Commentary & Opinion
12:45 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Paul Elisha: The Odor Of The Foregoing

Those who would pillory our current President with biased blame for every current ill, to which their own calculated intransigence has contributed, are at odds with political history.  Before they finagle with falsehood and fabricate pure political fiction, to capture unworthy vindication by voters, they should consult the 1978 edition of a tiny text, this commentator still finds invaluable.  It’s titled “American History At A Glance.”  This is a brief quote from Chapter 14, titled: “The Harding Administration.”

“The Harding Administration is best remembered for a series of spectacular scandals….. President Harding’s term of office was cut short by his death, in 1923, after twenty-nine months.  He was succeeded by Vice President Calvin Coolidge.”

“A moral storm followed the President’s passing when colossal corruption was found in the Departments of Justice, Navy, Interior, (the newly formed) Veterans’ Bureau and the Alien Property Custodian.  (The head of the Veterans’ Bureau stole two hundred million dollars, appropriated for veterans).  A Senate committee discovered Naval oil reserves were transferred to the Interior Department, then secretly leased to oil operators by Secretary Albert Fall, who went to jail.  Attorney General Daugherty was accused of criminal conspiracy, for lax enforcement of liquor laws and failure to prosecute Veterans’ Bureau suspects.  He resigned.”  (Much of this colossal corruption was thereafter known as ‘Tea-Pot Dome.)

“The Coolidge-Era also gave impetus to two shameful events – The spread of the Ku Klux Klan and the introduction of anti-Asian immigration limits.”

Too much of the odor of the foregoing still sullies this nation’s fragile experiment.

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