TIME Changes Everything
The calendar had just about run out of
states' primaries and nominating conventions * and it was high time for the Big
Boys to start thinking in terms of November's congressional elections. The primaries had turned up few clear-cut issues
or trends. They seldom did. Last week's
surprise in Wisconsin (see below) was
added proof that local feelings and local
personalities count as much in primaries
as major issues and voting records. What
the boys in the states needed from now to
November were ringing battle cries. Last
week the Big Boys supplied them.
In Washington Democratic National
Chairman Robert Emmet Hannegan
sounded his keynote: "Hold the line
against reaction." The Democratic issue,
as far as Hannegan was concerned, would
be to tar the G.O.P. as reactionary and
claim all social gains for the Democrats.
In Denver and Cheyenne, Republican
National Chairman B. Carroll Reece hewed
to his official line: "The choice ... is
between a Republican Congress and a
P.A.C.-Pendergast Congress." He hammered at the Democrats' "unholy alliance"
with the "radical-dominated" Political
Action Committee which "calls the tune
to which the administration dances—a
tune strangely like the Internationale."
It looked as though foreign policy and
the tangled peace would come in for but
little discussion. The campaign of 1946
would be largely on domestic issues.
Six years ago in Vermont, Industrialist
Ralph E. Flanders lost a campaign for
the Republican senatorial nomination. His
friends jokingly tell him that it was because of a widely circulated photograph
of himself. It showed him holding a pig
in an awkward fashion. Vermont farmers,
say Flanders' friends, laughed and voted
for Senator George Aiken.
Joke or no, Ralph Flanders made no
such mistake last week. Result: he carried
the farm as well as the city vote (with
C.I.O. backing), swept to easy victory
over Lawyer Sterry R. Waterman (30,878
to 24.823). This made him almost certain
to go to the Senate as the successor to
able, scholarly Warren R. Austin, who
resigned to become permanent U.S. member of the U.N. Security Council.
Bald, bespectacled Ralph Flanders, 65,
will be no stranger to Washington. His
engineering and machine-tools skill and
his Yankee obstinacy have kept him in &
jout of the capital for 13 years. As part of a
Commerce Department advisory committee in 1934 he calmly and candidly criticized the Roosevelt Administration. In
1941 he resigned his job as OPM boss of
machine-tool priorities because his blunt-
ness had him at odds with OPM bigwigs.
* Only six remained: New York, Nevada, Louisiana, Colorado. Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Washington knows him.
When the OPM was reorganized, he was
quickly recalled. He did advisory and expert jobs for the WPB and the Economic
Stabilization Board. Lately he has been
influential in the Committee for Economic
At home in Springfield, Vt., he is the
progressive chairman of the board of the
crack Jones & Lamson Machine Co. His
labor skirts are clean. The United Electrical local at J. & L. is on record to the
effect that he has given it "absolutely
fair treatment." The natives know he is a
sound, hardheaded Vermonter.
Among Marine airmen in the Solomons
in 1944 a bluff, genial Irishman came
closer than most non-flying officers to
achieving a legend. They laughed at his
incredible yarns, gobbled up his extra
rations, deferentially addressed him as
Judge. Some almost believed the sign
which sagged incongruously over his tent
on mucky, jungle-thick Bougainville:
"McCarthy for U.S. Senator."
Last week in tidy Wisconsin, the same
Joseph R. McCarthy, discharged as a
captain, unexpectedly made good on
his ambition; he won the Republican
nomination for U.S. Senator. He also
ended a formidable tradition and a dynasty-
He beat veteran (21 years) Senator Robert M. La Follette Jr., the last member
of his famous family to serve in an important public office.
Brash. Joe McCarthy proved his nerve
overseas by voluntarily riding the real
seat of his squadron's dive "bombers i"
action. His political nerve was equally
great. The convention which nominated
him gave him the vote with misgiving-
He was almost an unknown and he wa*
up against one of Washington's mo»
respected legislators. McCarthy grinned
and set out determined to shake every
hand in Wisconsin.
While overconfident La Follette conr
mitteemen relaxed, energetic Joe stump6*
the state wearing his old khaki shirts-
He shrewdly wooed conservative farm^1*
with attacks on Washington bureaucrat
skirted the touchy foreign-policy issu(»
chided his opponent for a long absent*
from home. Backed by the regular G.0-"
organization he accused errant Progre^
sives of trying to steal the Republic3*
But even optimistic Joe McCart"
had not counted on victory until late t*
turns on election day showed that lab*
had deserted La Follette. Milwauk**
county, which Young Bob had carried W
55,000 in his 1940 campaign as a Pf
gressive, went for McCarthy by io,ooo'
the G.O.P. primary. ,
The turnabout was partly the result,
onetime La Follette supporters flock*"
into the Democratic primary to vote m
former Representative Howard McMu.
ray, an ardent New Dealer. They nr.
shied away from La FoIIette's isolation1!
record, his return to Republicanism a"
subsequent indorsement by Ohio's c0
servative Taft. j
Blunder. In rural districts Young **
lost more votes by coming out on elect'0
eve against feeble, aged (82), but P°PU!,
Governor Walter S. Goodland, who **
An ambition met, a dynasty ended.
man-Americans, once solid for the £
Follettes, no longer balloted in a WJJ
This time many voted a preference *
McCarthy's conservative stand on *
Defeat for La Follette was a sad &<%> TI«E.
TIME, AUGUST 2i
"Save your TIME."— Seneca.
FACTS FORUM NEWS, February,