Friday, February 11, 2011

Principles Without Program: Senator Robert A. Taft and American Foreign Policy

Principles Without Program:Senator Robert A. Taft and American Foreign Policy; by John Moser

This article originally appeared in Ohio History, Volume 108, pp. 177-192. Copyright 1999 Ohio Historical Society. September 2001

Taft was also concerned about the increasing power of the executive branch of the federal government at the expense of the legislature, and this concern goes a long way toward explaining his opposition to American involvement Second World War. War measures, the senator insisted, would make the President "a complete dictator over the lives and property of all our citizens." When in 1940 President Roosevelt announced his plan to trade U.S. destroyers for British bases in the Western Hemisphere, Taft denounced what he viewed as a "complete lack of regard for the rights of Congress." The following year, when Roosevelt ordered U.S. naval vessels to shoot German submarines on sight, the senator called the move "contrary to the law and to the Constitution." ...

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