U.S. At War: Sloppy Citizenship

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To a Congress which will serve during what may well be America's most critical years, U.S. voters sent some fuzzy specimens of Homo politicanus:

>Republican Congressman Hamilton Fish of New York, the Nation's No. 1 isolationist: In 1939 he believed Germany's claims were "just"; in 1941 he became entangled in Nazi Agent George Sylvester Viereck's messy affairs.

>Republican Congressman Harold Knutson of Minnesota, who in 1935 backed Ham Fish for President ("I know of no other . . . better"), once said: "Hitler is displaying a forbearance that might well be emulated by statesmen of other nations."

>Three Illinois Republicans: Senator C. Wayland ("Curly") Brooks, isolationist pawn of Chicago Publisher Robert R. McCormick; billiard-bald, Throttlebottomish Congressman Stephen A. Day, who in 1941 said a U.S. war would mean "National suicide . . . and economic slavery"; blonde, blue-eyed Congresswoman Jessie Sumner, who calls herself a "Miss-Representative," and coins many a corny crack ("I may be an old maid but I want to be the mother of my country").

>Republican Congressman Clare E. Hoffman of Michigan, a labor-hating eccentric, who has pocketless coats so his hands will not get tangled up while he is orating. He once called President Roosevelt a "crazy, conceited megalomaniac"; he scoffed at the President's "absurd" assertion that there were U-boats off U.S. shores. In 1940 he said: "Roosevelt has . . . seized most of the dictatorial powers exercised by Hitler, but he lacks Hitler's efficiency."