who have told the Observer that the chances of challenging Johnson in Texas are dismal and could be politically suicidal for those leading such an effort. The identity of those who attending the meeting in Austin has been kept as quiet as possible by those people themselves, for varied concerns such as job security or other personal reasonsand lest the McCarthy movement deflect the thrust of newly-invigorated liberal hopes in Texas politicsfor instance, tagging the liberal gubernatorial candidate as heading an anti-Johnson effort in the state. V Flying bactc home to New York City Lowenstein conferred, during a lay over in Dallas, with other liberals there. His contacts in Texas and throughout the nation in this effort are largely in Americans for Democratic Action circles. Lowenstein is an ADA leader. He is responding to the prospect of an LBJ candidacy in a different manner from that of fellow ADA leader Joseph Rauh, who hopes to trigger a debate about Vietnam on the floor of the Democratic national convention. There are so-far unconfirmed reports that Rauh, who hoped to alter LBJ’s Vietnam policy, \( despairing, as a practical matter, of keepbe coming around to Lowenstein’s position that Johnson must, and possibly could, be replaced. There is talk that Rauh might endorse the McCarthy drive. ADA president John Kenneth Galbraith evidently supports the McCarthy effort; he vas McCarthy’s announced host when the Senator was in the Cambridge, Mass., area recently. Not Impressed New Left people the Observer has talked to seem unimpressed with the McCarthy drive. They would vote for the Senator but probably not campaign for him. Radicals say they feel the McCarthy movement to be another “liberal game,” that there is no prospect of real change in the current political structure in such a candidacy. The two-party politics of Amer. ica, this view goes on, is traditionally a battle f6r the center; so long as that is the case, New Leftists believe, electoral politics will have no relevance to the nation’s real needs, because of an insufficiently flexible nature to respond to radically new problems and to reform its own structure, concerns, and patterns of action accordingly. V One Austin radical says McCarthy would be the “most pure” for the diseven if it did, McCarthy would be in a difficult position, as president, to easily undo what Johnson has committed the nation to in Vietnam since, this radical believes, Johnson has permitted the Pentagon’s brass to have their own way so often that the civilian control of the military has been seriously impaired. However specious this view may be, it does nonetheless reflect the thinking of many radicals in Texas and throughout the nation. The ones the Observer has *talked to say they are determined to carry through the decision taken at the New Politics convention in Chicago earlier this fall, to forswear electoral politics in 1968 and work instead at organizing grassroots support for a more pacifist foreign policy and more energetic and fresh approaches to meeting domestic problems. Meaningful change, radicals apparently feel, must come from the bottom up, not from the top down. V Lowenstein’s Concerned Democrats are in touch with the Citizens for Kennedy and the Dissenting Democrats, two other anti-LBJ intraparty movements.
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