A LIBERAL ICONOCLAST: 'MOYNIHAN OF THE MOYNIHAN REPORT':
3 in Race Are New to City's Politics (July 19, 1965) Moynihan
had a reputation as an intellectual force who had influenced federal policymakers, but he had never held elected office at
the time of his unsuccessful run for City Council President.
Moynihan of the Moynihan Report (July 31, 1966) This
profile of Moynihan says that he "has been one of Washington's most influential behind-the-scenes figures in the creation
of the President's Great Society programs" despite the controversy over his report.
Lost Opportunity For Rights Cited (February 9, 1967) In
an article in Commentary magazine, Moynihan argued that anger at his report had contributed to a slowing of the progress of
the civil rights movement.
Moynihan Blames Low Status, Not Race, for Riots (July 25, 1967) "Race
interacts with everything in America," Moynihan said. But he emphasized that in his view the riots were essentially caused
by "a large, desperately unhappy and disorganized lower-class community" in American cities that happened to be prevalently
AN APPOINTEE OF NIXON AND FORD: 'BRAWLER AT THE U.N.':
Nixon Naming of 3 Decried by Welch (January 7, 1969) Nixon's
appointment of Moynihan as his chief adviser on urban affairs convinced the founder of the John Birch Society that the new
President did not plan "any real change in the course this nation has followed since 1933."
Ford Pledges to Resist the Third World in the U.N. (July 1, 1975) At
his swearing-in ceremony, President Ford urged Moynihan, the new chief U.N. delegate to resist countries that try to "exploit
the mechanism of the United Nations for narrow political interests."
Brawler at the U.N. (December 7, 1975) Moynihan
took a sometimes lonely stand against the U.N. resolution that declared that "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination."
Moynihan Enters U.S. Senate Race (June 11, 1976) Moynihan,
who had said at one point that it would be "dishonorable" for him to run for office, bowed to pressure from supporters to
enter the Senate race.
Moynihan Is Given Liberal Nomination (September 28, 1976) With
the help of the Governor, Moynihan stamped out a rebellion within the Liberal Party that had threatened to run a third candidate
Buckley-Moynihan Contest Offers a Conservative-Liberal Showdown (October 4, 1976) In
their beliefs about domestic policy, there were sharp differences between the candidates, with Moynihan supporting the notion
that "the Federal Government has an active role to play, not just in the national economy but in the economy of this state."
Buckley and Moynihan in Final Debate (November 1, 1976) In
a televised debate shortly before the election, Senator James L. Buckley promised to defeat Moynihan, whom he called "professor,"
so that "liberalism would never again show its ugly head in New York."
Moynihan Assails White House on Casey Files (July 22, 1981) Moynihan
charged that the White House and the Justice Department had ignored the Senate Intelligence Committee's repeated requests
for confidential files relating to the business dealings of the Director of Central Intelligence, William J. Casey.
Moynihan After One Term: The Pros and Cons of Independence (April 26, 1982) As
he prepared to run for a second term as New York's Senator, Moynihan had tried to fulfill two roles: a diligent legislator
who faithfully represents his constituency, and a leader in the realm of national policy ideas.
SECOND SENATE TERM, 1982: 'CAME THE REVOLUTION'
Mrs. Sullivan and Moynihan Trade Charges (October 12, 1982) In
a contentious interview before the editors of The New York Times, Moynihan and Assemblywoman Florence M. Sullivan made their
cases for endorsement.
Moynihan to Quit Senate Panel Post in Dispute on C.I.A. (April 16, 1984) Moynihan
resigned as vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in protest over the failure of the C.I.A. to inform
the committee about the scope of United States involvement in the mining of Nicaraguan harbors.
Moynihan Opens Major Drive to Replace Welfare Program (January 24, 1987) As
chairman of the Finance Committee's Subcommittee on Social Security and Family Policy, Moynihan began hearings that set the
stage for a year-long effort to overhaul the nation's basic welfare program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children.
THIRD SENATE TERM, 1988: 'LIBERAL? CONSERVATIVE? OR JUST PAT?'
For Moynihan, Challenge of Campaign (October 30, 1987) In
his third Senate race, Moynihan was able to run what he called a "mom-and-pop campaign," managed by his wife, Elizabeth.
The Newest Moynihan (August 7, 1994) "Entering
his fourth decade at the center of debate on social policy, Pat Moynihan has become the Grumpy Mayor of America," writes Todd
S. Purdum in this New York Times Magazine campaign biography of Moynihan.
Moynihan Battles View He Gave Up On Welfare Fight (June 18, 1995) As
a longtime expert on welfare policy and the as ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, Moynihan was expected to
be a major player in the welfare reform debate, but critics argued that he allowed the debate to pass him by.
His Battle Now Lost, Moynihan Still Cries Out (August 2, 1996) Moynihan,
a longtime critic of liberal welfare policy, was disappointed with the welfare reform bill Clinton signed: "The President
has made his decision," he said, "Let us hope it is for the best."
REVIEWS OF DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN'S BOOKS:
'Community Action in the War on Poverty' (1969) "There
is the germ of an idea here. But one comes away from the book much as one might from a desultory after-dinner conversation,
in which all sharpness and bite of analysis have dissolved in self- contradiction . . ."
'The Politics of a Guaranteed Income' (1973) "Most of
Moynihan's eloquent, polemical book is devoted to an exhaustively researched attack on the liberal opposition [to guaranteed
'Coping' (1974) "[H]is
essays -- whatever their faults -- are always literate, intelligent and frequently prescient."
'Counting Our Blessings' (1980) "On the
vagabond life of politics I can think of few people whom I would rather read than Senator Moynihan. . . . the essays collected
in this volume testify to his grasp of both the theory and practice of what many of his countrymen still choose to regard
as a black art."
'Loyalties' (1984) ". . .
continues Mr. Moynihan's tradition of elegant and original thinking on the big questions of the day."
'Family and Nation' (1986) ". . .
should be judged . . . as a political document rather than an analytical essay. . . . most important for the passion and indignation
it shows . . ."
'Came the Revolution' (1988) "Senator
Moynihan is that rare phenomenon, an intellectual and a politician who excels, synergistically, at both occupations. . . .
has some of the human interest of a picaresque political detective story, as the main character, Moynihan by name, tracks
down the villainy of the Reagan Administration . . ."
'On the Law of Nations' (1990) ". . .
not only a forceful elucidation of the subject [of international law]; it is a cri de tete of a man who often sees
things more accurately than others . . ."
'Pandaemonium' (1993) "This is
a book of needed warnings, a jeremiad full of insights (weighed down by too many references)."
'Miles to Go' (1996) ". . .
the story of modern American social policy and the story of Daniel Patrick Moynihan are one and the same. Whether this congruence
has been a blessing for the Republic is something about which the reader . . . may entertain some doubts."
'Secrecy: The American Experience' (1998) "Moynihan's
withering account of the Government's bottomless appetite for 'intelligence' . . . is a dismaying tale, though [he] has told
it with uncommon liveliness and a mordant wit . . ."
Thursday, Mar. 27, 2003 With
Daniel Patrick Moynihan's death, Washington lost another member of an all but extinct breed: the politician as unapologetic
intellectual. The former New York Senator, who died Wednesday at 76 from complications arising from a burst appendix, was
known for his sharp wit and his nimble mind. He was also known for his refusal to toe to the party line. As such, he was occasionally
a thorn in the side of both parties, frustrating liberals and conservatives alike. He defied easy categorization, and brought
an academic sensibility to a town better known for its sensationalism.
But it wasn't just his advanced degrees and his Fulbright scholarship that
set Moynihan apart — there are plenty of intelligent members of Congress. Moynihan stood out because of his insistence
on intellectual honesty and his unwillingness to walk away from a looming debate, no matter how messy it promised to be. Moynihan
offered challenging, groundbreaking — sometimes even successful — solutions to perennial public policy dilemmas,
including welfare and racism.
This is the sort of intellectual stubbornness that rarely makes an appearance
in Washington today. Successful politicians, including, most recently, Bill Clinton, usually temper their sharp intelligence
with an ability to communicate in populist terms. The policy wonk who lacks a light touch — think Al Gore or Paul Simon
— is subject to attack by the popular press for what is perceived as snobbery, while our less intellectually engaged
politicians — think George W. Bush or Tim Hutchinson — are lauded for their ability to connect with voters.
Moynihan, along with a few colleagues, including the late Paul Wellstone and
current Rhode Island senator Lincoln Chafee, were able to win voters' confidence without having to compromise their messages,
or their intellect. Whether he was led by political instinct or innate conviction, Moynihan believed fiercely in the importance
of serious, multi-layered debate, a skill that continues to dissipate as the daily sound bytes shrink.
Americans in recent years have made it clear we don't want to elect politicians
who are smarter than we are. Rather than pin our national hopes to politicians at ease with nuance, most of us seem to crave
average thinkers with average ideas. And that's a shame, because all of us should feel encouraged and comforted, rather than
threatened, by the presence of great thinkers in Washington. As Moynihan proved over the course of nearly forty years in government,
great minds are well-used in the messy and essential arena of public service.