people” being the Texas Manufacturers nominated, he replied: “I think what you do in a situation like that is, you do what your Democratic platform doesas a national spokesman, if you find you are in that position.” In other words, \(knowing the national Democratic platform always opposes rightnominated he would switch from the Texas to the national position on the issue. Listen, now, as he withdraws: “I want to go to the convention to represent the Texas viewpoint.” He wants a delegation “that reflects the view of our state.” He wants delegates pledged to him “to fight for Texas viewpoints.” Once released, the Bentsen delegates are to be, not, he says, uncommitted, but “committed to Texas.” He wants a nominee who “reflects a Texas viewpoint,” and, he says, “The role I expect to play at the Democrat convention is to represent the Texas viewpoint.” When a reporter asked him which candidate he thought best represented the Texas viewpoint, he said, “I do.” If Bentsen’s switch-and-switch-back politics weren’t so funny they’d be an outrage. He has entered the required demurrers that he does not want to be boss of his delegates: e.g., he has said he does not consider his delegates “deliverable,” there will be “no coercion” to have them do what he says, he does not want a “controlled situation” with a unit rule, and “I don’t expect to try to coerce any delegate.” That is very well until you read on. “Of course,” he says, “I’m going to head my delegates.” As Carolyn Barta reports in the Dallas News, “he does intend to give direction and advice to his delegates, after they are released.” Watch the repetition of the perpendicular pronoun in his remarks quoted by Jon Ford in the Austin daily \(italics for delegation chairman. I will speak for my delegatesnot as a kingmaker or to get something for myself. I just want to find a candidate who is not an extremist, one who can win ….” He said to a reporter, “I’m not asking a hold on other state’s delegates.” Clearly he is, on “my delegates.” Bentsen should have withdrawn completely to leave Texas Democratic voters an authentic choice among real candidates and the uncommitted strategy. Instead he has chosen to play the discredited role of “favorite son,” to “speak for my delegates,” to be a boss. This he is not, and I hope he is going to find out on May 1st that the voters in Texas, while of course “committed to Texas,” are also committed to the United States. About the Demos In Texas, \(as of this writing on March 8 narrowed to Bentsen, George Wallace, and Jimmy Carter, all of whom are running delegate slates in every senatorial district, and uncommitted slates \(running in 18 disWallace is the only gifted demagogue contending for the Democrats’ nomination. Listening to him con audiences in Northampton, Mass., I conceived a politicianwatcher’s respect for his skill. As one of his pamphlets says, his words are his own. He uses no notes; he says somewhat different things each speech. He uses all the rhetorical devices, down-home metaphors, irony, hyperbole, understatement, congeries, apostrophe, rhetorical questions, jokes, exaggerations, and folksy talk welfare has “about broke this country,” the federal judge “took the chillun and scattered ’em to kingdom come.” He adapted to his audience, which was filled with skeptical students from the fivecollege area in the valley of Amherst, addressing them as “my young friends,” sounding reasonable on their concerns, and he appealed to the prides that run strong up here, saying he wanted a government “like Sam Adams, John Quincy, and Tom Jefferson intended in the beginning, that we should have government that is our servant not our master.” One of his appeals is his negativism. Like a revival preacher damning sex, drink, and dancing, Wallace slays his favorite devils. In one speech I counted nine of these scapegoatsthe big newspapers, bureaucrats, big government, federal judges, criminals, the big foundations \(not, and-welfare-cheats, foreigners, and “them.” Variously he refers to this last category, his conspiracy-catchall, as “this group,” “those theoreticians,” “this crowd,” or “some pointy-heads.” Apropos of nothing, he ended two speeches in Massachusetts with the same joke. Consider it: Wallace said a big man and a little man were drinking at a bar. The little man threw the big man on the floor, explaining, “That was judo, I learned it in Japan.” The big man tossed the little man around his shoulders, down between his legs, and slammed him on the floor, saying, “That is karate, I learned it in Korear.” The little man went away and came back in half an hour and laid the big man out, just really knocked him cold, and told the bartender, “When he wakes up tell him that was a tire-tool, and I got it at Sears-Roebuck.” End of joke; end of speech. Relaxed, having a good time, basically George Wallace sells a populist fascism. For a time Jimmy Carter conned a lot of liberal Americans, but not for long. First came along a story in New Republic Feb. 14 in which Reg Murphy, former editor of the Atlanta Constitution, recited Carter’s sickening hypocrisies and remarked that “Carter is one of the three or four phoniest men I ever met.” Then came a study of Carter in the current Harper’ s entitled something like “Jimmy Carter’s Pathetic Lies.” In my opinion no progressive Texan committed to Carter can conscientiously stay so committed without at least having studied these two informative reports. But for the Bentsen primary bill, Morris Udall might be entered in the Texas primary, but he is not. As of this writing he appears to be the front-running liberal \(or, as he styles himself, “progressive cengress. He opposed the Vietnam war in 1967, and has championed civil rights all his life. He’s for national health insurance, rolling back oil prices and breaking up the oil majors, cutting $10 billion out of the military budget, that kind of thinga certified liberal. Those who wish to in effect vote for him in Texas are limited, as I see the present Texas situation, to voting for Harris or uncommitted slates. Some of the delegates on other slates might be perceived as progressives who, if released, would turn to Udall, Harris, or the like, but this is a dubious local variant. Udall is not as progressive as Harris for the central reason that Harris favors establishing public enterprises to compete with certain monopolized sectors of the industrial economy. Harris, while at least as liberal as Udall on domestic issues, also favors, for instance, a Public Energy Corporation that would develop and hold energy resources of all kinds. The best progressive candidate surviving at the convention might be Udall, Harris, perhaps Frank Church. If all the progressives get eliminated and the convention turns to Humphrey, Edward Kennedy may then have to decide whether to tap under and be Humphrey’s running-mate or head off the Vietnam-championing Humphrey by running himself. I believe the most important thing in the confused Texas situation is that planners for the Harris and uncommitted slates take careful readings, meet, and make the best judgment calls they can on how to win the delegates in their actual local situations, how to keep the delegates from going to Bentsen, Wallace, or Carter. In closing, though, 1 advert to the thought with which I began: if Robert Strauss is going to select the committee that is going to “tentatively select” the nominees, Udall, Harris, Church, and Kennedy might as well forget it. R.D. Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 600 West 7, Austin, TX 78701.