Obama: I’d Be Fine with a Third Term If There Was Someone Who Would’ve Been a Stand-In with an Ear Piece
There will be no grand jury testimony, deliberations, or vote in the Trump "hush money" case in Manhattan for the remainder of this week, a source told Insider.
Grand jurors will return to court Thursday, according to the law enforcement source. But the panel will meet in connection with a different case — not the Trump hush-money matter, the source said early Thursday.
The panel has been meeting Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and has been hearing evidence since mid-January concerning former President Donald Trump and his alleged involvement in a 2016 pre-election payment to adult actress Stormy Daniels.
The grand jurors are not expected to take up the hush-money case again until Monday at the earliest, according to the source, who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to discuss high-level planning for the panel, which meets in secret.
At the request of Trump's defense team, grand jurors heard testimony on Monday from Robert Costello, a former legal advisor to prosecution witness Michael Cohen. Costello said he hoped his testimony would challenge Cohen's credibility. The grand jury has not met to consider the hush-money matter since then.
It is not unusual for state grand juries to hear evidence in multiple cases at the same time. It is not clear if the case on hand for the Trump panel on Thursday has any relation to Trump or to anyone in his sphere, or if it is entirely unrelated.
Prosecutors are statutorily barred from discussing grand jury proceedings. They did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
[So much for Trumpmas! And as I noted earlier, there’s supposed to be another witness testifying in the Trump case now, so even next week might be a wash … assuming Bragg wants to continue this folly. — Ed]
AP Photo/Seth Wenig
Trump was clearly on to something. The Wednesday session of the grand jury has been canceled, according to a report from Business Insider.
Two law enforcement officers have informed Insider that the grand jury in the Trump case has been instructed not to report for duty on Wednesday — the day previous reports suggested there would be a possible indictment vote against former President Donald Trump. Although there is no confirmed schedule beyond Wednesday, one of the sources, speaking anonymously, indicated that it is doubtful the grand jury will convene at all this week. The grand jury typically meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and Fox News reports that the grand jury is on standby for Thursday.
Former Michael Cohen legal advisor Robert Costello, a surprise witness this week, was touted by Trump as having conclusive and irrefutable evidence to exonerate him. Amongst other testimony damaging to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s efforts to nab Trump, it was revealed that Bragg, who is already the target of a House GOP investigation for abuse of power, may have concealed exculpatory evidence from the grand jury.
This latest development raises new doubts as to whether the indictment will happen at all, especially in light of a previous report that sources close to the investigation believe it is possible that Bragg may end up not indicting Trump at all, and that Trump’s team has not been formally notified of an imminent indictment.
It’s not clear why Bragg, who has been presenting “evidence” against Trump since mid-January, suddenly halted the grand jury from convening. This has led to speculation that recent developments may have further weakened his already fragile case, and may even result in the failure of any potential indictment.
On Monday, constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley called Bragg’s case against Trump “legally pathetic,” and observed Bragg is “struggling to twist state laws to effectively prosecute a federal case long ago rejected by the Justice Department against Trump over his payment of ‘hush money’ to former stripper Stormy Daniels.”
Soros-Funded DA Alvin Bragg May Have Hidden Exculpatory Evidence in Trump Case
Surprise Grand Jury Witness May Have Destroyed the Whole Case Against Trump
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Amidst all the consternation from all sides over the possible indictment of Donald Trump, it’s worth remembering that the United States is still being run by a man riddled with senility. That we are all worse off for it is assumed at this point, though it’s not hard to detail how.
Apparently, Bruce Springsteen was at the White House on Tuesday because that’s what the current administration has devolved into. Yeah, Biden doesn’t have the time to visit East Palestine or generally do his job in any real way, but he’s got time for Bruce Springsteen and the cast of “Ted Lasso.” Is it any wonder things are as bad as they are?
His first quip doesn’t even make sense, a common trend for the president. Are we to assume that Springsteen lives below the water line off the coastal waters of New Jersey? I think that might be an issue given he’s, you know, a human that breathes air and whatnot. As to the veracity of Biden’s legal citation, I have no idea, and I’m not going to bother to research it as it’s irrelevant either way.
It’s the attempted reading of the poem that really gets me, though. Remember, this is a guy who doesn’t use a regular teleprompter. Instead, he uses a massive TV screen set in front of them running an otherworldly font. Yet, he still can’t manage to read a word as simple as “county” when called upon. It’s an embarrassing spectacle that has far-reaching implications.
For example, China and Russia recently tag-teamed to start working on a “peace” deal regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While Biden is misreading poems and making weird jokes in front of celebrities, America’s adversaries are on the move. They are consolidating power, gaining ground in the global economy, and joining up with states like Saudi Arabia, a nation that used to be a close US ally.
That happened because the senile old man in the White House decided to alienate the Saudis to please the clapping seals in the press. The result? Totalitarian states locking arms to divvy up influence in a part of the world that was trending toward peace when Donald Trump left office.
There are many other examples of Biden’s total incompetence leading to very real-world problems. Have you noticed your retirement dropping lately? All that talk of a “soft landing” is falling away as it becomes clear that rising interest rates are going to push the nation into a bad place economically. But they had to happen because, guess who, Joe Biden decided to spend like a drunken sailor so he could play-act as COVID-19 savior.
So yeah, it’s just fumbling over a poem multiple times, but it’s indicative of a bigger problem. Namely, that the President of the United States is an invalid who can’t perform the duties of his office effectively. That Democrats are actually leaning toward propping him up for a second term is astonishing. Is there any length they won’t go to in order to retain power? I think we know the answer to that.
BY KEVIN DOWNEY JR. | P J MEDIA
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
House Oversight Committee master-blaster Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), who is digging — successfully — into the Biden family’s alleged influence peddling, believes there may be more than half a dozen Bidens leeching cheddar from the tens of millions of dollars sent to family members by people with ties to the Chinese commies.
FACT-O-RAMA! Communist China — which is spying on us with balloons, maintains secret police stations in North America, and is currently seeking ways to disarm our military satellites — is considered our biggest enemy and the greatest threat to our nation. Yet it has funneled tens of millions of dollars to the Biden family. Coincidentally, Joe Biden has taken criticism for being soft on China with regard to the origins of COVID-19 and the billion-dollar industry of Chinese fentanyl pouring over our southern border, which leaves 80,000-plus Americans dead from overdoses every year.
“At the end of this, I think we’re gonna see there are probably six or seven Biden family members who were involved in various business schemes around the world,” Comer revealed to Fox News’s Laura Ingraham.
Comer did not name names, but he recently mentioned that a “new Biden” had dipped his or her beak — for the first time — into a $3 million payment sent to Hunter Biden lackey John “Rob” Walker. Walker received this payment from two people with ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). He then distributed the cheddar to three members of the Biden family.
Comer further stated that, though he had bank records in hand via subpoena, he had no idea what the $3 million payment was for.
He wasn’t done spilling Biden family secrets, either. He further told Ingraham:
So this just shows how deep the Biden family was involved in this influence-peddling scheme.
It looks to me like these people, who are closely aligned with the Chinese Communist Party, sent $3 million to a shell corporation, then they turned around and split it three ways with a third going to the Biden family – three different family members for no apparent reason.
They didn’t invest it in a business. They just, it appears, stuck it in their pocket.
The Bidens are starting to look more like a New York Mafia family than a political dynasty. Here are the big players we know about thus far in the Biden la Cosa Nostra family:
So who is the “new Biden” found scooping cash from the family slush fund? Comer hasn’t told us, but we have some suspects:
FACT-O-RAMA! While vice president, Joe Biden was Obama’s point man for Ukraine and Costa Rica. During that time, the Biden family landed tasty contracts in numerous fields, despite a lack of experience in any of those fields, in both countries as well as Iraq, Mozambique, and the United States.
Rep. Comer’s Oversight Committee is a thorn in the side of the Biden family, but what can we expect to happen? Democrat fat cats — like the Clintons — always seem to walk away unscathed from allegations of wrongdoing.
But this Oversight Committee investigation might be different. As per Comer, up to seven members — thus far — of the Biden family might be involved in the alleged influence-peddling scheme. And with the known links between the Bidens and tens of millions of commie dollars that Comer claims he has found, this might become too big to hide.
On the other hand, does the nation really want to see the inauguration of President Harris?
One thing we do know is that the Biden family is finally against the ropes. When—not if—they fall, the world will see the Bidens’ ties to the Chinese commies who are trying to conquer us. I think the word for that is treason.
According to my history books, commies don’t go down easily. As their walls close in on them at this historical point in our nation’s existence, we can only expect the bolshies to roll up their sleeves and fight their hardest. And that’s what We the People must do as well.
Comer: There's Evidence of CCP-Related Payout Distributed to Three Biden Family Members
By Nick Arama | RedState.com
Joe Biden’s Treasury Department has been stymying the effort to get suspicious activity reporters related to the Biden family business deals for years. It’s been a scandal that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. When Rep. James Comer (R-KY) tried to get the records before the Republicans took over the House, the Biden administration changed the rules that prevented members of Congress from getting the records unless it was from the Committees (which Democrats controlled). Then, even when the Republicans took over the House, the Treasury Department wasn’t complying initially.
But as we reported, the House Oversight Committees subpoenaed the bank records. They had scheduled a Treasury official to come in and explain in an interview on the record why the Department hadn’t complied with their requests. On Tuesday, Comer, now Chair of the Committee, announced that the Treasury Department had finally been forced to cooperate and was turning over records.
Comer also dropped a big tidbit about what they had been able to discover to date in their investigations. They had subpoenaed bank records from three Hunter Biden associates, including Rob Walker. They’re now reviewing 14 years of SARs from Bank of America.
Comer hit Sean Hannity’s show Monday night and Fox this morning to talk about some of what they’ve found so far.
According to Comer, Walker was wired millions by CCP-connected individuals two months after Joe Biden stopped being vice president. The money was then distributed to three Biden family members, including a Biden family member whose name has never been included previously as a recipient of any monies. Comer said that he couldn’t identify any related business and that it appeared to go into their personal accounts. He said that he believes it’s influence peddling, and that raises questions about people then being foreign agents. You have to be registered to be a foreign agent and that raises possible breaking of the law there as well. “The question is what were the Bidens doing to receive these massive amounts of money?” Comer asked. He also noted this was just one wire and they had many more to go through. He noted the Walker account was also just one account and there were many more associates.
Interestingly, Comer wasn’t giving up that third name and then he repeated there was a “problem” with figuring out what they were doing to get such sums of money from the CCP-connected people. “I think every American should be concerned about that,” Comer declared. “This is an issue of national security.”
How panicked are the Democrats? The ranking member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) tried to deflect and suggested this was somehow “opposition research” for President Donald Trump’s 2024 run. What is so incredibly ironic is that projection — that’s what the Clinton team did in hiring Fusion GPS in their effort to try to smear Trump and promote the Russia collusion hoax. But Comer and the Republicans have been pursuing this information for years, so unlike the Democrats, this isn’t about being slimy. Comer chastised Raskin for his remarks.
George Washington Law professor Jonathan Turley noted that these suspicious activity reports could go a long way to revealing the scope of the influence peddling. “It could also supply added evidence of possible criminal charges over tax crimes as well as unlawful work as a foreign agent. There are also possible allegations of evading financial rules, false statements, and even money laundering,” Turley explained. He also tweeted that “this is an example of why such transparency is needed to fully understand the scope of the alleged influence peddling by the Biden family.”
That’s a lot to go through with 14 years of records. Walker was also involved in the formation of the company that Tony Bobulinski spoke about that involved “10 percent for the big guy” — meaning Joe Biden — and we could potentially find out more about that. Walker was the guy that said Bobulinksi was going to “bury” all of them by talking.
So this is a huge break into unraveling all of it.
The birthplace of the Republican Party in Ripon, Wisconsin. The movement that would create the anti-slavery party first met here on March 20, 1854. (MPI/Getty Images)
Anti-slavery activists motivated as pending Kansas-Nebraska Act overturned Missouri Compromise
"Cries of ‘Repeal! Repeal!’ resounded throughout the nation, following the Ripon, Wisconsin meeting of March 20, 1854 in demonstration against the ‘Kansas-Nebraska Swindle,’" The Jefferson Banner of Jefferson Co., Wisconsin wrote years later of the transformative moment in American political history.
Bovay was reportedly the first to call the assembly the "Republican" party.
His moniker found a powerful ally in influential newspaper publisher Horace Greeley.
"We should not care much whether those thus united against slavery were designated 'Whig,' 'Free Democrat' or something else," Greeley wrote in his New-York Tribune in June 1854.
"Though we think some simple name like 'Republican' would more fitly designate those who had united to restore the Union to its true mission of champion and promulgator of Liberty rather than propagandist of slavery."
The Kansas-Nebraska Act was signed into law by President Franklin Pierce on May 30 amid increasing hostility in the halls of power in Washington, D.C., and amid increasing groundswell of opposition.
Horace Greeley, American newspaper editor known especially for his vigorous articulation of the North's antislavery sentiments during the 1850s. He is remembered often for his quote, "Go West, Young Man." (Getty Images)
"Local meetings were held throughout the North in 1854 and 1855. The first national convention of the new party was held in Pittsburgh on Feb. 22, 1856," writes the Wisconsin Republican Party in its online history.
The party held its first nominating convention in Philadelphia in July 1856. It selected California explorer John C. Fremont as the first Republican to run for president.
He lost to Pennsylvania Democrat James Buchanan, but made an impressive showing for the upstart party founded only two years earlier.
Fremont won 11 of 31 states and earned 33% of the popular vote, finishing ahead of former President Millard Fillmore of New York, who represented the short-lived Know Nothing Party.
Campaign banner for presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln and running mate Hannibal Hamlin. (VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images)
The true impact of the Republican earthquake was felt when the party's candidate, Abraham Lincoln, won the presidency in the hotly contested four-man race of 1860.
Democrat-led pro-slavery states quickly seceded from the Union in response to the Republican victory, launching the nation into the Civil War.
Republicans after the war pushed through in rapid order the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Collectively known as the Reconstruction Amendments, they abolished slavery, provided equal protection under the law and guaranteed voting rights.
Titled "Scene at the polls in Cheyenne," this colorized engraving shows a group of women as they line up on the sidewalk to cast their ballots through an open window, in Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, 1888. (Stock Montage/Getty Images)
Democrats regained power in the years after the Civil War.
The Republicans reportedly earned the name Grand Old Party in 1888, after winning back the White House from Democrat Grover Cleveland.
"Let us be thankful that under the rule of the Grand Old Party ... these United States will resume the onward and upward march which the election of Grover Cleveland in 1884 partially arrested," the Chicago Tribune wrote in what some sources say is the first use of the GOP label.
The Republican Party led the fight for woman's suffrage, first in the Wyoming Territories in 1869 and then pushing through the 19th Amendment after sweeping to power in both houses of Congress in November 1918.
The newly Republican-led Senate approved the amendment in June 1919 and sent it on the states "after 41 years of debate," notes the chamber's official history.
The Republican Party later pushed through the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 in alliance with Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson, who split with his own party to support the bill.
Illustration entitled "THE CRADLE OF THE G.O.P.," depicting the first Republican convention held at Lafayette Hall in Pittsburgh on Feb. 22, 1856. Shows two views: one of hall's exterior, one of interior during proceedings. (Getty Images)
The Civil Rights Act passed despite a ferocious 72-day filibuster in the Senate led by a collection of Democrat icons.
Among those senators who staunchly opposed the Civil Rights Act: Al Gore Sr. of Tennessee (father of the future vice president), J. William Fulbright of Arkansas (mentor of future president Bill Clinton), Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Robert Byrd of West Virginia.
"The Republican Party has a rich history of fighting for the rights of all Americans, from opposing slavery to giving women the right to vote to fostering individual rights across every group in our nation today," A.J. Catsimatidis, vice chairperson of the New York State Republican Party, told Fox News Digital.
From the May 28, 2012, issue of NR.
This magazine has long specialized in debunking pernicious political myths, and Jonah Goldberg has now provided an illuminating catalogue of tyrannical clichés, but worse than the myth and the cliché is the outright lie, the utter fabrication with malice aforethought, and my nominee for the worst of them is the popular but indefensible belief that the two major U.S. political parties somehow “switched places” vis-à-vis protecting the rights of black Americans, a development believed to be roughly concurrent with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the rise of Richard Nixon. That Republicans have let Democrats get away with this mountebankery is a symptom of their political fecklessness, and in letting them get away with it the GOP has allowed itself to be cut off rhetorically from a pantheon of Republican political heroes, from Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to Susan B. Anthony, who represent an expression of conservative ideals as true and relevant today as it was in the 19th century. Perhaps even worse, the Democrats have been allowed to rhetorically bury their Bull Connors, their longstanding affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan, and their pitiless opposition to practically every major piece of civil-rights legislation for a century. Republicans may not be able to make significant inroads among black voters in the coming elections, but they would do well to demolish this myth nonetheless.
Even if the Republicans’ rise in the South had happened suddenly in the 1960s (it didn’t) and even if there were no competing explanation (there is), racism — or, more precisely, white southern resentment over the political successes of the civil-rights movement — would be an implausible explanation for the dissolution of the Democratic bloc in the old Confederacy and the emergence of a Republican stronghold there. That is because those southerners who defected from the Democratic party in the 1960s and thereafter did so to join a Republican party that was far more enlightened on racial issues than were the Democrats of the era, and had been for a century. There is no radical break in the Republicans’ civil-rights history: From abolition to Reconstruction to the anti-lynching laws, from the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, and 1964, there exists a line that is by no means perfectly straight or unwavering but that nonetheless connects the politics of Lincoln with those of Dwight D. Eisenhower. And from slavery and secession to remorseless opposition to everything from Reconstruction to the anti-lynching laws, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1875, and the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, there exists a similarly identifiable line connecting John Calhoun and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Supporting civil-rights reform was not a radical turnaround for congressional Republicans in 1964, but it was a radical turnaround for Johnson and the Democrats.
The depth of Johnson’s prior opposition to civil-rights reform must be digested in some detail to be properly appreciated. In the House, he did not represent a particularly segregationist constituency (it “made up for being less intensely segregationist than the rest of the South by being more intensely anti-Communist,” as the New York Times put it), but Johnson was practically antebellum in his views. Never mind civil rights or voting rights: In Congress, Johnson had consistently and repeatedly voted against legislation to protect black Americans from lynching. As a leader in the Senate, Johnson did his best to cripple the Civil Rights Act of 1957; not having votes sufficient to stop it, he managed to reduce it to an act of mere symbolism by excising the enforcement provisions before sending it to the desk of President Eisenhower. Johnson’s Democratic colleague Strom Thurmond nonetheless went to the trouble of staging the longest filibuster in history up to that point, speaking for 24 hours in a futile attempt to block the bill. The reformers came back in 1960 with an act to remedy the deficiencies of the 1957 act, and Johnson’s Senate Democrats again staged a record-setting filibuster. In both cases, the “master of the Senate” petitioned the northeastern Kennedy liberals to credit him for having seen to the law’s passage while at the same time boasting to southern Democrats that he had taken the teeth out of the legislation. Johnson would later explain his thinking thus: “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days, and that’s a problem for us, since they’ve got something now they never had before: the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this — we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”
Johnson did not spring up from the Democratic soil ex nihilo. Not one Democrat in Congress voted for the Fourteenth Amendment. Not one Democrat in Congress voted for the Fifteenth Amendment. Not one voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1875. Eisenhower as a general began the process of desegregating the military, and Truman as president formalized it, but the main reason either had to act was that President Wilson, the personification of Democratic progressivism, had resegregated previously integrated federal facilities. (“If the colored people made a mistake in voting for me, they ought to correct it,” he declared.) Klansmen from Senator Robert Byrd to Justice Hugo Black held prominent positions in the Democratic party — and President Wilson chose the Klan epic Birth of a Nation to be the first film ever shown at the White House.
Johnson himself denounced an earlier attempt at civil-rights reform as the “nigger bill.” So what happened in 1964 to change Democrats’ minds? In fact, nothing.
President Johnson was nothing if not shrewd, and he knew something that very few popular political commentators appreciate today: The Democrats began losing the “solid South” in the late 1930s — at the same time as they were picking up votes from northern blacks. The Civil War and the sting of Reconstruction had indeed produced a political monopoly for southern Democrats that lasted for decades, but the New Deal had been polarizing. It was very popular in much of the country, including much of the South — Johnson owed his election to the House to his New Deal platform and Roosevelt connections — but there was a conservative backlash against it, and that backlash eventually drove New Deal critics to the Republican party. Likewise, adherents of the isolationist tendency in American politics, which is never very far from the surface, looked askance at what Bob Dole would later famously call “Democrat wars” (a factor that would become especially relevant when the Democrats under Kennedy and Johnson committed the United States to a very divisive war in Vietnam). The tiniest cracks in the Democrats’ southern bloc began to appear with the backlash to FDR’s court-packing scheme and the recession of 1937. Republicans would pick up 81 House seats in the 1938 election, with West Virginia’s all-Democrat delegation ceasing to be so with the acquisition of its first Republican. Kentucky elected a Republican House member in 1934, as did Missouri, while Tennessee’s first Republican House member, elected in 1918, was joined by another in 1932. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, the Republican party, though marginal, began to take hold in the South — but not very quickly: Dixie would not send its first Republican to the Senate until 1961, with Texas’s election of John Tower.
At the same time, Republicans went through a long dry spell on civil-rights progress. Many of them believed, wrongly, that the issue had been more or less resolved by the constitutional amendments that had been enacted to ensure the full citizenship of black Americans after the Civil War, and that the enduring marginalization of black citizens, particularly in the Democratic states, was a problem that would be healed by time, economic development, and organic social change rather than through a second political confrontation between North and South. (As late as 1964, the Republican platform argued that “the elimination of any such discrimination is a matter of heart, conscience, and education, as well as of equal rights under law.”) The conventional Republican wisdom of the day held that the South was backward because it was poor rather than poor because it was backward. And their strongest piece of evidence for that belief was that Republican support in the South was not among poor whites or the old elites — the two groups that tended to hold the most retrograde beliefs on race — but among the emerging southern middle class, a fact recently documented by professors Byron Shafer and Richard Johnston in The End of Southern Exceptionalism: Class, Race, and Partisan Change in the Postwar South (Harvard University Press, 2006). Which is to say: The Republican rise in the South was contemporaneous with the decline of race as the most important political question and tracked the rise of middle-class voters moved mainly by economic considerations and anti-Communism.
The South had been in effect a Third World country within the United States, and that changed with the post-war economic boom. As Clay Risen put it in the New York Times: “The South transformed itself from a backward region to an engine of the national economy, giving rise to a sizable new wealthy suburban class. This class, not surprisingly, began to vote for the party that best represented its economic interests: the GOP. Working-class whites, however — and here’s the surprise — even those in areas with large black populations, stayed loyal to the Democrats. This was true until the 90s, when the nation as a whole turned rightward in Congressional voting.” The mythmakers would have you believe that it was the opposite: that your white-hooded hillbilly trailer-dwelling tornado-bait voters jumped ship because LBJ signed a civil-rights bill (passed on the strength of disproportionately Republican support in Congress). The facts suggest otherwise.
There is no question that Republicans in the 1960s and thereafter hoped to pick up the angry populists who had delivered several states to Wallace. That was Patrick J. Buchanan’s portfolio in the Nixon campaign. But in the main they did not do so by appeal to racial resentment, direct or indirect. The conservative ascendency of 1964 saw the nomination of Barry Goldwater, a western libertarian who had never been strongly identified with racial issues one way or the other, but who was a principled critic of the 1964 act and its extension of federal power. Goldwater had supported the 1957 and 1960 acts but believed that Title II and Title VII of the 1964 bill were unconstitutional, based in part on a 75-page brief from Robert Bork. But far from extending a welcoming hand to southern segregationists, he named as his running mate a New York representative, William E. Miller, who had been the co-author of Republican civil-rights legislation in the 1950s. The Republican platform in 1964 was hardly catnip for Klansmen: It spoke of the Johnson administration’s failure to help further the “just aspirations of the minority groups” and blasted the president for his refusal “to apply Republican-initiated retraining programs where most needed, particularly where they could afford new economic opportunities to Negro citizens.” Other planks in the platform included: “improvements of civil rights statutes adequate to changing needs of our times; such additional administrative or legislative actions as may be required to end the denial, for whatever unlawful reason, of the right to vote; continued opposition to discrimination based on race, creed, national origin or sex.” And Goldwater’s fellow Republicans ran on a 1964 platform demanding “full implementation and faithful execution of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and all other civil rights statutes, to assure equal rights and opportunities guaranteed by the Constitution to every citizen.” Some dog whistle.
Of course there were racists in the Republican party. There were racists in the Democratic party. The case of Johnson is well documented, while Nixon had his fantastical panoply of racial obsessions, touching blacks, Jews, Italians (“Don’t have their heads screwed on”), Irish (“They get mean when they drink”), and the Ivy League WASPs he hated so passionately (“Did one of those dirty bastards ever invite me to his f***ing men’s club or goddamn country club? Not once”). But the legislative record, the evolution of the electorate, the party platforms, the keynote speeches — none of them suggests a party-wide Republican about-face on civil rights.
Neither does the history of the black vote. While Republican affiliation was beginning to grow in the South in the late 1930s, the GOP also lost its lock on black voters in the North, among whom the New Deal was extraordinarily popular. By 1940, Democrats for the first time won a majority of black votes in the North. This development was not lost on Lyndon Johnson, who crafted his Great Society with the goal of exploiting widespread dependency for the benefit of the Democratic party. Unlike the New Deal, a flawed program that at least had the excuse of relying upon ideas that were at the time largely untested and enacted in the face of a worldwide economic emergency, Johnson’s Great Society was pure politics. Johnson’s War on Poverty was declared at a time when poverty had been declining for decades, and the first Job Corps office opened when the unemployment rate was less than 5 percent. Congressional Republicans had long supported a program to assist the indigent elderly, but the Democrats insisted that the program cover all of the elderly — even though they were, then as now, the most affluent demographic, with 85 percent of them in households of above-average wealth. Democrats such as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Anthony J. Celebrezze argued that the Great Society would end “dependency” among the elderly and the poor, but the programs were transparently designed merely to transfer dependency from private and local sources of support to federal agencies created and overseen by Johnson and his political heirs. In the context of the rest of his program, Johnson’s unexpected civil-rights conversion looks less like an attempt to empower blacks and more like an attempt to make clients of them.
If the parties had in some meaningful way flipped on civil rights, one would expect that to show up in the electoral results in the years following the Democrats’ 1964 about-face on the issue. Nothing of the sort happened: Of the 21 Democratic senators who opposed the 1964 act, only one would ever change parties. Nor did the segregationist constituencies that elected these Democrats throw them out in favor of Republicans: The remaining 20 continued to be elected as Democrats or were replaced by Democrats. It was, on average, nearly a quarter of a century before those seats went Republican. If southern rednecks ditched the Democrats because of a civil-rights law passed in 1964, it is strange that they waited until the late 1980s and early 1990s to do so. They say things move slower in the South — but not that slow.
Republicans did begin to win some southern House seats, and in many cases segregationist Democrats were thrown out by southern voters in favor of civil-rights Republicans. One of the loudest Democratic segregationists in the House was Texas’s John Dowdy, a bitter and buffoonish opponent of the 1964 reforms, which he declared “would set up a despot in the attorney general’s office with a large corps of enforcers under him; and his will and his oppressive action would be brought to bear upon citizens, just as Hitler’s minions coerced and subjugated the German people. I would say this — I believe this would be agreed to by most people: that, if we had a Hitler in the United States, the first thing he would want would be a bill of this nature.” (Who says political rhetoric has been debased in the past 40 years?) Dowdy was thrown out in 1966 in favor of a Republican with a very respectable record on civil rights, a little-known figure by the name of George H. W. Bush.
It was in fact not until 1995 that Republicans represented a majority of the southern congressional delegation — and they had hardly spent the Reagan years campaigning on the resurrection of Jim Crow.
It was not the Civil War but the Cold War that shaped midcentury partisan politics. Eisenhower warned the country against the “military-industrial complex,” but in truth Ike’s ascent had represented the decisive victory of the interventionist, hawkish wing of the Republican party over what remained of the America First/Charles Lindbergh/Robert Taft tendency. The Republican party had long been staunchly anti-Communist, but the post-war era saw that anti-Communism energized and looking for monsters to slay, both abroad — in the form of the Soviet Union and its satellites — and at home, in the form of the growing welfare state, the “creeping socialism” conservatives dreaded. By the middle 1960s, the semi-revolutionary Left was the liveliest current in U.S. politics, and Republicans’ unapologetic anti-Communism — especially conservatives’ rhetoric connecting international socialism abroad with the welfare state at home — left the Left with nowhere to go but the Democratic party. Vietnam was Johnson’s war, but by 1968 the Democratic party was not his alone.
The schizophrenic presidential election of that year set the stage for the subsequent transformation of southern politics: Segregationist Democrat George Wallace, running as an independent, made a last stand in the old Confederacy but carried only five states, while Republican Richard Nixon, who had helped shepherd the 1957 Civil Rights Act through Congress, counted a number of Confederate states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee) among the 32 he carried. Democrat Hubert Humphrey was reduced to a northern fringe plus Texas. Mindful of the long-term realignment already under way in the South, Johnson informed Democrats worried about losing it after the 1964 act that “those states may be lost anyway.” Subsequent presidential elections bore him out: Nixon won a 49-state sweep in 1972, and, with the exception of the post-Watergate election of 1976, Republicans in the following presidential elections would more or less occupy the South like Sherman. Bill Clinton would pick up a handful of southern states in his two contests, and Barack Obama had some success in the post-southern South, notably Virginia and Florida.
The Republican ascendancy in Dixie is associated with the rise of the southern middle class, the increasingly trenchant conservative critique of Communism and the welfare state, the Vietnam controversy and the rise of the counterculture, law-and-order concerns rooted in the urban chaos that ran rampant from the late 1960s to the late 1980s, and the incorporation of the radical Left into the Democratic party. Individual events, especially the freak show that was the 1968 Democratic convention, helped solidify conservatives’ affiliation with the Republican party. Democrats might argue that some of these concerns — especially welfare and crime — are “dog whistles” or “code” for race and racism, but this criticism is shallow in light of the evidence and the real saliency of those issues among U.S. voters of all backgrounds and both parties for decades. Indeed, Democrats who argue that the best policies for black Americans are those that are soft on crime and generous with welfare are engaged in much the same sort of cynical racial calculation President Johnson was practicing when he informed skeptical southern governors that his plan for the Great Society was “to have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.” Johnson’s crude racism is, happily, largely a relic of the past, but his strategy endures.
— Kevin D. Williamson is a roving correspondent for National Review and the author of The Dependency Agenda, which will be published by Encounter Books on May 29. This article appears in the May 28, 2012, issue of National Review.