Electoral memo to Truman in 1948, from Clark Clifford

Here is one excerpt:

Although not as inevitable as death and taxes, it is almost certain that in the election year of 1948—whether the Administration likes it or not—taxes will be reduced. The Republicans plan to cut them, and Democratic Congressmen in sufficient numbers simply cannot stand up in a campaign year against the pressure to support tax reduction and to override the president’s third veto if it comes.

This is different, yet still oddly familiar:

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. As always, the South can be considered safely Democratic. And in formulating national policy, it can be safely ignored.

The only pragmatic reason for conciliating the South in normal times is because of its tremendous strength in the Congress. Since the Congress is Republican and the Democratic President has, therefore, no real chance to get his own program approved by it, particularly in an election year, he has no real necessity for “getting along” with the Southern conservatives. He must, however, get along with the Westerners and with labor if he is to be reelected.

The whole thing is here, interesting throughout.  We will have another election less than a year from now, so the news cycle will continue to get worse.


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