National Affairs: The Janizariat

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The same night last week that unreconstructed (and unPurged) Senator Cotton Ed Smith, in a flaming red shirt, cried "Lest we forget!" to the midnight sky of South Carolina (see p. 26), a cadaverous man with a crusading light in his eye ad dressed a banquet hall full of women Democrats in Boston's Statler Hotel. He was Harry Hopkins explaining, on the night of the Roosevelt Purge's worst de feat so far, the high motives of that his toric political operation, and its moral justification.

"I do not believe in the totalitarian state," declared Mr. Hopkins. "I don't want to vote in the same party primary, or for the same candidates, as any man whose fundamental political views are opposed to mine.

"The leadership of the opposition is right now putting its full strength, in men and money, behind [Democratic primary] candidates in half a dozen States who have been most hostile to the things for which this Administration stands . . . not in a clean cut general election . . . but stealthily, within the councils of our own party. . . .

"Everybody knew which way we were going. . . . Yet there were men . . . who tricked the voters by wearing our insignia, only to turn against us as soon as they got in office. . . . Even while they hacked away at the foundation of the program with one hand, they were patting the President on the back with the other, protesting to the voters that they were really good Democrats . . . like the young man who abandoned his father and mother and then asked for public sympathy on the ground that he was an orphan.

"Under those circumstances, what would you expect the President, as the lead er and spokesman of his party to do? ... He is merely saying ... 'If you be lieve in the Administration, do not send these men back.' ... I know the President. . . . Adulation has not made him arrogant, defeat has not made him timid. What we have to decide is whether ... we want to abdicate the stronghold of Democracy or to fight for it. And I think we, too, have 'only just begun to fight.' "

Origin of the Purge. One evening late last winter, Harry Hopkins called the following men to his house in George town: PWAdministrator Harold Ickes, Assistant to the Attorney General Joseph Keenan, Solicitor General Robert Houghwout Jackson, Assistant WPAdministrator David Niles, Presidential Secretary James Roosevelt, and two more : sometimes called "Washington Service Station,'' "The Twins of Evil," etc., but better identified as the Administration's unofficial legal firm, Corcoran & Cohen. These persons, with one or two more (see col. 2) constitute what in President Jackson's time was called the Kitchen Cabinet. No name more colorful than the Inner Circle has yet been given this Roosevelt II group — except General Hugh Johnson's accurate but awkward "White House Janizaries.''*

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