Douglas Playing Double.
August 17, 1858.
We have intimations that in certain quarters Mr. Douglas, in his electioneering tour, is trying to back down from so much of the Dred Scott decision as conflicts with squatter sovereignty; alleging further that all the points settled by the Supreme Court, beyond the fact of the noncitizenship of negroes, are of no authority, being obiter dicta. He can not hide the glaring inconsistency of maintaining the validity of the whole decision, and yet of asserting his "popular sovereignty" dogma. One or the other must go to the wall. Hence after repeatedly affirming, in the Senate and out of it, and recently on the stump here in Springfield the blinding force of the Dred Scott decision, without exception, he is now, in private corners, backing down on to the Republican platform on that subject.
With a pitiful, sneaking double game this is for a man in Mr. Douglas' position to be playing? But he finds that Lincoln is pressing home upon him with terrible effect the plain truth that Judge Taney, whom he has hitherto unqualifiedly indorsed, has completely strangled his own squatter sovereignty bantling. Afraid to change front before the enemy, he resorts to private intimations to his particular friends that the Taney doctrines most insisted on by the Buchanan Democracy will have to be given over to the mercy of the Republicans. Dare he come out openly on this platform?