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Little us Democrats in New York, that Galbraith be honored at a gala testimonial dinner. For the time being Galbraith handled the matter with a letter, a copy of which he sent to Lawrence O’Brien, Robert Strauss, and others. It said in part: . . Ira Katenstein, Larry O’Brien’s deputy, telephoned I assume at Larry’s request, although I didn’t ask. He denied passionately that O’Brien was attacking me or supporting Strauss. The statement on extreme positions of ‘so-called Democrats,’ he said, had first been made several days before Strauss made his contribution to current history. Knowing Larry O’Brien I think this is probably right he is an experienced man and doesn’t go out looking for this kind of trouble. Katenstein was also at pains to assure me that Strauss was speaking as Texas National Committeeman, which he seems to be, and not as Treasurer of the Committee a distinction, I suggested, that the average voter might not immediately grasp. In light of the New York reaction I proposed a clarifying statement. This produced no enthusiasm and perhaps rightly so. A statement from O’Brien that he wasn’t attacking me could arouse more suspicion of error than it would allay. “As to Strauss, I learn that he is a fairly normal product of the Texas political bucket shop. These producers make the Texas scene for a season or two, do their favors for the rich, get their political dividends, and then disappear into whatever limbo is inhabited by Price Daniel, John Connally, Eugene Locke, and countless more. All, given their political orientation, are born dead on the national scene. “Strauss evidently didn’t know what he was getting into and he must have done some damage on the money-raising side. I’ve been hearing all week from people who were buttoning up an exercise which comes easily this year. One or two offered the money to me, and Mickey Berger said he was going to ask for his back. I was reminded of the old business rule that a treasurer should be not seen and not heard except by the auditors. But this is not our problem. “Since I’m willing to believe that Larry O’Brien was not involved I would propose dropping the matter, at least for now.” I grant Galbraith’s point that the likes of Shivers, Daniel, Connally, et al., are born dead on the national scene. However, I would caution him and others against being too sure about this as the basis for a general principle. They were pretty sure about the same thing in 1960, too. The question is, shall we regard Texas as exotic or prophetic? I am sure Galbraith is right about the appearance of things Mr. Strauss is another Texas exotic. I am not at all sure Galbraith is right about the reality of things. The national treasurer of the Democratic Party is the national treasurer of the Democratic Party. R.D. 20 The Texas Observer Austin Two recent mentions of the Observer seem to bear repeating in these pages. The first is from Pete Hamill’s column in the New York Post: “One of the best publications in the country remains The Texas Observer. It focuses on Texas politics, to be sure, but we have learned in recent years that what happens down there must eventually affect us up here. Its pages have contained writers like Larry King, Ronnie Dugger, William Brammer, Willie Morris, John Rechy, Larry McMurtry, Elroy Bode, and others from the Southern liberal school, a school by the way that writes a hell of a lot more gracefully and clearly than the Northeastern branch.” Titles DEEP ARE THE ROOTS: Rationalization by university prof who chooses to stand pat. THE WASTE LAND: Country saved by the United States. LEAVES OF GRASS: Medium for momentary flight from what man hath wrought. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY: Political speech. UP FROM THE APES: Spiro Agnew but not far up. THE NAKED APE: Spiro Agnew after debate with intellectual. THE SOUND AND THE FURY: Wallace addressing redneck rally. AS I LAY DYING: Modern civilization. AH WILDERNESS: The Pentagon. STRANGE INTERLUDE: Unnatural lull between wars. THE PETER PRINCIPLE: Explanation of how editors got where they are. THE GRAPES OF WRATH: Emotional reaction of Nixon because he cannot become King Richard I. Or can he? A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN: Who can see it? THE SUN ALSO RISES: On what? A FAREWELL TO ARMS: Updated title DREAMER’S DELIRIUM. THE SILENT SPRING: Updated title THE SILENT SPRING AND SUMMER AND AUTUMN AND WINTER. DECLINE OF THE WEST: Updated title DECLINE OF THE WEST AND THE EAST AND THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH. LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO THE NIGHT: No comment necessary. HART STILWELL And, from Pat Watters’ new book, The South and the Nation, just released by Pantheon: “The Texas Observer, published fortnightly at Austin, Texas, was probably as close as any publication in America to the high European standards of informed reportage and commentary. Its concerns have been almost exclusively Texas politics, economic and social conditions, but it has applied to this coverage, the kind of intelligence and responsibility that should be the norm for American journalism instead of the extraordinary exception to the rule that it has been. “Alone of the Southern papers, it has consistently and diligently sought to reveal the Realpolitik of Texas \(possibly more blatant and ruthless vital connection between business and politics which is ignored in the rest of the Southern press as studiedly as sexuality. “That this kind of journalism emerged in Texas was probably a result of a combination of factors, including the rawness of the politics and the longevity of the state’s liberal movement, approaching by the 1960s that state of maturity which marked the movement in the North, a kind of disarrayed ineffectiveness and schism. The art evidenced in the White House by Lyndon Johnson of destroying liberals by co-opting them had been developed over the years in Texas. The Observer developed what almost might be called a school of freeswinging, sometimes superficial but always on the mark of reality, word-loving writing that in such practitioners as Ronnie Dugger, Larry King, Robert Sherrill, and Willie Morris has spread across liberal journalism generally a new liveliness and honesty.” Walking in the park moss hung on like bureaucrats and whispered while the leaves were orphans on our shoulders. at once we kept walking to refuse those small futures collision with their shadows. ROBERT BONAZZI Houston