This publication is available in microform from University Microfilms International. Call toll-free 800-521-3044. In Michigan, Alaska and Hawaii call collact 313-761-4700. Or mail inquiry to: University Microfilms International. 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Listed On The National Register of Historic Places “Go gather by the humming sea Some twisted, echo-harboring shell, And to it all thy secrets tell” W. B. Yeats P.O. Box 8 Port Aransas, TX 78373 ANDERSON & COMPANY COFFEE TEA SPICES TWO JEPPEILSON SWAM AUSTIN, TEXAS 77/31 512 453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip candidate, but I’d believe that even if I thought it were certain he’d win. Anyone who disagrees should by all means ignore the polls and vote for Jesse. A vote cast in good conscience is never “wasted.” *** No matter which Democrat has to face Bush, we can count on the ongoing Kerry hearings in Washington to further damage George’s reputation. Senator John Kerry’s investigations into narco-politics have already linked the Vice President to drugdealing Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega; Washington insiders now believe there’s a real chance Kerry’s staff will produce evidence that Bush was fully aware of the activities of Felix Rodriguez, a.k.a. Max Gomez, a former CIA-agent who was in regular contact with the Vice President’s office at the same time he was supplying weapons to the contras and receiving protection money from drug smugglers. *** After Super Tuesday I sent a money order for $20 to Nancy Folbre, a veteran Observer reader now at the hard-working and leftthinking Economics Department at U. Mass., Amherst. I had been foolhardy enough to bet Ms. Folbre in these pages that two other candidates would beat Jackson in the Texas primary. Gore nearly saved my ass, but the Reverend’s superior organization helped him edge Gore, and later let him steal the lion’s share of the delegates from Dukakis in the state caucuses. \(Funny thing: Jackson’s supporters raised bloody and justified hell when Mondale’s people played a similar trick on them in 1984. But proportional representation is not, apparently, a principle dear to back gallantly pledging to donate her winnings to the Observer. As of this writing, however, I am informed that no check has showed up. That’s alright, Nancy; we know where to find you. There were people in this town who fared worse than I did on Super Tuesday, and a number of these losers had it coming. One valuable fallout of the Jackson candidacy has been the demolition of the Democratic Leadership Council, a cabal of supposedlymainstream Democrats who have attempted to bully the party towards the center. The failure of the DLC to float a serious presidential candidate this year was the first sign they were in trouble. But the death blow came on Super Tuesday, when conservative southern Democrats threatened to march in droves to the polls and put the definitive cabash on the progressive tendencies of the party. With Jackson and Dukakis stealing most of their thunder, the conservatives were already talking about how the Super Tuesday system which they themselves had advocated unfairly benefited North ern candidates with the big money and strong organizations. The DLC can’t get it through their crew cuts that the South, a highly ethnic, working-class region with the lowest standard of living in the country, will simply not toe a conservative line, no matter how you rig the system. You can vote the South all at once or you can vote it one state at a time; liberalism remains the core of the Democratic party. Having widely pushed the Super Tuesday system as a way of enhancing the influence of the southern primaries, the DLC leadership was then forced to hand their standard to either Al Gore or Dick Gephardt. Gore and Gephardt are relatively liberal council members who, like a number of more progressive southern Democrats, have joined the DLC as a way of brushing up their credentials with right-leaning party bosses and money men. Most of the liberal DLC members were big Gephardt supporters, and when Gephardt was wiped out on Super Tuesday, a number of his Congressional backers blamed the half-hearted efforts of the more conservative DLC founders, Georgia senator Sam Nunn and former Virginia governor Chuck Robb. Nunn and Robb admirably meet my criterion that the best politicians are boring: unfortunately, they have nothing else to recommend them. In any case, Boll Weevils already have a big say in the ticket; it’s called the Vice Presidency. One DLC member who recognizes this is the subtle representative from Dallas, Martin Frost. Frost, who’s running for a sixth term, has spent most of his Congressional career working on breadand-butter issues like education and health care, and has earned enough respect in his district that he can vote a moderately liberal line. Like his equally competent colleague John Bryant, Frost is widely regarded as one of Jim Wright’s proteges, and the speaker’s patronage has certainly helped Frost and Bryant put a lock on their fractious districts. Frost chalked up a significant parliamentary achievement early in his tenure when he landed a seat on the powerful House Rules Committee. This position has led to a similar post at this year’s Democratic convention in Atlanta. With Frost and other southerners setting the ground rules, and Jim Wright presiding over the convention as a whole, Frost suggests that there are excellent chances that a Southerner, and specifically a Texan, will wind up on the Democratic undercard. Ah, but which Southerner? Which Texan? The Lone Star alumni whom Frost mentions are Lloyd Bentsen, a natural choice, and Jim Wright. The possibility of Wright as Vice President is infinitely more satisfying, and more startling, than the idea of Bentsen in the same role, but why, everyone who hears the suggestion wants to know, would Jim Wright give up the enormous power of the speakership, which he has already used so skillfully, for the ceremonial trappings of the Vice Presidency? Frost disclaims any knowledge of Wright’s personal feelings on the matter, but remarks with some assurance that “there are very few people who would pass up the honor of being Vice President of the United States.” Other possibilities named by Frost are Al Gore, who hurt his chances by being so unnecessarily malicious on his way to defeat in New York, and Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, yet another Dixie yuppie in ascendance. I’m still holding out for a different Arkansan, the dignified and integrated Dale Bumpers, that most senatorial of Senators. LJ THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9
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