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img044 - 90 Politic by Other Mean crisis" To deal with...

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Unformatted text preview: 90 Politic: by Other Mean: crisis." To deal with this problem, they proposed to extend federal grants-in-aid to local governments to support “innovative" pro- grams. To obtain these federal grants, titles found it necessary to es— tablish independent agencies that would be controlled by local counterparts of the Washington officials who dispensed this money, to have existing municipal departments contract with con- sulting firms, or to hire administrators who shared the outlook or knew the vocabulary of the dispensers of federal grants. The “grantsmen” who were most successful in obtaining federal funds naturally were those whose educational backgrounds, social ori- gins, and institutional affiliations were similar to those of the fed- eral grant givers and who proposed to spend federal monies for purposes their Washington counterparts favored. In other words, the federal grant-in-aid programs initiated by the Kennedy and johnson administrations allowed upper-middle—class professionals and their political allies, by using their access to the White House, to extend their influence over the policies, programs, and hiring practices of municipal agencies. Federal grants—in-aid to state and local governments expanded dramatically during the 19605 and 1 97 05. Blacks were important allies in the liberals’ battle for control of these agencies. Liberals denounced municipal bureaucracies as “in- sensitive” and “unresponsive” to the needs of the black community. Blacks had strong reasons to join this attack: The mechanisms of community participation that were attached to Great Society pro— grams provided them with channels through which they could both influence the way municipal departments distributed their benefits and obtain access to the patronage controlled by federally funded community action agencies, model cities boards, neigh— borhood service centers, and community development corpora- tions. These mechanisms of community participation, furthermore, legitimized federal intervention in local affairs and provided an institutional framework through which blacks could be organized to provide local political support for these programs.19 The Democrat: and tbe Domestic State 91 National Security Policy Factional struggles within the Democratic party intensified after Lyndon B. Johnson escalated the war in Vietnam. Vietnam turned upper-middle-class liberal Democrats against the White House and transformed the struggle for influence at the periphery of the political system into an all-out battle for control at the cen- ter. In the late 19605 liberals launched a full—scale attack on the na- tional security establishment. They strongly disapproved of how American military power was being used and argued that the funds spent on weapons could better be used to meet pressing domestic needs. Of course such a reordering of national priorities would also direct the flow of federal funds toward government agencies over which liberals exercised influence—and away from the political forces they now opposed. Opponents of American military and national security policy began to criticize sharply practices that previously had aroused lit- tle journalistic attention or public opposition: the Pentagon's tol- erance of cost overruns in weapons procurement contracts; the public relations campaigns and lobbying efforts of the Pentagon; the hiring of retired military officers by defense contractors; the failure of Congress to monitor the activities of the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Liberals sought to subject the military— industrial complex to stricter external control and to limit the role it had come to play in the nation’s life during the Cold War years. By attacking these practices, liberals were attempting to disrupt the set of compromises that Presidents Roosevelt and Harry Tru- man had arranged during World War II and the Cold War, a for- eign policy consensus in which liberals at the time had been enthusiastic participants. The construction of a permanent military apparatus in the 19405 and 19505 made it possible to give all the major actors in American politics a stake in national security poli— cies. Members of Congress were given access to a huge pork barrel, which incumbents could use to enhance their political security.20 National defense made it politically possible for public expenditures ...
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