Pages

Sunday, July 24, 2016

VIDEO: Pulitzer Prize Winner Reveals Evidence Of Trump's Extensive Mafia Ties

Alan: Heartfelt thanks to Sicilian-American friend, John Tarantino, for forwarding this article.

This post is, I think, unusually important not only because it reveals Trump's vility but because Pulitizer Prize-winning author David Cay Johnston escapes "the tyranny of the moment" to focus the underlying issue:  "It is not a journalist's job to act as a stenographer but to delve deep as an investigative reporter." (Alan: I paraphrase from memory.)

If this one journalistic principle were kept in mind continually, Devious Donald could no longer take advantage of outragous posturing as his rock-steady strategy for capturing "news cycles," but would be thrown back on his heels in a permanent posture of self-defense. 

No modern American politician -- perhaps no American politician ever -- has been encrusted in as much muck as Donald Trump.

It is time to confine Trump to the sty where he wallows.


Compendium Of Pax Posts About Donald Trump, Updated June 3, 2016
http://paxonbothhouses.blogspot.com/2016/06/compendium-of-pax-posts-about-donald.html

Compendium Of Pax Posts About Trump "University" Scam

Fact-Checking Donald Trump's Acceptance Speech At The RNC (Ken Kessler, Washington Post)

"There is no fear in love. 
But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 
The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
1 John 4:18


Donald Trump Is A Fascist

Melania Trump's Softcore Porn Photos

My First 100 Memes


Evidence Emerges Showing Donald Trump Has Extensive Mafia Ties



Pulitzer Prize Winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston discussed his 27-year-long investigation into Donald Trump’s not-so-secret business affairs during an interview with CNN. In an article written for Politico, Johnson details facts regarding Trump’s mob ties that most mainstream media outlets have chosen to ignore.
‘Trump’s career has benefited from a decades-long and largely successful effort to limit and deflect law enforcement investigations into his dealings with top mobsters, organized crime associates, labor fixers, corrupt union leaders, con artists and even a one-time drug trafficker whom Trump retained as the head of his personal helicopter service.’
‘In Atlantic City, Trump built on property where mobsters controlled parts of the adjoining land needed for parking. He paid $1.1 million for about a 5,000-square-foot lot that had been bought five years earlier for just $195,000. The sellers were Salvy Testa and Frank Narducci Jr., a pair of hitmen for Atlantic City mob boss Nicky Scarfo who were known as the Young Executioners.’
According to Johnson, Trump “hired mobbed-up firms to erect Trump Tower and his Trump Plaza apartment building in Manhattan, including buying ostensibly overpriced concrete from a company controlled by mafia chieftains Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano.”
So, instead of focusing on real-time problems and the extreme risk Donald Trump poses to the safety of the United States, mainstream media has chosen to focus on Trump’s circus acts that are likely a diversion set in place to distract voters from what’s really going on.
Back in March, a Chief Investigative Correspondent for Yahoo! News, Michael Isikoff, wrote a piece detailing Trump’s mob ties, and it too, went largely ignored.
Trump is quick to point fingers at Hillary Clinton over her email scandal, yet it’s blatantly clear he’s got bigger problems of his own to worry about.
As Johnston points out in his report:
‘No other candidate for the White House this year has anything close to Trump’s record of repeated social and business dealings with mobsters, swindlers, and other crooks.’
He told CNN:
‘Donald Trump has a long history of dealing with mobsters, big mobsters, drug-dealers and others.  For example, his personal helicopter pilot, Joseph Weichselbaum, was a major marijuana and cocaine trafficker.  Donald pleaded for leniency for him.’
‘By the way, Trump Tower was built not with steel gurgers like most high-rises, but concrete owned by S&A Concrete, owned by two of the biggest, most vicious mobsters in New York, Fat Tony Salem and Paul Castellano.’
These are the Donald Trump stories that need to be shared. Let’s turn away from the charade and delve deeper into the real issues, lest we have a sketchy, deceptive man taking over the White House this fall.
Watch Johnston’s interview on CNN below, via YouTube:

Borowitz: Seemingly Decent Human Beings' Involvement In 2016 Election Confuses Voters

The New Yorker

SEEMINGLY DECENT HUMAN BEING’S INVOLVEMENT IN 2016 ELECTION CONFUSES VOTERS


MIAMI (The Borowitz Report)—The involvement of a seemingly decent human being in the 2016 election campaign left American voters stunned and deeply bewildered on Saturday.
In interviews across the country, voters expressed reactions ranging from shock to total incomprehension at the campaign d├ębut of a man who, at first blush, exhibits none of the outward characteristics of a sociopath or clinical narcissist.
Furthermore, the man’s evident failure to be the target of fraud lawsuits, sexual-harassment claims, or federal criminal investigations was, in the parlance of many voters, “weird.”
“He seems like a nice guy, the kind of person you might enjoy spending time with and getting to know better,” said Harland Dorrinson, age thirty-two, who watched the man’s unveiling on TV. “I don’t know.  The whole thing feels like some kind of prank.”
The man’s apparent humanity could spell trouble for his candidacy, as some voters questioned whether he has the capacity for unspeakable evil that is generally considered necessary to win higher office.
“I’m trying to keep an open mind, but I worry about his lack of experience being a dick,” one voter said.

Tim Kaine's First Speech: "I'm Sitting Here In Shock. Shock. Tim Kaine Is Unbelievable"

http://paxonbothhouses.blogspot.com/2016/07/tim-kaines-first-speech-im-sitting-here.html

Hillary's Veep Choice,Tim Kaine, Believes Life Is Sacred. ALL Life


5 Faith Facts About Tim Kaine: "I Do What I Do For Spiritual Reasons"


"There is no fear in love. 
But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 
The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
1 John 4:18

"Any Religion That Needs Fear To Thrive Is Bad Religion"




"Frog Hospital" And "Pax On Both Houses" Discuss Presidential Politics And Smelt Fishing


Dear Fred,

Thanks for Frog Hospital.

I love your Al Versino reflection. (I was -- to my own surprise! -- okay with your first reference to "me and Al." But the second time you used "me" as a subject pronoun it didn't sit well. Small point. You might be interested.)

I applaud your  brilliant epitomization of Hillary: "She cannot be outsmarted but she might outsmart herself." 

I have a good friend who outsmarted herself. Fortunately, she's over the worst of it.

I wonder how often those of us with capacious intellects outsmart ourselves. 

Perhaps it's commonplace but we rarely "make the allegation" for fear our "pointed finger" will go all 'round our "curved-space world" and poke us in the back.

I think Laura (The Thinking Housewife) has outsmarted herself.

Her "need" to claim "false flag attack" EVERY time there's a mass firearm killing is, well, embarrassing.

Even if it were true -- which it isn't -- there would be half a dozen "copy cats" for every time "Homeland Security's troop of traveling actors" feigns slaughter. (I do not deny the existence of false flag attacks.)

Compendium Of "Pax" Posts On "The Thinking Housewife," Laura Wood

I don't object to"radical doubt."


But to take one's doubts and regard them as truth just because I am clever enough to see through "the ubiquitious scam" is shoddy epistemology.

It is much more likely that The Vatican has perped fundamental scams for two millennia than it is likely every act of mass firearm carnage is a plot to deprive people of freedom - particularly Americans' freedom to bear arms. Ouch.

What Second Amendment Evangelists Fail To Understand About Their Opposition

"Gun Cartoons and Gun Violence Bibliography"

I agree with you: The Ruling Class is strangled by Ivy.

That said, I think Kaine's working class roots -- coupled with his year in Honduras (teaching kids carpentry skills) and his grounding in the same Richmond parish for thirty years -- will enable him to escape the chilly curse of The Bluebloods.

Tim Kaine's First Speech: "I'm Sitting Here In Shock. Shock. Tim Kaine Is Unbelievable"

http://paxonbothhouses.blogspot.com/2016/07/tim-kaines-first-speech-im-sitting-here.html

Hillary's Veep Choice,Tim Kaine, Believes Life Is Sacred. ALL Life


5 Faith Facts About Tim Kaine: "I Do What I Do For Spiritual Reasons"

"There is no fear in love. 
But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 
The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
1 John 4:18

"Any Religion That Needs Fear To Thrive Is Bad Religion"

Pax

Alan


On Sun, Jul 24, 2016 at 1:41 PM, Fred Owens <froghospital911@gmail.com> wrote:

FROG HOSPITAL -- July 24, 2016 -- unsubscribe anytime
Me and Al Go Fishing

By Fred Owens
I was thinking of my childhood friend Al Versino. When we were kids he lived on Elmwood Avenue, two blocks away from us. Al had two younger brothers, Ken and Larry, and a smothering mom who kept him home a lot.
But Al's dad was cool. Mr. Versino owned the Bike Shop on Green Bay Road. It was a sporting goods store with baseball mitts and hockey sticks and fishing lures, but mainly it was for bikes and the back half of the store was the repair shop. All the kids went to the bike shop.
Al himself got to have the best of all kinds of sporting equipment, like a new baseball glove whenever he wanted one, or super hockey skates.
In the spring me and Al went smelt fishing at the pier in Lake Michigan, which was only a mile from our house. Our folks let us go out in the evening to catch smelt, even if it was a school night. Al had a Coleman lantern -- from his dad's store of course -- and a smelt net, which was a small-mesh gill net that entangled the smelt as they came into shore to spawn on evenings in the spring time.
We could catch a bucket of smelt and bring them home. It was huge fun.
In high school Al began dating Nancy. She was the first girl in his life, and then the only girl, because they stayed together and got married after college. But Al and me weren't hanging out together during those years.
The last time I saw him, more than twenty years ago, he had taken over the bike shop from his dad, but Nancy had left him and his two kids. Al used to have such a bright happy smile, but when I saw him that time he was unhappy and lonely and I didn't have much to tell him.
Like I said, that was more than twenty years ago. Maybe he's happy now. Maybe he has that smile again. I ought to look him up. The high school we went to -- they would have his contact information, or he might even still own the bike shop.
It's All His Fault. The Washington Post editors published a detailed indictment of Republican nominee Donald Trump. I agree point by point with their assessment of his character and the danger he presents to our good country.
But they left out a few things in condemning Trump. It wasn't just Trump that did this. It was us. It was me. And it was you guys at the Washington Post.
I find abundant fault among the Democrats and their leaders, and I will be getting to that. But they will be gathering in Philadelphia in two days, so first we let can them speak. Let them present their alternative to the Trump nightmare. I hope they don't blame it all on the Republicans. I hope a good Catholic boy like Tim Kaine remembers that old prayer -- mea culpa, mea culpa....
I hope the Democrats do not present a parade of victims and grievances. Trump has given success and winning a bad name, but let's take that back from him. Dear Hillary, tell us how we will win and succeed with you as President.
Vote Your Conscience.  My best takeaway from Cleveland was Ted Cruz's ringing cry to vote your conscience. I hope that every living soul in this good country votes their conscience. Hillary Clinton is too strategic for her own good. She will plan this republic into a swamp. She cannot be outsmarted, but she might outsmart herself.

New York Times Headline. "Gunman in Munich Who Killed 9 Had No Terror Ties."
They searched his wallet. They didn't find the ISIS membership card. It's kind of like the AAA card many of us carry, with a membership ID number and expiration date. Only this card is for Islamic terror. But the gunman didn't have the card, so he is not linked to ISIS.
Why do they still say gunman, shouldn't they be saying gunperson?
Prestigious Schools. Senator Tim Kaine went to Harvard Law School. As did his wife, as did Barack Obama and half the Supreme Court. Bill and Hillary Clinton went to Yale Law School. John Kerry went to Yale. Michelle Obama went to Princeton.
The Democratic party is top heavy with the Ivy League. Do they even know this is a problem?
Schools like Harvard and Yale teach power, privilege and prestige. Graduates of these schools believe in their own exceptional talent and in their right to prevail, because they know better, They're not just folks. The amazing thing is that Trump, with his billions, can come across like just folks -- because he's from Queens and he went to a school nobody heard of.
Frog Hospital Boiler Plate. The Frog Hospital email newsletter goes to 370 readers. The mailing list has never been shared with anybody. The content of the newsletter may be forwarded to friends and colleagues, but re-publication, including posting on social media, requires my permission.
Thank you, enjoy your day,

--
Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital



Donald Trump's Budget And Tax Plan Adds $10 Trillion To Debt; Hillary's Plan Adds $250 Billion

Trump Suggests U.S. Default On National Debt ALL Economists Agree Default Would Collapse The World Economy | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
Donald Trump’s budget and tax plans add at least $10T to debt, study finds

Clinton’s plan would add about $250 billion to national debt



"The National Review" Admits The Elimination Of "Waste, Fraud And Abuse" Is A Drop In The Bucket

Lincoln Would Be Horrified By Today's GOP


Lincoln Would Be Horrified By Today's GOP
Alana Horowitz Satlin
Conservatives love to tout Abraham Lincoln as one of history’s most celebrated Republicans — especially on Feb. 12, his birthday. But the modern GOP has nothing to do with the party of Lincoln, and the 16th president would probably be horrified by the likes of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Donald Trump.



Here's a little history lesson: when the Republican Party first emerged in the 1850s, its policies were more akin to the modern Democratic Party, including our country’s very first income tax
But in the early 20th century things began to change. The Republican Party became increasingly divided, particularly over the issue of tariffs. Then the Great Depression happened and Republican President Hebert Hoover refused to provide government aid to struggling people. His successor, Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on the other hand, provided relief to the poor and put more regulations on the economy through the New Deal. The Democratic Party shifted left. TheRepublicans inched further right toward opposition to civil rights, anticommunist fear-mongering and — as National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. put it — “stand[ing] athwart history, yelling Stop.” Once the GOP of the 1960s began to actively fight racial equality, many of the remaining progressives left the party. 
So when the GOP says things like “Happy birthday to a great Republican,” it’s worth noting a few Lincoln-era Republican policies that today’s GOP would have railed against:

Federal Income Tax

In 1861, Lincoln OK’d the nation’s first federal income tax. Meanwhile, today’s Republicans push for lower and fewer taxes.

Railroad Expansion

In 1862, Lincoln signed into law the Pacific Railroad Acts, which provided federal funding for the western expansion of the railroad. Modern Republicans, on the other hand, fought to a privatize a planned high-speed Amtrak line and last year stalled congressional efforts to fund our nation’s highways.

Funding For Public Education

In 1862, Lincoln signed a law giving states land grants which they could sell and use the money to fund old colleges or build new ones. Meanwhile, today’sRepublicans have voted to cut crucial funding for higher education and blocked efforts to make college more affordable — such as President Barack Obama’s plan to make community colleges free. 

Expansion Of Presidential Powers

The Republicans of today often accuse Obama of abusing his presidential power. Using executive action, Obama has green-lit gun control and immigration reforms, as well as implemented paid sick leave for federal employees and a mandateprotecting LGBT workers. Guess who else increased the power of the executive branch and ran an increasingly activist federal government? Yep, that’s right: Lincoln. In fact, the University of Virginia’s Miller Center calls Lincoln “the most activist President in history.”

***

Alan: To assume that God validates us rather than to see ourselves (if we are believers) as aspiring - through doubt - to be on God's side, impresses me as the only way to avoid the perpetual trap of presumption.

"Any Religion That Needs Fear To Thrive Is Bad Religion"

"There is no fear in love. 
But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 
The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
1 John 4:18

Today’s GOP is the party of Jefferson Davis, not of Lincoln
 Opinion writer, Washington Post  
One hundred and fifty years ago Thursday, after Union infantry effectively encircled the Army of Northern Virginia, Robert E. Lee sent a note to Ulysses S. Grant proposing a meeting to discuss terms of surrender. With that, the Civil War began to end.
And at some point in the future, it may yet.
The emancipation of the slaves that accompanied the North’s victory ushered in, as Abraham Lincoln had hoped, a new birth of freedom, but the old order also managed to adapt itself to the new circumstances. The subjugation of and violence against African Americans continued apace, particularly after U.S. Army troops withdrew from the South at the end of Reconstruction. Black voting was suppressed. The Southern labor system retained, in altered form, its most distinctive characteristic: unfree labor. As Douglas A. Blackmon has demonstrated in his Pulitzer Prize-winning study “Slavery by Another Name,” numerous corporations — many of them headquartered in the North — relied heavily on the labor of thousands of black prisoners, many serving long sentences for minor crimes or no crimes at all.
Indeed, one reason the race-based subjugation of labor was so resilient was that it was a linchpin not just of the Southern economy, but also of the entire U.S. economy. For much of the 20th century, the prevailing view of the North-South conflict was that it had pitted the increasingly advanced capitalist economy of the North against the pre-modern, quasi-feudal economy of the South. In recent years, however, a spate of new histories has placed the antebellum cotton economy of the South at the very center of 19th-century capitalism. Works such as “Empire of Cotton,” by Harvard historian Sven Beckert, and “The Half Has Never Been Told,” by Cornell University historian Edward E. Baptist, have documented how slave-produced cotton was the largest and most lucrative industry in America’s antebellum economy, the source of the fortunes of New York-based traders and investors and of British manufacturers. The rise in profitability, Baptist shows, resulted in large part from the increased brutalization of the slave work force.
Lincoln understood this — how could he not? The traders and investors in New York rendered that city a center of pro-Southern sentiment, so much so that its mayor, Fernando Wood, actually suggested that the city secede from the Union to preserve its ties to the Southern slaveholders. British commercial interests pressured their government to extend diplomatic recognition to the Confederacy. In his second inaugural address, Lincoln termed slavery not a Southern sin but an American one, for which both North and South were condemned to a form of blood-soaked, divine retribution. “If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come,” Lincoln said, “but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him?”
Even today, one of America’s most fundamental problems is that the alliance between the current form of Southern labor and the current form of New York finance is with us still. The five states that have no minimum wage laws of their own are in the South: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. Southern-based corporations such as Wal-Mart are among the leading opponents of workers’ right to organize, and as Wal-Mart has expanded into the North and West, so have the “right-to-work” statutes of Southern states been enacted byRepublican governments in the Midwest.
The Southernization of the Republican Party and the increasing domination of Wall Street’s brand of shareholder capitalism over the nation’s economic life have combined to erode both the income and the power of U.S. workers. Unions are anathema to Wall Street and the GOP. Federal regulations empowering consumers and employees are opposed by both.
Fueled by the mega-donations of the mega-rich, today’s Republican Party is not just far from being the party of Lincoln: It’s really the party of Jefferson Davis. It suppresses black voting; it opposes federal efforts to mitigate poverty; it objects to federal investment in infrastructure and education just as the antebellum South opposed internal improvements and rejected public education; it scorns compromise. It is nearly all white. It is the lineal descendant of Lee’s army, and the descendants of Grant’s have yet to subdue it.
***
When-the-Republicans-Really-Were-the-Party-of-Lincoln
When Republicans Really Were The Party Of Lincoln
What happened to the party that 50 years ago played such a vital role in passing The Civil Rights Act?
Republican Party was, for a vital century, the major American political party that most frequently aligned with the cause of civil rights. The invariably realistic Frederick Douglass explained, “I knew that however bad the Republican Party was, the Democratic party was much worse. The elements of which the Republican Party was composed gave better ground for the ultimate hope of the success of the colored man’s cause than those of the Democratic Party.”
Well into the twentieth century, many leading Republicans took seriously their party’s history and the responsibility that went with it. They worked to earn the votes of African-Americans and all supporters of equal justice under law, declaring in the party’s 1960 platform that [t]his nation was created to give expression, validity and purpose to our spiritual heritage—the supreme worth of the individual. In such a nation—a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal—racial discrimination has no place. It can hardly be reconciled with a Constitution that guarantees equal protection under law to all persons. In a deeper sense, too, it is immoral and unjust. As to those matters within reach of political action and leadership, we pledge ourselves unreservedly to its eradication.
True to their word, top Republicans in Congress provided advice, counsel and support that was essential to the development and passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
While Democrats struggled with their party’s internal contradictions on the issue—deferring far too frequently to the demands of Southern segregationists who held powerful committee chairs in the House and Senate, and who commanded machines that delivered needed electoral votes—Republicans demanded action. “When President John F. Kennedy failed to submit a promised civil rights bill, three Republicans (Representatives William McCulloch of Ohio, John Lindsay of New York and Charles Mathias of Maryland) introduced one of their own,” noted The New York Times in recalling the great struggles of the era. “This inspired Mr. Kennedy to deliver on his promise, and it built Republican support for what became the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
When the key votes in the House and the Senate came fifty years ago, Republicans were significantly more supportive of the Civil Rights Act than were Democrats. The measure passed the House on a 290-130 vote, with support from 61 percent of House Democrats (152 in favor, ninety-six opposed). But Republican lawmakers gave it 80 percent backing (138 in support, just thirty-four against).
The critical test came in the Senate in June, 1964. Republicans aligned with northern Democrats to break the segregationist filibuster. Then, 82 percent of Republican senators backed the final passage of the measure, as opposed to two-thirds of Senate Democrats.
When President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law on July 2, 1964, he is said to have told an aide, “We [Democrats] have lost the South for a generation.”
But that statement did not just apply to the Democrats. Republicans were, necessarily, part of the change equation.
The change began to develop quickly. Two weeks after the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, the Republican National Convention in San Francisco nominated for the presidency Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, one of the handful of Republican senators who had opposed the measure.
Two months later, a key Democratic foe of civil rights, South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, switched his party affiliation and began working to remake the Republican Party so that it could appeal to Southern white voters. Thurmond was an essential backer of the campaigns of Goldwater in 1964, Richard Nixon in 1968 and Ronald Reagan in 1980. His influence on Nixon, who developed a so-called “Southern strategy” to help realize Thurmond’s vision of a transformed political map, was immense. It extended deep into the decision-making process for the selections of a vice president and Supreme Court nominees.
At the same time, civil rights advocates within the Republican Party either left or were defeated. House minority leader Charles Halleck, the Indiana Republican who worked closely with the Johnson administration to pass muscular civil rights protections was deposed the following January by his own caucus. John Lindsay, who was rejected in his own party’s 1969 New York City mayoral primary (winning instead on the Liberal Party line), became a Democrat in 1971. His ally in the 1963 civil rights push “Mac” Mathias was so unsettled by the GOP’s move to the right that he threatened to run for the presidency in 1976 as a progressive independent. Others champions of civil rights, such as California Senator Thomas Kuchel (the Republican floor manager in the fights to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965), New Jersey Senator Clifford Case and New York Senator Jacob Javits, would eventually lose primaries to conservative challengers.
The senators who were rejected did not lose merely because of their civil rights advocacy but because of their Lincolnesque vision of a progressive Republican Party that, in Kuchel’s words, “brought to politics the philosophy of governing for the many.”
That philosophy was replaced by a more rigid and divisive politics. “The Republican Party that had been ceased to be sometime in the 1980s, and the modern party—the radical conservative party—not only has little or no interest in honoring its history, it is actively hostile to it,” Geoffrey Kabaservice, the author of the brilliant 2012 book Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party from Eisenhower to the Tea Party explained to Todd Purdum.
Purdum, who has written his own fine book on the battle to pass the Civil Rights Act, An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, marked the anniversary of the signing of the act with an article headlined, “Why the Civil Rights Act Couldn’t Pass Today.”
Purdum is appropriately critical of both major parties, but his most damning statement is an observation that “the Party of Lincoln became the party of white backlash, especially in the South.”
Thurmond was certainly not the only Southern Democrat to switch his party affiliation in the period following the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act—Jesse Helms made the change in 1970; Trent Lott, an aide to a segregationist Democratic congressman, ran for the House as a Republican in 1972; Virginian Mills Goodwn Jr., whom The New York Times described as “a pillar of his state’s policy of ‘massive resistance’ to the racial integration of schools” during his years as a Democratic state legislator, was elected governor as a Republican in 1973. But Thurmond was the most prominent, and the most influential of the party switchers. Over time, he evolved his rhetoric away from the crude language of his 1948 States Rights Democratic Party presidential run and his Senate filibusters to a more politically palatable critique of “big government.” The senator would eventually say that “if I had been elected president in 1948, history would be vastly different. I believe we would have stemmed the growth of Big Government, which had begun with the New Deal and culminated with the Great Society.”
That statement conveniently neglected the fact that Thurmond and his allies in 1948 did not just talk about the size of the federal government. The same States Rights Democratic Party platform that declared its opposition to “the totalitarian, centralized bureaucratic government and the police nation called for by the platforms adopted by the Democratic and Republican Conventions” also announced, “We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race.”
Thurmond left the Democratic Party the first time, in 1948, because the Democrats were becoming more like the Republicans on the issue of civil rights—as both parties moved, slowly but surely, toward a recognition that Hubert Humphrey was right when he told the 1948 Democratic National Convention it was time “to get out of the shadow of state’s rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.”
For a time in the 1950s and 1960s, enlightened Democrats and Republicans competed to be the party of civil rights. And the Republicans were in the lead through much of the period—encouraging Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke, the first African-American elected to the Senate in the modern era, to observe that the Republican Party “was, I believe, much more progressive than the Democratic Party.”
Republicans were not the party of Thurmond, they were explicitly and proudly the party of Lincoln. That 1960 GOP platform read:
Equality under law promises more than the equal right to vote and transcends mere relief from discrimination by government. It becomes a reality only when all persons have equal opportunity, without distinction of race, religion, color or national origin, to acquire the essentials of life—housing, education and employment. The Republican Party—the party of Abraham Lincoln—from its very beginning has striven to make this promise a reality. It is today, as it was then, unequivocally dedicated to making the greatest amount of progress toward the objective.
The tragedy of the Democratic Party through much of its history was an unwillingness to stand strong against its Southern wing and to clearly align itself with the cause of social and economic justice. The tragedy of the Republican Party is that when Democrats began to do the right thing, key figures in the GOP welcomed Thurmond into its fold and began to craft not just a “Southern strategy” but a politics of reaction. There were plenty of Republicans who resisted the trend at the time, and there have been plenty of Republicans since (notably former Congressman Jack Kemp and former Secretary of State Colin Powell) who have sought to broaden the party’s focus and appeal.
But as one of the great Republican advocates of civil rights, John Lindsay, noted when he left the GOP in 1971, “Today the Republican Party has moved so far from what I perceive as necessary policies…that I can no longer try to work within it.”
John Avlon, the longtime speechwriter for New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani who has since become a prominent advocate for centrist projects such as the “No Labels” movement, wrote several years ago: “The Republican Party was right on civil rights for the first one-hundred years of its existence. It was right when the Democratic Party was wrong. Its future strength and survival will depend on rediscovering that legacy of individual freedom amid America’s essential diversity. To win in the 21st century, the Party of Lincoln needs to start looking like the Party of Lincoln again.”
This is true.
It is also true that Republicans have a right to reflect proudly on the role the GOP played in securing approval of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
This anniversary belongs to both parties—to Democrats who recall Johnson’s leadership, to Republicans who recall the role played by congressional Republicans.
Unfortunately, the Republican Party that has spent much of its energy in recent years promoting restrictive Voter ID laws and that is currently entertaining a telling debate about Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran’s outreach to African-American voters in last month’s runoff election fight, often finds itself at odds with the legacies of Lincoln and the Republicans who championed civil rights in the mid-1960s.
“There’s also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party,” Powellsaid on NBC’s Meet the Press last year. “What do I mean by that? What I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities.”
Powell recommended that his party “take a very hard look at itself.” In particular, the Republican Party should take a very hard look at its past—and it should embrace that past.