The Force That Could Not Be Stopped

The way Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. approached civil rights was not passive – it was in your face, give no “Fs” style as might be said today. He made some enemies but also got a lot done. In telling the story of Congress’s seating powers we tell two stories. One is his. The other is…

And To The Republic

A trip to DC inspires me. I try to talk about just about everything going on in this episode from midterms to J6 to Mara Lago to the Republic as it stands, to third parties in US politics, to former Presidents running to a town name in New York that I butchered. And in case…

Now, That’s The Right Way to Lose an Election

Samuel Tilden is visited by throngs of supporters who want him to proclaim from his balcony that he is President. His answer takes place in a closed meeting, but we are privy to the moment thanks to a political reporter’s account. William C. Hudson was able to witness the actions of that candidate when urged…

A History of Student Loans and Higher Ed Financing in the U.S.

College costs have been an issue since the founding of the Republic, as we discuss in this issue, And equally, the desire to provide education to young minds has been strong. What’s different about the era we live in is that college is closely associated with debt. Debt that cannot be removed by bankruptcy, and…

Benevolent Policeman? The History of Congressional Committees

Harry Truman thought a congressional committee ideally should be like a ‘benevolent policeman’ Not changing the facts but investigating them. He should know, as he headed up one. Yet he was also critical of committees during his time that he felt did not meet the criteria he set for his own. Since an investigation of…

“We gotta go and never stop going” The Modern American Year of 1948

The Elvis before Elvis. Making stores out of jukebox technology. World human rights. What a concept? From sending simian astronauts (read monkeys) into space, to the writing of Jack Kerouac – his roadtrip to Cassidy which will beget On the Road begins this year. And of course, there’s Truman’s election surprise.. We scour the My…

Elephant in the Room: Former Presidents and Their Parties

About Presidents and their parties, particularly situations where a former President who was not re-elected is still in the political picture. There can be some interesting challenges for the party. We look at four cases in history, Gerald Ford’s golfing and soft-pedaling in 1980, Truman’s attack on a front-runner in 1956, Bush’s largely successful exeunt…

Smiling Like He Meant It: Vice President Schuyler Colfax

Hero, smiler, progressive-minded politician, crook, orator, storyteller, friend to Lincoln.┬áThese are the labels that have been put on this forgotten Vice President of the United States.he bended ear the Lincoln, but a scandal ended his political career. Still he warrants mention. Last week we looked at Thomas Hendricks as part of our summer look at…