Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bookbag: Moynihan on the Virtue of Political Loyalty

Daniel Patrick Moynihan discusses behind-the-scenes wrangling over LBJ's Economic Opportunity Act in Maximum Feasible Misunderstanding: Community Action in the War on Poverty:
In a meeting in the Speaker's Office on August 8th, 1964, members of the North Carolina delegation demanded as a price of their support a pledge that [Adam] Yarmolinsky, who as the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense had energetically sought to uphold the constitutional rights of Negro servicemen in Southern states and was known for his generally liberal and progressive views, would have nothing to do with the administration of the antipoverty program. Sargent Shriver made a quick call to the White House. Yarmolinsky was sacrificed without ceremony or ado. The most effulgent promises of future preferment were made this dedicated man, who, weeks earlier, half-dead on an operating table after an automobile accident, had regained consciousness asking for details of the day's work on the antipoverty program. None were kept.

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