Headline of the Day -100:
Yup, the NYT is in full war-monger mode: “Militant Americanism was dominant in Washington today – in those quarters of the capital where action counts in this perilous time. By one bold strike President Wilson had emboldened the timid, scattered his enemies, and brought honest critics to his side.” Dishonest critics presumably including Sen. William Stone (D-Missouri), who offers an amendment asking whether the Zimmermann Telegram came into Wilson’s hands from any government engaged in the war. Which it totally did. So far, the administration is willing only to say that it’s definitely authentic and that disclosing sources ‘n methods “might be dangerous for some people.” But it is, as Henry Cabot Lodge points out, evidently willing to ask Congress to act based on unconfirmed Associated Press stories rather than official reports. Stone is attacked from all sides for implying that the Wilson administration did, well, the thing it actually did. And Sen. Albert Fall (R-New Mexico) says that Democrats who imply that Wilson released the telegram to influence public opinion are “accusing the president of the veriest trickery and impossible practices.” Which, in fact, were precisely the trickery and impossible practices Wilson had, er, practiced. Socialist Congresscritter Meyer London says “We have reached a stage where sentiment rules and reason has been dispensed with.” He says members of Congress talking about how much they love the flag “make as big fools of themselves as the man who tells how he loves his wife.” William Patterson Borland (D-Missouri, campaign slogan: “He grew up with Kansas City”) responds, “I see no yellow stripe in that flag, and I’ll never put one in it.”
Anyway, after this exposure of German perfidy, the House votes 403-13 to give Wilson the authority to arm merchant vessels.
Secretary of State Robert Lansing says that the Mexican and Japanese governments are totally innocent in all this and that they may not have even been approached by Germany. The Zimmermann telegram did say that such an approach should only be made by the German ambassador to Mexico if war between Germany and the US became certain. Another (false) theory going around, however, is that Carranza told the US about being approached by Germany, and this is the “proof” Wilson claims to have that the telegram is not fake.
Cuban rebels are setting fire to the sugar cane fields, as was the custom.
France will start rationing bread.
We all just pictured a man with a striped shirt and beret riding a bicycle, carrying a baguette, didn’t we?