The Tactics of Young Billy

The Republican State Journal calls attention to Bryan's tactics within the Democratic Party, emphasizing his inability to compromise, his miscalculation of the Populist strength, and his failure to mend fences with the administration Democrats.


The suggestion of that veteran democrat of Omaha, H. W. Yates, that our Mr. Bryan has overdone it after the manner of vealy youth, and that in knocking the regular democrats out in the only place where they had a chance of contributing something to the legislative quota he had upset his own meat-house, has a good deal of plausibility in it.

He says that the Bryan plan originally contemplated a legislature in which neither of the three political organizations would have a majority. The republicans having more than any other party there, it would be natural and almost inevitable that the two small bodies would patch up a fusion to prevent a republican going to the senate. That Bryan and the democratic members could plead with some justice that the democrats having helped the pops to elect Windy V. Allen, it was now fair that the pops should help elect a democrat, which his name was Billy Bryan.

But Mr. Yates thinks that Bryan has been too fierce in working up the alliance with the pops and that the probabilities now are that there will not be enough democrats elected to the legislature to cut any figure. In short, that in trading with Holcomb, Bryan has been overreached by that judicial luminary and that if it should happen that the pops should triumph and the republicans should not secure a legislative majority, there will be nothing to fuse in the legislative caucuses and the pops will consequently throw over Bryan, whose trading capital will be gone, and elect a pop of the purest water to the senate.

The Journal is of the opinion that such a contingency will not arise and that the gaining by the republicans of a sufficient number of seats in the legislature this fall to give them a majority in joint convention over all is well assured, unless something unexpected should happen.

But if by reason of the close communion of the Bryanites and the pops this presumption be premature it will certainly be fatal to Bryan's plans, for, so far, there has been no fusion of pops and democrats in any doubtful district in favor of the democratic candidate for the legislature. The pops have forced a fusion on their own candidates so far as fusions have been arranged. A young man in politics frequently discovers before his gray hairs sprout that there is such a thing as being too smart.

One thing is certain. No democrat can be elected to the legislature this fall without the aid of the administration democrats in his district. Now, in so venomously pushing his personal flight against the administration democrats in every county in the First congressional district, where the democrats are numerically the strongest, has not Mr. Bryan dug a put under his own feet that yawns for him in November? If he had been well advised would he not have been conciliatory in that district instead of pushing the other faction to the wall in the most aggressive fashion?

Would it not have been wisdom to accept the olive branch offered by the regular democrats in every county where they had a fighting chance to elect a democratic delegation to the legislature and kept his hands off, provided they pledged themselves to support him for senator? It looks as though he had been hoodooed by the insane passion of his new friend Rosewater to elect Holcomb governor by trading everything with the pops in that direction.

The hardshell [sic] democrats admit that the situation looks pretty dubious for them as the date of the state convention approaches, but they still maintain a stiff upper lip. They are not the kind of people to lie down. Their voices are still for any kind of war that may be necessary to keep their party together. They hardly know what they will be able to do about it, but if any way can be found to prevent the auctioning off of the party effects to the highest bidder they will be sure to be on hand to try it. If they don't succeed in heading off Smiling Billy they will put some people on record in a way that may be embarrassing some day. There are democrats in this town who swear that they will challenge the vote of every man who went down to TECUMSEH, Neb. and voted for Weir when the next primary is held. The challenge will be based on the ground that men who sell out the party are not democrats.

As to the Bryan program, there is a suspicion afloat that the fusionists will not openly declare for fusion after all. It is considered possible that they may try to deceive the people of all parties by putting up a straw ticket to be pulled down just before the election. If the fight against fusion gets too warm for comfort in the convention Billy may temporize by consenting to this arrangement. Then if he gets the new central committee he will have the party by the tail.


Bryan, the silver-tongued, who has been courting the coy populist maiden for two years past and has led the young lad to believe that his intentions were honorable, has deserted her and is now shamefully flirting with that old maid, J. E. Boyd. Mr. Bryan should be ashamed of himself.—Central City Nonpariel. [sic]

Rosey says "let us rebuke Tom Majors now and in 1896 we will have a glorious republican victory." The republican party has gone into the rebuking business all right, but his name is not Tom Majors. It is one E. Rosewater.—Madison Chronicles.

Is Bryan a statesman? Did you ever see a true statesman try to ride into power on two platforms? What has he done for his state or his district? —Falls City Journal.

About this Document

  • Source: Nebraska State Journal
  • Citation: 12
  • Date: September 23, 1894