New America: Politics and Society in the Age of the Smooth Deal

By Karl E. Meyer | Go to book overview

5/
Texas Leaves Its Landmarks

The Senators themselves, once the teachers of morality and religion, now vow a thousand pounds of gold to decorate the Capitoline, gilding even Jupiter himself with cash, so that no one need be ashamed of his greed.

-- PETRONIUS, Satyricon, ca. A.D. 66)

CONSERVATISM IN CONGRESS does not extend to all public problems; there is at least one area in which our national legislature displays a damn-the-tradition, spend-and-spend exuberance. This concerns the physical surroundings of Congress. "I found Rome built of sun- dried brick," boasted the Emperor Augustus, "I leave her clothed in marble." And perhaps not since the days of Augustus have the marble vendors been so busy as under the Texas proconsulate now ruling Congress.

When he took the oath as Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson could understandably feel a glow of satisfaction. Not only did Texas provide the electoral votes that assured his party the Presidency, but it could fairly be said that it was Texans who supplied the setting for the inauguration. For the first time, the ceremonies took place on the new East Front of the Capitol, a kind of Cinema-

-62-

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New America: Politics and Society in the Age of the Smooth Deal
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents ix
  • Beforeword - The Fallen Idol 1
  • Part One / Symptoms 5
  • 2 - Washington: Leviathan, Inc. 18
  • 3 / - The Coming of the Smooth Deal 34
  • 4/ - Suitors in the Cloakroom 48
  • 5/ - Texas Leaves Its Landmarks 62
  • 6 - That Image in the White House 75
  • 7/ - Fortress of Yesterday 85
  • 8/ - The Soothing Cassandras 99
  • Part Two / Sources 117
  • 10 - The Twilight of Regionalism 127
  • 11 - The Old in Heart 136
  • 12 - Bohemia Moves Uptown 146
  • 13/ - Who Killed the Bull Moose? 158
  • 14 - Signposts to Futopia 167
  • 15 - The Two Worlds 181
  • Afterword - The Sweet Smell of Excess 190
  • Acknowledgments and Sources 197
  • Index of Names 207
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