AGRICULTURE: Politics Over Statesmanship

"I hope the gentleman will not try to make a statesman out of me," rumbled Tennessee's Democratic Congressman Ross Bass on the House floor last week. "Let's talk politics." Rarely has Ross Bass or any other Congressman come closer to expressing the will of the House. Under debate was a wheat-subsidy bill—and the outcome was 100% political, unalloyed by the slightest pretense of statesmanship.

For weeks, the House had been working on a bill to replace one that had piled up a $3 billion wheat surplus in Government storage bins. What it finally brought forth, by a vote of 188...

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