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to the Senate entrance. Senator Chandler saw possibilities of great sport in the question, for "providentially,” as he would have said, Senator Clark was just entering the far door. The child was told in a whisper, “You go and ask him how much it costs to get in there?” And then of course, Senator Chandler disappeared to avoid an explosion, and there is no record of what happened to the children when that dynamitic question was set off.
To any who has known the old Senate of Aldrich and Quay and Hanna, the story, as by flashlight, shows political progress. Only one Senator in the Senate of 1922 was charged with having won his seat by a too lavish use of money. This large expenditure was condemned, but he was allowed to remain by votes of his own party on his solemn protestation that he did not even know of these expenditures. It was a sign of progress that even permitting him to be the beneficiary of admissibly too great expenditures became one of the political issues of that year's campaign-one of the most serious charges against his party and against every Senator who voted for him. There was no such sensitiveness about buying Senatorial seats in the 19th Century. The Senate in the 20th Century is composed of poorer, and I think purer men. Election of Senators by the people has raised the cost of votes from the briber's standpoint to a prohibitive protective tariff. It is almost impossible to buy a majority of the individual votes of a whole State. To control a Legislature was a less difficult task.
But popular elections have made the Senate almost as sensitive to waves of popular clamor as the House, with nothing to make them more conservative except that twothirds of the Senators are farther from the time for reelection and the rules and customs if the Senate allow time for full discussion,
It was a startling illustration of the lack of that Senatorial conservatism the fathers of this Republic planned for, when the Senate turned somersault twice on war prohibition, each time reversing their vote within fortyeight hours; the first time on prohibition of beer—the brewers having raided the Senate in force; the second time on prohibition of bonded whiskey, which the distillers reversed in one swift charge—in both cases by the change of a few votes.
Usually the Senate is not too fast but far too slow. It is a shameful waste of money and costly time, the long speeches that use hours to say to empty seats what Senator Frye would have said in as many minutes to a full and attentive Senate. He believed in real debate, short, sharp and decisive. The long speech habit makes attendance “boredom.” The remedy, however, should not be a flight to cloak room and offices when a Senator rises to address his far off constituents through the Senate stenographer and public printer, but an elimination of this buncombe that seldom secures the attention of even constituents, who are not hankering for long printed speeches in these days of autos and movies.
The Spoils System not Truly American We raise the question whether the American party system of government, with its very scant consideration for anybody except the dominant party, is really as American, that is, as consistent with efficient popular government as the parliamentary system in vogue in most other countries.
Is it a wise thing that when “the Government," that is, the Cabinet, changes, in Britain, the experienced workers in the civil service continue to do their work, so far as they are efficient, just as the military service continues ?
We are told that hardly a dozen persons outside the Cabinet change when one British party gives way to another.
Why don't the winning party in this country turn out the generals and admirals and captains of the military service when there is a change in party supremacy? Why not put greenhorns on the ships of the Navy as well as in the Navy Department? Why not promote lawyers and insurance men and editors to handling artillery as well as War Department clerkships? Who can frame a defense of the enforcement of one of the newest amendments of the Constitution, bone dry prohibition, by wet men nominated by wet politicians, with the result that many of the new appointees are the "executioners," rather than the executives of the law ?
A federal judge of long experience said to the writer in 1922 that United States attorneys were mostly a bad lot, not in sympathy with vigorous enforcement of any moral laws. A strong proof of this is that the law of Congress forbidding importation and interstate transportation of prize fight films was treated with contempt in a score of States in 1921-22, in practically all of which, apparently through the negligence of the United States Attorney, the fight films, illegally brought into the State, would be shown under pretense of charity to sick soldiers in a hospital, and then the criminal who shipped and another criminal who received the film, both liable for $1,000 fine and a year's imprisonment as a maximum punishment would be allowed to pay one fine of $250 or $500 or $1,000 and treat it as a low license to exhibit the films everywhere in the State. Substantially this was done in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and other States, with no effective work to stop this contempt of Congress
and conspiracy to violate law for a year and a half from July 4, 1921.
The Spoils System not Even Good Politics There is considerable doubt even among politicians whether party patronage is really a party advantage. Ben Butler used to say that every office a Congressman secured for a constituent made twenty enemies (of those disappointed) and one ingrate. Add to that the fact that when the new officer does not make good he hurts both the man who appointed him and the party.
Would it not be a truly American way, following the precedent of good American business, to continue in a new administration at least all experienced officials who had been conspicuously faithful and efficient, regardless of party, and use the occasion only to "turn the rascals out?"
Raiding the Treasury the Chief End of Politics The supreme unamericanism of American politics is that the Government is considered chiefly by officials and many citizens a financial grab bag from which every Senator and Representative is expected to get the largest possible share for his State or district in salaries, pensions, and in appropriations for public buildings and river and harbor improvements.
A Republican convention once reported that "temperance and morality are the chief concern of government.” The courts have often said that “the public health and the public morals” are the chief objectives of government. And Edmund Burke's declaration of the purpose of law, "to make it harder to do wrong" is generally endorsed. But when even the reform leaders of Congress are asked at the opening of Congress what is to be done, they commonly name only the "appropriation bills.” And
when election time draws near the reformers as well as the deformers publish as their chief claim for re-election an account of the public money they have turned over to their constituents in pensions, offices and public improvements.
The federal Government is so much an appropriation machine that an elder in a Washington church, who was saturated with the general obsession for appropriations, in attempting to thank God that he had made a propitiation for our sins, said: “O Lord, we thank Thee that Thou hast made an appropriation for our sins."
There is, no doubt, a close connection between “sins” and "appropriations.” When the Indian Bill was up, a Senator said to me, “It is full of jobs, as usual.”
When will some patriot-prophet smite all unconstitutional appropriations for sects, classes, trades and individuals ? Many of these appropriations, when stripped of all camouflage, are nothing less than buying votes for the legislator who champions them or for his party with public money. Many apropriations are forced charity, taken from taxpayers and turned over to able-bodied people, who would not take a dime directly from their neighbors as alms.
Will Woman's Vote Make Politics More American?
Has woman's advent into politics made it more American? Few claim that woman's vote has made any startling change. There was only one woman in the second Congress after its doors were opened by the national suffrage amendment, and few women were then in office anywhere. Women were not making any great rush for political power. In New York City, Tammany politicians had been afraid of the women's vote, but the ladies showed a strange liking for the "tiger.” The leaders of the women