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Favorable or Unfavorable #239: Everett Dirksen


Favorable or Unfavorable #239: Everett Dirksen  

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  1. 1. Did you read my first comment?

  2. 2. Favorable or Unfavorable #239: Everett Dirksen

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Sen. Everett Dirksen (IL-R) might be the most influential Sen Min Ldrs in US history. He started out as a moderate New Deal supporting GOPer who was an isolationist. Pearl Harbor changed him to an interventionist. He became more conservative in the 1940s and backed the conservative Taft. His 1952 action kind of shows that no one thought it was wise to attack Eisenhower, so Dewey (his most influential backer) was attacked in his place. As Sen Min Ldr, he mostly supported LBJ's Great Society, but he sought to reign it in a bit. He was one of LBJ's strongest supporters in the Vietnam War. Dirksen was very unlike today's Senate leaders. His gift was his ability to find harmonizing relations with just about everyone to get things a little bit closer to how he'd like them to be. 

His actions:

Dirksen, Everett 1941 wants UK to buy US food if Lend Lease
Dirksen, Everett 1944 GOP cand for pres; hoped for VP but got no support
Dirksen, Everett 1952 Gives speech for Taft at GOP Conv, attacking Dewey (Eisenhower's main backer) for being liberal--no one attacks the general directly
Dirksen, Everett 1959 new strongly partisan GOP Sen Min Ldr
Dirksen, Everett 1963 he & Mansfield block Bobby Baker investigation
Dirksen, Everett 1964 helps write civil rights bill and pass it through Senate by breaking Southern filibuster
Dirksen, Everett 1964 Leads GOP in supporting LBJ's handling of war
Dirksen, Everett 1965 tries to thwart new S Ct districting doctrine
Dirksen, Everett 1965 helps pass Voting Rights Act
Dirksen, Everett 1966 Proposes constitutional amendment to protect school prayer in public schools
Dirksen, Everett 1966 opposes open housing bill
Dirksen, Everett 1968 wins passage of his own fair housing bill; dies the next year
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