Posts Tagged ‘lyndon johnson’

Back in the days when Lyndon Johnson was a congressional aide rather than a congressman or senator he participated in a group known as the Little Congress. This was an association of congressional aides formed to promote public speaking but in 1933 recognizing the potential for publicity and power that the organization had Johnson arranged without warning to bring in many additional voters of dubious eligibility and managed to win election as the speaker. He ruled over the little congress as speaker and then as boss until eventually a young man from Mississippi decided he was not going to go along with Boss Johnson.

In the 1935 elections for the little congress he managed to rally enough members to pass reforms (strenuously opposed by Johnson men) requiring people to sign ballots and to check them against the voter rolls. This of course eliminated the secret ballot, a sacrosanct right among voters but it turned out that once the ballots were properly checked against lists The Johnson candidate was defeated.

Lyndon being Lyndon instantly decided that the Little Congress was not worth his time he abandoned it and shortly thereafter the informal voting methods returned because the cause that prompted the draconian measures was gone. (this information is from The Years of Lyndon Johnson The Path to Power by Robert Caro)

Which brings us to the TSA.

A lot of people are objecting on the basis of decency and the 4th amendment. I disagree with the 4th argument since all passengers are subjected to the same methods thus not constituting an unreasonable search, but this debate is not the point.

The point is that the only reason why these methods are necessary is because The Flemish Menace a group of Islamic fanatics have declared war on the west and are attempting to kill us.

Our unwillingness to face and waste resources on people not remotely connected to terror would be as if the FBI decided to concentrate an equal percentage of resources examining the black community in Mississippi when investigating the murders of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner in 1964.

The day we face that threat and acknowledge and act accordingly is the day that intrusive searches and pat downs will be unnecessary because we will be examining the actual people who have a motive to strike at us.

Of course the administration being the administration we are not only not doing it, but apparently considering the exact opposite.

Hey we elected this government, we did this to ourselves.

In 1941 Governor Lee “Pappy” McDaniel ran in a special election for an open Senate seat created by the death of Senator John Sheppard (an interesting fact is that a son of Sam Houston the 1st president of Texas born in 1793 was appointed as a “placeholder” senator during the time between the death and the election). His primary opponent was Lyndon Johnson then a congressman from the 10th district. The two primary candidates fought it out and both were involved in some underhanded tactics however at the end of the day it looked like Johnson had the game won until (According to Robert Caro in his book The Years of Lyndon Johnson the Path to Power) O’Daniel’s enemies contrived to steal the election FOR him to get him out of the governors office.

It turned out that Pappy although corrupt had one “virtue” and that was dislike for alcohol. Convinced it was the devil’s brew he was prepared to keep “dry” zones around military bases and his foes in the liquor industry wanted him out.

I thought of Pappy O’Daniel when I read this surprising quote from Jeffrey Goldberg’s interview with Fidel Castro:

Over the course of this first, five-hour discussion, Castro repeatedly returned to his excoriation of anti-Semitism. He criticized Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust and explained why the Iranian government would better serve the cause of peace by acknowledging the “unique” history of anti-Semitism and trying to understand why Israelis fear for their existence.

It was quite a shock to hear one of the monsters of the 20th century excoriating a modern monster for antisemitism and going on about the long history of Jewish suffering, that’s when I remembered Pappy.

Pappy was an opponent of the dangers of drinking, but it didn’t make him any less a corrupt pol.

Castro if this interview is to be believed believes that antisemitism is a centuries long disgrace and that Israel has a right to exist, that doesn’t make him any less of a murderous thug. I’m not going to fall for his pap any more that the Babliu blog guys will.

As the Doctor once told Margaret the Slitheen it doesn’t matter, you can oppress millions because every now and again you can speak up against an injustice that has nothing to do with you.

memeorandum thread here

My review of the 3rd volume of Robert Caro’s magnum opus The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Master of the Senate, is available at Amazon.com here.

Whatever you might think of Johnson as a man or of his positions, he was a master legislator , a man who could not only get things done but could understand the ins and outs of HOW things got done. Times have changed but Men have not, so if you want to understand how laws become laws this book should be read.