The Congress: Ev's Mutation

If anything, Everett Dirksen's performance in the Senate last week was entirely too improbable to have been sinister. Never notably troubled by the hobgoblin of little minds, the minority leader executed one of his more spectacular political somersaults in becoming once again the champion of the civil rights bill.

For six weeks, the Senate lay becalmed in a turbid filibuster sustained by a coalition of Southern Democrats and conservative Republicans. Chief among the obstructionists was Dirksen. The bill, as passed by the House, provided federal protection for civil rights workers. In the Senate, however, Minnesota's Walter Mondale gambled by adding...