(Reprinted to Blog from email list of 8/27/05)
*** Bob’s Insider’s Message ***
Harry Truman had two enormous strokes of luck that gave him two terms in the White House.
The first was recited by William “Fishbait” Miller, who was the House Doorkeeper for some thirty years. Doorkeeper is a top staff position. Most of us old-timers remember Fishbait’s Big Moments. When the President would come to address the House or a joint session.
Miller would walk in with the mace in his hand and shout, “Mister Speaker, the President of the United States.”
Miller was a tiny man with a huge voice. He was called “Fishbait” because he was so small.
But Fishbait knew EVERYTHING about Capitol Hill.
The Doorkeeper is exactly like the butler in a wealthy home in the old days. He knows everything and keeps his mouth shut.
When Miller wrote his autobiography, called “Fishbait,” he didn’t reveal many secrets. But one he did talk about is a major event in history that nobody knows about.
Senator James Byrnes of South Carolina was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1941. In 1942 he gave up that lifetime appointment to become “Assistant to the President” for Roosevelt.
NOBODY gives up a seat on the United States Supreme Court for ANY other government job. But in his new job Byrnes was with Roosevelt all the time. He had obviously gotten a BIG promise from Roosevelt, and Byrnes was no fool.
It was obvious to everybody that Roosevelt was preparing Byrnes to be his successor. Byrnes would not have taken the job for any other reason.
Roosevelt was too sick to attend the Democratic nominating convention which nominated him for his fourth term in 1944. He was perfectly aware that he would not live out the term. FDR knew very well that when he named a vice presidential candidate he was naming the next president. So he told everybody who was going to the convention to tell the convention that his choice was, obviously, James F. Byrnes.
Byrnes was a segregationist and a Southern conservative. FDR’s wife Eleanor was fanatically anti-white. She went to the convention and announced that FDR’s choice was Harry Truman. “Fishbait” stated flatly what was obvious: Eleanor got Truman made vice president and therefore president.
Roosevelt, said “Fishbait,” had a fit. But there was nothing he could do about it once Truman was already announced as the nominee.
Contrary to all the crap you hear today, Truman was a VERY unpopular president. Thurmond broke with him to run as a Dixiecrat and far leftists, frankly and openly led by Communists, set up the Progressive Party to oppose him from the left. Everybody assumed in 1948 that Truman would lose.
Despite the rather stupid Stalinists who set up the Progressive Party, serious leftists realized that the election of Truman and a Democratic majority in both Houses was absolutely critical. Republicans were looking forward to exposing the heavy Communist influence in the New Deal and the World War II government.
There is no longer any doubt about this. When KGB files were opened after the fall of Communism in the USSR, everybody was absolutely astonished that even Senator McCarthy had underestimated how many Democrats, in the Administration and in Congress, were actually PAID agents of the Soviet Union.
If you read the editorials during the 1948 campaign, you will see that everybody assumed Truman was a goner. In 1946 Republicans had won a giant majority in both Houses of Congress for the first time since 1928.
By what others consider a trick of fate, Truman was reelected and both Houses of Congress went Democratic. We have all heard of the miracle of the 1948 election. We have all seen the picture of a smiling Harry Truman showing off the headline in a New York newspaper, “DEWEY WINS.”
Truman had the incredible luck of being picked by Eleanor Roosevelt, even though he was almost an unknown. In 1948 he had the luck to be the man whose election was absolutely critical to the left.
After World War II in the House, conservative Democrats like Byrnes and conservative Republicans worked so closely together on committees on subversion that you couldn’t tell which party they belonged to. During World War II they were silent because Russia was Our Beloved Ally.
If Byrnes had been elected the liberal Democrats would have been doomed. If the Republicans had won in 1948 America would have gone after Stalin the way they went after Hitler under Roosevelt.
Or it all could have been an accident.