On November 25, Carl Leubsdorf of the Dallas Daily News claimed that prior to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, “Republicans were using opposition to civil rights to woo the South from its century-long Democratic home.” In doing so, Leubsdorf suggests that it was the Democrat Party that helped Lyndon Johnson pass that bill, while the GOP opposed the bill. That was not the case.In the Senate, only 69 percent of Democrats (46 for, 21 against) voted for the Civil Rights Act as compared to 82 percent of Republicans (27 for, 6 against). All southern Democrat senators voted against the act. This includes the current senator from West Virginia, Robert Byrd (a former KKK member), and Al Gore, Sr. (which exposes the lie that southern Democrats switched to the GOP after the passage of the Civil Rights Act). The act’s primary opposition came from the southern Democrats’ 74-day filibuster.
In the House of Representatives, 61 percent of Democrats (152 for, 96 against) voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Ninety-two of the 103 southern Democrats voted against it. Among House Republicans, 80 percent (138 for, 34 against) voted for it.
Republicans also showed a high level of support for LBJ’s nomination of Thurgood Marshall as the first black Supreme Court justice in 1967. A large percentage of Senate Democrats either voted against the nomination of Marshall or did not vote at all.
Leubsdorf either deliberately lied in his column or he is woefully ignorant of the facts. In either case, the column should not have been published.