Crimson Banners Fly: The Rise of the American Left

Another great update. Glad the courts are at least taking action on child Labor earlier. President Johnson is probably going to end up pissing off both parties.
Also how's William Jennings Bryan doing? I hope he runs again for President l really like him and I think he'd be good with the whole "Return to Normal" certainly better than Harding and Coolidge were imao.
Another great update. Glad the courts are at least taking action on child Labor earlier. President Johnson is probably going to end up pissing off both parties.
Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if he's pissing off the populace by now. If he does anything like court packing or something blatantly obvious (since he doesn't have much options), he'd be screwed. Either people would riot/protest in large groups against him bringing further tension or Congress gets the picture and realize he's a problem and impeach him if there is something for it
Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if he's pissing off the populace by now. If he does anything like court packing or something blatantly obvious (since he doesn't have much options), he'd be screwed. Either people would riot/protest in large groups against him bringing further tension or Congress gets the picture and realize he's a problem and impeach him if there is something for it
I could see either happening especially impeachment like how President Andrew Johnson almost was.
Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if he's pissing off the populace by now. If he does anything like court packing or something blatantly obvious (since he doesn't have much options), he'd be screwed. Either people would riot/protest in large groups against him bringing further tension or Congress gets the picture and realize he's a problem and impeach him if there is something for it
He already is. GOing outrifght court packing like that might actually piss off people on his side, and that's not something he wants. Either way, next election is gonna be a doozy.
Why do I have the feeling that Associate Justice Chase might die slightly ahead of schedule, giving Johnson the opportunity to try to ram through a pliant nominee?
Also how's William Jennings Bryan doing? I hope he runs again for President l really like him and I think he'd be good with the whole "Return to Normal" certainly better than Harding and Coolidge were imao.
He'll be back fairly soon, though a fourth nomination may be a tough pill to swallow for the DNC.

He already is. GOing outrifght court packing like that might actually piss off people on his side, and that's not something he wants. Either way, next election is gonna be a doozy.
It's one that I've been looking forward to :)
Part 7: Chapter XXVI - Page 172 - 1918 Election Results
1918 Congressional Elections

Democratic: 42 (+5)
Progressive: 29 (-3)
Republican: 22 (-4)

Socialist: 3 (+2)

Democratic: 131 (+5)
Progressive: 127 (-29)
Socialist: 93 (+62)
Republican: 84 (-31)

Civic League: 0 (-6)
Independent: 0 (-1)

Senate Leadership
Senate President Hiram W. Johnson (P-CA)
President pro tempore John H. Bankhead (D-AL)
Caucus Chairman Robert L. Owen (D-OK)
Conference Chairman Robert La Follette (P-WI)
Conference Chairman Warren G. Harding (R-OH)

Caucus Chairman Ashley G. Miller (S-NV)

House of Representatives Leadership
Speaker Champ Clark (D-MO)
Minority Leader Wesley L. Jones (P-CA)
Minority Leader Meyer London (S-NY)

Minority Leader James R. Mann (R-IL)

A great deal had changed in the United States since the previous congressional election. It was just two years ago, in an election season that corresponded with the tension-raising presidential cycle, when Theodore Roosevelt and his Progressives sailed to victory on a platform of reformism, patriotism, and an unmitigated triumph in the Great War. In November of 1918, Roosevelt had withered away, taking with him any remnant of positivity within the Progressive establishment. Only a few short months passed since the ascension of Hiram Johnson, but in that time his influence on the party was felt far and wide. Candidates for political office from the president's party championed the legacy of the recently departed leader to the highest degree, but their collective messaging stemmed more from a place of anti-socialism and xenophobic nationalism than anything resembling the original Chicago Platform. "Drive The Wooden Stake Through The Bolshevik Devil," read a flyer sponsored by the Ohio Progressive Party.

As it turned out, an indeterminate prewar normalcy was not as enticing to American voters in 1918 as was the promise of a government responsive to the demands of its citizens. Despite exhaustive sympathy to the incumbent leadership following Roosevelt's death, public discontent with the ruling party far outweighed any favorability spike. Johnson, and too Roosevelt, had blatantly ignored domestic reform since the breakout of war. Their demonization of an ill-defined treason seemed to supersede all pledges to enact progressive legislation. Very few Columbians running for office even cared to mention universal suffrage or the eight-hour working day. Now more than ever, and especially after the tumultuous Red Summer and the rise of exuberant fearmongering, your average American had come to identify the Columbians as a party of antagonizers and militants. True, the people desired restoration and order, but not a tyrannical order categorized by workplace massacres. Therefore, voters turned to other options.

In dozens of states, such voters looked to the Socialist Party as a viable alternative. The SP endured as the sole vehicle of the grassroots labor movement all throughout the rollercoaster-like year. Its leaders attained the spotlight whenever and wherever possible, counteracting the Johnson Administration's anti-IWW narrative to instill their own points of view. It was not uncommon for city councils to have a handful of Socialist officeholders, and success stories like that of Mayor Seidel repeatedly disproved federal propaganda claiming fiscal irresponsibility. In the eyes of the typical worker, representatives like Meyer London who fought on Capitol Hill for pro-labor legislation were not frightening Bolsheviks, and in the words of a contemporaneous voter survey were termed more "patriotic" than their Democratic, Republican, and Progressive counterparts. For any and all workers familiar with the organizing structure of the IWW and scarred by the extreme repression of the labor uprising, the pros of voting Socialist eclipsed the cons.

Under these conditions, the Socialists managed to win a spectacular sixty-two new seats in the House of Representatives (predominantly in their upper Midwest strongholds and in industrialized, urban districts), setting their grand total to 93. Firebrand activists Scott Nearing (S-NY) and Edmund T. Melms (S-WI), and famed authors John S. Reed (S-NY) and Oscar Ameringer (S-WI), were a part of that gigantic class joining the diverse Socialist contingent in Congress: One which stretched from devout unionists like Representative Fiorello La Guardia (S-NY) to the business-oriented Victor Berger (S-WI). The latter figure opted in 1918 to run for Senate in the special election to succeed the late Senator Isaac Stephenson (P-WI), eventually winning by the skin of his teeth. Alongside State Senator Matthew S. Holt (S-WV), Berger was the latest entry of the SP to the upper chamber in Washington. The House delegation, though far from the slightest sniff of genuine power over the legislature, could no longer be outright ignored as a faction when fostering voting coalitions. On that note, once a bargain was struck pertaining to an end to all discussion regarding future anti-socialist sedition bills, Champ Clark of the Democrats won a majority vote for House Speaker. If not for the Socialists, Jones may have held onto his position.

The Democratic Party, buoyed by national exhaustion over the Progressives, fared well in the congressional and gubernatorial elections of 1918. In spite of regional divisions, unhidden sectionalism, and the fairly recent presidential defeat of William J. Bryan, Democrats bolstered their numbers in the Senate and accumulated a net gain of five House seats. Some historians cite their profound luck this cycle as a simple side-effect of growing distaste with the uproarious chaos of the Roosevelt-Johnson regime, but credit should be partially attributed to the rise of a younger class of Northern Democrats painstakingly shedding the stench of the Bryan and Hearst eras. Senator John Fitzgerald of Massachusetts pioneered the concept of post-Bryan liberalism with his 1916 shock win as his brand appeared to resonate with Democratic and independent voters alike. David I. Walsh (D-MA), similarly an Irish-Catholic reformer, toppled the seemingly invulnerable John W. Weeks (R-MA) to deliver the GOP yet another surprise blow in the Bay State. Attorney John B. Jameson accomplished the same in a New Hampshire special election.

In Michigan, a state often considered a bellwether in the never-ending game of political tug-of-war, maritime safety advocate William A. Smith (R-MI) suffered the most high-profile defeat out of any this cycle. Smith was a standard Republican moderate in the Senate and naturally did not attract controversy, but his Democratic challenger could hardly say the same. Following a hotly contested primary election, motor vehicle magnate Henry Ford captured the party's nomination. House Leaders Champ Clark and Woodrow Wilson prompted the insatiable Ford to run for office in the belief that no other stood a chance against the affable Smith, and that may have proven true if the businessman declined that offer. However, he did run, and immediately stole the thunder from fellow challenger Marcus J. Cassidy (P-MI). Ford's controversial statements kept his name on the front-page of near-all Michigan newspapers, courtesy of the Michigan Republican Party, and the state's residents were well-aware of the industrialist's rabid antisemitism, pacifism, and union-busting practices when they voted him in: 40% to Smith's 35%.

Missouri Senator William J. Stone, a titan of Democratic politics and President Bryan's Secretary of State, died in April, 1918, and was temporarily replaced by a St. Louis city commissioner named Xenophon Wilfley (D-MO). Stone owned the seat since 1902, and various other Democratic politicians sat in that same chair since the 1870s. Nonetheless, the Progressives and Republicans managed to make some inroads in local politics over the previous four years, and Senator Reed (D-MO) winning a lukewarm 50% of the statewide vote in 1916 indicated a potential weak point in the Solid South. John A. Henderson, the incumbent Columbian mayor of Kansas City, mounted a much-hyped campaign for the Senate while the isolationist conservative Selden P. Spencer (R-MO) did likewise. Yet, the final tally showed not a weakened Democratic electorate, but rather one severely underestimated by the available polling. Former Governor Joseph "Holy Joe" Folk, a reformist Democrat and proponent of governmental transparency and morality, utterly clobbered the competition. For now, the Solid South appeared unbreakable.

Progressive mainstays faced a handful of notable, perhaps preventable, primary defeats in these midterm elections. Sensing their chance to pounce on a political organization with its identity and purpose in flux, and additionally inspired by Governor Charles E. Hughes' (R-NY) ability to win cross-party support, conservative nationalists flowed into statewide Progressive Party chapters. Hughes himself belonged to this community but remained focused on his own re-election as opposed to directing a national initiative, and indeed secured a third term despite a hearty challenge by Assemblyman Alfred E. Smith (D-NY). This group, starting in the postwar period, began taking positions of authority in these state parties, and soon thereafter promoted challenges to incumbent officeholders they deemed unsuitable. Their plan counted on eradicating all Columbians wholly unable to gain the endorsement of the Republican Party, thus awarding a new breed of Nationalist Progressives the opportunity to capitalize on Roosevelt's name without abandoning their conservative policies. Among the victims were Frank H. Funk (P-IL), E.M. Thompson (P-ME), Franklin Murphy (P-NJ), and well over twenty others. In their place were men far to their right on virtually all issues. Freshman Senator Bert M. Fernald (P-ME), for example, strongly criticized the existence of the Federal Trade Commission and voted in favor of supplanting Conference Chairman La Follette with Republican leader Warren Harding.

Senators Elected in 1918 (Class 2)
John H. Bankhead (D-AL): Democratic Hold, 91%
John N. Heiskell (D-AR): Democratic Hold, 68%
John F. Shafroth (D-CO): Democratic Gain, 39%
L. Heisler Ball (R-DE): Republican Hold, 42%
William J. Harris (D-GA): Democratic Hold, 88%
William E. Borah (P-ID): Progressive Hold, 51%
Medill McCormick (P-IL): Progressive Hold, 44%
William S. Kenyon (P-IA): Progressive Hold, 43%
Charles Curtis (P-KS): Progressive Hold, 40%
Edwin P. Morrow (R-KY): Republican Hold, 41%
Joseph E. Ransdell (D-LA): Democratic Hold, 92%
*Walter Guion (D-LA): Democratic Hold, 87%
Bert M. Fernald (P-ME): Progressive Hold, 42%
David I. Walsh (D-MA): Democratic Gain, 38%
Henry Ford (D-MI): Democratic Gain, 40%
Knute Nelson (P-MN): Progressive Hold, 44%
Pat Harrison (D-MS): Democratic Hold, 80%
Joseph M. Dixon (P-MT): Progressive Hold, 37%
George W. Norris (P-NE): Progressive Hold, 36%
John H. Bartlett (R-NH): Republican Hold, 44%
*John B. Jameson (D-NH): Democratic Gain, 39%
Walter E. Edge (P-NJ): Progressive Hold, 41%
William B. Walton (D-NM): Democratic Gain, 42%
*Joseph W. Folk (D-MO): Democratic Hold, 58%
Furnifold Simmons (D-NC): Democratic Hold, 63%
Robert L. Owen (D-OK): Democratic Hold, 40%
Charles L. McNary (P-OR): Progressive Hold, 43%
LeBaron B. Colt (R-RI): Republican Hold, 50%
Nathaniel B. Dial (D-SC): Democratic Hold, 95%
Peter Norbeck (P-SD): Progressive Hold, 40%
Albert H. Roberts (D-TN): Democratic Hold, 55%
John Morris Sheppard (D-TX): Democratic Hold, 72%
Thomas S. Martin (D-VA): Democratic Hold, 79%
Matthew S. Holt (S-WV): Socialist Gain, 34%
*Victor L. Berger (S-WI): Socialist Gain, 35%
Frank W. Mondell (P-WY): Progressive Hold, 43%

* Special Election
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The crackdown ended up translating into healthy gains in congress
I feel the socialists can end up creating a very strong dual power structure if they so.desire
Part 7: Chapter XXVI - Page 173

The Ontario Legislature, c. 1909 - Source: Wiki Commons

Toward the end of the year, and in the wake of a disappointing midterm election, it had dawned on President Johnson and PNC Chairman Melville Kelly that their political branding was swiftly losing its steam. Relying on sympathy for Roosevelt's passing had failed (though by all accounts did lessen the severity of congressional losses) and leaning entirely on fearmongering propaganda ultimately did not rouse the public. It was a fair bit shocking to the administration. Amid war, the group's open embrace of patriotism assisted their electoral goals terrifically, and furthermore granted them the opportunity to discard any residual plans for reform. Pure-and-simple Patriotic Americanism was the name of the game. Columbian flag-waving boosted party notoriety, propelled interest in joining the global fray, and successfully staved off Bryan's 1916 presidential challenge. This motif also proved to bring in support and financial contributions from certain moneyed interests once viciously opposed to the organization. Why, then, had it begun to crash back down to earth?

Per H. William Ackerman in Columbians in Washington, "The World War changed everything, and of this the Columbians were certainly not exempt. Six years after submitting their resolution to amend equal suffrage to the Constitution, House Progressives emitted total radio silence on the subject of reform initiatives. The loss of Theodore Roosevelt seemed to rob the ruling party of not only its standard-bearer and chief founder, but of its absolute core. Somewhere along the line, the purpose of "progress" within "Progressive" was lost." Ackerman, like other historians of the era, theorize that without its captain, the ship was doomed to lose its way. Sans their rightful king, the pride would open itself to the snakes. It is no coincidence that the rise of the Progressive Nationalists sparked off in the first congressional midterm following the ascension of Hiram Johnson. Yet, considering Roosevelt's role in the Preparedness movement, the Canadian Offensive, and the Philippines War, he was very much a central component of the Progressives' shift to obsessive nationalism.

The Progressive Party's overall makeup and world perspective evolved, or devolved, more so due to its political fundraising. Postwar Progressives and the Johnson administration, by their actions and their statements, did not convey unease with the power of trusts and corporate combinations. Attorney General Palmer did not exhibit nearly the same attentiveness to corrupt business practices as McKenna. From the moment he took office, the former USIC chief quietly slowed and/or reversed investigations into systematic malpractice, thus accelerating the rebound of corporate corruption from its relative hibernation earlier that decade. The steady dissipation of the Republicans in Congress and the utter collapse of the John Weeks campaigns (presidential and senatorial) had already pushed the steel triopoly to outwardly favor Columbian rule, but once Johnson green-lit the events of Bloody September, the rush of support was immeasurable. "[Johnson] inherited an exorbitantly profitable political organization," described Ackerman. "Regardless of its electoral woes in the short-term, the Progressives gained, in 1918, mountainous monetary assistance. [...] One by one, the Republicans' numbered list of grievances with their separatist foes was shrinking."

The PNC possessed the funds to coordinate effectively, it was winning favor with the upper business class, and its patriotic persona outshined the competition by a mile. Still, this carefully constructed recipe lacked a crucial ingredient. What ought to have been a jovial midterm melted into a miserable headache. The main problem, in the eyes of the committee and the president, was the absence of a unifying crisis. Labor unrest was innately disunifying, and of this the only agents capable of capitalizing on it were the Socialists. By contrast, the war against the Entente escalated Progressive support and carried them to victory in 1916. One internal, American Worker vs. American Owner, one external, the United States vs. the Entente. Johnson desired an external crisis above all else. Only then could a united citizenry identify itself with the state and cheerfully come to its defense. Fortunately for the Commander-in-Chief, one materialized.

Canada sat in a state of devastation after the war. Poor harvests, famine, and high unemployment, coupled with impossible tariff rates, blighted the country and put added pressure onto the governorship of Prime Minister Thomas Crerar. He struggled endlessly to quell an unruly and troublesome population, one rife with provincial tension and division. His government authorized emergency relief to the nation's cities and countryside, however the distribution of food and health aid suffered its own difficulties in transit through Ontario. Townships and cities in Southern Ontario stayed defined by a heavy U.S. Army presence in brazen defiance of President Roosevelt's vow to allow for semi-independence from military rule on the road to a graduate withdrawal. Toronto, a shattered metropolis under the thumb of the notorious Isaac Littell, strictly prohibited duty-less trade imports.
In mid-February 1919, upon the third anniversary of Canadian victory in the Battle of Crowe Bridge, a host of militant activists in Toronto took center stage. Armed with rifles and revolvers, some dressed in dyed Canadian Army uniforms, the Volunteer Ontario Liberation Army mobilized to force total autonomy and the establishment of a free state. Thousands of furious and starving civilians and veterans took part in the four-day street-fighting affair. They briefly captured an impromptu command post in the empty, war-torn Ontario Legislative Building and claimed it as their centerpiece. These revolutionaries lowered the high-flying Stars and Stripes from atop the iron and timber structure and replaced it with a flag colored in crimson. Solidarity, they declared, with the workers of the world. [...] The U.S. Army did not hesitate to suppress the uprising and reacted as fiercely as anticipated. Over 600 were killed. Ten alleged organizers were executed.
Jacob Knowles, The 1910s: An Overview, 2014

For Johnson and other former War Progressives, the violent skirmish in Toronto put in question the authority of the United States in North America. Perhaps desirous of lifting their concerns to the front-page, the Torontonian agitators stepped out of bounds and led to further violence and destruction. The president read aloud a speech in the aftermath of the insurrection (known today as the Toronto Rebellion, or Toronto Massacre), calling on the country and the Armed Forces to be consistently attentive to threats, "beyond our borders. Our servicemen, soldiers and sailors, cannot abandon their duties to maintain international order." To carry out this "preventative" measure, Johnson announced an indefinite postponement of all troop withdrawals from Canada and the Ontario border. Days later, fully prepared to pounce on an obvious breach of the Vienna Treaty and the U.S.-instigated bloodbath in an occupied city, Eugene Debs explained, "There was never a time when the state was so ripe for Socialist agitation and organization."
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Oh no poor Canada :( While I understand they're desire to be free of military rule the last thing you want to do is piss off a President who is already spoiling for a fight like Johnson is.
Part 7: Chapter XXVI - Page 174

PLF Defenses in the Polish Independence War, 1920 - Source: Wiki Commons

As the Johnson Administration eyed further intervention in U.S.-occupied Ontario following the insurrection in Toronto, it made it a point to communicate the absolute necessity of such considerations. The very last thing they desired was for the culmination of a newfound international conflict that resembled, in any way, the calamitous Great War. It was out of a professed need for caution that the president issued his order to halt the withdrawal of all U.S. soldiers stationed in Canada. This was no fight over trade routes, and neither did it involve territorial expansionism. According to Johnson's speech, the fluid situation concerned the safety of the Army officials themselves, and to a quieter extent the well-being of the Canadian citizenry. He had no interest in rekindling Roosevelt's international entanglements, and thereby the president did not take it upon himself to solidify a more-entrenched American presence in Europe. Like in North America, it was true of the European continent that the Great War failed to soothe international pressures and overarching political disputes.

By 1919, an obstreperous movement was slowly yet surely sweeping across the continent. Russia was mired in a destructive Civil War betwixt the ruling Bolshevik government and an opposing White Army. The Whites, a coalition of anti-communist factions stretching from Romanov monarchists to Kerenskyite liberals, struggled to counter the powerful Red Army due to a lack of supplies and financial support from the West. Former imperial officers like Lieutenant General Anton Denikin led the Whites on a rampage through the countryside, burning down factories and setting grain fields ablaze to prevent the Soviets from utilizing these resources. In France, similarly a nation reeling from revolution, economic isolation risked social unrest. There was no all-out civil war in recourse, but reactionary forces looked to sabotage the Fourth Republic in its infancy. Ambitious power-seekers like Prince Victor Napoléon, the Bonapartist pretender, and Prince Philippe, the Duke of Orléans, attempted to cobble together a 'White Army' of their own, but, for the time being, the French people were willing to defend their new government and, in turn, withstand the tantalizing appeal of an imperial revival.

France and Russia, despite retaining no written alliances and practicing two differing ideological interpretations of socialism, were equally detested by Britain, Germany, and the United States. The German Empire and its satellite nations enforced extraordinarily strict trade guidelines and had mostly forbidden economic interactions with either the Fourth French Republic or the Soviet government. President Frossard repeatedly requested an audience with the Germans to negotiate a re-opening of trade routes to the East, identifying the issue as humanitarian and not political. If the people of Russia were starving, per Frossard, it was the duty of bread-rich countries to send foodstuffs. Direct Franco-Russian trade was impossible. The Kaiser and all subordinates nevertheless refused. "Starvation," Steel wrote, "would certainly topple the communists, or so the Reich believed."

Kaiser Wilhelm, who much like Johnson keenly diagnosed the spread of Socialism as perilous to his own power, still managed to misjudge the appeal of the movement and underestimate the speed of worker organizing. Revolutions in France and Russia had completely altered the playing field. Revolutionary theory now became revolutionary history. These two documented cases of successful nationwide revolts inspired individuals and organizations far beyond their borders. For example, when the Vienna Treaty authorized the creation of new, or rather revived, Eastern European nation-states, Lithuanians, Latvians, Poles, and others were thrilled with the idea of self-governance and independence from the Russian Empire. Yet, once the reality of non-independence under the banner of the German Empire set in, they were utterly despondent. These were textbook satellite states, and the more technologically adept German overseers (compared with feudalistic Russian deputies) ran a tight ship free of any cracks. Furious over "broken promises" and the lies of Vienna, and inspired by the 1917 revolutions, the above populations began to take action into their own hands.

Turmoil characterized this section of Eastern Europe for the remainder of the decade. Charismatic revolutionary leaders from Jukums Vācietis in Courland to Pēteris Slavens in Vidzeme cobbled together militias of all sizes and creeds, and whilst proclaiming solidarity with the workers and peasants, put up a fair match with the German Imperial police. Revolts in Riga, Mitau, Trakai, and Palanga rose and fell in the rebellious, two-year span, and captured revolutionists were either placed in labor camps or ordered to their death. The Polish War of Independence, however, a 16-month affair that sparked with a Warsaw-based general strike, accomplished what the Baltic states could not. German officers worked to silence the strike and round-up the offending organizers, perhaps to nip the revolt in the bud, but this served to simply rally additional Poles to the movement. The left-wing Polish Liberation Front commanded the dissent. Directed by Edward Rydz-Śmigły and advised extensively by Leon Trotsky, their slogans combined demands for autonomy with calls for a workers' republic. Fighting raged at the 1920 Battle of Lodz when the PLF won their first significant victory, and by October of that year the German soldiers were strategically withdrawn to concentrate on a more pressing matter. The short-lived Piłsudski Government, one wholly subservient to the Kaiser, fell on October 18th. In its place rose a government modeled after the Soviet structure.

Johnson observed the events taking place in Europe quite carefully. In doing so, it only served to reinforce his preconceived notions. The socialist movement, he believed, was dangerous and its revolutionary theories endangered the republic. If it tore down even a sliver of German hegemony in Europe, who was to say it could not do the same in the United States? Something had to be done to prevent the unthinkable, but with the chaos of 1918 settled, it was exceedingly clear that the administration would be on its own in combating U.S.-born Bolshevism. The president and Attorney General Palmer were distraught by the decision reached in Becker v. California. That case severely dampened any realistic chance for passage of an anti-sedition bill, and the loss of a Progressive-seat plurality in the House of Representatives all but solidified an end to any discussion of the security proposals. Congress now returned to debating nationalization of the railroads, a revision of the 1886 Succession Act, and an overhaul of the 12th Amendment. Voters selected legislative progress over do-nothing fear in the midterm elections, and their message was heard loud and clear in the Capitol. Fortunately for the enterprising president, the Roosevelt years swung open the doors to boundless executive jurisdiction. Therefore, the Federal Intelligence Authority had been hard at work since July of 1918 developing various measures to accomplish the same goals as a national sedition law.

Hand-in-hand with Palmer, the FIA researched a slew of extralegal means through which to render the Socialist Party and the IWW impotent. Though the Supreme Court striking down the California Sedition Act nullified the ability of the state to charge and imprison persons based on their political preferences, nothing was yet in place to forestall charging of organizers and activists with bogus, lesser crimes. Even without a national sedition law, conservative state judges were supremely skeptical of suspected socialists and anarchists. Palmer also guided the FIA down the road to infiltration tactics. That is, federal agents would routinely act as moles for the government to collect information in worker-oriented clubs and gatherings. Infiltration campaigns allowed the Johnson Administration to learn more about local unions and parties, which in and of itself was enlightening, but the president was far more fascinated by his Attorney General's plan to potentially foster intra-party resentment with the use of informers. If a saboteur were, for instance, to inspire the splinter of the Socialist left-wing, it would prove an easy target for federal authorities and lead to the end of the American Left.
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I believe this post is teasing the assassinations that occur in the teaser? Could this imply that the US government themselves were responsible for the attack? Now that would be quite the twist.