National Affairs: The Turnip Day Session

Was there really a pressing national emergency? Harry Truman said there was. But who was talking—the President or the politician? Harry Truman's call for a special session of Congress was made at a political convention; it would be judged largely on its political motives and for its political effect. Harry Truman, who, like all Presidents, occupies a dual position as head of the Government and leader of a political party, had used his powers as President to further his party's fortunes.

"This Petulant Ajax." The maneuver was almost unprecedented. Not since 1856 had...