Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Today -100: March 8, 1916: Of cowardly proposals, Germany conspiracies, militarism, conscription, and meat

The House votes 2 to 1 to support Pres. Wilson’s position upholding the “right” of citizens to travel on armed belligerent merchant ships. The vote is much higher than was expected, many voting yes not because they support Wilson’s position but to stand behind the president and strengthen his negotiating position.

The NYT has a snide editorial about the defeat of “the cowardly proposal to contract the sphere of American rights to make room for the expansion of Germany’s sphere of lawlessness.” Its tone all along, in its reporting as well as editorials, has been remarkably snotty. A year away from the entering the war, and already opponents of the slide towards war are being accused of “sedition... alien intrigue and factional conspiracy”.

Elsewhere on the op-ed page, the Times rants about the “German conspiracy against the United States” in the form of the National German-American Alliance’s plans to possibly campaign for Wilson if the Republicans nominate a jingo like Roosevelt or Elihu Root. The New York World is claiming that the Alliance is behind the attempted resolutions warning US citizens off armed merchanters. The World publishes stolen letters written by a lobbyist for the Alliance, T.L. Marsalis, who claims to have influenced members of Congress. They either deny having ever met him or that they knew who he was. Marsalis evidently spoke to Sen. Thomas Gore about the need for the white races to ally to protect their supremacy. Gore does not say how he responded to that. The charter of the National German-American Alliance (which also fought prohibition, because, you know, Germans and beer) will be revoked by Congress in 1918, a couple of months after it had already disbanded itself.

Rep. Isaac Ruth Sherwood (D-Ohio), says he’ll resign (but like Rep. Page’s similar announcement yesterday actually won’t) because he “cannot seek re-election on a platform that pledges the party to militarism.” In the meantime, though, he feels obligated to vote for a military spending bill he doesn’t believe in, and against warning US citizens off armed merchant ships, which he does believe in, in order to support the president, whose policies he doesn’t believe in. Sherwood, 80, was a Civil War general.

Vermont voters reject prohibition in favor of local option.

Lord Derby, who last year oversaw the Derby Scheme in which men signed up to potentially be drafted if needed, now says he’s sorry that they’re drafting married men so soon, after promising everyone they wouldn’t.

Headline of the Day -100:

Riotous Housewives would be a great name for a rock band.

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