Shivercrats were a conservative faction of the Texas Democratic Party in the 1950s named for Texas Gov. Allan Shivers (D).
The term was first used in 1952 after Shivers backed Republican Dwight Eisenhower for president over Democrat Adlai Stevenson.
Interestingly, Lyndon B. Johnson initially aligned himself with the faction as a U.S. Senator but increasingly sided with liberals on domestic policy after becoming president in 1963.
Most Shivercrats ended up leaving the Democratic party as the liberal-moderate faction took control of the state party after 1970.
The term later became a political epithet that is used to refer to Democrats who are seen as being too conservative or moderate, much like the blue dogs.
It was often used by more liberal members of the Democratic Party to criticize their colleagues who are perceived as being insufficiently progressive or unwilling to take bold, liberal positions on key issues.
It’s also been used to refer to Democrats who are seen as being too willing to compromise with Republicans and to abandon liberal principles in order to achieve political victories.
Examples of “Shivercrats” in a sentence
- Some members of the Democratic Party accused the Shivercrats of being too willing to compromise with Republicans on key issues.
- Critics of the Shivercrats argued that the party should embrace a more progressive, liberal agenda in order to energize its base and to distinguish itself from the Republican Party.
- The debate between the Shivercrats and their more liberal colleagues reflected ongoing divisions within the Democratic Party about its direction and priorities.