— Robert M. La Follette Sr. American politician 1855 - 1925
Context: Mr. President, I had supposed until recently that it was the duty of senators and representatives in Congress to vote and act according to their convictions on all public matters that came before them for consideration and decision. Quite another doctrine has recently been promulgated by certain newspapers, which unfortunately seems to have found considerable support elsewhere, and that is the doctrine of “standing back of the President” without inquiring whether the President is right or wrong.
For myself, I have never subscribed to that doctrine and never shall. I shall support the President in the measures he proposes when I believe them to be right. I shall oppose measures proposed by the President when I believe them to be wrong.
Speech before Congress (April 4, 1917), Congressional Record—Senate, April 4, 1917, 224–225.