The Charlotte News
Wednesday October 2, 1940
Site Ed. Note: For an earlier editorial on the passing of Don Marquis, creator of mehitabel and Archie, see "The Fair Reward", December 30, 1937.
President's Repudiation of Hoodlums Was in Order
The President's repudiation of the hodlumism which broke out in Detroit against Mr. Willkie was well done. It was in order, too, because he is the present head of the American people. And as he himself said, those who refuse to hear a man, quietly, who resort to the throwing of watermelons, tomatoes, and dangerous missiles to emphasize their refusal, simply because they don't care for a candidate and his position, violate the whole spirit of Americanism as it is summed up in the Bill of Rights.
Nobody has to listen to a candidate, of course, but those who do choose to listen to him are under obligation to treat him with decent respect.
The President's move was in order, however, from another standpoint. At Detroit a five-pound wastebasket was dropped from a high office building window, apparently with the object of hitting Mr. Willkie himself, and even a chair was thrown. An unlucky young woman autograph hunter was hit on the head and nineteen stitches were required to close the wound. And--when police traced the source of the wastebasket, they found it had been dropped by a woman who held a job with at FHA.
It would be totally unfair to suggest that her attitude is typical of the body of people employed by FHA and the other alphabetical agencies, or to attempt to lay the blame on the President. Nevertheless, the attitude is certainly just as normal a product of bureaucracy at its worst as the attempts to smear Mr. Roosevelt and his Cabinet as Reds is a normal product of the violent hatred for him which exists in some quarters.
And the President, as the head and front of the new bureaucracy, was under pressing obligation to make it perfectly clear to all holders of the bureaucratic jobs that zeal of the sort displayed by the Detroit woman was disgraceful.
Mr. Willkie could well reply in kind that criticism of the President must be kept within the bounds of reason and fact.
Right Hand of Idealism Ignores Left of Chicanery
The Republican majority in New Jersey's Legislature recently passed, over the Democratic Governor's veto, a bill authorizing an investigation of alleged voting irregularities in Hudson County, Mayor Frank Hague's satrapy. But when investigators demanded the 1937 poll books, they were told to go jump in the lake, and when, ignoring this advice, they went to court about the matter, they learned that the books had been burned.
As the Republicans say, this is strong evidence that Hague's Democratic machine pulled a fast one. Their guilty disposition of the evidence justifies the assertion that "they nullified the will of the people in New Jersey," and that Governor Moore, Hague's stooge, has held office wrongfully.
Furthermore, this is no merely local election scandal. It is hardly likely that ballot-stuffing in Hudson County alone could have changed the result of the Presidential election in 1936, when New Jersey cast 1,084,000 votes for Roosevelt and only 720,000 for Landon.
But Mayor Frank is vice-Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and sponsors such New Deal stalwarts as Mrs. Mary Norton, chairman of the House Labor Committee. And for an Administration which burns to reform the country to tolerate such fraudulent electoral practices among its own devotees is--well, it certainly warrants cynicism about the high ideals which Mr. Roosevelt is always expressing.
A Sad Lapse
The Habits of His Craft Prove Too Much for a Man
Senator Edward R. Burke, the lame.duck Democrat from Nebraska, couldn't rid himself of those habits, after all, though he apparently tried manfully.
Senator Burke, as everyone knows, is a Willkie supporter. And in the mail we receive from him a piece of literature dedicated to promoting the Willkie candidacy. On the one side is a reprint from the Congressional Record of "The Faith That Is America"--a sort of credo put out by Mr. Willkie. On the other side is a series of extracts from Mr. Willkie's acceptance speech at Elwood, Ind., Aug. 17, 1940.
All of which, of course, is quite in order. But lest you should suspect him of sponging off the Government in order to forwarrd the Willkie campaign, the Senator has carefully noted below "Faith That Is America":
Not Printed at Government Expense
For a moment that warmed us. Ah, alas, we thought, an economy politician who actually means what he says--who not only is against the Government spending for the other fellow but actually is against it spending for himself and his crowd, also.
But, alas, we look again, and a great chill descended upon our spirit. The mores of the guild had, after all, been too strong for him. Up in the right hand corner the evidence was plain and unmistakable. There was no stamp, but only the signature of Senator Edward R. Burke. The economy-minded Senator from Nebraska was mailing out campaign literature under frank, at government expense, just like those wicked New Dealers whom he has so often assailed for their freedom with the public purse for political ends.
A Distinguished if Slightly Shady Lady Passes
Clarabelle is dead.
Clarabelle was a provincial lady, whose fame was so extensive that her passing was chronicled in The New York Times. And everyone knows that for a non-New Yorker to have an obituary make The Times is the final sure proof that the departed one had arrived in the world.
Clarabelle, to be exact, was a cat. And her patent to the title of lady was of a piece with that of Mehitabel, whose saga was celebrated by the late Don Marquis. In brief--"toujours gal, Archie, toujours gal!" It is, of course, the same patent of many other celebrated and uncelebrated ladies, whose names we discreetly withhold.
Clarabelle inhabited the editorial offices of The Montgomery Advertiser. And had her story made famous by The Advertiser's editor, the amiable Grover Hall.
Clarabelle, we regret to record in the interest of candor, had no morals, or any sensitiveness or pride or gratefulness. In short, a thoroughly reprehensible creature. She believed profoundly that the world owed her a living and habitually acted upon the theory with the most cynical abandon. Her theoretical duties at The Advertiser were concerned with the catching of hypothetical mice. But she regularly neglected them in favor of amour and other sinful practices. If she ever caught a mouse at all, it seems to have been purely for the purpose of exercising her viciousness upon his innocence, and to have been accomplished in the nighttime, so that nobody might suppose her capable of a good deed.
At intervals as frequent as the laws of biology would allow she regularly presented the staff of The Advertiser with a new and large family of kittens, and at once watched her hands--well, paws--of them for all time thereafter, leaving the staff with no choice but to drown them or find homes for them. In view of the fact that hard-boiled newspaper men are generally sentimental mutts, they had to find homes and more homes for Clarabelle's kittens.
So departs this globe a remarkable character who roundly deserved to be celebrated and end up smack in The New York Times right along with Adolf Hitler and other justly famous people. Requies cat in pace.
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