The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 11, 1908, Page 2, Image 2

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The Commoner.
-private Hfo to shift for a living for himself and
family as best he can." It may shock the norves
of a-few, but to the vast majority it Is conclu
sive proof that the citizen is the sovereign and
that the offlcial is moroly tho temporary agent
through which tho sovereign speaks and acts a
lesson too often forgotten by those wno have
enjoyed distinction at the hands of their coun
trymen. The World says: "It is not seemly that a
Grant should lend his namo to a firm of Wall
Street gamblers, or that a Cleveland should be
compelled to accept a Ryan sinecure, or that
a Harrison should have to appear before the
United States supreme court to argue that a
street railway company's franchises are per
petual." It Is not necessary to discuss the incidents
to which the World refers. It was not necessary
for Gonoral Grant to "lend his name to a firm
of Wall Street gamblers;" Mr. Cleveland was
not "compelled to accept a Ryan sinecure," and
Mr. Harrison was not obliged to argue 'that
a street railway 'company's franchises are per
petual;" neither is it necessary to discuss
whether President Roosevelt is wise in allowing
"so virtuous a periodical ais the Outlook to cap
italize a president's prestige and popularity, and
use him to advertise Its business four months in
advance of his retirement from the White
House." Men may differ as to what It Is proper
for a president to do after he leaves the White
House, just as men differ as to what a presi
dent ought to do before he goes to the White
House, but there is no reason why a president
should be made a senator for life at a salary of
fe. $25,v0.00 a year just to keep the dignity of the
The World says, that after a president's
term has explre.d. "his Influence and experience
should be retained by the people in, the interest
of the general welfare."' If a president retires
from office with the confidence of the peoplqj
his influence and experience will-be retained
by the people in the interest of the. general wel
fare. Ho has the ear of the public and can
speak, upon any question that he deems impor
tant; he will always have a hearing. There
are foreign commissions that give him an op
portunity to serve his country In international
courts and on international boards where his
prestige and his influence can be of advantage
to his nation. All these things are possible
if he JiaB so .commended himself to his, country
as to compel recognition of hfs high purpose
and -his breadth of statesmanship! -
It, on the contrary, a president is a disap
pointment; if his conduct is not .satisfactory .a
Ufa position and a $25,000 a year pension .would'
not save him from censure or, compel respect
Rather, his forced continuation in,. p(ublij .llifo
would be a constant reminder of, his, failure and
ho would rattle around in a permiipeht' senator
ship like an unworthy son, in ,a great ancestral
estate, . , ;.
There is no reason why a presidents should
not bo sent to the- senate if the people of the
state want him to go, but if he is sent, It ought
to be for th,e same reason that other men are
sent and not because it is disgraceful for one' to
become a" private citizen after he has been a
president. If we adopt the theory that the
executive chair is so far above the people that
0- man can not step down from it to the people,
we will soon be considering the chair bo high
that one can not step up to it from the people.
And what about the sons of presidents? Will
it "shockingly lower" the dignity of the office
to have them thrust into private life and com
pelled to make a living? And what about ex
governors and ex-mayors? Should the ex-governors
be pensioned and made life members of
tho state senate, and Bhould the mayors be pen
sioned and made life members of tho city coun
cil, or. is it only the dignity of the president that
we have to guard?
&rt i2r & O
""' Many people may be entertained for a time
by the exchange of. epithets, between Mr, Roose
velt and the editor of tho New York Sun. But
to the great American republic there is a se
rious side to this affair. The Commoner does
nqt refer to the humiliating spectacle of the
Chief magistrate of the "United States hurling
epithets from his high position in the American
White House and engaging in bitter personal
controversy, although that Is, indeed, a serious
matter to thoughtful citizens'. But tho more
important fact is that for several months there
h'fcye been whispers concerning Panama canal
iff airs. $Thetee accusations bave taken on .such
definite form that they can not be dismissed with
a sneer; they can not be disposed of with tho
charge that they come from men actuated by
malice. They must bo met.
Congress should immediately- provide for
a thorough investigation of Panama1 canal affairs
and particularly the canal purchase. The
friends of Mr. Roosevelt owe it to the president
to see" to It 'that the committee making this in
vestigation Is composed of men who have no
intimate relations with the administration.
The Commoner hopes that this investiga
tion will be provided for and that it Will be
so thorough and complete that its verdict tif
acquittal will command such complete respect
among the. American people that the charges
will never, be revived.
tV v t w ,
Writing in the Chicago Record-Herald Wal
ter Wellman says:
"President-elect Taft has won Tils contest
for honest and thorough revision of the tariff.
Speaker Cannon and the standpatters have made
full surrender."
This sounds something like the story of the
ruler who, when approached by a number of his
subjects, with "we demand our rights," replied
with a wave of the hand, "I grant them to
Mr. Wellman adds: "Peace again prevails
peace on the Taft terms." Then it's "dollars
to doughnuts" that they are. "Uncle Joe's"
terms, too.
. , V t5 ,
John p. Archbold, of the Standard Oil trust,
on the witness stand at New York was. asked
why the trust agreement, respecting the various
properties of the Standard Oil,, was made. ,He
"Our counsel had advised us that a. single
corporation could not successfully hold all these
pronerties which had, been, acquired that is. not
safely and It' seemed a simple and effective
form of overcoming the difficulty. Tho proper
ties were located in many states, the laws of
some of which were restrictive against corpora
tions. More than this, it would give'. a market
value to the: holdings and permit, of administra
tive overslgbjt." , . -,.. - ...: v? - . :
"Not safely" means that the plan was ,unn
lawful, a conspiracy. in restraint of;trade.rM ., ,
The Omaha ( Nob ,1 Bee1 frerj.V .saslJ.J'Sen-
ntbf Foraker has a letter of SeoomrneridnHon
"from the officials of the Standard' '011. '."That
should fret him a job with any concern needing
his kind of a' corporation lawyer."
Well, a letter of recommendation written
by John D; Rockefeller helped one di'fl'tlnirn'Rhed
republican to the Presidency of the TJn'ted
Stntos. A similar letter mlerht influence the dis
position of a mere senatorship.
w Cv v iffi
The Lederer. published by Mr. Thomas T3.
Oulnn, New York, takes exception to the pub
lication by The Commoner of an editorial print
ed in tho Tammany "Times and attacking Mr.
Bryan. The Ledger savs that it was not fair
to print Mr. Murphv's interview and the Tam
manv Times editorial "close together without
explanation." The Ledger adds:
"Mr. Murphv and the present control of
the great Tammany organization have had no
more abusive opponent in print In the past two
yWnrs than this same Tammany Times." Also
"Scarcely one Issue of the Tammany Times has
'comfl out in the past two years without assail
ment of Mr. Murnhv more bitter than even Its
attacks upon Mr. Brvan either before his nomin
ation or since the election."
The Ledger complains that the renders of
The Commoner "could draw no other inference
from Mr. Murphy's frank and friendly state
ment placed side bv s!rfe with the fierce assault
on Mr. Bryan by the Tammany-titled supposed
.mouth-niece no other Inference, we repeat
thPn that Tammany Hall and its leader were
both disingenuous and disloyal."
It is not necessary for Th Pr,,-
tell 1,b readers thjt It hMtrtSTZg.
leading them in the nnhntt i " '
ttcular articles "close together"" Inasmuch as"
it was not The Commoner's intention that mI
SSEJftm I1? "W" Sr the ammJny
Timeseditorial any more than that the Tammany
Times' editor bo hold responsible for Mr
Murphy's interview it did not occur to the asso
ciate editor to make the explanation which tho
Ledger has given so completely.
The Commoner has printed many opinions
with which The Commoner does not agree; but
it intends to keep its readers accurately informed
upon the" subjects with which it deals. Inas
much as the Ledger publisher thinks that tho
hostility existing between Mr. Murphy and tho
Tammany Times is an important matter of fact,
The Commoner gives the Ledger's explanation
on this point. -
t fi
We knew it was coming but it arrived some
what earlier than we expected. The Philadel
phia North American has discovered, now that
the election is over, that there is to be no tariff
revision in the interests of the general public.
In an editorial entitled "The Tariff Farce" tho
North American says:
"The tariff hearings by the ways and means
committee at Washington have progressed far
enough to justify the North American's view
that jthey are a dishonest pretension. Cannon,
Payne, Dalzell, Fordney and the others of tho
inner circle of the reactionaries are deceiving
no one in their effort to make a farce and a
falsity of the pledge for scientific and equitable
tariff revision upon which Taft stood and tho
national ticket was elected. Cannon proclaims
himself a tariff revisionist. He does so in these
words: 'If I live, I am going, so far as my
vote is concerned, to see to it that the policy
of the republican party on this question is writ
ten in the national laws as promptly as possible.
The laws, should be written promptly, so that
business can adjust itself to changed conditions,
for the change will of necessity bring distur
bance.' Which means that an evasive and de
ceptive hodge-podge is to be rushed through to
passage, without regard to the needs of the con
suming public or the legitimate business inter
ests if Cannon preserves his old-time power to
'see 'to it' in behalf of the trusts. It is to bo
called' the Payne bill, we hear. And the god
fatHership of Sereno C. Payne is sufficient surety
that the product will 'be a freak and a change
ling." - ' - ' v'
Is. the Philadelphia North American really
so simple as it pretends? It mjght hive known
that tiie fathership of the; republican "party, so
far as a tariff "t revision measure, is concerned,
would be "sufficient surety that the' product will
be a- freak and a changejipg."
w & V tv7
,i , -Mr; . Elihu Root was asked by an Associated
Press correspondent whether ho had anything
to say regarding the announcement of Timothy
L. Woodruff that he would not be a candidate
for the New York senatorship and that Mr. Root
ought to be elected. Mr. Root told the corre
spondent that he had seen the Woodruff state
ment and was much pleased with it, declaring
that it was "a patriotic u'tterance."
It will be difficult for some old-fashioned
people to understand the relationship between
patriotism and anything that tends to the elec
tion to the United States senate of the ablest
trust lawyer in all the land a gentleman whose
candidacy has, unquestionably, the support of
every one of the special interests.
& S & & ''
Theodore E. Burton, member of congresg
from Ohio, announced his candidacy for senator
to succeed Mr. Foraker. Charles P. Taft, broth
er of the president-elect, is also a candidate
for the place. Hot Spring, Va dispatches say
that Mr. Burton has been told that he may
have a cabinet position. With several cabinet
offices in addition to all other federal positions
in Ohio at his disposal, Charles P. Taffs path
way to the senate ought to be clear.
The Louisville Post says Mr. Bryan is not
satisfied with Mr. Gompers' effort to deliver the
labor vote. With two exceptions the Post's
statement may be considered correct. , First,
Mr. Bryan is well satisfied with tho work per
formed by Mr. Gompers. Secondly, Mr. Gom
pers made no effort to "deliver the labor vote."
He merely sought to show workingmen that it
was to their interests to vote the democratic
national ticket at the recent election.
" ,v