"soft on Communism"

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 3 17:45:11 UTC 2011

I believe a version of the phrase was first used by Senator Robert A.
Taft in his statement of February 21, 1947, opposing the appointment
of David E. Lilienthal as head of the Atomic Energy Commission.

In the first paragraph he writes,, "I believe he is temperamentally
unfitted to head any important executive agency in a democratic
government and too 'soft' on issues connected with communism and
Soviet Russia."

Later, he writes, "Like the group of which he was a part, Mr.
Lilienthal was soft on the subject of communism."

The NYTimes has the text here:


On Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 12:41 PM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      "soft on Communism"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Not in any OED evidence, so far as I can tell.
> 1947 Paul Mallon in  _Waterloo [Ia.] Daily Courier_ (Apr. 14) 4
> [NewspaperArchive]: Lilienthal was charged by Senator McKellar of being soft
> on Communism.
> There's a hiatus of more than a year and a half, then a full flowering in
> January, 1949.
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
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