Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We're Back! More Hubert Humphrey from Vice-Precedence.

Its been a long time since I've posted a blog, so forgive me for neglecting this and if this post is a little rusty. I admit, the blog hasn't been updated in quite awhile...to say the least.

At the same time, I encourage you to check out the Vice-Precedence Facebook page, where we always post the latest breaking VP news in politics and culture and the links to check them out. Also, we've "Liked" every VP that's on Facebook (thanks to Wikipedia) so you can see for yourself who the heck Garrett Hobart is when we mention him. We're trying to get up to 300 Members/Fans there, so if you haven't joined yet, please do and encourage others to do so as well. We really appreciate your support.

I want to take this time to thank our newest fans on Facebook. Its thanks to one of them, Deanie Mills, that I am writing this blog.

On May 27th it was what would have been the 100th birthday for former VP Hubert Humphrey. There were articles in the local paper here in MN, but for the most part, as Deanie pointed out in a post on her Facebook page, it was ignored. Of course I was the first to reply to her and point out that we here at Vice-Precedence had not forgotten the centennial of the birth of "The Happy Warrior", and provided links to our FB page, my post on Humphreys 99th birthday the year before, and some of Humphreys most famous quotes. The response was amazing. People told stories about Humphrey and posted all sorts of quotes such as the following:

"I worked for Hubert Humphrey in Washington during his last term as the junior senator from Minnesota. He was a complex, engaging, thoughtful man. I knew him when he was the physically hale and hearty Humphrey most people remember (if they remember him at all), and I knew him in the last months of his life, after chemotherapy had reduced his body to a shell of its former self. His kindness and his concern for others never wavered."-Nancy Arvay

"I can think of three occasions where the electorate chose the wrong guy, and before that Presidents term was up it was clear to everyone but the biggest of fools that they'd screwed up: Bush v Gore, Bush v Kerry, and Humphrey v Nixon."-Ronald E. Carson

"What a great post!"-Dana Mahoutchian

"Very nice Matthew!"-Ronald E. Carson

At the same time over on HuffingtonPost, this was posted by Professor Joel K. Goldstein the Vincent C. Immel Professor of Law at the Saint Louis University School of Law. Titled "The Legacy of a Liberal" it too got quite a bit of attention for a post about a former VP who had passed away over 30 years before. My replies to people here defending Humphreys legacy and at the same time calling out 60's liberals led to some spirited comments and debate by both conservatives and liberals of all ages. When I first posted my comment there I had just recently joined HuffPo and hadn't posted much, so I didn't have any Fans there. But with these comments in just one day I had 24 Fans, one posting enthusiastically:

"Right on, mrmattrs!...Fanned."

So thats pretty cool. All this encouraged me to post a blog here and to watch something I have saved on my Tivo for awhile, the documentary "Hubert H. Humphrey: The Art of the Possible". Its a very good documentary with some prominent talking heads (President Carter, Bill Moyers, etc.) amazing archival footage-(see LBJ in nothing but shorts and sunglasses talking with Humphrey in a shirt and tie), and Humphrey commenting on his life growing up in rural South Dakota, to his meteoric rise in Minnesota politics from teacher to Mayor of Minneapolis (at age 33!) and Senator (at 37!) and his long career in public service in his own words as well.

The doc does a great job of showing how difficult and complicated it was for Humphrey to get the Civil Rights Act thru the Senate against massive filibuster and blocking techniques of the racists of the South in his own party and "you can't legislate morality" anti-government Republicans. It was the longest filibuster in American history, lasting over 3 months and taking up 4 million words. Newly elevated President LBJ put passing this landmark bill fully on Humphrey. He was attacked on the right by conservatives and racist Southerners and on the left by civil rights activists and liberals who thought he was moving too slowly. However, thru compromise, negotiation, toughness, and tenacity, he did it. One of the greatest accomplishments in American legislative history. It also shows how heartbroken he was by the events of the infamous 1968 Democratic Convention and losing the Presidency--a Presidency he should have earned twice. This is a doc well worth checking out.

Its time for America to remember these things about Hubert Humphrey. And that's part of what Vice-Precedence aims to do. We're working on all sorts of things here and we'll honestly try to do some more blogs. VP Biden is working on all sorts of important policy, both foreign and domestic for the current administration, former VP Cheneys book is coming this summer, and who knows what our other former VP's may be up to? Plus with all the Republican Presidential candidates fighting it out for the top spot as their party's Presidential nominee, one of them may end up being the VP candidate--or it could be someone who's a relative unknown! Remember Sarah Palin? I'm sure you do. Rest assured, we'll report it all here. Don't forget to watch our trailer and other videos on YouTube and post your comments there and on Facebook and here! Thanks and Happy VP'ing!

Matt Saxe