A PARTY FOR THIS AND THAT
The stormy opening of Coolidge's new term recalls the almost forgotten circumstance that he had opponents at his election. From Democrats, now, come vague indications of reviving hope and elaborate plans for reorganization. And even the Progressives, though admitting their old organization dead, seek to give birth to a new party.
With little ostentation they have convened for the erecting of permanent political machinery. And in view of the continued accumulation of opposition, their sanguine persistence seems almost unjustified. At the convention just held, the Progressive movement lost its life-blood--the support of the Railroad Brotherhoods and of the Socialists.
This loss was inevitable, for these large groups were traveling with La Follette only as long as he happened to be bound in their direction. With the close of the campaign, the strength of this union was dissipated, and each is now convinced that he travels the fastest who travels alone. The Brotherhoods are chiefly interested in the repeal of the Each-Cummins law; and this they can best attain by cooperating with the party in power. The Socialists are vastly more concerned with propagating the economic interpretation of history than with denouncing the courts.
The campaign should have taught the Progressives the fatality of serving as grindstone for everybody's axes. Permanent parties must find some dominant issue, such as slavery, or a uniting personality like Roosevelt's, before they show real power. Even if the scattered handful that still clings to the movement is now homogeneous and closely knit, a Progressive landslide seems scarcely imminent.