An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, by Todd Purdum

By Todd Purdum

A most sensible Washington journalist recounts the dramatic political conflict to go the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the legislations that created glossy the US, at the 50th anniversary of its passage

It was once a turbulent time in America—a time of sit-ins, freedom rides, a March on Washington and a governor status within the schoolhouse door—when John F. Kennedy despatched Congress a invoice to bar racial discrimination in employment, schooling, and public lodgings. numerous civil rights measures had died on Capitol Hill long ago. yet this one used to be various simply because, as one influential senator positioned it, it used to be “an concept whose time has come.”

In a robust narrative layered with revealing aspect, Todd S. Purdum tells the tale of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, recreating the legislative maneuvering and the larger-than-life characters who made its passage attainable. From the Kennedy brothers to Lyndon Johnson, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Hubert Humphrey and Everett Dirksen, Purdum exhibits how those all-too-human figures controlled, in precisely over a 12 months, to create a invoice that brought on the longest filibuster within the background of the U.S. Senate but used to be finally followed with overwhelming bipartisan help. He conjures up the excessive goal and occasional dealings that marked the construction of this enormous legislations, drawing on vast archival study and dozens of latest interviews that carry to existence this sign success in American history.

Often hailed because the most vital legislations of the earlier century, the Civil Rights Act stands as a lesson for our personal bothered occasions approximately what's attainable whilst persistence, bipartisanship, and decency rule the day.

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25 various legislative outcomes, including Democrats’ electoral success (Grofman, Griffin, and Glazer 1992), and legislators’ activities in office, typically their roll-call behavior (Combs, Hibbing, and Welch 1984; Grofman, Griffin, and Glazer 1992; Cameron, Epstein, and O’Halloran 1996; Lublin 1997; Canon 1999). 16 Others have focused on public policy outcomes. For instance, state policies such as welfare spending are not more likely, and perhaps even less likely, to benefit minorities as their share of the state population increases (Wright 1977; Hero 1998; Johnson 2001).

We describe this sensitivity by the aseptic term inequity aversion, or use earthier language like jealousy or envy, what a human being sees as unfairness or injustice will often arouse strong emotions. Given the opportunity, these emotions will then express themselves in actions, which may range from an immediate verbal expression— “It’s not fair”—to behavior intended to bring about a fairer distribution, whether by peaceful persuasion or violence. (39) Members of minority groups are no strangers to these sentiments, which Dahl argues manifest a universal concern for equal distribution of anything of value.

We provide empirical evidence to assess whether minority group representation is more than proportional, as advocates of race-conscious egalitarianism would require. We also determine whether minorities are equally represented as individuals, as a proportional standard of equality demands. For example, we measure citizens’ opinions directly and explore how district racial and ethnic composition amplifies or dampens the connection between these opinions and representatives’ voting decisions. We also compare the representation of individuals where groups are of roughly equal size.

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