Oklahoma’s John Calloway Walton was a socialist and his primary target was the Ku Klux Klan. But after much chaos in state government, the Legislature removed him (and protected the Klan).
The Trump presidency ended last week. Not literally. But in practical terms.
This is Trahant Reports.
So at a news conference in New York City the president blamed people on both sides for violence at a neo-Nazi rally. He said some of the people protesting were fine people who had unfair press.
Why is that a problem? Here is what a Republican says about his own party leader.
Mitt Romney tweeted: “One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes.”
Trump lost what is left of his ability to govern. An example of that was the topic that his New York City press conference was supposed to be about, infrastructure spending. This is an idea that ought to have broad support. Not any more. Few words about the plan were reported and anything that has a Trump label now is politically toxic.
The question now is how fast will the Trump administration crumble?
There are clues, mostly from state governments.
I was in Arizona and saw the same kind of chaos that is Trump. A car dealer, Evan Mecham, had ran for governor for four times before hitting the winning combination, only lasted a little more than a year before being impeached. He said working women were responsible for divorce and said Martin Luther King Jr. “didn’t deserve” a holiday. He dismissed his critics as a few dissident Democrats and a band of homosexuals. Mecham sort of ran up the score: Six felony indictments by a grand jury and impeachment proceedings, a recall, impeachment by the state House followed by a conviction in the Senate in April 1988.
Another governor who was tossed out over racial divisions was Oklahoma’s John Calloway Walton. A 1956 book called Walton’s election “a revolution.” He was a socialist and his primary target was the Ku Klux Klan.
The Chronicles of Oklahoma said within a few months the statehouse was in such chaos that the word “revolution” was indeed, an excellent choice. Walton kept the legislature from meeting, declaring martial law, but even that did not work. The Oklahoma Historical Society said: “Walton offered to resign in exchange for strong laws against the invisible empire, but again legislators rebuffed him.”
There is an interesting connection between Walton and a recent election in Alabama. Oklahoma legislators wanted to prevent a candidate from winning a crowded primary (as Walton had done) and so required a majority. That’s why there will be another primary between former state Supreme Court justice Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange. Ten states adopted such a system.
I am Mark Trahant