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powers under the Constitution, and the derstand anything about it, is a cardinal President confined to the performance of principle with the Whig party. We want the proper executive duties of his station. so much of the government of the counWe want no Presidential vetoes on the or try, out and out, as the Constitution has dinary legislation of Congress—a business confided to Congress, to be and remain in which the Constitution has confided ex the hands of that body, free from the arclusively to that body. We wish to see bitrary interposition, and equally free from the exercise of this high conservative pow- the corrupt blandishments, of the Execuer reserved for extraordinary occasions, and tive. He who adopts and maintains this used only to correct some manifest and great and distinctive principle is a Whig, undoubted error, or to arrest some certain and all good Whigs will welcome him to and imminent mischief to the Constitution their fellowship. It lies at the very founor the country. We do not want to see it dation, it is of the very essence, of Whig used as if the President held a portion of faith, that except in regard to our foreign the ordinary legislative power, with a nega- relations confided to the President and tive on all legislation which is practically Senate, in regard to nominations and apabsolute. If Congress passes a law to do pointments to office, in regard to the titular an act of long-delayed justice to some of command of the army and navy, and in our citizens, as in the case of the law regard to other specified duties properly passed two years ago to pay moneys appertaining to the chief executive office honestly due from the Government on ac of the Government—the whole policy and count of French spoliations prior to 1800, conduct of our public affairs have been we do not want to see an Executive veto confided by the Constitution to the control interposed without one plausible or even and direction of Congress. There the decent reason given for it. If Congress effective and efficient power ought to rechooses to make appropriations for the side; there it ought to be independently improvement of rivers and harbors—a exercised. The President is required, from power exercised from the foundation of the time to time, to communicate information Government—we want to see the will of to Congress on the state of the nation, in Congress stand as the law of the land, in order that that body may act understandspite of any private opinion to the contra- ingly in its affairs and interests. Placed as ry which the President may happen to he is, at the centre and head of the adentertain. And if Congress, in providing ministrative affairs of the Government, in a local government for any of our territo- the control of its foreign relations, its apries, should insist on preserving all terri- pointing power, and its executive authoritories now free from the intrusion of ty, he is required also to recommend to slavery, (no new or unused power in this Congress such measures as he shall judge government,) we want to see such legisla- necessary and expedient. Beyond this, howtion stand without any intermeddling or ever, his power over the internal policy and gainsaying on the part of the President. the ordinary legislation of the country does In short, we Whigs want to see the legis- not go. It is the express injunction of the lation of the country exactly in the hands Constitution that “ All legislative powers where the Constitution has placed it. We herein granted shall be vested in a Conwant that the country should come back gress of the United States, which shall to the habit of looking to Congress, and consist of a Senate and House of Reprenot to the President, for the policy which sentatives.” There is no third branchshall prevail amongst us, under the legis- the President is vested with no legislative tive authority, on all questions touching power. The veto is an executive, and not our internal national affairs-touching the a legislative power, the necessity and use regulation of commerce, internal and com of which were, and are, perfectly well unmercial improvements, the finances, public derstood. His formal assent and signature credit, revenue and taxation, protection to to all laws are required as a proper act of home industry, war, the government of authentication and solemnization. When our territorial possessions, and the mea a law is once passed and perfected, he is sures proper " for the common defence called on personally to carry it into execuand the general welfare." This, if we un tion. By mistake, by oversight, by in
consideration, possibly by passion, or by and the practice, the doctrines, and the unreflective sympathy, the law may con- policy to be pursued under the sway of template some action manifestly wrong Democracy,” if successful in the coming and injurious to persons or to parties election. Light that cannot be endured affected by it, or in violent conflict with for its intenseness, and darkness that may the plain provisions of the Constitution. be felt, are not more opposite. In tender regard of his conscience, and of We have dwelt at some length on this his sense of personal dignity and propriety, article of Whig faith, because it is both and of right and wrong, it was not thought cardinal and fundamental in our creed. It necessary or wise to compel him to put his lies at the bottom both of our faith and of name to such a law as if approving of it. our hopes. We are republicans, and this He was, therefore, allowed to return it to doctrine is the essence of republicanism. Congress with his objections—to be passed, We do not want a monarchy disguised if Congress would and could do it, by a under republican forms. We do not want two-thirds vote, in spite of his objections. the name of a republic, while at the same In the hands of an honest and conscientious time it is Cæsar that rules. We believe man, one disposed to obey and abide by both in conservatism and in progress; and the Constitution, this is an innocent pow. we can indulge no hope, either of stability er; it is dangerous only when it is clutched on the one hand or of advancement on the by unprincipled men, or by the ambitious other, without this doctrine. Our system instruments of an unprincipled party. To is elective and representative, and Congress use it as it has been used, as if the Presi was so constituted, in its two branches, as dent were a third branch of the legislative to preserve the popular and representative department of the Government, is a sheer principle in full vigor, and at the same time usurpation of power.
give the promise of something like stability We say, again, that the control and di- to the Government and its policy. We rection of our whole national policy, so far think it indispensable, on all accounts, that as it may be affected by legislation, are, or Congress should be maintained in the full ought to be, in the hands of Congress, and and free exercise of all its constitutional not in the hands of the Executive ; and powers; and without this, we see no this is the doctrine of the Whig party. It ground of hope for that moderate and wise is in virtue of this principle, this leading policy of administration, and for those just article of their political faith, that they as measures on which we rely to make us a sumed the name by which they are desig- prosperous and happy people. Events nated, as separating them, by a broad mark have clearly enough demonstrated that if of distinction, from those who practise on the President is to override Congress and the Tory doctrine and policy of governing be himself the State-L'Etat, c'est moi as much as possible by the one-man or —the will of the nation is of very little monarchical power. It is the Democralic account in the measures that shall be purparty, so calling itself, which exalts the sued. Personal or sectional views and inExecutive above all other departments and terests will govern everything. Annexapowers in the Government, and supports tion was an Executive measure, and was and defends the President of their choice in carried by Executive dictation and intrigue every pretension and assumption of power, against the better judgment of Congress, however monstrous. The history of the and against the will of the nation. The present administration is one unbroken war with Mexico was an Executive measure proof of the truth of this assertion. And exclusively, about which Congress was not
Democracy” proposes to perpetuate this even consulted. There were not twenty sort of rule and government; and perpetu- men in both houses of Congress who couli ated it will be with a vengeance, if Gen. have been brought to vote for a war at th Cass shall be made the successor of Mr. time when hostilities were actually comPolk. No two things could be more dia- menced by the President's order; and as metrically opposed to each other, than the for the people themselves, a vote for such cardinal principle of the Whigs in opposing a measure could not have been obtained in all Executive usurpation, and in insisting any one State, county, town, district, or on the legislative supremacy of Congress, I precinct in the whole Union--at least out
of Texas. We may see, by this example, country. Gen. Cass was in favor of our what it is, and what it must be, to have Executive war of conquest and spoliation this Republic of ours converted into an against our imbecile neighbor and sister elective monarchy. War, conquest, the republic, and thought our digestive powers lust of dominion—these things become the would carry us safely through, even if “ we order of the day. The Whig party are should swallow the whole of Mexico.” He against these things. We are for peace seems to look upon the United States as if with all the world, as long as it can be the country were some monster reptile, maintained without sacrifices to which no that must subsist and swell its huge, unnation can submit ; and we do not doubt sightly bulk, by gorging itself with every that, in this age, perpetual peace may be living thing, small and great, that comes in preserved with all nations, with no other its way. This is his idea of progress and effort on our part, than to be strictly honest national glory. Nothing less than “ the and strictly just in all our dealings with whole of the vast country around us," conthem, to mind our own business, and let tinent and islands together, from the frothem alone. As a security for peace, we zen regions of the North to the burning want that Congress, and not the President line, and God knows how much further, or anybody else, should tell the nation absorbed in this Union, or hitched to it when it is necessary we should go to war. and hanging upon it, and showing a monWe are against the extension of our terri- strous, disjointed carcass of a country, torial limits, and the adding of far-off “extended long and large, in bulk as huge countries and peoples to our Union and as whom the fables name”-nothing less dominion. We do not desire to extend the than this will satisfy Gen. Cass. And the area of slavery; and we think the area of “Democracy” would make him President, freedom may as well be extended by al- and, maugre the Constitution, allow him lowing our neighbors on all sides to estab- the rule and sway of the government, as if lish and maintain free and independent it had no department but his own, to prosegovernments for themselves, after our ex cute his schemes of ambition and aggranample, as by annexing them all to this Re- dizement. The Whig party are opposed public. We should have quite too much to all such profane madness. Our country to do if we should undertake to embrace was broad enough for all useful and wise in this Union all the nations of the world purposes, and for the duties of our central now struggling to be free. The Whig government, even before our late acquisiparty do not sympathize at all with that tions. We are utterly opposed to carryambitious sentiment which prompted Gen. ing this game any further. We think the Cass, in his place as a Senator in Congress, fairest fabric of government ever framed is to anticipate the time when “the whole of put in imminent jeopardy by this spirit of the cast country around us will form one of war, conquest, and forced aggrandizement, the most magnificent empires that the world so industriously and zealously taught our has yet seen.” We want our own Republic people in the school of modern ** Democand Union, with a homogeneous people, men racy”—the school of Allen, Cass, and of the same general race, blood, education, Polk. It is the doctrine of these political and habits, forming a consolidated nation, schoolmasters that “the hearts of the bound together in national interests and people must be prepared for war;" and for national unity, and growing in wisdom and what sort of war, and with what unholy in moral greatness as we increase in our objects prosecuted, and with what defiance physical proportions. We do not want of all right, moral and constitutional, unCanada, or Cuba, or the West Indies, or dertaken, let the war with Mexico tell. Yucatan, or the projected republic of War, conquest
, territorial aggrandizement Sierra Madre to be annexed to the United —this is the sum of the policy of these States, whether without, or at the end of men for this country. “Democracy" is bloody wars.“ Democracy,” with Gen. now engaged in earnest efforts to make Cass for its monocrat, is on the look-out Gen. Cass President, with undefined obfor these acquisitions. Gen. Cass would jects of war, conquest, and territorial exhave gone to war with England for the tension floating before his eager vision. As line of Fifty-four Forty, in the Oregon President, if he can be made such, it is
expected of him that he will know how to military chest. In all this, Gen. Cass was carry out this policy, and he has shown a privy counsellor, and a principal adviser abundantly already, that no constitutional and supporter of the President, and now impediments will be allowed to stand in stands, as far as he and his friends have his way. He would not hesitate to make the ability, as the lawful successor and inwar on his own responsibility, as Mr. Polk heritor of the powers of the Presidential has done, with his full sanction and sup- office as wielded by Mr. Polk. Of the port. All the blandishments of Executive prerogatives belonging to this office, when patronage and power would be freely once war has been begun, we have Gen. used by him, as they have been by Mr. Cass's opinion very explicitly propounded Polk, with his full assent and approval, in the Senate chamber. “Congress," he both with Congress and with the people, declared, “could neither give him (the in furtherance of whatever schemes or en- President] the power to carry on the war, terprises he might see fit to undertake. NOR CONTROL THAT WAR." His “ DemoWe who are Whigs look with equal disgust cratic” creed teaches that Congress is noand horror on such doctrines and practices. thing, or next to nothing, in the governOpposed to war, conquest, and territorial ment, and the President is everything. extension, and seeing how every kind of Nor is this a new or accidental doctrine dishonest, wanton, and dangerous policy with him. It is the faith in which he has and practice is made to hang on the Execu- lived from Gen. Jackson's day to this. It tive will, is promoted by Executive usurpa- was the doctrine of that stern, self-willed, tions, or by the corrupt and wicked appli- and wrong-headed old man, that the Presiances of Executive power, we are more dent is to support the Constitution “ As and more confirmed and earnest in our HE UNDERSTANDS IT, and not as it is under. advocacy and maintenance of the great stood by others." His doctrine was, that fundamental principle of our political faith, "the opinion of the Supreme Court," which insists that the President must be though formally pronounced in a judicial reduced from the monstrous growth to case, “ought not to control the co-ordinate which he has attained under “Democratic” authorities of this government." " The dominancy, back again to the legitimate opinion of the Judges has no more authority proportions assigned him by the Constitu- over Congress than the opinion of Conyress tion. We want a Constitutional Executive, has over ihe Judges, and, on that point, THE not a monocrat, at the head of this gov- PRESIDENT IS INDEPENDENT OF BOTH. ernment. We want an honest and a modest And this was not a mere theoretical man to fill the Executive office, one who opinion of the “old Roman.” He acted shall feel that the weight of his proper upon it officially. In 1832, he based upon constitutional duties is quite enough for it a veto of an important law passed by him to bear, without seeking to take upon Congress, and which had previously had his shoulders the added burthen of all the judicial sanction of the Supreme Court other powers of government, legitimate or as to its constitutionality. And he did illegitimate.
more than this. He refused to carry the But it is not only in such important mat-law into erecution, as it had been proters as annexation, war, and conquest, that nounced by the Supreme Court, in the case the President has been known to take an of the missionaries, Butler and Worcester, improper lead, and carry measures with a who, for the exercise of their holy office in high hand. In the course and prosecution Georgia, had been sentenced to imprisonof the recent war, nothing in the way of ment in the penitentiary of that State at exercising unaccorded powers was too bold hard labor for a term of years, under an or flagrant for Mr. Polk to attempt. He unconstitutional law; and he left these inassumed, and exercised, the right of estab- nocent victims to their fate. It very proplishing civil government over provinces erly fell to the part of Gen. Cass, then and peoples conquered by the American Secretary of War, to convey to those inarias. And he established, by his personal terested in the matter the final determinaauthority, a regular system of taxation and tion of the President. This he did in a revenue in all places held under military letter dated Nov. 14, 1831, and in which subjection, for the independent use of his the President's refusal to execute the law
was placed expressly on his own opinion of No power is “an appropriate function” of the validity of the statute of Georgia, in his office but such as the Constitution opposition to the judicial opinion and judg- makes appropriate. We think and believe, ment of the Supreme Court.
if the President shall be confined strictly The “Democratic" doctrine of the su to his constitutional powers and duties, premacy of the Executive over the law, that we shall have no executive wars, no and over all other departments of the gov wars of conquest, no gratified lust after ernment, has been illustrated in other cases, foreign possessions and territories, no anand has been too uniformly held and acted nexation, no burthensome debts and grindon in the last twenty years to allow us to ing taxation, no intermeddling or corrupt regard it as in any way casual or acciden- tampering with Congress, and no vetoes of tal. The country has not forgotten when acts of ordinary legislation. Congress Gen. Jackson “took the responsibility” of will be left to its own independent action, removing the public moneys in the treasury and the Supreme Court to its integrity. of the United States from the custody of With all this, however, “ Democracy” is at the law to his own personal keeping, or a odds and enmity. keeping under his personal orders. He It belongs to the political faith of the challenged to himself the right to seize Whig party, as a principle in their creed, and control the money in the treasury, that the powers given to the Government where the law had placed it, on the ground of the Union should be faithfully used for that “the custody of the public property” the advancement of the common good was AN APPROPRIATE FUNCTION OF THE and the common prosperity of the nation. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT in this and all other We hold that the power to lay duties and governments.” Congress,” he said, “can raise revenue, and the power over comnot
, therefore, take out of the hands of the merce, should be skilfully and beneficially Executive department the custody of the employed. The employment of these public property or money, without an as- powers belongs exclusively to Congress. sumption of Executive power, and a subver So does the power over the territories and sion of the first principles of the Constitu other property, and over the money of the tion.” And it is precisely on this wild and United States. We think that the finanlawless doctrine of Executive powers held, cial plans and fiscal system of the Governnot under the Constitution, but as ment should be arranged and established APPROPRIATE FUNCTION of the Executive by Congress, with proper reference to the department in this and all other govern- interests and business affairs of the people, ments,” that Mr. Polk has acted, and justi as well as to the convenience of the Govfied his action, in setting up governments ernment.
We think the revenue system and exercising the sovereign right of taxa- should be adjusted with some proper reftion in countries conquered by our arms. erence and regard to the industry and And this is “ Democratic” doctrine. The labor of the country of every kind, as af" Democratic" Convention at Baltimore fected by foreign importations and the declared, the other day, “that the confi- state of trade.
state of trade. We think that navigation dence of the Democracy of the Union in should be protected along with commerce, the principles,” &c., of Mr. Polk, had been and commercial facilities increased on the signally justified by the strictness of his ad- sea-board, around the great lakes, and herence to sound Democratic doctrines." | along the courses of the great rivers, by And Gen. Cass, the nominee of the party judicious expenditures of the public money for the succession to this high office, to for works of necessary improvement. which such “appropriate functions” belong: These are measures of national benefit and beyond and above the Constitution, an advantage which the Whig party are glad nounces that he had carefully read the to contemplate, and which they will feel it resolutions of the Convention, and gave their duty to urge on the attention of the them his cordial approval.
proper department of the Government, It is the first article in the Whig creed whenever the “Democracy," with its pesthat the President is not to exercise power tilent doctrines, shall lose its hold on the as an appropriate function" of his office, power of that department. which the Constitution does not give him. But, of course, it is to Congress, and not