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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-07-13 12:01 AM
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There's a politician for ya!
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Edited on Sat Sep-07-13 12:16 AM by No Elephants
The Mugwumps were Republican political activists who bolted from the United States Republican Party by supporting Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland in the United States presidential election of 1884. They switched parties because they rejected the financial corruption associated with Republican candidate James G. Blaine. In a close election, the Mugwumps supposedly made the difference in New York state and swung the election to Cleveland. The jocular word mugwump, noted as early as 1832, is from Algonquian (Natick) mugquomp, "important person, kingpin" (from mugumquomp, "war leader")<1> implying that they were "sanctimonious" or "holier-than-thou,"<2> in holding themselves aloof from party politics.

After the election, mugwump survived for more than a decade as an epithet for a party bolter in American politics. Many Mugwumps became Democrats or remained independents; most continued to support reform well into the 20th century.<3> During the Third Party System, party loyalty was in high regard and independents were rare. Theodore Roosevelt stunned his upper class New York City friends by supporting Blaine in 1884; by rejecting the Mugwumps he kept alive his Republican party leadership, clearing the way for his own political aspirations.<4>

As we all know, TR made it to the Oval Office. At first he said he would not stand for re-election. The Republican Party then nominated Taft. However, TR changed his mind and decided to run. Yadda yadda yadda. The left wing of the Republican Party "bolted" the Republican Party and formed the Progressive Party, nominating TR as its candidate for the Presidency. So, Teddy, whose "bolter" bashing apparently helped him become President became, in effect, the king of the bolters.

FYI, if you don't already know: The surprise at then Republican Teddy's support of Republican nominee Blaine stemmed from Blaine's well-known corruption. Lifelong Republicans of the day, like cartoonist Nast and his publisher, Harper, found themselves unable to support Blaine.

When it push comes to shove, personal considerations seem to trump just about everything.

How did I come across these tidbits?

I saw a cute smilie of a Democratic donkey. Then, I looked up how the donkey got to be the symbol of the Democratic Party.

The magic of embedded links in combination with Attention Deficit Disorder took it from there.

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