Our friendship came of a birth state in common and long personal acquaintance. We had our differences, especially in domestic and economic policy. . . . Yet, when put in perspective, he was far more helpful than obstructive. . . . For this I was grateful and frequently told him so. We remain, on my part at least, good friends.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower in Waging Peace ( 1965)
Lyndon Johnson's masterful burial of the Court bills in August, 1958, warmed the hearts of his New Deal friends who remembered the Leland Olds affair of 1950 but still had kept faith in him through the years. But it really answered none of the complaints of Paul Butler and the Democratic Advisory Council. For, in truth, the root of their quarrel with Johnson was not his occasional doctrinal obeisances to the right, in the direction of his Texas political base, but his refusal to combat Dwight D. Eisenhower. Few of Johnson's legislative masterworks contained partisan attacks against Eisenhower. On the contrary, he often rescued the general from the consequences of his chronic lack of absorption in a President's legislative function. Johnson's performance in the 1958 Court fight saved Eisenhower the task of vetoing a batch of rightist legislation that would have passed with considerable Republican support. Thus, Johnson's great service in the cause of civil liberties scarcely satisfied his critics. They charged him with being entirely too chummy with the Republican President.
Paul Butler would have fairly sizzled had he known of the private intimacy between the members of the famous Texas trio: Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, and Sam Rayburn. At least once a month, and frequently more often, Johnson and Rayburn would drive to the White House at the cocktail hour, enter unseen through the back