all Texas governors, a summary figurenfor all the virtues once honored by hisnpeople: a man who brought improvementsnto the state while leaving an$35,000,000 surplus in the treasury; anman who was never bought or sold.nLiberal reviewers of this biographynhave objected to Caro’s focus on Stevensonneither because they know toonlitrie of Texas history or because theynknow too much. Down here Stevensonnis still remembered, not in a vast libraryndevoted to the protection of his reputation,nbut in the continuing conservatismnof his people.nThe contrast between Johnson andnStevenson is most directly visible inntheir styles of campaigning. Apart fromnthe outright theft which brought himnfinal victory, Johnson was the “packaged”ncandidate, sold by radio, newspapers,nbillboards, and mass mailingsn— by endless repetition and a bottomlessnpurse; while Governor Stevensonnoffered himself in a series of publicnappearances where he spoke on thenissues and, until outraged by calumny,nwas quiet about his opponent. En­nFederal court records were unsealed lastnApril in the case known as “water closetngate” — the secret videotaping of a policenstation’s men’s room. The documentsnrevealed that while Concord (California)nPolice Chief George Straka wasnon vacation in the summer of 1986,nCaptain Bob Evans ordered a camera tonbe hidden in the ceiling above a urinal.nEvans had hoped to catch the officernresponsible for clogging the urinal withnpaper towels, which resulted in thenflooding of the chief’s adjacent office.nThe documents also revealed that anpolice cadet was stationed in the raftersnLIBERAL ARTSnPOLICE PRIORITIESndorsements and an overwhelmingnstatewide popularity were Stevenson’snassets, with a record of having triplednold-age pensions, increased care fornmental patients, instituted prison reform,nand augmented support for publicnwelfare. Johnson on the other handndepended on the bloc vote, on SannAntonio, Corpus Christi, and otherncommunities that were for sale. WhennStevenson spoke about Lyndon Johnsonnhe told the truth, whereas Johnsonndescribed the Hill Country reactionarynas a “communist” and a “tool of thenlabor unions.”nRepeated often enough to a gulliblenaudience, the big lies created confusion.nLyndon had money enough to benon the radio three times a day duringnthe last few weeks of the campaign.nStevenson’s answers were given poornpress coverage or completely ignorednand his speeches on the radio wereninfrequent. Johnson stormed about, attackingnthe Truman civil rights bill,nwhile Stevenson affirmed that thencountry was in need of a return tonconstitutional values. He offered him-nabove the same urinal on July 23, 1986,ntwo days before the camera was turnednon, in an attempt to identify the vandal.nThese efforts failed to produce the guiltynparty, but they did succeed in producingnsomething else: lawsuits. Four civil rightsnlawsuits have been filed, and 3 3 plaintiffsn— most of them past or current Concordnpolice officers—are seeking $34nmillion in damages. The city maintainsnthat the plaintiffs’ rights to privacy werennot violated because the cadet stationednin the ceiling was ordered not to watchnofficers urinate and not to listen to anynrestroom conversations that might occur.nnnself as a servant of the people whilenJohnson was represented as a worker ofnmiracles, an extension of the appetitesnof the electorate. Writes Caro, “In thencontext of the politics that was his lifenLyndon Johnson would do whatevernwas necessary to win.” Later he adds ofnhis subject that his was “a morality innwhich nothing matters but victory andnany maneuver that leads to victory isnjustified.” Therefore, when his blitz ofnthe Stevenson campaign was not completelynsuccessful, when Stevenson wasnelected, it is not at all surprising thatnJohnson seized what he could not earnnrightfully, acting with an “utter inabilitynto comprehend questions of moralitynor ethics raised by his actions, an utterninability to feel that there was even anpossibility that he had violated acceptednstandards of conduct and might benpunished for that violation.”nIt is most interesting that the massivenoutcry of liberal reviewers against thisnfine study (so large as to be itself a partnof our intellectual history) centers on anprotest against Caro’s treatment ofnCoke Stevenson. This reaction hasnbeen so perfervid as to make the biographernand not his book the subject ofnangry interviews and obiter dicta fromnJohnson’s political allies, cronies, andnadmirers and of uneasy commentarynfrom the custodians of New Southnmythology. Usually the complaint centersnon the evidence that Stevensonnfailed to use the power of governmentnwhile in office or on the charge that henwas a segregationist. Such nonsense, ofncourse, ignores the fact that conservativesndo not agree to liberal assumptionsnabout the value of “energy” innthe governor of a state. Moreover, inn1948, any Texas politician who hadnhopes of being elected at least officiallynagreed to the inherited pattern of racenrelations in his state, the system ofnseparation instituted to minimize tensionsnbetween whites and blacks. Inn1948 Lyndon Johnson said morenagainst plans for racial reform thannCoke Stevenson. But the former candidatenwas attempting to establish fornhimself “a new, ultra-conservative image.”nStevenson (who had encouragednresolutions calling for better treatmentnof Mexican immigrants) had no suchnproblem. The real trouble, however,nthat critics like Ronald Steel (writingnMarch II, 1990, in the New YorknJULY 1990/33n