"When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today."
Yeah, weren't they mostly Democrats?
There were members of Congress in both parties opposed to civil rights legislation -- today we call them "conservatives." That's because in 1964, the Democratic Party still had conservatives and the Republican party still had liberals. Conservatives in the South and at National Review opposed civil rights legislation.
The original House version:It's rather telling that the Father of Modern Conservatism voted against.
- Southern Democrats: 7-87 (7%-93%)
- Southern Republicans: 0-10 (0%-100%)
- Northern Democrats: 145-9 (94%-6%)
- Northern Republicans: 138-24 (85%-15%)
The Senate version:
- Southern Democrats: 1-20 (5%-95%) (only Senator Ralph Yarborough of Texas voted in favor)
- Southern Republicans: 0-1 (0%-100%) (this was Senator John Tower of Texas)
- Northern Democrats: 45-1 (98%-2%) (only Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia opposed the measure)
- Northern Republicans: 27-5 (84%-16%) (Senators Barry Goldwater of Arizona, Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa, Edwin L. Mechem of New Mexico, Milward L. Simpson of Wyoming, and Norris H. Cotton of New Hampshire opposed the measure)