Printer Friendly

To purge or not to purge: Hamlet Harry and the Dixiecrats, 1948-1952.

Intra-Party Conflict and Party Leadership

Political scientist Angelo, Panebianco has argued "that the principal cause of intra-party conflicts is to be found in the party's internal system of inequalities."(1) Thus, dissident members of a major party are often frustrated and alienated by their inability to redress their grievances about the choice of their party's nominee for public office or a policy position adopted by their party's platform through normal, intra-party channels of representation, such as party conventions and nomination and platform-making processes. In the early 1930s, historian John D. Hicks assumed that the emergence of sectionally-based third or minor parties in the United States would be far less likely in the future because direct primaries would satisfy the desire of factions within major parties to influence nominations and policy positions.(2)

Shortly before the Dixiecrat revolt of 1948, political scientist V. O. Key, Jr., wrote, "The leaders of dissident groups usually had no special desire to form a minor party but did so only when it seemed impossible to convert the dominant elements in one of the major parties to their views."(3) Key found, however, that a dissident group's formation of a minor party may benefit the two major parties by serving as a "safety valve" for expressing a policy position that neither major party will adopt.(4) Thus, a minor party might serve a beneficial purpose for the two-party system and the major party from which it rebelled.

Clearly, therefore, disaffected factions within the two major American parties will typically form minor parties only after having exhausted all normal intra-party methods and avenues of representing their policy interests and attempting to influence this party's dominant coalition and party leadership. Political scientist Samuel J. Eldersveld has explained three key characteristics of the American two-party system: capacity for absorption of protest, ideological electicism, and coalition flexibility.(5) All of these characteristics especially pertain to the three qualities of the Democratic party's organizational culture that political scientist Philip Klinkner has identified and explained: democracy, representation, and inclusion.(6)

By 1948, however, the Democratic party could no longer effectively fulfill and express the characteristics and values explained by Eldersveld and Klinkner when it had to resolve the issue of federal civil rights legislation for blacks, or African Americans. Due to the New Deal realignment, the Democratic party had grown in the size and diversity of its membership and interest groups.(7) In particular, the intraparty influence of liberal interest groups--those Democrats whose ideology and policy interests called for federal intervention on economic and social issues--had grown at the presidential level of the party, at Democratic national conventions, among DNC chairs, and, to a lesser degree, in Congress.(8) The abrogation of the two-thirds rule at the 1936 Democratic national convention and the selection of Henry Wallace as vice-presidential nominee in 1940 signified the decline of Southern conservative influence within the party.(9)

On the civil rights issue, the national Democratic party and Harry Truman as its titular leader and spokesman could no longer absorb, include, and represent the conflicting demands of both white Southern conservatives and black Democrats supported by their liberal allies, namely, the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), labor unions, and the urban machine bosses.(10) Concerning a significant change in a party's policy goal such as this, Robert Harmel and Kenneth Janda have persuasively claimed that "change does not `just happen,' but instead results from leadership change, a change of dominant factions within the party, and/or an external stimulus for change."(11)

In addition, Truman's campaign strategy of coopting and satisfying liberals, especially those who might be attracted to Henry Wallace's minor party candidacy, on civil rights and his personal commitment to civil rights led him to refuse to abandon or weaken his civil rights position--or even the more detailed Democratic civil rights plank adopted in 1948--in order to appease his most vehement Democratic opponents on this issue.(12) The now-expressed liberal ideological and programmatic identity of the Democratic party on civil rights dramatically exemplified the further decline of the Democratic party as a "catch-all party" that could accommodate ideologically incompatible members.(13)

Truman's Two Value Systems

Harry Truman's treatment of the Dixiecrats following the 1948 election was strongly influenced by his two value systems as a Democrat in general and as a party leader in particular. Truman's first value system was the ethos of a party regular.(14) More so than that of any other Democratic president in the twentieth century, Harry Truman's political career was the product of party organizations.(15) The Pendergast organization's calculated decisions on candidate selection, networks of machine allies, and crucial electoral support had elevated Truman from county judge to U.S. senator.(16) Roosevelt's choice of Truman as his vice-presidential nominee in 1944 was greatly influenced--and perhaps determined--by the promotional efforts of current and former DNC chairs Bob Hannegan, Frank Walker, and Ed Flynn.(17) Machine bosses Ed Kelly and Frank Hague were also key supporters.

As president, Truman continued to possess and express the value system of a party regular. Truman clearly possessed the traits which political scientist Ralph Goldman has identified to be those of a "partisan" president. According to Goldman's typology, Truman and other "partisans" are "explicit, articulate, and even unabashedly proud of their party affiliation, relatively active in the party's management, and willing to solicit and to campaign on behalf of the party."(18) Seeking to improve and maintain intra-party harmony and cooperation early in his presidency, Truman initially tried to develop a more cooperative relationship with congressional Democrats, especially Southern moderates and conservatives who had felt increasingly alienated from Roosevelt.(19) Shortly after Truman's presidency began, liberals were alarmed when Truman appointed several conservatives, such as John Steelman and John Snyder, to his White House staff and cabinet, partially to reflect different policy views and serve as liaisons with conservative Democrats and party regulars in Congress.(20)

A firm believer in the explicit use of patronage to reward service and loyalty to the Democratic party, Truman the regular initially hoped that appointing such a diversity of Democrats would partially improve intra-party harmony.(21) Furthermore, Truman took a strong personal interest in the efficacy and vitality of national and state party organizations.(22) Chosen as the ideal compromise candidate for vice president acceptable to different, conflicting factions of the Democratic party, Truman the regular was evidently trying to develop a more harmonious, united, and internally cooperative national Democratic party.

Truman's second value system or ethos was that of a liberal reformer. Truman's liberalism was a mixture of the anti-Wall Street agrarian populism of William Jennings Bryan, the "good government" progressivism and internationalism of Woodrow Wilson, and the pro-labor, social welfare, redistributive emphases of the New Deal.(23) While Truman the regular sought a more united, internally harmonious Democratic party that could appeal to a variety of Democrats, Truman the reformer wanted his party leadership to foster a Democratic party more distinct and nationally integrated in its liberalism.

In particular, Truman the reformer wanted a Democratic party in government whose policy behavior would not only consolidate the New Deal programs but also achieve such new policy goals as national health insurance, civil rights laws for African Americans, and federal aid to education at all levels, even if these liberal policy efforts disrupted the type of party that Truman the regular wanted.(24) Truman's submission of his 21 Point Program in 1945, which essentially proposed a comprehensive welfare state, aroused equally sharp criticism from both conservative Democrats and Republicans in Congress.(25) On economic and civil rights issues in particular, Truman the reformer wanted to make the Democratic party and his presidential candidacy as attractive as possible to the most liberal voters in 1948, partially to minimize the appeal and strength of Henry Wallace's leftist Progressive party during and after the campaign.

Consequently, as much as Truman the regular wrote and spoke about his desire for greater intra-Party harmony and cooperation among all Democrats, Truman the reformer realized that his liberal policy proposals, especially on civil rights, would further divide the Democratic party and aggravate, perhaps permanently, intra-party relations.(26) As president and party leader, he was committed to the enactment of federal policies that would prohibit racial discrimination in hiring, voting, and the military and ban poll taxes and lynching.(27)

Truman the regular hoped--and even assumed--that Southern conservatives would eventually reconcile themselves with this new policy identity for the Democratic party.(28) But Truman the reformer was ready to welcome--and even accelerate--the exodus of Southern conservatives from the national Democratic party.(29) Thus, Truman the reformer was motivated to consider a "purge" or punishment of Dixiecrats.(30)

Harbingers of the SRD Campaign

The growth of Southern conservative opposition to the increasingly liberal national Democratic party, which emphasized more federal intervention in domestic policy, especially to benefit the policy interests of northern cities, labor unions, and racial and ethnic minorities, was certainly not surprising by 1948.(31) What was unusual was that some Southern conservatives Democrats chose to establish a minor party--which they did not formally identify as a minor party--as the method for expressing their opposition to Harry Truman's candidacy and the expanding liberalism and policy biases for blacks, urban ethnic groups, and labor unions within the national Democratic party that his candidacy represented. Since the founders and nominees of the States' Rights Democratic (SRD) movement did not regard it as a minor party, they regarded it instead as an organization within, not outside of, the Democratic party.(32)

From their perspective, they were not actually leaving or abandoning the Democratic party. Rather, the SRD leaders regarded themselves as "real" Democrats who organized and conducted a national, intra-party movement, instead of a regional minor party, to destroy the threat that Harry Truman and modern liberalism posed to the Jeffersonian Democratic ideas of protecting states' rights and economic freedom against excessive, unconstitutional, liberty-destroying federal control. The civil rights policies proposed by Truman and the Democratic platform were viewed by SRD rhetoric as simply the most dangerous and obvious example of this betrayal of the original and legitimate Democratic ideology.(33)

Despite its self-perception as a national, ideologically-based intra-party movement, the SRD party was regarded by most anti-Truman conservative Democratic politicians in the South, especially those in Congress, as an ineffective and even a dangerously self-defeating method for opposing Truman's candidacy, his civil rights proposals, and generally, the increasingly liberal direction of the national Democratic party. Such nationally prominent Southern conservative Democratic senators as Harry Byrd and Richard Russell avoided formal association with the SRD party and did not assist J. Strom Thurmond's campaign. Russell eventually, yet equivocally, endorsed Truman.(34) Byrd and Russell had allowed Southern delegates to support them respectively as protest candidates at the 1944 and 1948 Democratic national conventions.(35)

Byrd and Russell were leading members of the conservative coalition of Republicans and Southern Democrats in Congress that had emerged since the 1938 congressional elections. Outraged by Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1937 court "packing" bin and his mostly unsuccessful purge campaign against conservative Southern Democrats began openly and regularly to cooperate with Republicans on certain issues. This bipartisan coalition often succeeded in weakening, defeating, or at least indefinitely delaying liberal legislation sponsored by the Roosevelt and Truman administrations and by their liberal colleagues. Regardless of which party held majorities of seats in Congress, it seemed that the bipartisan, conservative coalition would effectively dominate the legislative process in domestic policy.

Thus, conservative Southern Democrats in Congress were willing to continue to belong to a national Democratic party whose presidential nominees and platforms formulated and advocated liberal policy goals which they opposed and intended to defeat or dilute in the legislative process. Formally joining the SRD party and campaigning for Thurmond could risk losing their Democratic seniority and being denied chairmanships and committee assignments by party caucuses. Furthermore, such punitive actions by non-Southern and more liberal Southern Democratic colleagues could enhance the power of liberal, Democrats in Congress and in their home states' politics.(36) As V. O. Key, Jr. indicated, Southern conservative Democratic members of Congress were aware of the eventual political defeats of most Southern politicians who were "Hoovercrats" in 1928.(37) This was a greater deterrent against Joining the SRD campaign than the prospect of being denied patronage by Truman since almost everybody assumed that he would lose the election.

Even the most consistently conservative, anti-Truman Southern Democrats in Congress, therefore, avoided identification with the SRD party and presidential campaign of 1948. The fact, though, that some Southern Democrats were willing to establish a party, nominate presidential and vice-presidential candidates, gain control of several states' ballots in order to make Thurmond and Fielding Wright the official Democratic presidential ticket, and attempt to have the House of Representatives determine the presidential election, indicates the extreme measures that some Southerners were willing to pursue in order to reassert their region's influence in the Democratic party. The Supreme Court's 1944 decision against white-only primaries in Smith v Allwright made Black Belt conservatives especially determined to use any measures to prevent further federal intervention in voting.

From the perspective of SRD presidential nominee J. Strom Thurmond, the founders of the SRD movement had patiently and reasonably pursued and exhausted the appropriate channels within the Democratic party to redress their grievances concerning Truman's civil rights message.(38) Before the SRD party was formally established on July 17, 1948, Thurmond and other like-minded Southern Democrats had conferred with DNC chair J. Howard McGrath, issued public letters of protest to Truman, and held a conference on May 10, 1948, in Jackson, Mississippi, to prepare for the Democratic national convention. Furthermore, the future Dixiecrats had testified before the platform committee of the Democratic national convention in Philadelphia, had submitted states' rights planks to counteract the ADA-sponsored civil rights plank, and briefly supported Dwight Eisenhower as an alternative Democratic presidential nominee.(39) They also tried to restore the two-thirds rule and provide delegate votes for Richard Russell's presidential candidacy. To the Dixiecrats, therefore, the establishment of the SRD campaign was the only remaining method for definitely defeating the enactment of strong federal civil rights laws and reasserting Southern conservative influence in formulating and expressing the national Democratic party's ideological and programmatic identity and direction as reflected by platform planks and nominations.

Truman's Campaign Strategy

In addition to the frequent conflicts and alternations between Harry Truman's two value systems that persisted throughout his party leadership, Truman's response to the SRD movement was characterized by delay, indecision, and vacillation partially because he and his White House staff were surprised that some Southern Democrats would have reacted to a stronger civil rights plank in this manner.(40) To a great extent, Truman and his campaign staff planned and conducted his presidential campaign according to the now legendary Clifford memorandum. Mostly containing the suggestions of former Roosevelt aide James Rowe, this detailed set of guidelines for Truman's campaign was submitted to the president by special counsel Clark Clifford on November 19, 1947.(41) The memorandum advised Truman to solidify the support of liberal interest groups and voting blocs in order to minimize dissatisfaction with Truman's presidency from the left. Truman's rhetoric, policy decisions, appointments, and media relations should try to maximize Truman's appeal among union members, blacks, urban ethnics, and non-Democratic liberals.(42) In order to satisfy these groups, especially on civil rights, Truman would have to antagonize Southern Democrats. The memo confidently assumed, "It is inconceivable that any policies initiated by the Truman administration no matter how `liberal' could so alienate the South in the next year that it would revolt."(43)

Truman's February 2, 1948, civil rights message to Congress contained less than one-third of the recommendations made by the President's Committee on Civil Rights, but the delegates at the Democratic national convention in July adopted the more liberal ADA-sponsored civil rights plank.(44) While Truman was deluged by criticism from Southern Democrats because of his civil rights message, Truman the reformer mentioned to White House aides "that if this issue should split the Democratic party in the south it might be a good thing eventually, by bringing about a realignment between the liberal and conservative elements."(45) Ironically, former SRD vice-presidential nominee Fielding Wright stated in 1950 that a similar ideological realignment in a new two-party system was desirable.

Except for a speech in which Truman became the first Democratic presidential nominee to campaign in Harlem, Truman generally avoided references to the civil rights plank in his campaign speeches. Instead, he stressed economic, agricultural, and foreign policy issues as he castigated the "do-nothing" Republican Congress during his whistle stop campaign.(46) Likewise, Truman did little campaigning in the South in order to avoid crowds hostile to his civil rights plank.

After the SRD members had held their convention in Houston on August 11 to formally nominate their candidates, Truman the regular generally avoided comment to the press about the Dixiecrat campaign. Meanwhile, DNC chair J. Howard McGrath publicly expressed the Truman campaign's position toward the Dixiecrat revolt. To avoid alienating anti-civil rights, pro-Truman Southern Democrats, McGrath's public statements focused on the disloyalty of the SRD members to the Truman-Barkley ticket, rather than their opposition to the civil rights plank.(47)

In particular, McGrath relied on his executive assistant, William Primm, an Alabama native, to challenge the successful SRD efforts to make Thurmond and Wright the official Democratic presidential and vice-presidential nominees in Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, and Louisiana for the purposes of ballot designations and control of electoral college votes.(48) Fortunately for Truman and McGrath, Democrats in other Southern and border states who supported Truman or simply opposed the SRD campaign for reasons peculiar to their own states' politics assured that the SPD nominees would be listed as minor party or independent candidates on their states' ballots.

Consequently, during the general election campaign of 1948, Truman the regular had the luxury of publicly ignoring the SRD campaign while the DNC headquarters issued statements condemning the SRD movement as a stalking horse to help the Republicans elect Tom Dewey and protect oil interests that opposed federal control of tidelands oil.(49) Most Major daily newspapers in the South, especially Ralph McGill's Atlanta Constitution, further disseminated this suspicion of SRD leaders as economic reactionaries who exploited racial fears to serve their economic policy interests.(50) Anti-SRD Democrats in Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina were especially vigorous in their efforts to minimize the electoral appeal of the SRD nominees. They feared that attractive SRD campaigns in their states would split the Democratic vote and enable the growing number of Republicans in their states to win upset victories in congressional, state, and local races.(51)

In addition to the effective efforts of anti-SRD Southern Democrats and newspapers, the voter appeal of J. Strom Thurmond in the South was further weakened by poor planning, inadequate advertising, and insufficient campaign funds, despite accusations of lavish contributions from oil interests. Furthermore, most Southern whites were more interested in current economic issues than the prospect of federal civil rights laws. The election results of 1948 revealed that Thurmond had received 2.4 percent of the popular vote nationally and 17.4 percent of it in the Southern states.(52) He received thirty-nine electoral college votes which consisted of all of those from South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana and one electoral vote from Tennessee. In most Southern states, Tom Dewey had received a much higher percentage of the popular vote than Thurmond.

After the Election

Harry Truman's upset victory and his ability to win a majority, albeit a narrow majority, of the Southern votes despite a controversial civil rights plank did not end the issue of the SRD revolt. Both Mississippi senators, James Eastland and John Stennis, most of Mississippi's U.S. representatives, and several U.S. representatives from South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia had publicly identified with the SRD party, or were nominated as SRD candidates, and assisted Thurmond's campaign.(53) Should Truman try to purge them by openly helping their Democratic opponents defeat them in the 1950 primaries? Or should Truman attempt a more immediate and more certain punishment by having Democratic leaders and caucuses deny these Dixiecrats their committee assignments and chairmanships? After all, seventy-five new Democrats, almost all non-Southern, had been elected to the House of Representatives in 1948. Another option would be to deny these congressional Dixiecrats federal patronage or, more mildly, to ensure the granting of federal patronage to pro-Truman Democrats in their states.

Besides these Dixiecratic members of Congress, Truman and McGrath had to consider how to deal with Dixiecratic members of the DNC. They could be removed from the DNC according to Rule 11. Rule 11 of the Democratic National Committee stated, "The National Committee is empowered to expel members for cause, and has exercised this prerogative as in 1896 when it expunged from its rolls the names of members actively opposing the election of the presidential nominee."(54) However, it would not be until August 1949 that the DNC would meet to consider the expulsion of Dixiecrats from its membership.

Shortly after the election, though, Truman was more concerned about assuring party loyalty in Congress for the support of the Democratic national platform's policy proposals, commonly known as the Fair Deal. In particular, he wanted to attract enough votes to repeal the Taft-Hartley Act, which most Southern Democrats in the 80th Congress had supported. Without specifying civil rights legislation, Truman the regular repeatedly emphasized that the Democratic party was now a truly national party and must unite and cooperate to fulfill the policy promises of its platform.(55) In April 1949, Truman the reformer, however, remarked at a press conference that the voting records of Democrats toward Fair Deal legislation, especially the repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act, would be considered by McGrath and him in granting patronage.(56)

More significantly, immediately after the 1948 election, Truman the reformer seriously considered the prospect of purging congressional Dixiecrats, and even some of the anti-Fair Deal Southern conservatives who did not formally support Thurmond in the 1950 Democratic primaries. On November 6, 1948, Truman stated resolutely to his White House staff, I don't want any fringes in the Democratic party ... no Wallace-ites or states' righters."(57) Truman's upset victory had emboldened him to briefly believe that he could persuade most Southern voters to defeat anti-Fair Deal Democrats if he personally campaigned against these incumbents in the 1950 primaries.(58)

Realizing how successful and controversial Roosevelt's 1938 purge campaign had been, Truman the reformer next considered having Democratic congressional leaders and caucuses purge, or remove, Dixiecratic members from their committee assignments because of their opposition to the Truman-Barkley ticket. Privately and more importantly, Truman the reformer wanted to minimize the power of Dixiecrats in the legislative process since they would vehemently oppose Fair Deal legislation which he believed should identify the national Democratic party to the voters. While vacationing in Key West, Florida, in November 1948, Truman conferred with Sam Rayburn, who would soon regain his position as Speaker of the House, about the feasibility of denying Dixiecrats their seniority and committee assignments.(59)

Rayburn was sympathetic to Truman's position and would later assert at a party caucus, "There is only one kind of Democrat."(60) Rayburn realized, however, the lasting resentment that such obvious presidential interference with congressional caucuses and norms could cause among even pro-Truman Democrats. Moreover, such a purge might increase, rather than decrease, opposition to the Fair Deal by the bipartisan conservative coalition, thus strengthening the Republican minority.(61) Truman agreed with Rayburn.(62)

During the first two or three months after the 1948 election, it appeared that Truman would express his values as a party regular by emphasizing reconciliation and intra-party harmony and by imposing no systematic penalties on Dixiecrats. In December 1948, Truman the regular referred to the SRD campaign as a "family quarrel" and "the late unpleasantness" while McGrath referred to it as a "venial," not a "mortal" sin against the national Democratic party.(63) White House aide Bill Hassett assured a Mississippi Democrat worried about possible vengeance from the administration, "I need hardly tell you that the President will hold out the olive branch to all citizens of good win; nor need I assure you that the President, after so long an experience in politics, holds no grudges and does not cherish animosity toward any man, living or dead."(64)

Truman's ethos as a party regular, therefore wanted to improve intra-party relations with Southern dissidents and recognized his limits as party leader to effectively discipline Dixiecrats and pressure most Southern Democrats to support Fair Deal legislation.(65) Also, in terms of welcoming back Democratic "bolters" in general, McGrath wanted to persuade Democrats who had supported Henry Wallace's Progressive party campaign to return to the Democratic party. Consequently, Senator Glen Taylor of Idaho, Wallace's running mate, was allowed by Senate Democrats to retain his Democratic seniority and his committee assignments.(66) Any effort by Truman and McGrath to pressure Senate Democrats to punish Mississippi senators James Eastland and John Stennis might appear to be punishments for their conservatism, not their disloyalty to the Democratic party.

Pressures to Purge

Truman the regular was careful to avoid vindictive public statements about the Dixiecrats and decided against imposing the harshest penalties against them. Truman the reformer, however, was tempted and pressured by columnists, liberal activists, Eleanor Roosevelt, and organizations like the ADA, CIO-PAC, NAACP, and more liberal Southern Democrats to assist pro-administration Democrats in the South against the Dixiecrats and reduce the power of Southern conservatives in Congress.(67) A December 5, 1948, editorial in the New York Star even urged Truman to persuade liberal Democrats and party leaders in Congress to abolish the seniority system and elect committee chairs by secret ballot. The New York Star asserted that "it is perfectly proper and desirable for Mr. Truman to exercise the party leadership which the people have entrusted to him.. It is perfectly proper and desirable that those members of Congress who support his program ... should organize both houses along lines that will at least minimize the chances of outright obstruction."(68)

Likewise, just weeks after the 1948 election, the Chicago Sun-Times lamented that the seniority rules and tradition would ensure that key chairmanships in both houses would be held by Southern conservatives hostile to civil rights and the Fair Deal. "It is not merely a matter of `purging' a few Dixiecrat or Wallace-ite deserters.... Many Southern members in both houses went along with Mr. Truman during the campaign, but oppose everything he stands for, on civil rights and other issues, quite as vigorously as the Dixiecrats."(69) Clearly, if Truman the reformer wanted a more consistently and effectively liberal Democratic party that could fulfill its promised policy goals, it would have to be less tolerant and more punitive toward its obstructionistic members than Truman the regular wanted.

To develop a more nationally-integrated liberal Democratic party, Truman, McGrath, and McGrath's successor as DNC chair, William Boyle, Jr. sought to encourage and politically strengthen economically liberal Southern Democratic governors like Jim Folsom of Alabama and Sid McMath of Arkansas, and members of Congress in the south.(70) For example, McGrath and Boyle quietly channeled campaign funds to help Folsom and his loyalists win forty-three of the seventy-two seats on the Alabama Democratic state committee in May 1950.(71) Previously, McGrath had circumvented Alabama Democratic state chairman Gessner McCorvey, a leading Dixiecrat in 1948, and appointed Herbert J. Meigham, a Folsom ally, as a finance director for the DNC in Alabama.(72) In addition to Alabama, Truman, McGrath, and Boyle regarded the success of loyalist Democrats in winning majorities of seats on Democratic state committees by defeating Dixiecrats in South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana to be crucial in preventing another Dixiecrat revolt in 1952.(73)

Truman the reformer, therefore, hoped to quietly yet effectively bolster Democratic loyalists in the Deep South and make them a part of a more disciplined, distinctly liberal, nation-centered Democratic party as a bulwark against Dixiecrats and conservatives in general.(74) Truman the regular, though, understood that he would inevitably have to seek the cooperation of Southern conservatives in Congress for much of his legislation on foreign defense policies in particular.(75) His ethos as a party regular led him to finally announce his patronage policy for Southern Democrats by April 1949. One reason for Truman's partially conciliatory caution was the fact that Senator James Eastland of Mississippi, the most blatant Dixiecrat in Congress, retained his seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Eastland could obstruct or delay Justice Department patronage and hearings on judicial appointments.

Truman the regular decided that Southern Democrats who had actively supported the Truman-Barkley ticket would be given the top preference in federal appointments. Known Dixiecrats and Dixiecrat sympathizers would be given less consideration for federal jobs in a state if there were pro-Truman Democrats there.(76) Truman the regular hoped that this patronage policy would appear moderate, balanced, and reasonable even to his Democratic opponents.(77)

Instead, Truman's compromise on patronage would be criticized within the Democratic party by liberals as too soft and by conservatives as too harsh. Throughout the remainder of his presidency, liberal activists and organizations like the ADA and loyalist Democrats in the south would complain about former SRD members and sympathizers receiving federal patronage. Elected to the Senate in 1948 as a liberal opponent of Memphis machine boss and Thurmond supporter Ed Crump, Estes Kefauver of Tennessee regularly complained to Truman that Senator Kenneth McKellar, a close ally of Crump and Fair Deal opponent, still received most of his state's federal patronage.(78) Annoyed with Kefauver's complaints that the president was not using patronage to "build up a progressive real Democratic party in Tennessee," Truman the regular reported that it was not his "job to straighten out factional fights in every State in the Union."(79)

Likewise, as early as April 29, 1949, McGrath and Dixiecratic Senator John Stennis of Mississippi were conferring with Truman about federal patronage.(80) In 1951, a North Carolina Democrat complained to Truman that too many "dixiecrat-minded people" in the south were still receiving federal appointments.(81) Former Texas congressman Maury Maverick warned Donald Dawson, Truman's top aide on patronage, that "no Truman Democrat in Texas has been appointed or recognized by the Administration."(82) Meanwhile, anti-Truman conservatives and former Dixiecrats increasingly dominated the Texas Democratic apparatus.

While liberals were dismayed and frustrated with Truman the regular's compromise policy on patronage, Dixiecrats and Southern conservatives in general accused Harry Truman of violating senatorial courtesy and manipulating federal patronage according to their voting records on administration bills during the 81st Congress.(83) The Senate, though, retaliated against and embarrassed Truman by refusing to confirm his nominee to a federal judgeship in Georgia in August 1950 because the president did not consult Georgia's senators.(84)

In contrast to Truman the regular who would use patronage as a conciliatory measure, Truman the reformer would occasionally use the threat of delaying or denying patronage to certain conservative Democrats, but especially Dixiecrats, in Congress to pressure support for Fair Deal legislation. Even the most minor federal appointments in Mississippi were delayed throughout 1949.(85) Unlike the dismissive comments that Truman the regular had made to Kefauver, Truman the reformer bluntly told a Brooklyn judge, "The real enemies of the Democratic party are those within our own household who betray the trust committed to them. We shall forfeit public confidence if we do not throw them out, root and branch."(86)

On May 3, 1949, Democratic Representative Walter K. Granger of Utah defended Truman's consideration of a Democrat's voting record on Fair Deal legislation for making patronage decisions. Granger especially criticized Democratic Representative F. Edward Hebert of Louisiana, who had supported Thurmond and campaigned for re-election as an SRD nominee, for complaining about patronage denials and delays. "Congressman Hebert and his like-minded colleagues professed themselves to be very incensed at the President's suggestions that they might be swayed by patronage.... The fact is that patronage is just about the most persuasive argument that a President has with Congress."(87)

Far from being a "persuasive argument" for passing Fair Deal bills, Truman's moderate, vacillating patronage policy revealed the conflicts in his two value systems and between his short-term objective of reconciling with Dixiecrats and other Southern conservatives and gaining their support on certain bills and his long-term objective of transforming the Democratic party into a more ideologically and programmatically cohesive and disciplined liberal party that could effectively diminish and marginalize conservative Democratic opponents and obstructionists.(88) Unfortunately for Truman the regular and Truman the reformer, his patronage approach was mostly ineffective as either a "carrot" for his short-term objective or a "stick" for his long-term objective in party leadership. Donald R. McCoy and Richard T. Ruetten convincingly found that "it was always clear that some southern congressmen preferred the loss of patronage to the accusation that they supported parts of the president's program, which could be more damaging when election time rolled around."(89)

The Purge of Dixiecrats on the DNC

As the summer of 1949 approached, Truman and McGrath were increasingly criticized by liberals for mildly and ineffectively counteracting the successful opposition of conservative Democrats in Congress to civil rights and Fair Deal bills. Whereas Truman's contradictory patronage policy had failed to convince his liberal critics of the sincerity of his commitment to a liberal Democratic party, the DNC meeting of August 23 and 24, 1949 gave the president and the outgoing DNC chair McGrath the opportunity to impose a dramatic, highly publicized, unequivocal, yet anticipated penalty on the Dixiecrats. By using Rule 11, the DNC's Credentials Committee ousted five DNC members from South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana because of their active opposition to the Truman-Barkley ticket and support of the SRD nominees.(90) Although J. Strom Thurmond had already resigned as South Carolina's Democratic national committeeman, the DNC formally "expunged" Thurmond from the DNC's membership.(91)

The ousted Dixiecrats and their sympathizers, such as Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina, who was accepted as his state's new Democratic national committeeman, emphasized that the national Democratic party had a confederal structure. Therefore, since the Democratic voters of their states had chosen them to represent their states in the DNC, the other DNC members could not expel them. Because they were elected as DNC members with the promise that they would oppose any Democratic presidential ticket that endorsed a civil rights plank, they believed that they could both fulfill this pledge to their states and serve on the DNC.(92)

This view by the ousted Dixiecrats was most forcefully and completely expressed by former Democratic national committeeman Marion Rushton of Alabama. After the 1948 Democratic national convention was held, Rushton had informed Alabama Democrats that "the National Party had abandoned the principles upon which my people had so long supported it" and his state party had instructed him to advise the DNC that the Democratic presidential ticket of 1952 would not receive any electoral votes from Alabama "until the Democratic National Committee and the so-called Democratic National Party abandon its anti-Southern hate program, otherwise known as the Civil Rights program."(93) Shortly after the DNC elected William M. Boyle, Jr. as McGrath's successor, Boyle named two pro-Truman Democrats as "acting" DNC members for Mississippi. Boyle's action further inflamed the anger of Dixiecrats who accused his appointments of being illegitimate usurpation of the state parties' power to choose their DNC members.(94)

Truman publicly supported the DNC purges. According to Ralph Goldman, the purge of Dixiecrats on the DNC was the "hard line" orchestrated by Truman at the DNC dinner of August 24, 1949 which honored Boyle as its new chair.(95) Truman the regular welcomed all Democrats, including Dixiecrats, into the national Democratic party. He was proud that he had won the election without "the Solid South." But he stressed that the Democratic party was now a truly national, not "sectional," party, in which the Southern "tall no longer wags the dog." The party must elect Democrats to Congress who must "carry out that platform."(96)

The DNC's purges of Dixiecratic members and Truman's address at Boyle's dinner cogently manifested his respective reformist and regular value systems as party leader. As a party regular, Truman wanted to conclude this intra-party conflict, reconcile with Southern conservatives, and forget the "recent unpleasantness" by downplaying civil rights in his rhetoric and emphasizing the economic aspects of Fair Deal legislation, such as the Brannan agricultural plan and expanded rural electrification efforts, that he hoped would appeal to the populist strain of Southern politics.(97)

But Truman the reformer realized that his distinction as the first Democratic president to personally support and campaign on an explicit civil rights plank and to make a civil rights bill a top priority of a legislative session had irreversibly changed the ideology and policy agenda of the national Democratic party.(98) According to Harry Truman's public and private statements, he was determined that the Democratic party would continue to develop as a more nationally and ideologically cohesive liberal party which would no longer yield to a particular region or faction of the party on a particular issue. Truman the reformer, therefore, would not abandon this long-term objective for the Democratic party, no matter how much Truman the regular wanted intra-party harmony and unity to facilitate electoral victory in 1952.(99)

"Hamlet" Harry Truman continued to alternate between his two value systems in his behavior and rhetoric as party leader during the remainder of his presidency. However, neither political ethos nor Truman's conflicting mixture of the two achieved his objectives of effectively disciplining the Dixiecrats and reconciling with Southern conservatives. Of course, there were certain factors that thwarted Truman's reformist and regular objectives as a party leader that were external to his value systems. The fall of China to Mao Zedong in 1949, the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, the emergence of McCarthyism, and the losses of mostly liberal and non-Southern Democratic seats in the 1950 congressional elections increased the power of the bipartisan conservative coalition and factionalism, or dissensus, among the reduced number of Democrats in Congress.(100) As much as Truman the regular and the reformer tried to both harmonize and unite the Democratic party and further develop it as a vehicle of liberalism, he could not remedy the dissensus that plagued the Democratic party in 1952. In that year, many anti-Truman liberals initially rallied around the presidential candidacy of Estes Kefauver while Southern conservatives supported Richard Russell for president and later openly supported Republican Dwight Eisenhower.(101)


To purge or not to purge? This analysis of Harry S Truman's party leadership toward the Dixiecrats and Southern conservatives in general raises many questions about American presidential party leadership. How should an American president as party leader react to a formal intra-party revolt when he leads a party that has a diverse coalition of conflicting policy interests and ideologies?(102) What punishments, if any, should be used against "bolters" after a presidential campaign, considering the fact that the American systems and forces of government and party structure discourage and even prevent assertive, consistent, and centralized party discipline by a president?(103)

Or will a party leadership that emphasizes reconciliation and even appeasement toward intra-party dissidents alienate and lose electoral support for the "dominant coalition" and undermine the clarity and efficacy of the party's ideologically-oriented policy goals, such as Truman's civil rights plank?(104) Finally, will it ever be possible for a president like Harry Truman, who held and expressed two distinct, conflicting value systems as a party regular and liberal reformer, to exert a party leadership that can develop a major party with a broad, diverse membership and also develop it further into a more distinctly and cohesively ideological party in its identity and policy behavior? There's the rub.


(1.) Angelo Panebianco, Political Parties: Organization and Power (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 4.

(2.) John D. Hicks, "The Third Party Tradition in American Politics," Mississippi Valley Historical Review 20 (June 1933): 4-5.

(3.) V. O. Key, Jr., Politics, Parties, and Pressure Groups (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1947), p. 243.

(4.) Ibid., p. 244.

(5.) Samuel Eldersveld, Political Parties in American Society (New York: Basic Books, 1982), pp. 35-43.

(6.) Philip A. Klinkner, "The Response of Political Parties To Presidential Election Defeats: A Study in Organizational Culture," Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1992.

(7.) Sean J. Savage, Roosevelt: The Party Leader, 1932-1945 (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, 1991); and Stephen Skowronek, "Presidential Leadership in Political Time," in The Presidency and the Political System, ed. Michael Nelson (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1990), p. 127.

(8.) Savage, Roosevelt: The Party Leader, 1932-1945, pp. 17-47; Sidney M. Milkis, The President and the Parties: The Transformation of the American Party System Since the New Deal (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 38-51; James A. Davis and David L. Nixon, "The President's Party," Presidential Studies Quarterly 24, no. 2 (Spring 1994): 370; Herbert S. Parmet, The Democrats: The Years After FDR (New York: Macmillan, 1976), pp. 11-18; Ralph M. Goldman, The National Party Chairmen and Committees: Factionalism at the Top (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1990), p. 419; and Phone interview by author with William Hannegan, son of former Democratic National Committee [Hereafter DNC] chairman Robert Hannegan, May 28, 1994.

(9.) Harold F. Bass, Jr., "Presidential Party Leadership and Party Reform: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Abrogation of the Two-Thirds Rule," Presidential Studies Quarterly 18, no. 2 (Spring 1988): 303- 17; and Bernard F. Donahoe, Private Plans and Public Dangers (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1965), p. 178.

(10.) John F. Martin, Civil Rights and the Crisis of Liberalism: The Democratic Party, 1945-1976 (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1979), pp. 74-91; Clifton Brock, Americans fir Democratic Action: It's Role in National Politics (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985), pp. 87-8; Steven M. Gillon, The ADA and American Liberalism, 1947-1985 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. X-40; Personal interview by author with Joseph L. Rauh, Jr., an ADA member, July 10, 1991, Washington, D.C.

(11.) Robert Harmel and Kenneth Janda, "An Integrated Theory of Party Goals and Party Change," Journal of Theoretical Politics 6, no. 3 (1994): 259.

(12.) Clark M. Clifford Papers, Political File, memo, Clifford to Harry Truman, November 19, 1947, Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Missouri. Hereafter HSTL. Alonzo L. Hamby, Beyond the New Deal: Harry S. Truman and American Liberalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1973), p. 49; Personal interview by author with Richard Neustadt, July 24, 1991, Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

(13.) Otto Kircheimer, "The Transformation of the Western European Party Systems," in Political Parties and Political Development, ed. Joseph LaPalombara and Myron Weiner (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1966), pp. 177-200; and Martin, Civil Rights, p. 88.

(14.) Milkis, The President, p. 152; James Q. Wilson, The Amateur Democrat (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1962), pp. 8-9; and Alonzo L. Hamby, "An American Democrat: A Reevaluation of the Personality of Harry S. Truman," Political Science Quarterly 106, no. 1 (Spring 1991): 33-55.

(15.) Transcript, oral history interview with Harry Easley, August 24, 1967, HSTL; and Interview with James Aylward, June 12, 1968, HSTL.

(16.) Alfred Steinberg, The Man from Missouri (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1962), pp. 20-37; and Jonathan Daniels, The Man of Independence (New York: J.B. Lippincott, 1950), pp. 109-215.

(17.) Hannegan interview, 1994; and Robert H. Ferrell, Choosing Truman: The Democratic Convention of 1944 (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1994).

(18.) Ralph M. Goldman, "The American President as Party Leader: A Synoptic History," in Presidents and Their Parties: Leadership or Neglect?, ed. Robert Harmel (New York: Praeger, 1984), p. 21.

(19.) Phone interview by author with Ken Hechler, a White House aide for Truman, August 27, 1991.

(20.) Rauh interview, 1991.

(21.) Andrew Dunar, The Truman Scandals and the Politics of Morality (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1984), pp. 7-33.

(22.) Davis, The President as Party Leader, p. 113.

(23.) Alonzo L. Hamby, Liberalism and Its Challengers: F.D.R. to Reagan (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), pp. 54-70; and Sean J. Savage, "The Party Leadership Styles of Roosevelt and Truman," paper delivered at the Midwest Political Science Association meeting, Chicago, Illinois, April 17, 1993.

(24.) Tyler Abell, ed., Drew Pearson Diaries: 1949-1959 (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1974), p. 542.

(25.) Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1945 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1961) (hereafter PPP), pp. 263-309.

(26.) PPP, 1948, p. 121; and Monte M. Peon, ed., Strictly Personal and Confidential: Letters Harry Truman Never Mailed (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 1982), pp. 94-5.

(27.) Neustadt interview, 1991; and Robert A. Garson, The Democratic Party and the Politics of Sectionalism: 1941-1948 (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1974), pp. 135-140; Official File, p. 40 (hereafter OF); letter, Truman to Adolph J. Sabath, June 5, 1945, HSTL.

(28.) Harry S Truman, Memoirs: Years of Trial and Hope, 1946-1952, vol. 2 (New York: New American Library, 1956), p. 215.

(29.) Samuel Lubell, The Future of American Politics (New York: Harper, 1965), pp. 26-30.

(30.) As the research findings and thesis of this study will indicate, Truman's conflicting value systems contributed to the indecision, delay, and vacillation that he expressed as party leader and through his DNC chairs toward the Dixiecrats. Thus, his behavior as party leader in this case was not merely a result of Truman being "the product of political deadlock" and certain diffident, insecure personality traits that Samuel Lubell contended. For the purposes of this study, the word "purge" does not only mean a president's effort to publicly intervene in his party's primaries and deny nominations to members of his party. It includes a variety of intra-party penalties. In particular, the word "purge" includes punitive actions against Dixiecrats regarding the denial of federal patronage, the loss of Democratic seniority and committee assignments and chairmanships in Congress, and the denial of membership in the DNC.

(31.) Garson, The Democratic Party, pp. 52-123.

(32.) William B. Hesseltine, Third Party Movements in the United States (New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1962), p. 97.

(33.) Richard Hofstadter, "From Calhoun to the Dixiecrats," Social Research 16 (June 1949): 135-750; Seale Harris, Death of National Democratic Party: The Truth About Truman, Big-City-Machine-Labor-Socialist Party (Kingsport, TN: Kingsport Press, 1952); and National States' Rights Campaign Committee, States' Rights Information and Speakers Handbook (Jackson, MS: author, 1948), pp. 4-5.

(34.) Gilbert C. Fite, Richard B. Russell, Jr., Senator from Georgia (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), p. 241.

(35.) DNC, Official Report of the Proceedings of the Democratic National Convention: 1944 (Washington, D.C.: DNC, 1944), p. 110; and C. Edgar Brown, ed., Official Report ... 1948 (Philadelphia, PA: Local Democratic Political Committee, 1948), p. 230.

(36.) Garson, Vie Democratic Party, pp. 257-61.

(37.) V. O. Key, Jr., Southern Politics in State and Nation (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1984), pp. 435-6.

(38.) Nadine Cohodas, Strom Thurmond and the Politics of Southern Change (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993), pp. 128-34.

(39.) Gary C. Ness, "The States' Rights Democratic Movement of 1948," Ph.D. dissertation, Duke University, 1972, pp. 10-150.

(40.) Robert H. Ferrell, ed., Truman in the White House: The Diary of Eben A. Ayers (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1991), pp. 244-5.

(41.) Clifford memo, November 19, 1947.

(42.) Ibid., p. 6.

(43.) Ibid., p. 3.

(44.) PPP, 1948, pp. 121-6; Rauh interview, 1991.

(45.) Ferrell, Truman in the White House, p. 244.

(46.) J. Howard McGrath Papers, letter, Wright Patman to McGrath, January 20, 1948, HSTL; Irwin Ross, The Loneliest Campaign (New York: New American Library, 1968).

(47.) Jack Redding, Inside the Democratic Party (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1958), pp. 139-42.

(48.) Ness, "The States' Rights," pp. 219-25.

(49.) Ibid., p. 176.

(50.) Ibid., pp. 170-6.

(51.) Alexander Heard, A Two Party South? (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1952), pp. 54-73; and Key, Southern Politics in State and Nation, p. 336.

(52.) George Gallup, The Political Almanac: 1952 (New York: B.C. Forbes, 1952), pp. ix, 19.

(53.) DNC Records, clipping, New York Post, December 2, 4948, HSTL.

(54.) DNC Records, proceedings, "Statement of Colonel Marion Rushton of the State of Alabama," August 24, 1949, p. 5, HSTL.

(55.) Poen, Strictly Personal, p. 113; Truman, Memoirs, vol. 2, p. 257.

(56.) Donald R. McCoy and Richard T. Ruetten, Quest and Response: Minority Rights and the Truman Administration (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1973), pp. 182-3; and PPP, 1949, p.238.

(57.) Ferrell, Truman in the White House, p. 285.

(58.) Alfred Steinberg, The Man from Missouri (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1962), pp. 338-9; and DNC Library Clipping File, clipping, New Republic, September 5, 1949, HSTL.

(59.) Robert J. Donovan, Tumultuous Years: The Presidency of Harry, S. Truman, 1949-1953 (New York: Norton, 1982), p. 17.

(60.) Jules Abels, Out of the Jaws of Victory (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1959), p. 284.

(61.) Donovan, Tumultuous Years, p. 17.

(62.) Alfred Steinberg, Sam Rayburn: A Biography (New York: Hawthorn, 1975), p. 250.

(63.) Abels, Out of the Jaws, p. 284.

(64.) OF 1644, letter, William D. Hassett to Rev. Edward Pruden, November 12, 1948, HSTL.

(65.) Davis, The Presidency as Party Leader, p. 14; and Ann Mathison McLaunin, "The Role of the Dixiecrats in the 1948 Election," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Oklahoma, 1972, p. 271.

(66.) McLaurin, "The Role of the Dixiecrats," p. 272.

(67.) DNC Clipping File, clipping, Chicago Sun, November 21, 1948, HSTL.

(68.) DNC Clipping File, clipping, New York Star, December 5, 1948, HSTL.

(69.) DNC Clipping File, clipping, Chicago Sun-Times, November 28, 1948, HSTL.

(70.) OF 300, telegram, James Folsom to Truman, October 9, 1948, HSTL.

(71.) OF 300, telegram, Folsom to Truman, May 5, 1950, HSTL.

(72.) William D. Barnard, Dixiecrats and Democrats: Alabama Politics, 1942-1950 (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1974), pp. 136-42.

(73.) McLaurin, "The Role of the Dixiecrats," p. 270; and Heard, A Two Party South, pp. 24-5.

(74.) Dewey W. Grantham, Jr., The Democratic South (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1963), p. 78.

(75.) Fite, Richard B. Russell, p. 221.

(76.) Personal interview by author with Donald Dawson, Truman's personnel director, July 11, 1991, Washington, D.C.; and William M. Boyle, Jr. Papers, clipping, Kansas City Times, June 23, 1949, HSTL.

(77.) President's Secretary File (hereafter PSF); letter, Truman to Donald Dawson, June 25, 1949, HSTL.

(78.) OF 300, letter, Estes Kefauver to Truman, August 30, 1949; and PSF, letter, Kefauver to Truman, December 22, 1949, HSTL.

(79.) PSF, letter, Truman to Kefauver, January 2, 1950, HSTL.

(80.) Eben A. Ayers Papers, diary, April 29, 1949, pp. 84-5, HSTL.

(81.) OF 1644, letter, Lemuel H. Davis to Truman, July 6, 19.5 1, HSTL.

(82.) OF 300, letter, Maury Maverick to Donald Dawson, October 6, 1950, HSTL.

(83.) McCoy and Ruetten, Quest and Response, p. 183.

(84.) Ibid.

(85.) PPP, 1949, p. 247.

(86.) PPP 65, letter, Truman to Louis Goldstein, November 27, 1951, HSTL.

(87.) OF 300, clipping, Congressional Record, May 3, 1949, p. A 2785, HSTL.

(88.) Charles S. Murphy Papers, letters, V. J. Washington to Murphy, January 5, 1950, HSTL; Robert H. Ferrell, ed., Off the Record: The Private Papers of Harr), S. Truman (New York: Penguin Books, 1980), p. 175; PPP, 1950, p. 178; and Truman, Memoirs, vol. 2, p. 257.

(89.) McCoy and Ruetten, Quest and Response, p. 184.

(90.) New York Times, August 25, 1949.

(91.) DNC, Clipping File, clipping, New York, Times, August 25, 1949, HSTL.

(92.) Ibid.

(93.) DNC Records, proceedings, August 23, 1948, pp. 4-5, HSTL.

(94.) DNC Clipping File, clipping, St. Louis Star-Times, August 27, 1949, HSTL.

(95.) Ralph M. Goldman, Search for Consensus: The Story of the Democratic Party (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1979), pp. 193-5.

(96.) PPP, 1949, p. 439.

(97.) Milkis, The President, p. 158; and personal interview by author with Wilson Wyatt, Adlai Stevenson's campaign manager, June 24, 1993, Louisville, Kentucky.

(98.) Phone interview by author with David Stowe, a Truman aide on labor relations, July 8, 1991; Rauh interview, 1991; Neustadt interview, 1991.

(99.) Wyatt interview, 1993.

(100.) PSF, unsigned White House staff memo to William M. Boyle, Jr., April 30, 1951, HSTL.

(101.) Charles L. Fontenay, Estes Kefauver: A Biography (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1980), pp. 212-7; Fite, Richard B. Russell, pp. 271-300; Louis Harris, Is There a Republican Majority? (New York: Harper, 1954), pp. 65-7.

(102.) Key, Politics, Parties, and Pressure Groups, p. 274.

(103.) E. E. Schattschneider, Party Government (New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1942), p. 53; and Richard M. Pious, The American Presidency (New York: Basic Books, 1979), p. 120.

(104.) Panebianco, Political Parties, pp. 37-40.

SEAN J. SAVAGE Associate Professor of Political Science Saint Mary's College
COPYRIGHT 1997 Center for the Study of the Presidency
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Rules of the Game: How to Play the Presidency; Harry Truman
Author:Savage, Sean J.
Publication:Presidential Studies Quarterly
Date:Sep 22, 1997
Previous Article:Executive privilege in the Reagan administration: diluting a constitutional doctrine.
Next Article:Missing the bus: Gerald Ford and school desegregation.

Related Articles
Republicans, Democrats, and race: an uneasy history: in 1948, Southern Democrats rebelled against their party's civil rights agenda. Many of them...
The Truman surprise: in the election of 1948, Harry Truman fooled pollsters (and almost everyone else) when he beat Thomas Dewey to win a full term...
Resisting temptation.
Antique ballot shows lively politics of '40s.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters