A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 14, 2010
“A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds an office that some Republican wants”

Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956), the vice president under President Harry Truman from 1949 to 1953, was the keynote speaker at the July 1948 Democratic National Convention. “What is a bureaucrat? A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds an office that some Republican wants,” Barkley said.

Barkley had used the quip at least two years before. Walter Winchell’s November 1946 newspaper column reported: “It was Senator Barkley who said: ‘A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds an office a Republican wants.’” The saying can also be made in the reverse, as applicable: “A bureaucrat is a Republican who holds an office a Democrat wants.” The bureaucracy is always attacked by the party not in power.


Wikipedia: Alben W. Barkley
Alben William Barkley (November 24, 1877 – April 30, 1956) was an American politician who served as the 35th Vice President of the United States from 1949 to 1953 under President Harry S. Truman.

Prior to the Vice Presidency, Barkley served in the U. S. Senate from Kentucky for over twenty years, and was Majority Leader of that body from 1937 to 1947.

21 November 1946, Augusta (GA) Chronicle, “Man Colyuming Between Jint Muleps” by Walter Winchell, pg. A4, col. 6::
It was Senator Barkley who said: “A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds an office a Republican wants.”

13 July 1948, Seattle (WA) Daily Times, “Demos’ Keynoter Sounds Defense For New Dealers,” pg. 6, col. 1:
Barkley’s remarks were enlivened by not a few humorous discursions: ‘The Republican platform is a tent big enough for anybody to get under.” “A bureaucrat is a Democrat who has some office a Republican wants.”

13 July 1948, New York (NY) Times, “Text of the Recorded Speech of Senator Barkley as the Democratic Convention Keynoter,” pg. 10:
Following is the text of the keynote speech by Senator Alben W. Barkley of Kentucky, temporary chairman of the Democratic National Convention, as recorded and transcribed last night by THE NEW YORK TIMES:
(...)
Whatever their (Republicans—ed.) platform may or may not promise, whatever their candidate may or may not stand for, we have in all this confusion and vague atmosphere of promise, and threats, one clear true clarion call. They’re going to eliminate all the bureaucrats from Washington.

What is a bureaucrat? Congress creates a bureau in some department and the President appoints the head of that bureau. And then he becomes a bureaucrat in the minds of those who do not like him or cannot get from him all the things they want.

What is a bureaucrat? A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds an office that some Republican wants.

CBS News
March 28, 2010
Stein: Bureaucrats Are Great, So Lay Off
He Tells Us Why We Should Not Only Cut Civil Service Workers a Break, But Also Praise Them For the Jobs They Do
(CBS) CBS Sunday Morning Contributor Ben Stein on why we should be just a little more grateful for the people who work in government ...

(...)
Long ago, Alben Barkley, Harry Truman’s Vice President, keenly said that “a bureaucrat is a Democrat who has a job a Republican wants.” I am not sure that’s true, but I have been a bureaucrat in my youth and I never worked so hard for so little money in my life, and my fellow employees were in the same galley slave boat. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Tuesday, December 14, 2010 • Permalink