Who is Responsible?
Lyman Trumbull said in his late speech at Chicago, that the administration was invested with all the powers possible to be bestowed by congress, and must now be held reponsible for success or defeat in the war. We are glad to put this admission upon record, in view of the attempts made by some abolition journals to throw, in advance, the responsibility of the defeat which they foresee as inevitable, upon the democratic party. They have charged us with throwing every obstacle in the way of the administration in its conduct of the war; with sympathy for treason so strong and so illy-concealed as to intensify southern hopes of success and determination to prolong the contest; they have falsified, maligned and denounced us in a manner as infamous as it is unprecedented; they have repeatedly violated law themselves, thus placing themselves on the same footing with the rebels in arms, while they charged democrats with intending to resist the law.
History does not furnish a parallel to the forbearance and loyalty of the democracy under this storm of abuse and invective. While the administration itself has stooped to the disgrace of slang and Bowery billingsgate; while it has repeatedly defied and trampled upon laws, constitutions, individual and state rights; while men, personally infamous, have been allowed to traduce loyal citizens of the United States, and consign them to federal bastiles by perjured allegations, the democracy have never wavered in their firm determination to stand up for the laws and constitution of their county. While their opponents have broken the laws, openly and defiantly, in scores of instances, and been tacitly encouraged by federal authority in doing so, not one case can be adduced where democrats have imitated their example. Although firmly and unalterably opposed to the war under its present management, neither by word or by action have they interfered with the administration to hinder its prosecution.
No potentate on earth was ever clothed with fuller powers than is Abraham Lincoln, but two years ago a simple citizen of Springfield. The authority given to him by congress is truly fearful to contemplate by men who retain a lingering regard for the forms of constitutional liberty and the freedom for which our fathers paid so dear a price. Invested with full and absolute control over the purse and the people, it is indeed his fault if the rebellion succeed. He has everything that man could ask; at his demand, the doors of the treasury open, and untold millions of green backs wait obsequious on his mandates; when he nods, the minions of his power can call out myriads of men to fight his battles. With the sword and the purse at his absolute command — with no one to inquire "why doest thou this?" or to oppose his decrees, what more could he desire? The army of the Potomac is now led by the generals his fanatical followers have so long been demanding; democratic presses do not interfere with their plans by repeating the insane howl "on to Richmond;" "copperhead officers" have been driven into disgrace and retiracy; abolitionism has full swing, and if nothing is done, abolitionism and the president must alone be responsible. The democracy have washed their hands of the whole matter, so far as lies in their power; their soldiers fill the army, and are still ready, as before, to turn their bayonets upon the rebel hosts, though under leaders not of their choosing, and whether they march to triumph or defeat, the administration must receive the odium or the praise.