Thursday, April 08, 2010

Today -100: April 8, 1910: Of Republican discord

The news today is all about disharmony within the Republican Party.

The NYT thinks Secretary of State Philander Knox and Treasury Sec. Franklin MacVeagh are about to resign. The NYT is wrong; both served until the end of the Taft administration. But it analyzes the causes of their supposed respective discontents at length.

And the “story runs in Washington” that many Republicans would be perfectly happy to lose the House in November if the Republican “insurgents” were also hurt, since the R’s would still retain the presidency and the Senate and the D’s in the House would likely screw up and lose again in 1912. The NYT (which in 1910 was more than a little Republican-leaning) thinks this is wrong-headed, and that opposition to Taft’s unpopular Payne-Aldrich tariff might be a winner for the D’s, with discontent growing over high prices (a meat boycott in Harlem, for example, just turned violent, with women attacking butcher shops and pouring kerosene over meat purchased by women who violated the boycott).

The Indiana Republican Party’s convention refused to endorse the tariff, and Taft responded by canceling plans to visit Indianapolis.

And looming above all this: the imminent return from his year-long world shoot-em-up tour of the prodigal Rough Rider.

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