On The Civil Rights Act of 1964
[Republished from 2008Central.net]
I was going to let this go, but then the whole “Ted Kennedy was incensed” thing surfaced.
Let me be as frank as possible: To narrow the passage of the Civil Rights Act to one party let alone one person, is about as foolish as you could possibly be. If anyone wants to comment, please read this or something like it first. Multiple parties were involved, multiple presidents (JFK got it through the House (the easier chamber, but by no means easy), and Johnson got it through the Senate. Without key Republicans like Bill McCulloch and Clarence Brown, the issue may not have even gotten out of the House. And Johnson delegated a lot of the work in the Senate to Hubert Humphrey. And this happened in 1964; were the same group of politicians together in 1954, it surely would not have passed. Think about why, it’s not that complicated.
My point is that this controversy is complicated, and anyone that wants to comment should understand the historical context.
I suppose, yes, that this means that Hillary Clinton’s original statement was not entirely accurate. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 took a massive amount of bipartisanship and cooperation even with a movement helping it. It was no doing of one person – that goes as much for King as it does President Kennedy as it does President Johnson.
And frankly, if the press had any idea at all, they would have worked to inform the public about the subtleties of the passage instead of letting it linger this long.