"Follow the rats" (Senator Swanson, 1923)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Fri Dec 16 04:25:31 UTC 2005

I don't know what Fred has on this oft-used Congressional  quote seen in
William Safire's columns. This is a nice cite:
1 July 1923, CURRENT OPINION, "The Colyumists' Colyums, pg. 104:
Among the visitors to Washington since Congress adjourned are many
Congressmen-elect, installing themselves in the House Office Building and  incidentally
"learning the ropes." One of them asked a veteran legislator for  some
pointers on how to make a success in Congress.
"I know of no better way," was the reply, "than to follow the rules once
laid down by Senator Swanson of Virginia to a bunch of new Congressmen:
"'First. Work one day and then take six days off to talk about it.
"'Second. Never take anything you can't carry.
"'Third. When in doubt, do right.
"'Fourth. When the water rises to the second deck, put on a life preserver
and follow the rats.'"

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