By one of those neat coincidences that sometimes illuminate political life, former Senator Harry Cain launched a powerful criticism of the government’s “security” program at the very moment the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) was opening its recent convention in Washington. The irony was irresistible. As one sat through the sessions, watching these representative American liberals in a painful effort to reconcile their genuine concern for civil liberties with their yearning to prove themselves “responsible,” that is to say, respectable, it almost seemed as if Cain had read Murray Kempton’s biting comparison (see page 122) between himself and Senator Humphrey, the ADA darling, and had decided again to embarrass official American liberalism by showing how much bolder he, a life-long conservative, could be than the ADA. If so, he succeeded. Nothing the ADA did or said had the forthrightness and sharpness of Cain’s outburst.
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