Party line between Democrats and Republicans have been drawn so exceeding thin that dissatisfaction with one has become the chief lever for hoisting the other into power. And therefore, as Senator Underwood states on another page of this issue, the 1924 elections will doubtless again be decided by the general condition of the country and the general opinion of the present administration. He further deduces that opinion will be unfavorable, that the Democrats will therefore win, and that he will lead the march to Washington.
Party leaders are naturally expected to make golden prophecies and it is for the layman to stand by and weigh the chances. In this case an examination of recent history will give Senator. Underwood's prophecy a fair foundation. Although the 1920 election hurled a Democratic administration from its seat with the condemnatory roar of a great plurality, the tables were turned in 1922, a scant two years later, in the state and congressional elections. The fickle plebes had grown so sour upon Republican administration that a good Republican governor in New York was turned out, Senator Lodge of Massachusetts Harley squeezed through to reelection and a Senate with a violent Republican tinge was reduced to a Republican majority so small as to be scarcely workable. Nor has the opinion been much sweetened by the barren record of the Sixty-seventh Congress.
Of course the party in power still has a year in which to prove its inestimable value to the country. The Sixty-eighth Congress may work wonders, President Coolidge may stand forth from his present seclusion in bright and shining raiment. But the prospects for this can scarcely be called good. The so-called "radical" Republicans are expecting and expected to tie the Senate into knots; and as for the President, there are some malicious spirits who whisper that his greatest claim to wisdom lies in his decision to remain silent as long as possible. Certainly his suggestions for enforcing Prohibition were not striking. The Republican-party has several things to live down--a stupendous and indefensible protective tariff, the obstruction of the joining of this country in the International Hague Tribunal, the threat of loading a bonus bill upon the shoulders of the country, to mention but three. Unless these can be lived down within a year, the American people may once more condemn the Grand Old Party to temporary oblivion.