Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (March 22, 1901)
""!V'V7?'Tv 'T " '?"
gotiation. At the very least let us adhere to the
President's instructions and. if conditions require the
keeping of Luzon forego the material advantages
claimed in annexing other islands. Above all let us
not make a mockery of the injunction contained in
those instructions, where, after stating that we took
up arms only in obedience to the dictates of humani
ty and in the fulfillment of high public and moral
obligations, and that we had no design of aggrandize
ment and no ambition of conquest, the President
among other things eloquently says:
"It is my earnest wish that the United States in
making peace should follow the same high rule of
conduct which guided it in facing war. It should be
as scrupulous and magnanimous in the concluding
settlement as it was just and humane in its original
This and more, of which I earnestly ask a re
perusal, binds my conscience and governs my action.
Wednesday, 12:30, night. George Gray.
Was It an Error?
The New York World reports an interesting
"error" made by Vice-President Roosevelt on the
third day. that he presidedi over the Senate.
This New York paper describes the incident thus:
The Senate had fallen into a discussion of one of
those questions of precedent and tradition so dear to
the senatorial heart. Some one it was Teller, of
Colorado ended a sentence with the phrase, "and the
Senate transact such executive business as the Presi
dent may eeo fit."
There was no occasion for Mr. Roosevelt to say
anything. In fact the only thing for him to do was
to be quiet, as he is a mere servant of the Senate with
no voice in its proceedings. But Mr. Roosevelt was
nervous and did not know what he was doing. His
fingers were fluttering about, the tip of his nose ran
in and out rapidly, as seen from above, and he said in
a voice of suppressed hysteria, "Such business as the
President sees fit."
Several Senators lifted their white whiskers off
their shirt bosoms and peered about curiously. In
his agitation the unhappy new presiding officer had
kicked the Senate in a very sore spot. Old Morgan of
Alabama, able, but as windy as Nassau street when a
pale is blowing, rose to his feet and examined Mr.
Roosevelt with the air of one who is noting with con
tempt a small and disagreeable object. Then he said
in a voice as dry and cold as a December day at the
"Such business as the Senate sees fit."
Roosevelt's hands shook "like an aspen." From
the press gallery you could see the end of his nose
quiver, the tips of his cheeks and ears redden and his
neck swell as if he were swallowing rapidly.
Ho betrayed all the symptoms of a nervous child".
The Senate settled back with a look of compJacent
forbearance. It has heard of "Strenuous Teddy" and
it is watching him closely. It was pleased to see that
he has the proper awe and fear. And there is not the
slightest doubt that ho has, that he purposes to lead
a quie.t, civilized life and try to live down his reputa
tion for bumptiousness and boyish fondness for noise
and for tearing and killing animals. But to return
to the remark, was Mr. Roosevelt right in the state
ment of fact, or was Mr. Morgan right?
Why does tho "World refer to this incident
as Mr. Roosevelt's "error"? It is not surprising
that the Vice-President's interesting remark should
grate harshly upon the nerves of the dignified
Senator from Alabama. Senator Morgan yet la
bors nnder tho delusion that we have three
branches of government, and that Congress, occu
pies a sphere where the executive dare not in
vade. But Mr. Roosevelt knows that that is a
delusion juat as well as all the world knows it is
a delusion in these days of trusts and imperialism.
Tho republican congress has been permitted under
fhe present admin iatration to transact only
"such business as tho President sees fit." Mr.
Roosevelt is as candid as ho is strenuous, and it
was only characteristic of the Vice-President that
be did not apologize for his so-called "error."
The "symptoms of a nervous child" betrayed
by the Vice-President probably were not nervous
ness at all. Mr. Roosevelt was endeavoring to
control himself. He was probably indignant that
the Senator from Alabama had the temerity to
deny a statement which all the world understands
to be full of 'stubborn, even though regretable,
President's Growing Powers.
A writer in the Pornm, discussing the grow
ing power of the President, shows that aside
from the offices in War and Navy -departments,
the President has patronage at his disposal as
318 consular and diplomatic appointments..! 1,000,000
743 customs, revenue, marine hospital, etc.. 017,355
4,015 postmasters 6,031,000
747 pension officials, land office agents, etc. 1,997,040
Department of Justice
Judges, attorneys, marshals, etc. . 1,120,000
It is estimated that, including all departments,
the President is, as tho Chicago Times-Herald
says, "able to divert into tho pockets of his sup
porters annually the sum of $20,000,000, a total
distribution of $80,000,000, during his term of
office." The Times-Herald declares that "there
is much apprehension among the students of our
political system concerning these growing pow
ers of the President." This republican news
In adju sting some of the problems growing out
of the recent war we have seen Congress practically
abdicate in favor of the President. The framers of
the Constitution rightly appreciated that in a republic
the popular branch of the government must be para
mount. We have recently seen tho President become
the autocratic ruler of hundreds of thousands of peo
ple in Cuba and of millions of people in the Philip
pines, lie has appointed and removed officials with
out asking the consent of tho Senate. The laws
promulgated by the Taft commission in the Philip
pines declare that they were enacted "by tlie au
thority of the President of the United States1' not
And then the Times-Herald concludes that
"the only remedy appears to be through the ex
tension and enforcement of the merit system."
This is, indeed, a profound suggestion. A more
sensible one, however, would be that we re
store tho machinery of our national government
to its proper order; that the law-making and war
declaring power be exercised exclusively by tho
congress; that the President resume his constitu
tional place as an executive, content with being
the beloved magistrate of a nation of freemen,
rather than the autocratic ruler of peoples who
have never consented to United States government.
Is It " Essential Oneness? "
The London Spectator has discovered that tho
tributes paid by tho American people to the mem
ory of Queen Victoria is "A proof of the essential
oneness of the English speaking race."
"It is impossible," eaya the Speotator, "for
any person, sovereign or president, poet or divine,
philosopher or weaver of romance, to rise to tho
very highest place in cither land without becom
ing the common property of both peoples. Say
what we will, we aro sharer in the really great."
Tho Spectator then refers to Great Britain's rev
erence for Abraham Lincojn, whom tho British
nation recognize as "A representative of what was
highest and noblest in tho English speaking kin."
Tho Spectator says that " this good feeling will
continue as long as wo speak tho same language
and read tho samo bible, and as long as Mr. Lin
coln and the Queen remain as examples of public
As a mattor of fact, the tributes paid by tho
American people to the memory of Queen Victo
ria were tho tributes due to a good woman, whoso
virtues were made conspicuous by the public place
she so long and creditably filled. Our English
friends frequently make tho mistake of thinking
that the American people comprise exclusively
the descendants of Englishmen. Tho tributes
paid to the memory of Queen Victoria came from
all classes of people regardless of their ancestry.
Wo do not remember that ''any American Presi
dent, prior to the present regime, held a very high
place in tho affections of tho British public. Wo
do not recall that any of tho American poets ever
received even a small proportion of tho attention
from tho British public which tho American peo
ple pay Kipling that fearful and wonderful
maker of prose and verse. Wo have a distinct
recollection that Henry Ward Beecher was ono
divine who rose to a very high place in this land,
and wo have a faint recollection of some stirring
sconces at Manchester and in other neighborhoods
when tiiis great American preacher visited Eng
land to plead the cause of the "Union and made
himself famous by the courage he displayed in tho
presence of the English mobs.
It rather grates on tho American nerves to
hav.e this English newspaper refer to Lincoln. Tho
American people very gracefully paid tributes at
the bier of Queen Victoria because, while that
good woman lived, we did her no injustice. If
she had eccentricities we did not exaggerate them.
Our newspapers were in the habit of referring to
her in the kindest of terms, and when she died
our tributes simply represented the expresssions
wo had given while she lived. But the English
attitude toward Lincoln was quite different. We
remember that when Lincoln died, the Union
having been preserved in spite of tho embarrass
ments Great Britain sought to put upon us, there
were many expressions of regret by the British
public, and many tributes paid by British publi
cations that had devoted their energies to libels
upon the martyred president while ho lived.
A memorable rebuke entitled: "Tho Atone
ment of Mr. Punch" read like this:
You lay a wreath on murdered. Lincoln's bier,
You who with mocking1 pencil were wont to trace,
Broad, for the self-complacent British sneer,
His length, of shambling limb, his furrowed face.
You whose smart pen backed up the pencil's laugh,
Judging each step as though tho way were plain,
Reckless so it could point its paragraph
Of chief's perplexity or people's pain.
Beside this corpse that bears for winding sheet
The Stars and Stripes he lived to rear anew,
Between the mourners at his head and feet,
Say, scurrile jester, is there room for you?
Powered by Open ONI