One less annoyance (or two). And the 1928 election

Columbus: We won’t have any political conventions to annoy us this summer.  Thank goodness! With the coronavirus from China, the killing of George Floyd, and the looters, arsonists and vandals hiding behind the skirts of peaceful protesters in our big cities we have had about as much annoyance as anyone can handle.

And as bad as these are, the constant bickering by both sides on these problems is even more annoying. Isn’t there anything we can agree on?

Attention is focused on Joe Biden as he prepares to announce his choice for Vice-President. I think we can all agree this is an important decision.

Normally no one cares about a V-P. (Can you name Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016?) This year is different. Joe Biden is old and a lot of folks, especially Republicans, question his physical and mental condition. He also has a commanding lead in the race for President. So, a lot of Americans, especially Democrats, expect the (Black?) woman Biden picks will become President, either during his term or in the 2024 election.

You may say, well, Trump is almost as old as Biden. True. Republicans have had 4 years to inspect V-P Mike Pence, so they aren’t worried about the prospects of a President Pence.

With no 2020 political conventions to write about, allow me to share a few comments by Will Rogers leading up to the 1928 election. The Democrats nominated former New York Governor, Al Smith.  Republicans nominated Herbert Hoover.  Can you name either running mate?

Historical quotes by Will Rogers: (on the 1928 election)

“Say, did you notice who the Democrats grabbed off for stage manager? They are finally getting some sense and quit trying to appeal to the poor people with poor people. They figured let us grab off some rich men and make our party look like somebody had something. There is nothing impresses the ‘common folk’ like somebody that ain’t common. This fellow [John Raskob] took General Motors when it was nothing but a few bent axles and some old carburetors and put it on Wall Street. Now, if he can combine all the loose nuts of the Democrats he is liable to repeat.” DT #612, July 12, 1928

“My old friend William Randolph White asked Al Smith a question and Al didn’t answer. When they get Al to hesitating on an answer, why he looks bad. Many a public man wishes there was a law to burn old records.” DT #627, July 30

“[Hoover] is busy shortening his acceptance speech. He is not going to promise as much as he first thought he would.” DT #631, Aug. 3

“[Hoover] says every man has the right to ask the following question: ‘Is the United States a better place for the average man to live in because the Republican Party has conducted the Government eight years?’ If we are privileged to ask the question, I will be the first to bite. Is it? In the first place, Herbert don’t know all about human nature, or he wouldn’t try to appeal to the average man. No man wants to admit that he is average.” DT #638, Aug. 12

“When the votes are counted this Fall every party man will be about where he generally is. No matter how bad any candidate is, he can’t possibly be as bad as the opposing party.  P. S. – Hoover will be here tomorrow. I hope he promises us Boulder Dam.” DT #641, Aug. 15

“Hoover opened his tour of one-nighters here tonight. He is breaking in the act that will either get him in the White House or into the most obsolete circle of all: men who have run for the Presidency. From now till November neither of the boys can be themselves. They are on parade. They are eating and sleeping in a show window. They are acting every minute.” DT #643, Aug. 17

“If we got one-tenth what was promised to us in these acceptance speeches there wouldn’t be any inducement to want to go to Heaven.” DT #645, Aug. 20, 1928

The new Indian Territory, plus pipeline protesters

The Supreme Court split Oklahoma right down the middle. The old Indian Territory has been restored!

By a 5-4 vote, the old Justices said the five “civilized” tribes that make up Indian Territory (IT) deserve to get back the right to enforce criminal law over their own citizens.  In case you forgot, those five tribes are Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and Chickasaw.

From now on, if you kill a man in Tulsa, the Creek Nation gets first crack at you, not the Feds. If you entice the same man over to Claremore or Oologah to shoot him, the Cherokees get the honor of hanging you.

So, while Indian Territory will revert to being run in a civilized manner, the rest of Oklahoma will have to get along with the crew that’s in there now.  It is yet to be decided if the Indians will be forced to support two U.S. Senators and a couple of Congressmen.

While this momentous decision by the Supreme Court is appreciated, it is not the clean sweep hoped for. Yes, they gave ‘em law enforcement powers, but not the land and not the oil and gas.  Now, while the land is worth a lot more than it was 125 years ago (Cherokees were paid a dollar an acre), I’m not so sure about the oil and gas.

See, a few years ago oil and gas were worth arguing over. But with environmental protesters shutting down big pipelines, before or after they get built, why, who knows what you can sell it for. Gas in the ground ain’t worth much if you can’t lay a pipeline and get it to folks that want it.

While a company has to round up Billions of dollars to construct a big pipeline, all the environmentalists have to do is organize a protest and find a judge — one judge — that agrees with ‘em to stop it.

Here’s my question to the environmental protesters: “Do you want to eliminate gas pipelines… “YES!” (they shout, in unison).

“Wait you didn’t let me finish.  Do you want to eliminate gas pipelines to your homes?” Well, that gets a different response. Especially if you add in the businesses where they work.

You see, they want to keep their own low-cost gas and electric (at least for now), but insist on blocking it from other Americans that desperately need a dependable supply. So if you want to be sure you won’t have to cut wood for the fireplace and cookstove, consider moving to IT, OK , TX, WV, OH or one of the other states that let you drill a gas well. If you hit a big one and frac it, you might have enough to supply half the county.

Historical quotes by Will Rogers:

“There is a good deal in the papers about giving my native state of Oklahoma back to the Indians. Now I am Cherokee and very proud of it, but I doubt if you can get them to accept it — not in its present state. When the white folks come in and took Oklahoma from us, they spoiled a mighty happy hunting ground.” WA #59, Jan. 27, 1924

“They sent the Indians to Oklahoma. They had a treaty that said, ‘You shall have this land as long as grass grows and water flows.’ It was not only a good rhyme but looked like a good treaty. And it was till they struck oil. Then the Government took it away from us again. They said the treaty only refers to ‘Water and Grass; it don’t say anything about oil.’” WA #267,  Feb. 5, 1928

Will Rogers says “Split this Country Up”

Columbus:(Yes, this town is still Columbus, at least for another week): Since the Civil War, has this country ever been as divided as it now?

Here’s Will Rogers on an idea of dividing the country. (This was his last radio broadcast, June 9, 1935.)  As you read it, you can insert Biden in place of FDR, and Trump for the Republicans.

“We ought to split this country up, anyhow.  Let the Republicans have the East.  You see?  Let the Republicans have all the East, with Wall Street, and then let ’em run it just like they want to.  And then the Democrats take the West.

 Take (Franklin)Roosevelt, too.  Take him for a while, if he makes good.   If he don’t we’ll let him out, see?   We’ll just take him on trial. And we call it Roosewest.   

 He could come out here in these broad spaces where he could try pretty near any plan he wanted.  And things are so far apart you couldn’t tell whether it’s working or not.  Then the beauty about him, if he was out here and the Democrats were all out here there’d be no Supreme Court to worry anybody, ’cause nobody on that court ever was west of the Mississippi River, anyhow.   No New York Herald or Chicago Tribune to make life miserable for him. They’ve got about the same standing out here as the Police Gazette.

 If a person wants to be a Republican, why let him go East, and if he wants to be a Democrat, why come West.   And if he’s not so hot about either party, why let him go down to Louisiana (with Huey Long). He can go down there with Huey and share the cotton, and share the mule, and share the corn pone, and the pot likker, and chittlins, and everything.  And let Huey have the dissatisfied from both sides.

 Then take the Army and Navy. Let one have the Army and the other one the Navy.   See?  Then they never could fight. There wouldn’t be any fight because the Army wouldn’t have a boat and the Navy wouldn’t have a horse or a Ford.  That way you’d keep ’em from fightin’.

 It’s got some possibilities at that. I know a lot of you will say, “We must preserve the Union.” You’ve heard that.  “We must preserve the Union.”  Well, the Union is over preserved right now. It’s pretty near pickled.

 When Roosevelt comes west to take over the management of the Democrats, he’s got to leave those professors back there. We’re not going to let him bring any professors out here.  He’s got to come out on his own. And that Astor yacht, too, it don’t fit in with Jeffersonian principles.  A yacht is purely a Republican tool. If he wants to fish, we’ll give him a can of worms and let him go to Hoover Dam. Can you imagine a Democratic president sittin’ in there fishin’ in Hoover Dam?

 I don’t know who the Republicans would have to run their country.   I guess they’d run it like they do all their business, with a board of directors.  A Republican don’t feel good unless he’s on a board of directors.

 Course they’d have all the money. The Republicans would have all the money, but the Democrats would have all the fun.  We’d have a lot of fun.  All the rich Republicans would naturally go back East to be among people of their own standing.   Then, if the country split that would naturally do away with the national debt.  We’d split up and that would do away with the debt, see?   Both sides would start in owing nothing.   And the Republicans would perhaps continue the same way. But the Democrats, it wouldn’t take them long to dig up a deficit.  And then the Democrats could take whatever they’re using for money, and they could inflate or do anything they wanted to with it. And the Republicans, who say we should never have gone off the gold, well, if they had their own country, they could go back on it, if they want to.

 I can’t picture, personally, a more ideal existence all around.   The only trouble would be neither one would be happy because they wouldn’t have nobody to lay anything on to.

So I doubt if the plan will ever get very far, because this is not a time for common sense.” Radio, June 9, 1935