Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A history lesson for some of our friends...

... who seem to believe that no-holds barred political campaigning was invented during the reign of Bushco:

There was, of course, the infamous Coffin Handbill used by thoughtful proto-progressive John Quincy Adams against Andew Jackson in 1828:



Designed by Charles Hammond, who was not officially part of the Adams re-election campaign (call it plausible deniability), it was never disowned by the incumbent, and was in fact featured at his rallies, along with the oft-repeated charge that Andrew Jackson's wife was a mulatto prostitute.

Some of our readers might be old enough (and, I guess, lucky enough, given that it ran only once) to remember that infamous Daisy ad that LBJ ran against Barry Goldwater, intimating that the GOP candidate had a hankering to start a thermonuclear war:



Naturally, some bruising political ads are intramural rather than inter-party:



Of course there's also this little number:



I realize that some of our readers (hello, A1) would be quite all right with playing the moral equivalence game that puts Dubya on the same scale with the man who not only committed genocide, but started a war that killed over 125 million people in six years....

... and that partly explains this pseudo-historical treatment by a wannabe scholar who is actually nothing more than a political propagandist:



In the grand scheme of things, Wanda Sykes, David Feherty, Rush Limbaugh, and even Al Frankenare symptoms rather than causes.

Symptoms of what? A healthy if often unlovely democracy that persists in spite of supposedly high-minded attempts to censor it.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve,
It greives me to see you write such a word, you more than most, knowing full well that we do not live in a democracy, you who fight so well for the minority. You and I disagree on many things, and you make me question my libertarian beleiefs, in that I may not be libertarian enough. Discourse is a great institution in our society, but I for one loath the thought of a true democracy, as did those who drafted that document that replaced the Articles.

Marsh Fox

Steve Newton said...

Marsh,
Remember this, please: when you write literally thousands of words per day (as I do here and in my job), it often strains reality to put that much stress on any one--I could have said "democratic process"--but I didn't...

Oh well

G Rex said...

Ma, ma, where's my pa?
Gone to the White House, ha ha ha!

Delaware Watch said...

"I realize that some of our readers (hello, A1) would be quite all right with playing the moral equivalence game that puts Dubya on the same scale with the man who not only committed genocide, but started a war that killed over 125 million people in six years...."

Moral equivalence has a numerical value? Since when?

Steve Newton said...

Moral equivalence has a numerical value? Since when?Moral equivalence, I think, definitely does have a scale value. Plotting the intentional destruction of entire races of people is different from starting a limited war.

Is there an exact number (Bush would have equaled Hitler if Hitler had only killed 300,000 Jews?)? Absolutely not. But all it tells me if someone can equate Bush with Hitler or the GOP with the Nazis is that they do not have a very firm grasp on the history of the world between 1933-1945.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
I stand corrected, you are quite right, however, it also occured to me that quite a few of your fellow bloggers on the left and right would do well to read history in raw form. I seem to remember that Lincoln's campaigns were fairly ugly too, and I would have to agree that the ugliness that persued Jackson sent his poor wife to the grave. Mass media just makes this whole damn sham of a representative government seem meaner uglier these days. Oh, those guys on the left, guess they don't have a problem with what Sherman did huh? Oh, wait, the victors write the history don't they?
Marsh Fox