In the 1950s, Democratic senators from the solidly Democratic South uniformly supported segregation and opposed civil rights and voting rights bills. They dutifully spent long hours on the Senate floor filibustering such efforts. Legend has it that during one marathon filibuster, after Olin Johnston of South Carolina, a populist liberal on economic matters, handed off the baton to Strom Thurmond, Johnston went into the cloakroom where many of his colleagues were seated, gestured back toward the Senate floor, and said, “Old Strom, he really believes that [expletive].”

Norman J. Ornstein – Obama: A pragmatic moderate faces the ‘socialist’ smear.