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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

On Andrew Jackson and Sarah Palin


Columnist Jeffrey Lord has submitted a piece that examines the question, Is Sarah Palin Too Dumb to Be President?. Its a pertinent question being that the GOP saw huge gains in the recent congressional elections and that momentum may carry over for the 2012 presidential contest. Lord cites numerous examples from the history of the 20th century of where the liberal, media establishment predictably, time and again, tried to paint the Republican front-runner as, well, "dumb". Lord goes on to demonstrate that this has been a common tactic since the candidacies of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, George Romney, Ronald Reagan, Bush 41 and 43, Jack Kemp and others.


It's a thoroughly interesting article and the part I found most interesting was the comparison that Lord drew from an earlier era, that of the elections of 1824 and 1828 between presidential candidates Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams...

"In terms of the American presidency and those who wished to run for the job, the first American to seriously face this too-dumb-and unworthy attitude was the man now considered the co-founder of today's Democrats. That would be Andrew Jackson.

Facing John Quincy Adams for the presidency in 1824, the Jackson-Adams battle was infinitely more than a battle between two men of differing political views. Adams was American Establishment Royalty, a category already well come-to- life by the time this son of Founder and ex-president John Adams began his career. At an early age, freshly graduated from Harvard, Adams was set on a path well-salted by elitists of the day. He was elected to the Massachusetts State Legislature, served as a diplomat or Minister in the Netherlands, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, and Great Britain. He was elected to the U.S. Senate, served as a Professor of Rhetoric at Harvard, where he was known for speaking fluent Latin and reading the Bible in Greek. By the time he faced Jackson he was James Monroe's Secretary of State.

Jackson was everything Adams was not. A rough-and-tumble frontiersman, spottily educated but enough to become a country lawyer, he was the embodiment of what was then seen as the American Western frontier. His fame came from his role in the American military, a brutal Indian fighter who emerged as the hero of the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812. Briefly a U.S. Senator, Jackson was rough-hewn and plain-spoken, like Palin the very embodiment of everything the refined fledgling Eastern Establishment of the day simply could not abide.

After losing to Adams in a hotly controversial 1824 election settled in the House of Representatives (which Jacksonians dubbed "the corrupt bargain"), Jackson roared back in 1828 to serve two presidential terms as the bane of the American Establishment, launching among other things a successful war on the Bank of the United States, roughly speaking the Federal Reserve of its day. He was decidedly anything but too dumb to be president, and in fact well outranks Adams in those historian-generated "great presidents" ranking lists.

The point?

What began with the blistering fight between Jackson and Adams has in one fashion or another rooted itself in today's world as an ongoing battle between the American Liberal Establishment, its media acolytes (what Palin refers to as the "lamestream media") and American conservatives.

If Andrew Jackson was pilloried in the day as little short of a hot-tempered barbarian from the frontier who was not good enough or smart enough to wipe the soles of John Quincy Adams' fancy Boston boots, since at least 1952 the image of the dumb-conservative or dumb Republican has become the modern telling of this tale."


Lord goes on to ask, quote, "Based on all this history, just who is it among the prospective 2012 candidates that they think will escape the "too dumb to be president" treatment Palin will undergo were she to run? George Romney's son Mitt, like his father a successful businessman turned governor? Mike Huckabee? Or a Pawlenty, Daniels, Barbour, Rubio, Perry, Jindal etc., etc., etc.?"
Let us gauge the accuracy of Lord's interpretation of history by keeping our eyes and ears open to any characterizations of dumbness on the part of the Republican front-runner that will emerge and see if the Democrat candidate has no such characterization attached to them.



8 comments:

Froggie said...

Just thought you might want to know, JD, that since you don't own your home, the Tea Party wants to take away your right to vote.

On Palin. She is an empty suit. Her speeches are riddled with cute eupimisms and have no depth whatsoever. She has no command of the realites of the world today.
She constantly cultivates her down on the farm personna. She "doesn't want to be in some dusty old political office." She is woefully uninformed. By quitting the govenorship half way through she has proven she cannot be trusted to be presidential material.

Australian Satirist said...

Excellent post. It appears as though Palin’s American critics know little to nothing about their nation’s history.

JD Curtis said...


Meghan McCain: Sarah Palin must be anti-education because she uses common phrases I don't understand



Link

Debunkey Monkey said...

Sarah Palin would have won McCain the 2008 if it wasn't for the liberal, "gotcha" media... of course. ;)

J.D. Good job using sitemeter.com. Too bad, it can't track me, but at least all its data is public. Giving away all the IP addresses of your site's visitors to a computer specialist (AKA hacker) like myself is awfully generous of you.

Froggie said...

Republicans don't think she's smart enough to be prez either.
"A Quinnipiac poll, likewise, finds Ms. Palin with the support of 22 percent of Republicans who have not graduated from college, but of 10 percent of those who have. A CNN poll, meanwhile — using a slightly different criterion that focuses on whether voters attended college, whether or not they graduated from it — finds Ms. Palin drawing 20 percent of Republican voters who haven’t attended college, but only 9 percent of those who have."

Pasted from

JD Curtis said...

J.D. Good job using sitemeter.com. Too bad, it can't track me, but at least all its data is public. Giving away all the IP addresses of your site's visitors to a computer specialist (AKA hacker) like myself is awfully generous of you

I must admit as someone who has had the metaphorical feces hurled at me alot more than the avergae blogger that I find this comment to be particularly disturbing.

I guess if someone is trying to dispell the stigma of social autism, then nothing does it quite like the threat of cyber-terrorism.

Froggie? Can I expect that the above commenter will have the honor of having a thread named specifically for them over at the other site that explores the possibility that they meet the criteria of someone who is "intolerant of any opinion that differs from one's own" to the point of threatening to hack the computers of the readership found on a blog's sitemeter stats? In the meantime, I won't be holding my breath.

Cue shoddy rationalization in 3... 2... 1...

JD Curtis said...

DM, you are officially banned. Please take your act elsewhere.

JD Curtis said...

Froggie, you are cordially invited to go back to the circle-jerk of an echo chamber that you hold in such high esteem and attempt to impress your friends there.

Come back when you learn to be a little more civilized.