Friday, April 27, 2012

Today -100: April 27, 1912: He means well, but he means well feebly

In history-repeats-itself news, 1) the ocean liner Empress of Britain hits an iceberg, but isn’t badly damaged, and 2) in a re-run of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, 25 people jump from a burning factory in the Bowery; one hits head-first and dies.

Theodore Roosevelt responds to Taft’s speech: “It is a bad trait to bite the hand that feeds you.” [Insert fat joke here]. He seems especially pissed that Taft released his 1907 letter ordering his attorney general to postpone anti-trust actions against the International Harvester trust as well as cordial personal, private letters TR had sent Taft in 1910-1, which Taft is releasing to show that TR didn’t always think he was a big ol’ loser. TR says by this action Taft has been not only “disloyal to our past friendship, but has been disloyal to every canon of ordinary decency and fair dealing”. “Such conduct represents the very crookedest kind of a crooked deal” and for Taft to say he had not been disloyal is “the grossest and most astounding hypocrisy.”

He accuses Taft of a “quality of feebleness, yielding to the bosses and the great privileged interests,” although he concedes “I do not think Mr. Taft means ill; I think he means well. But he means well feebly, and during his administration he has been under the influence of men who are neither well meaning nor feeble. It is this quality of feebleness in a normally amiable man which pre-eminently fits such a man for use in high office by the powers of evil.”

The Missouri Republicans will send rival Taft & Roosevelt delegations to the national convention.

Secretary of War Stimson says he plans to equip the army with 120 airplanes, including 8 in Hawaii, 8 in Panama and 16 in the Philippines.

The Japanese administration in the colony of Korea is trying 82 Koreans for attempted assassination of the governor-general. It says the bombs they planned to use came from Russia and China via American missionaries.

Last year, Taft vetoed the Arizona statehood bill because the territory’s prospective constitution included the recall of judges. Well, now AZ is a state and can do what it likes and an amendment for recall has passed the Legislature (unanimously in the lower house) and been signed by the governor.

1 comment:

  1. He accuses Taft of a “quality of feebleness, yielding to the bosses and the great privileged interests,”

    Gosh, that sounds familiar.

    But, then, I suppose the whole point of Today -100 is that nothing ever changes.