Monday, June 13, 2011

Today -100: June 13, 1911: Of presidential speeches and popular elections

The secretary of state explains that the reason the US hasn’t recognized the post-monarchy republic in Portugal is because... Portugal hasn’t asked.

A NYT editorial refers to a mini-controversy I must have missed because I’ve been avoiding any story about the stalled tariff reciprocity treaty with Canada. Some people (the Times does not say which people) have criticized Taft for pushing the treaty in speeches. They insist that the only public statements a president is authorized by the Constitution to make are State of the Union addresses, and anything else is an improper attempt to coerce Congress.

The Senate votes 64-24 for a constitutional amendment for the popular election of senators. A provision (already rejected by the House) giving supervision of those elections to the federal government passes after a tie is broken by the vice president. Only one Democrat voted for it (because it would prevent D’s in the South disfranchising black voters); 5 “progressive” Republicans, including LaFollette, voted with them.

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