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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (June 25, 1909)
WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
VOL. 9, NO. 24
Lincoln, Nebraska, June 25, 1909
Whole Number 440
Who Are the Culprits?
The St. Louis Globe-Democrat, In a recent
Issue, speaking as If inspired from Washington,
declared that "there will be no veto." It says:
"But if the bill retains any of its objectionable
features when it reaches him, he will undoubt
edly sign It, and let the culprit shoulder the
This is the concluding sentence of an edi
torial, nearly a column long, in which there is
a labored effort to justify the president in re
fusing to interpose a veto to protect the con
sumers of the country from increased tariff
The Globe-Democrat quotes the president aa
having advocated a "thorough revision" and
an "honest rovision;" as saying that "the rates
generally, or most of them, are too high;" and
as asserting that "the revision, therefore, will
probably be downward." And yet with the
prospect, if not the certainty, of an increase in
the average rate, the Globe-Democrat informs
us, and does so as if speaking with authority
that the president will "undoubtedly" sign the
bill, even if the objectionable features are re
tained. He is going to do it and then let the
"culprit shoulder the responsibility." But, who
are the culprits?
According to the constitution the law-making
power is vested In the house, senate and presi
dent; neither can act without the other and
the president's part in law-making is so im
portant that he can, by his veto, prevent the
passage of any bill unless two-thirds -ofbothnew the tariftV-revWejagltatlon, and .bring the
publicans that he regarded it as ax promise of
REDUCTION. Is ho keoplng faith with the west
ern republicans when he signs a bill INCREAS
ING the tariff?
The Globe-Democrat cays that "Mr. Cleveland
disliked the Gorman changes In the Wilson
tariff bill as much as Mr. Taft does those which
Mr. Aldrich has made In the Payno measure,"
but that Mr. Cleveland did not veto the bill.
The Globe-Democrat neglects to state, however,
that the Wilson bill made a reduction, while
the now tariff bill is going to make an increaso
in the tariff. If the Payne-Aldrlch bill made
a material reduction, the president might bo
justified in signing it, even though it did not
make a3 much of a reduction as ho
desired, but no manipulation of language can
furnish the president an excuse for INCREAS
ING tariff taxes when ho cultivated among west
ern republicans a belief that they wore to have
a REDUCTION in tariff.
And what reason doe3 the Globe-Democrat
give in support of the president's decision to
sign the bill?
It says: "Yet Mr. Taft will not take the re
sponsibility of vetoing a' bill which will not meet
his views In overy respect, and thus hamper his
party in the coming session, render all the work
of the extra session vain, and put the party on
the defensive in the congressional campaign
next year. A veto would do all this, and It
would also check the trade rally, and seriously
disappoint the country. A veto of the Payne
Aldrlch bill woujd, of course, leave the DIngloy
law intact, and the country which lived under
It for twelve years could stand it for a few
years longer. But a veto would instantly re
houses favor the measure. Can the president
escape his share of tho responsibility, after as
suring the people that the revision would prob
ably be downward? Can he justify the sign
ing of a bill which raises the tariff rates?
The republican party promised "unequivo
cally" to revise the tariff "immediately." Why
promise "unequivocally" if an increase was In
tended? Was an increase so urgently desired
as to justify an , unequivocal promise to make
the raise; and was the 'increase so imperatively
necessary that it should be made "immediate
ly?" Were the people so anxious to have their
taxes increased that they could not wait until
the regular session cf congress?
Mr. Aldrich and some of his high tariff asso
ciates insist that the republican party did not
promise a reduction, but no one can read the
platform without recognizing that those who
wrote it INTENDED to make the republicans
BELIEVE that a DOWNWARD revision was
Mr. Taft not only ran upon the platform, but
so construed it as to convince the western re-
WHO ARE THE CULPRITS?
- LORIMER DEMOCRATS
GOVERNOR JOHNSON'S TONNAGE
THE TARIFF IN THE SENATE
EDUCATIONAL . SEMES GOVERNMENTAL
REFORMS4 IN UNITED" STATES 'FOR 1909
TO MRS. CLEVELAND, DEBTOR
FROM THE TARIFF DEBATE .
CARNEGIE . PENSION COME HOME TO
PRACTICAL TARIFF TALKS
THE TARIFF AND THE JEWELERS
MR. BRYAN NOT A CANDIDATE
LETTERS' .FROM THE PEOPLE -
SENATOR SIMJOjNS OF NORTH CAROLINA
- HOME DEPARTMENT ,
WHETHER COMMON ,QR; NOT " :-.
ityEWS J3F, THE WEEK jt.;.
question up in a more acute form than It had
before.. Congress would be obliged to iriakean
attempt to revise It either by" prolonging the
extra session into the fall and winter, or elso
to take the matter up In the regular session
which begins in December. In either of these
alternatives the suspense would be prolonged
many months, the prosperity which every one
expected to see sbon would be postponed."
It will be noticed that the Globe-Democrat
justifies the signing of the bill even though
the bill be bad on several grounds. First and
foremost, is the partisan reason that It would
"put the party on the defensive in the congres
sional campaign next year." That is, ho Is to
put the Interests of the party above the welfare
of the country. The tariff barons have taken
the party by the throat and compelled it to
raise the tariff instead of lowering it and yet,
the Globe-Democrat tells us that Mr. Taft will
not interfere with the outrage for fear It would
put Its party on the defensive, in the congres
sional campaign next year. Will not the sign
ing of the bill put the party on the defensive?
How Is the country to secure reform If a re
publican president is afraid to use his veto to
prevent an Increase in the taxes? And then
are the republican voters compelled to elect
another republican congress to "support the
president?" If the president signs the bill the
republican leaders will contend that the bill
fulfills the party's promise and then the voters
will be asked to ratify the action of congress.
If they do so, the now republican congress will
consider itself bound by the vote and will not
attempt a reduction, especially In the prosenco
of another campaign, and then the same game
can be played again in If 12 provided, of
course, tbe, people, are willing to be fooled again.
.Is this the only hope of revision that the re
publican party can offer?
The Globe-Democrat gives as a second reason,
namely, that a veto would "check the trade
rally and seriously disappoint the country."
Here Is that old fraudulent argument again.
Last fall we were to .have a trade revival as a
result of a republican victory. The revival has
been a little slpw about reviving, and we are
now told that the president must sign a bill
increasing the .tariff or the trade "rally" will
be checked. The Globe-Democrat believes that
. the country can stand the Dingley law a few
years longer, and so do tho beneficiaries of pro
tection, but what of tho consumers?
Tho third reason given by tho Globe-Democrat
for tho signing of tho bill Is that "a veto
would instantly renew tho tariff revision agita
tion, and bring tho question up In a more acute
form than it had boforo," "Congress would bo
obliged to mako an attempt to roviso It by pro
longing tho extra session Into tho fall and win
tor or olso take tho matter up In tho regular
session which begins in Decombor." Tho logic
of this is very plain. Tho people wore deceived
last fall, but they must not mako any outcry
or seek to punish those who deceived them. The
tariff agitation which led tho republicans to
mako tho promise of revision, must bo regarded
as ended and tho enorgios of Uio republican
party must now bo devoted to tho suppression of
any now, or further agitation. Will this pro
gram please the tariff reform republicans? If
not, what are they going to do about it?
And again, who are tho culprits? Will tho
tariff roform republicans support this bill when
they find that it will increaso tho tariff?
And tho papers; can papers like tho Globo
Domocrat escape condemnation? Did they not
help along tho deception which was practiced
in tho last campaign? Did they not construe
tho platform to mean downward revision? Did
they not assure tho voters that tho republican
party could bo relied upon to' reduce tho tariff?
And havo they not applied epithets to Aldrich
and to Payno? Was it all a part of tho play?
Was tho noiso that they havo made merely stage
thunder? Can they make a scape-goat of the
high tariff senators and members and throw all
tho blamo upon them?
This courso may satisfy a partisan newspaper,
but it will hardly satisfy tho Jionestrepublican
who belioves that a narty ought txi .keep faf tikt''
'With thtr pcoplo, and who rognrJ CHO Obligation "
of a party to its membors, as oven more sacred
than the obligation of tho members of the party
to tho party organization. Tho republican
voters are likely to havo their own opinion on
tho subject of culprits, and they will not be
apt to forgive the president who can, by his
veto, prevent an increase in tho. taxes; or the
republican papers which promised tariff revision
when they had every reason to know that tho
republican leaders had no intention of keeping
Who are the culprits?
Democracy as defined by tho democrats in tho
Illinois legislature is about as loathsome an ar
ticle as ono can Imagine. A republican boss
has been sent to the United States senate by
tho aid of democratic votes. If tho democratic
members of tho legislature had voted for Hop
kins objectionable as he was they might have
pleaded as an excuse that he had received a
plurality In the primary of the dominant party;
If they had found the selection of some clean
and upright republican they might have justified
their act, but to Join In the selection of Speaker
Cannon's right hand man is indefensible wheth
er considered from the standpoint of party or
from the standpoint of patriotism.
Why did they do it? Well, you can not judge
from tho reasons given publicly. Watch the
democrats who voted for him and you may
be able to discover from their movements what
led them to so grossly abuse the authority,
vested in them.
FOLLOW THE ASTRONOMERS
When astronomers find an eccentricity In a
planet's orbit, they look in that direction until
they find the heavenly body that draws tho
planet out of Its orbit. If the consumers of
lumber will follow the example of the astrono
mers they may find that an earthly body named
.Wayerhaeuser, who abounds in stumpage, has
caused the" eccentricity in the political orbit
of those senators and members of the house who
votedagainst free lumber. . t
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