The Vice President Overhauled

Vice President [John C. Breckenridge (Wikipedia)] is getting severely overhauled for the unwarrantable statements in his undignified electioneering speech at Florence, Kentucky, not long since. It will be recollected that he threw the responsibility of the enormous expenditures of the present Administration upon the Republicans, asserting that “the Republican House of Representatives that preceded in power the present Administration had been extravagant in making appropriations, and now the Democracy had to foot the bills.” In reply to this unreasonable and untrue averment, the Richmond Whig pointedly says:

Was there ever so lame and impotent an excuse offered for anything in the wide world before? Admitting that the House of Representatives did contain a Black Republican majority two years ago, yet how could the House of Representatives alone pass any appropriation at all? Can anything be enacted into law by the House of Representatives, without the concurrence of the Senate and the Executive? And was not the Senate at that time—as it still is—overwhelmingly Democratic, and did we not have a Democratic President to boot? If, as Mr. Breckenridge says, “the Republican House of Representatives had been extravagant in making appropriations,"” does it not follow that the Democratic Senate and the Democratic President sanctioned and endorsed the “extravagance” of the House of Representatives? Suppose that the House of Representatives, with its Black Republican majority, was as “extravagant” as the Vice President declares it to have been, is it not obvious that the Democracy had two distinct and effectual means of defeating the “extravagance” of the Republicans? Did not the Democracy, as we have said, have full and complete control both of the Senate and of the Executive Department of the Government? And could not either the Democratic Senate or the Democratic President have vetoed the “extravagant” appropriation bills sent up to them from the House of Representatives? Did they do it? Not at all. All the extravagant appropriations made by the Black Republican House of Representatives were approved by a Democratic Senate and a Democratic President! And yet with only ONE branch of the Government in the hands of the Republicans, while there were TWO in the hands of the Democracy. Mr. Breckenridge would fasten the responsibility of extravagance upon the Republicans, and acquit the Democracy entirely! Surely no such impudent demagogue assurance has manifested itself in our day before, on the part of any public man with any pretensions to respectability and honesty of character.


Weekly Vincennes Gazette, September 8, 1858