Afternoon Must-Read: Michael Albertus and Victor Menaldo: Gaming Democracy: Elite Dominance during Transition and the Prospects for Redistribution
Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for June 5, 2014

May I Say That to Choose William Patterson to Write Biographies About People Who Lived in Twentieth-Century America Was a Horrible Mistake?

I want my money back!

William Patterson: Robert A. Heinlein, Vol 2: In Dialogue with His Century Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better: "Lyndon Johnson’s Civil Rights Act of 1964...

...had come to a vote just before the nominating conventions, and Goldwater had voted against it. Heinlein understood Goldwater was not voting against civil rights: He was voting against federal enforcement of civil rights... a matter for each state to do, individually, for itself... more importantly...a matter of the attitude of individuals, which could not be legislated....

Goldwater’s opinion was Constitutionally “correct.” The U.S. Constitution had not specifically delegated this kind of power to Congress or the Executive, and it did reserve to the states any powers not specifically delegated. Lyndon Johnson... used federal forces for the pragmatic reason that some states—George Wallace’s Alabama, for example—would not cede the rights of U.S. citizens unless coerced.... But it was an honorable disagreement over tactics, not over basic goals...

Fourteenth Amendment, §1 (1868):

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Fourteenth Amendment, §5 (1868):

The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Congress has the power to enforce §§1-4 of the Fourteenth Amendment. That is what the amendment itself says.

And there is more from Patterson!

Lyndon Johnson, as activist a president as existed in American politics since Lincoln (and "the phoniest individual that ever came around", according to Goldwater, since Johnson had been lukewarm to civil rights prior to this), to position himself as a moderate...

One has to marvel at:

  1. The National Review-style dogwhistle--reminiscent of Wilmoore Kendall at his finest--that Abraham Lincoln and his Emancipation Proclamation is the real "activist" unconstitutional villain here...

  2. The claim that Johnson pushed so hard for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 merely for political reasons--to advance the electoral chances of himself and the rest of the Democratic Party.

I don't know which would be worse: that William Patterson genuinely believed what he said--that the U.S. Constitution did not give power to Congress and the Executive to enforce civil rights, that Lincoln is the real unconstitutional activist here, that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a cynical political ploy--or that he simply wanted to cater to an audience of book-buyers who did not want to hear that message.

But maybe his subject, Robert A. Heinlein, deserves Patterson:

I don’t know whether Goldwater can be elected or not—or whether he can change things if elected. But I would like to see the United States make a radical change away from its present course. I’m sick of bailing out Kremlin murderers with wheat sold to them on credit and at tax-subsidized prices, I’m sick of giving F-86’s and Sherman tanks and money to communists, I’m sick of undeclared wars rigged out not to be won—I’m sick of conscripting American boys to die in such wars—I’m sick of having American service men rotting in communist prisons for eleven long years and of presidents (including that slimy faker Eisenhower!) who smilingly ignore the fact and do nothing, I’m sick of confiscatory taxes for the benefit of socialist countries and of inflation that makes saving a mockery, I’m sick of signing treaties with scoundrels who boast of their own dishonesty and who have never been known to keep a treaty, I’m sick of laws that make loafing more attractive than honest work.

But most of all I am sick of going abroad and finding that any citizen of any two-bit, county-sized country in the world doesn’t hesitate to insult the United States loudly and publicly while demanding still more “aid” and of course “with no strings attached” from the pockets of you and me. I don’t give a hoot whether the United States is “loved” and I care nothing for “World Opinion” as represented by the yaps of “uncommitted nations” made up of illiterate savages—but I would like to see the United States respected once again (or even feared!)… [sic] and I think and hope that the Senator from Arizona is the sort of tough hombre who can bring it about.

I hope—

But it’s a forlorn hope at best! I’m much afraid that this country has gone too far down the road of bread and circuses to change its domestic course (who ‘shoots Santa Claus’?) and is too far committed to peace-at-any-price to reverse its foreign policy.


“Communist opinion” 30-sec spot. Heinlein 6 Oct. 1964


When Goldwater was nominated, Radio Moscow said, “The Republican Party has been taken over by some pirates led by a sworn enemy of the Communist camp.” But after the Democrat Convention, PRAVDA, official Soviet newspaper, praised the Democrat platform. Why?

THE WORKER, official organ of the American Communist Party, says: “STOP BARRY!” Why?

Why does every socialist, every Communist, every person intent on overthrowing our free government, scream for us to “Stop Goldwater!” Think it over. In your heart you know he’s right. END SOUNDER


“Shooting from the hip” 30-sec spot. Heinlein 6 Oct 64

THEME SOUNDER SOUND EFFECT—three rapid gun shots. 1ST VOICE (male or female, surprised and frightened): He shoots from the hip!

2nd VOICE (male, confident, hearty approval): And he hits the mark—every time!

3RD VOICE (female, confident): In this supersonic age, fast, accurate decisions are a must! Goldwater knows where he stands and doesn’t have to waste precious minutes looking it up. He flies supersonic fighter planes where a man must have split-second correct judgment to stay alive. He has more than four thousand hours as a military pilot. Today … [sic] for us all to stay alive … [sic] the man on that hot-line telephone must have fast and accurate judgment. Vote for Goldwater! In your heart you know he’s right! END SOUNDER


“Civil rights” 30-second spot. Heinlein - 6 Oct 64 SOUNDER

MALE VOICE: (Rising intonation, indignant unbelief) Goldwater against Civil Rights? NONSENSE! Here’s the truth: as a Phoenix City Councilman, Goldwater voted to desegregate the city airport restaurant. As chief of staff of the Arizona Air National Guard, Goldwater ordered desegregation. GOLDWATER’s department store was the first major employer in Arizona to hire Negroes on a regular basis. Goldwater says: “The key to racial intolerance lies not in laws alone but in the hearts of men.” In your heart you know he’s right! Vote for Goldwater! END SOUNDER

Patterson writes:

There is no evidence these spots were ever used.

Seems to me that the 1964 Goldwater campaign would have judged the first as going too far in smearing Democrats as no different from Communists, the second as too militaristic, and the third as undermining the dog-whistles they hoped would bring white conservative Democrats across the line so that they could carry Colorado in November.