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The Duty And The Danger Of The Democrats

The Duty And The Danger Of The Democrats image
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The people of tliia country in general and the Demócrata of this country in paaticular owe a great debt of gratitude to the public men who, like Senator Bayard and Senator Hamptqn, have announced their determination to vote needed appropriations for the arniy whether the President does or does not persist in liis partisan refusal lo sign any bill which takes away the power now given by law to Federal officers to use the army at the polls in the two specified cases of a breach oi the peace at the polls or of a foreign invasión. The oisting law tol orates such use of the army on an election day whenthere is either a breachj of tlie e or a foroign invasión at ipolling place, but uiKler no other circuinstun. ces. Nothing less than two-thirds of each house of Congress can repeal this law without the assent of the President. Mr. Hayes refuses his assent and the repeal unfortunately cannot command a two-thirds vote. The obstaele in the way of the repeal is obviously Mr. Hayes, who ■nas never elected to be President, to sign bilis or to veto repeals. ïfevertheless Mr. Hayes is the President of the United Staief to-day. It is probable enoutfn that he would have signed the repeals but for stalwart bulldozing. It is the "power behind the throne," wielded by such men as Edmunds and "tipsy" Chandler, which to-day keeps the politics of the country at fever heat. Mr. Hayes is a weak man, and as he was nevfr elected he has no real backing against tlie influenc'e of desperate partisans. Buthe is President of the United States and he has the legal right to refuse to sign the repeals and thereby to compel Congress either to pass them by a two-thirds vote or not pass them at all. This being the exact state of the case, sensible men of all partios would have just grounds of complaint against Senators like Mr. Bayard and Mr. Hampton if they should refuse on account of the veto to vote any money to support the army. If Congress should reject the advice of such leaders and should refuse to appropriate money for the army Congress would inevi'tably promote the election of another President in 1880 like Mr. Hayes, if not the election of Mr. Hayes himself. Should Congress adjourn without voting proper supplies for the army Congress would be immediately reassembled by the President, and if Congress again adjourned without rnaking the appropriations the next House of Representatives would probably be a Republican House in favor of using the army at tlie polls, instead of a Democratie House opposed to using the army at the polls. On the constitutional issue as it v'ot.eis rA Vik' edautry siwuHdöntJtetfry on the side of Congress. That majority clearlysees that a Republican President is the obstacle which prevents the repeal of an unconstitutional law which has been abused to do a great wrong, and which prevenís the striking trom the statute-book of i grant of power not tit to be granted to any Executive, The country now f ully understands what the evil is and what the remedy ought to be. The evil certainly cannot be removed by any refusal of Government. Such a course of conduct on the part of Congress would only put the Democratie party in a false light and deepen the evil of which we would be rid. The law now gives to the President a specific and unconstitutional power. What we wish to do is to take away that power. It is not likely that the Democracy by 1881 can get control of twothirds of the Senate.but itcan put out of the way in 1881 a Republican President. And unless there is a Democratie President in 1881 this obnoxious law assuredly will not be repealed. The thing, therefore, which Democrats have to do is to elect in 1880 and to inaugúrate in 1881 a constitutional Democrat as President of the United Siates, and the question to be submit-ed to the people is whether they do or do not wish to keep upon the statutebook a grant of power to the Executive to use the army in elections. If the peopledo not wish this then the voters will make a Democratie President and the repeal will be assured. -


Old News
Michigan Argus