October 17, 2011

"As your leader in the Senate of the United States, it is my bounden duty to tell you that this thing is about as popular as a crab in a whorehouse."

"You will split your own party if you insist on pursuing it. And, Mr. President, I do not think I myself will be able to support you on this ill-conceived scheme."

Said Everett Dirksen to Richard Nixon, according to "RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon."

"This thing" was affirmative action — the so-called "Philadelphia Plan" that "would require all contractors working on federally funded construction projects to pledge a good faith effort toward the goal of hiring a representative number of minority workers." Congressional conservatives "considered it heretical for a Republican President." Unions were also opposed: "George Meany hit the roof, charging that the administration was making the unions a whipping boy and trying to score 'brownie points' with civil rights groups."

In his memoir, Nixon expressed disappointment that he "received only lukewarm support from most of the national black leaders," who, he speculated, were "more interested in dramatic tokenism than in the hard fight for actual progress."

(Why am I posting this now? I just ran across it as I was preparing to begin teaching the affirmative action cases in Conlaw2 today. Coincidentally, the Wisconsin State Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities is holding a hearing today on "the process for admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In particular, the committee and speakers will focus on the findings contained in two studies by the Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO): 1.) Racial and Ethnic Preferences in Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.... 2.) Racial and Ethnic Preferences in Admissions at the University of Wisconsin Law School...")

52 comments:

BarryD said...

Well, it did seem to produce a recurring itch.

Henry said...

Sadly, affirmative action has become little but dramatic tokenism.

The historical interplay between unionism and the civil rights movement is really fascinating.

Unions, for example, were very hostile to civil rights legislation that superseded the right to trial by jury. Civil rights leaders knew that violators of voting rights could not be convicted by southern juries. Unions, however, had fought hard against the power of individual judges to make decisions that affected their actions.

Chuck66 said...

How timely. A story appeared today on the Mpls paper web site on how a lady set up a shell to funnel goods going to contractors working on the light rail project. She is an African-American. To meet affirmative action numbers, subcontractors would sell their goods to her. She would then sell the products to contractors doing the actual construction work, but at inflated prices. And this is how we get a goverment project that costs $100,000,000 per mile to build.

BarryD said...

"Sadly, affirmative action has become little but dramatic tokenism."

About three generations have grown up since the words in the headline were spoken, though. At this point, the idea of "righting past and extant wrongs" really doesn't hold that much water.

So, the descent to "dramatic tokenism" is inevitable. Any initiative intended as a reversal in direction only works in the context of a time and place.

jimbino said...

Wouldn't it have made more sense for Nixon to have integrated the National Parks and Forests instead? To this day, you will not see a brown, black, red or yellow face on an American visitor at any of them; likewise for the Ken Burns and other PBS documentaries regarding the park and forest lands.

A national disgrace.

Scott M said...

the so-called "Philadelphia Plan"

I thought that had to do with making a destroyer turn invisible, but ended up phasing a lot of the crew into parts of the deck. Either way, the end result, legs sticking out of the poop deck or not, is that it doesn't do anything to address what it's designed for.

fleetusa said...

Nixon was considerably more liberal than anyone in the MSM would ever give him credit. Plus he ended a heinous war.

Sheepman said...

Part of what made Nixon a tragic figure was that he wanted to be liked by the liberal establishment, but that was not possible.

viator said...

Good old Everett Dirksen, best known for: "A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money."

Who also said:

"I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times."

"When a member of the House moves over to the Senate, he raises the IQ of both bodies."

"But the basic difficulty still remains: It is the expansion of Federal power, about which I wish to express my alarm. How easily we embrace such business."

Everett Dirksen,
The Difference between a Republican and A Democrat

Youtube

Shouting Thomas said...

Everett Dirkson was the senior Senator from Illinois when I was a kid. He was revered as a gentlemanly, grandfatherly figure.

Somehow, I never thought he even knew whorehouses existed. My God, he knew about crabs?

n.n said...

If individual dignity was indeed the issue of merit, then a legitimate concern that discrimination by incidental feature, gender, etc., may occur, should have been handled through an ex post facto review. The assumption in our rule of law is that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. This also applies to assertions of racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice which motivate a personal bias, irrespective of circumstantial evidence to support them.

edutcher said...

People forget Nixon was considered a Liberal.

Be interesting to see what would happen if the Republicans tried to take it back.

PS Ev also created the phrase, "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, it adds up to real money".

Pogo said...

Like abortion, affirmative action has turned a moral problem into a permanent political faction.

Gay marriage is going the same way. One foot in the door, then a slew of intractable demands to follow.

rcocean said...

Nixon gave us Wage and Price Controls, EPA, big budget deficits, Blackmun, Affirmative action, and did nothing to stop Busing. I don't think he was pro-life or was the least bit socially conservative - despite the campaign rhetoric.

In Foreign policy, he considered himself a Wilsonite and an anti-communist.

Its no surprise he preferred Ford over Reagan.

Coketown said...

YOU SHOULD HAVE PLANNED A FIELD TRIP TO THE HEARING!!! A TRUE LEARNING OPPORTUNITY!

granmary said...

Just look how it has worked out. We have the first affirmative action President in our history. Obama is the best example of the destructive policy I can think of.

Tim said...

"In his memoir, Nixon expressed disappointment that he "received only lukewarm support from most of the national black leaders," who, he speculated, were "more interested in dramatic tokenism than in the hard fight for actual progress.""

Ironic, isn't it, that affirmative action and welfare are now housed in the castle keep for national black leaders?

They'd be better served trying to fix broken inner city schools and broken families, but that would erode their positions as "national black leaders."

Oh well. At least they got their affirmative action president and debt-funded welfare for mythical "green jobs." Hooray for them.

Palladian said...

"Gay marriage is going the same way. One foot in the door, then a slew of intractable demands to follow"

I know! Us faggots are getting so uppity!

Coketown said...

@Palladian: It's "we faggots." We can't demand rights to traditional marriage without also accepting traditional grammar.

NYTNewYorker said...

Viator, also from Everett Dirksen.

"When I feel the heat, I see the light".

Shouting Thomas said...

Thanks, Palladian, for throwing in the "uppity" bit and linking this to blacks.

But, first you're supposed to tell us how much you love blacks.

Then, having assigned yourself unquestioned moral authority, you can chide us for opposing yet another civil rights agenda that's just like Selma.

You don't seem to entirely understand the routine.

Pogo said...

"Us faggots are getting so uppity!"

C'mon, Palladian. It's going to end exactly the same way every other PC issue has ended, with a permanent victim class, subsidized forever.

Affirmative action has meant endless coercion. So have abortion and feminism, and now gay rights.

Libertarians demanding state control are a curious thing.

madAsHell said...

So....we can blame the Obama debacle on Nixon??

G Joubert said...

C'mon, Palladian. It's going to end exactly the same way every other PC issue has ended, with a permanent victim class, subsidized forever.

Which is to say it'll never end. At least not until G_d, or Mother Nature, or someone else in biological authority opts to reconfigure the hardware so that gays too can have the natural product of their love be new life. But until then gay activists will remain discontented by virtue of this inequity and slight, so obviously discriminatory and homophobic. It's just not fair.

Palladian said...

"We can't demand rights to traditional marriage without also accepting traditional grammar."

I was deliberately subverting the artificial paradigm of prescriptive grammar, man.

"But, first you're supposed to tell us how much you love blacks."

It really depends on the black in question.

"Libertarians demanding state control are a curious thing."

Disingenuous. You know very well that my position regarding civil marriage has always been that the State should be completely removed from the equation. I don't believe that the State has the right to regulate the definition of marriage in any way. I don't believe that the State has the right to force churches to sanction any marriage or union, and I don't believe that the State should have the power to issue or deny marriage licenses to anyone. That it currently assumes this power is, I believe, an unconstitutional infringement on religious autonomy and freedom of association. My support of the legalization of "gay marriage" is based upon my belief that the State should not assume the authority to regulate or sanction marriage at all. Marriage should be a personal and/or religious issue, with people and churches defining marriage according to their beliefs. The "legalization" of gay marriage is a step towards that goal as far as I'm concerned. I believe that my position on the issue is perfectly libertarian, liberty-minded and perfectly conservative, provided you define conservatism as a reduction in the scope, size and power of government control. I realize that many so-called conservatives don't actually fit this definition of conservatism, and seek to expand the power of the Federal government to engineer various social schemes and regulate the conduct of people's lives. To me this is simply moralistic socialism.

Incidentally, I oppose legal abortion on libertarian principles, because I don't believe that a mother (or anyone else) has the right to take the life (and therefore liberty) away from another person.

Basically, everyone hates me, but I'm used to being reviled by both "sides" of the political spectrum at this point in my life.

Anyway, back to talking about Nixon and crabs, which is a horrible combination of mental images.

Titus said...

Gays Suck.

Shouting Thomas said...

I think you're speaking literally, right Tight Ass?

edutcher said...

Pogo said...

"Us faggots are getting so uppity!"

C'mon, Palladian. It's going to end exactly the same way every other PC issue has ended, with a permanent victim class, subsidized forever.

Affirmative action has meant endless coercion. So have abortion and feminism, and now gay rights.


I have a feeling they'll be a little too late for the fair on this one.

The other issues mentioned came about in the days of centralized media, managed information, and the idea the gravy train would go on forever.

Those days are over and I think, as people see another view of homosexuality besides what was spoonfed to them on "Will And Grace", this one will go the way of the ERA.

Pogo said...

"You know very well that my position regarding civil marriage has always been that the State should be completely removed from the equation.
...the State should not assume the authority to regulate or sanction marriage at all.
...The "legalization" of gay marriage is a step towards that goal
"

Seems reasonable.

But both you and I know the State will in fact use coercion to promote gay rights as a permanent victim class, your stated goals aside.

Your stated libertarian goals are useful for them, and they will gain your support as a result.

Then they will discard you, and your position will be subservience.

Fen said...

DHOTUS

Original Mike said...

"In his memoir, Nixon expressed disappointment that he "received only lukewarm support from most of the national black leaders," who, he speculated, were "more interested in dramatic tokenism than in the hard fight for actual progress.""

Nothing's changed. Very sad.

Scott M said...

"more interested in dramatic tokenism than in the hard fight for actual progress."

Resist We Much(tm)

ronalddewitt said...

I hope don't intend to leave off your discussion of Everett Dirksen without mention of his campaign to have the marigold designated the national flower.

Carol_Herman said...

No matter what, Nixon will never come off as a hero.

The bigger question to ask is WHY?

Why was this man allowed to run with Ike? Who put him there?

Are there any virtues? SURE! When he had to resign, he got to appoint his new vice president. Nelson Rockefeller "felt" entitled. Instead, he picked Gerry Ford.

Gerry Ford was actually liked by other republicans.

But the GOP is notorious at poorly picking its top nominee. The story of "WHY" remains unknown.

Mike said...

If the Senator can find in Title VII … any language which provides that an employer will have to hire on the basis of percentage or quota related to color, race, religion, or national origin, I will start eating the pages one after another, because it is not in there.
Hubert Humphrey speaking on affirmative action quotas and the 1964 Civil Rights bill

Carol_Herman said...

It's hard for a minority of Americans to recognize this. But Obama won because his skin color did not turn off a majority of American voters!

He also lucked out in that just like Bill Clinton faced Bob Dole, in 1996. The republicans are lemmings when it comes to selecting someone to head their party.

You might as well just ask a bunch of a fat cat bankers.

The other mistake?

Is to believe that voting is a religious experience!

It just remains sad.

Palladian said...

"I hope don't intend to leave off your discussion of Everett Dirksen without mention of his campaign to have the marigold designated the national flower."

I have it on very good authority that the extract of marigolds smells more like feminine vaginal secretions than any other single perfumery raw material.

chickenlittle said...

I have it on very good authority that the extract of marigolds smells more like feminine vaginal secretions than any other single perfumery raw material.

That reminds me of that old Seals & Croft tune:

Summer's Eve
makes me feel fine
blowing through the jasmine in my mind...

BAS said...

Has affirmative action accomplished what it set out to do? It seems to have been twisted. In order to get enough women and minorities into defense/military contractors the companies hire HR departments that are very heavy on female minorities (two for the price of one), but are these the jobs to have, administrative support?

The problem for affirmative action in technical fields is that the kids can't compete coming from bad schools, they are bright and motivated, but sometimes very behind and it is hard to catch up, so a significant number of students ends up in liberal arts degree programs, something that may not get a person out of poverty.

chickenlittle said...

Carol_Herman wrote: Why was this man allowed to run with Ike? Who put him there?

I think Ike was seen as being too soft on the commies. Remember, he ran against "Mr. Republican" in the '52 primary, Robert Taft. So Richard Nixon shored up Ike's republican bona fides. But you voted for Adlai Stevenson that year IIRC. :)

jeff said...

"To this day, you will not see a brown, black, red or yellow face on an American visitor at any of them;"

Grand Canyon not a national park?

Thorley Winston said...

"In his memoir, Nixon expressed disappointment that he "received only lukewarm support from most of the national black leaders," who, he speculated, were "more interested in dramatic tokenism than in the hard fight for actual progress.""

That’s the problem with being a turncloak, the people you betrayed won’t trust you and neither will the people you sold them out to. By selling out conservative principles for political expediency, Nixon only guaranteed that his legacy would be to be despised by both sides.

Cedarford said...

rcocean said...
Nixon gave us Wage and Price Controls, EPA, big budget deficits, Blackmun, Affirmative action, and did nothing to stop Busing. I don't think he was pro-life or was the least bit socially conservative - despite the campaign rhetoric.


================
Not entirely true. Nixon did not give us big budget deficits. That awaited Reagan and Voodoo Economics. Nixon had the last positive US trade balances, before the globalist free trade stuff started under Carter. EPA was Congress-driven and back then, we had burning canals and significant air and water quality problems. EPA morphed into an economy-killing beast after Watergate, when the Dems controlled DC and added immeasuably to EPA powers and staffed it with Zealots. Nixon fought against court-ordered busing up north to achieve "racial balance by numbers" - but was personally committed to ending segregation as an institution in the South. He did.

Affirmative action is a little harder to pin blame on. Nixon thought there had been discrimination in past Federal contrcts against minorities, and not just in the South. So he thought that as bids factored in "successful past experience" of white contractors - that catch up included giving minorites a break to match the experience qualification.

But the real affirmative action - the school, employment hiring discrimination was fixed into law and practice by two jewish progressive lawyers hired by LBJ to head up EEO and put teeth into anti-discrimination law. They established the metrics to measure discrimination by - groups and their portion of the population. Then Congress and courts came up with "victim groups" and the two lawyers decided their metrics mattered the most in determining if civil rights 'discrimination' had occured.
They are the two at EEO that created the new races. The "Pacific Islander" that excluded most Pacific Islands. The "Hispanic race" that excluded people from Spain and Portugal, but included anyone that spoke Spanish or Portuguese below Texas and Florida. The "Native American race" that included Canadian natives, but not the NAs that were now officially "Hispanic".

Cedarford said...

Thorely - "By selling out conservative principles for political expediency, Nixon only guaranteed that his legacy would be to be despised by both sides."

No, what you mean is by being a Centrist, people like Eisenhower, Nixon, Clinton are despised by both the idiot Left and Right Wing extremists.
The "sides" are the true believing morons that are 25% of the American electorate. The other 75% elect the FDRs, Eisenhowers,Nixons, Clintons, and Bushes (the last Bush being perverted by voodoo economics and Neocons).
As of now, Richard Nixon still has the record that more Americans voted for him than any other American politician. People that didn't despise him then, and those still living that don't even now. (contrary to the narrative spun by progressive Jews of the media and the deranged and dumb assholes of the Religious Right that worship Ronald Jesus Christ and saints like Palin, Alan Keyes, Ron Paul)

ironrailsironweights said...

Given that crabs grow in pubic hair, today there is no chance in a quadrillion that you'll find any in a whorehouse.

Peter

Craig said...

To this day, you will not see a brown, black, red or yellow face on an American visitor at any of them [National Parks and Forests];

Well, that's a surprise.

Jose_K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Wouldn't it have made more sense for Nixon to have integrated the National Parks and Forests instead? To this day, you will not see a brown, black, red or yellow face on an American visitor at any of them;

That paragraph is as full of shit as a Christmas goose. Out here in the west, the national parks and forests are teeming with Asians who know there's a market for mushrooms, and are out in brigade strength collecting them for sale and even fighting over turf.

Other national parks and forests more distant from the metropolises are colonized by 'hispanics' who have built and are operating marijuana farms with automatic irrigations systems and armed guards. Don't go there.

Oh, yeah, the visitors who camp and hike and swim also include more diversity than the author of said paragraph - read caricature - will admit.

wdnelson93 said...

I was a kid growing up in the Chicago area when Everett Dirkson was in Congress. I remember little about him - I think I was 12 when he died and not really all that politically aware. But I do recall there being a sense of respect whenever I heard his name. Now I know why.

viator - thanks for the further quotes. Illinois has been dragged through the muck. (I also remember the trial of the Chicago 7); nice to see a little light coming from the Land of Lincoln.

Big Mike said...

Linda Chavez seems to have been first to point out that affirmative action today goes to benefit those who've already made it, not those struggling. As she (correctly) points out, her children benefit from a Hispanic last name, but they've already been to all the best schools and, as the offspring of a former cabinet officer and past senatorial candidate, they scarcely qualify as "disadvantaged." This is much to her credit IMHO.

"Diversity" is pretty easy -- the University of Wisconsin can even hire somebody as brain-dead as Damon Williams to count up the number of kids who self-identify as "African-American" and "Hispanic" and divide by the total university population.

Figuring out that some white male from a disadvantaged background has a serious chance to make it, given all that he's had to overcome, and that perhaps he's a better addition to the University of Wisconsin student body over an African-American whose father is a multimillionaire and who went to all the best prep schools but earned only C's. Now that would take effort. Won't happen.

The only way a poor white boy gets to Wisconsin-Madison is if he can run fast holding a football under his arm.

Carnifex said...

I am the smallest minority. I am me. I am NOT an African American Italian Irish French German Welsh Cherokee. They are all part of my genes though. Excusing bad behavior by showing bad behavior by the other guy is just a little less, than committing bad behavior because the other guy committed bad behavior. It is human nature though :-)

John Lynch said...

Nixon was a liberal.

Dunno why so many people don't know this.