The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, May 26, 1982, Image 2
May 26, 1982
The only reason I keep it is for running stop signs.
Getting what, when
and how in politics
by Arnold Sawislak
United Press International
WASHINGTON — Almost 50 years
ago, Harold Lasswell, a professor, de
fined politics as, “Who gets what, when
and how.” That definition is instructive
in looking at two recent actions by Ronald
Reagan, a professional politician.
Early in April, the president wrote a
letter to an antiabortion organization
official restating his “right to life” posi
tion and, in effect, giving his blessing to
the group and others seeking legislation
to outlaw abortion.
Early in May, the president invited the
Rev. Jerry Falwell and others seeking to
restore classroom prayer to the public
schools to the White House and specific
ally endorsed a constitutional amend
ment legalizing the practice.
In both of these actions, Reagan was
redeeming, in his own way, what the
groups involved understood to be ironc
lad promises made during the 1980 cam
paign. They supported his candidacy;
they expected him to make their causes
part of his program.
Both groups expressed satisfaction, in
deed delight, at the president’s action.
But in fact, neither group got much more
from Reagan than it had before he acted.
To explain that, it is necessary to
answer the question: How do presidents
get things done?
Is it by giving their public support to a
cause or proposal? The answer is a condi
tional yes. A presidential endorsement is
helpful, but its effectiveness depends
upon what goes with it, especially if the
issue is controversial and Congress is in
All the talk about the “moral force” of
the presidency notwithstanding, it takes
more than a letter of encouragement or a
Rose Garden ceremony to get a tough
proposition safely through the shoals of
conflict in Washington. It takes political
muscle and there are three principal
ways presidents attempt to use it.
The first is by reward, the classic quid
pro quo. If a key congressional vote is
needed, the House can go after it with
any number of goodies — appointments,
tax breaks, import quotas or deregula
tion to benefit local industries or labor,
public works projects and promises of
campaign aid in funds and personal
appearances in the next election.
The second is by punishment — the
withholding of any of the above, the clos
ing of federal installations, the encour
agement of opposition in the next cam-
A third presidential perogative, least
effective in this age of the independent
voter and officeholder, is loyalty to party
and president. It has been a long time
since party platforms have meant any
thing in Washington or since presidents
have had major personal influence on
Congress beyond the first six months or
so of their first term “honeymoon.”
Of all these, the school prayer and
anti-abortion movements got little more
than an implied indication that the third
(the personal influence of the president)
would be used to help their causes.
There was no promise that school
prayer or a ban on abortion would get the
benefit of the full court press — rewards
and threats — Reagan used to pass his
economic program or get approval for
sale of AW ACS planes to Saudi Arabia.
School prayer, which has the advan
tage of very high poll ratings, and abor
tion, which is about as controversial as
any subject on the public scene, appa
rently is to get about as much help from
Reagan as Equal Rights Amendment
advocates got from the presidents who
supported their cause. That was mostly
moral support and it didn’t translate into
much in the way of votes for ratification.
USPS 045 360
Texas Press Association
Southwest Journalism Conference
Editor Diana Sultenfuss
City Editor Bernie Fette
Sports Editor Frank L. Christlieb
News Editors... Tracey Buchanan, Dan Puckett
Nancy Weatherley, Diane Yount
Staff Writers Cyndy Davis, Susan Dittman,
Terry Duran, Colette Hutchings,
Hope E. Paasch, Joe Tindel Jr.,
Cartoonist Scott McCullar
Photographers David Fisher, Peter Rocha,
The Battalion is a non-profit, self-supporting news
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A photographer’s memories
by Helen Thomas
United Press International
WASHINGTON — Andrew J.
“Buck” May returned to the White
House the other day to photograph his
12th president — Ronald Reagan — and
to reminisce a bit about some of Reagan’s
The 81-year-old former White House
photographer brought along a portfolio
of mostly black and white photographs
that fascinated Reagan, who paused
longest to look at the pictures of his favo
rite president, Calvin Coolidge.
Two of them showed Coolidge start
ing out for a walk with fans close on his
heels, and Coolidge with flyer Charles
Lindbergh in the ’20s.
The first president May covered was
Woodrow Wilson. He recalls that after
Wilson’s stroke, the rumors were hot and
heavy that Wilson was incapable of per
forming his presidential duties.
One day, presidential aide Joseph P.
Tumulty told May he wanted him to
photograph Wilson at his desk to prove
that Wilson was able to carry on. Using an
old Grailex, May took the photograph of
Wilson sitting at his desk signing a paper,
but Mrs. Wilson was holding down the
document. The picture was not released
until five or six years later.
He said that for friendliness and
charm, Reagan comes closest to Harry
Truman, who was a great friend of news
photographers. Truman called them by
their first names and sent them a bottle of
bourbon when they would have to stand
in the rain for hours waiting for him.
In fact, it was Truman who helped the
White House photographers organize
the “One More Club,” referring to their
favorite expression: “Just one more, Mr.
May realizes the days when presidents
bantered along with photographers seem
to be gone. There are so many now, and
new faces every day, carrying their small
cameras into the Oval Office. There is
little camaraderie left.
Reagan regaled May with stories of
Coolidge and May recalled that Coolidge
was a “great prankster,” but he was also
rigid. When his wife Grace went walking
in the woods with a handsome Secret Ser
vice agent and showed up 15 minutes late
for lunch, Coolidge threw a tirade and
had the agent shipped out of
Another agent suffered the same fate
when he went fishing with Coolidge at
the president’s summer home and it
rained. “Do you think the rain will stop,”
Coolidge asked his guard. “It always
does,” quipped the agent.
Like most presidents, Coolidge some
times grew tired of cameramen following
his every step. “Get those rats away
me,” May remembered him sayingit
May said he scored a beat when hei
a shot of President Herbert Hooveri
naval uniform saluting the troops
seated aboard ship. Hoover had sti
the bridge for three hours and was
“Young man,” he told May, “youh
you shouldn’t have done that."
May has in his possession a
picture, taken at the time of thedei
tion of the Lincoln Memorial, shot
Warren Harding, Todd Lincoln,
former Speaker of the House “Hi
Joe” Cannon huddled together.
Also in his album is a photograpl
Harding, dressed in his favorite ni
togs, on his favorite mount in frontol
Executive Office Building next do#
the White House. Reagan, whoselovi
riding, has to fly by helicopter intoVi
nia to find protected riding trails.
As a young photographer, juststait
out in his career, May recalls the kinds
of Theodore Roosevelt.
“Mr. President, I’d like to makei
ture of you,” he told Roosevelt.
“All right, son,” said Roosevelt,
posed for him.
As he was leaving the White Hi
May said: “I’ve seen a lot of history
Those were the happiest days of my
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Letters: Nuclear weapons a sin
With regard to the increased discus
sion of late of nuclear war, we would like
to make the following remarks.
We believe that nuclear weapons and
the threat of nuclear war are the ultimate
expression of man’s sinful nature. The
devastating consequences of a nuclear
war would be a terrible sin against crea
tion, against man and especially against
God. The issue is particularly important
today because the large number of
weapons and the spread of weapons tech
nology has made the potential for war
Based upon our convictions about
God, man and the world, we believe that
the only solution which can provide long
term protection from a general nuclear
war is disarmament, either bilateral or
unilateral. We recognize, however, that
this is an idealistic solution, unlikely of
implementation in the near term.
Therefore, as preliminary steps lead
ing to the realization of that goal, and as
measures that would reduce the danger
of a general war, we urge the following:
1. A freeze on the production of new
2. A reallocation of funds originally
meant for weapons production to the de
velopment of defensive technology that
could render nuclear weapons obsolete
and/or to humanitarian causes.
3. Renewed efforts at achieving signifi
cant reductions in nuclear weapons
To our readers we say that whether
you agree or disagree with our proposals,
we urge you to think about this issue.
Nuclear war poses the greatest threat to
both our civilization and the world that
man has ever faced. A general nuclear
war would cause more devastation than
any famine or epidemic in the history of
the world. As the creators of these tech
nological pathogens, the gravest respon
sibility and challenge facing man today,
indeed the gravest he has ever faced, is to
ensure that they do not become his des
John R.C. Robinson
The Texas A&M Sport Parachute
Club would like to congratulate all those
members who have made their first jump
with the club.
The positive response and acceptance
towards the club since its reactivation this
past spring semester has been greatly
appreciated, and we hope it will continue
in the many years to come. Not only have
we helped over 60 Texas A&M students
the small society
“get their feet off the ground," we to;
also had members of the staff, Dr.Mik
jan, finance professor, and Dr. Tff
Anderson, history professor, makeil* f
first jump with us.
A special thanks is extended toi
officers of the club; Jan Walker, p*
ident; Steve Haskett, vice presM
Richard Zadow, vice president at-M
Bruce Cootee, secretary-treasurer; to]
Miller, club safety officer; and Harry!
licotte, public relations and publj
officer. Thanks also to Gary Boyd of J
Houston Skydiving Center; to Cl4
Thurman of the Austin Farad j
Center; and Cary Morgan of the Maj
Parachute Center, for their dedica4
and guidance which truly helped
the rebirth of the Texas A&M Sport! I
rachute Club a safe and successful ofij
Keep on jumping. Blue skies andH
WITH TH& OtlLPieeH
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