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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-07-13 12:01 AM
Original message
There's a politician for ya!
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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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-07-13 03:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. I learned about the Mugwumps before, but
many years ago. Thanks for sharing this. I had forgotten all this stuff. It illustrates just how little core party values mean. I guess.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-09-13 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Arlen Specter changed parties twice.
Edited on Mon Sep-09-13 12:35 AM by No Elephants
In his case, it was strictly personal ambition. He changed from Democrat to Republican the first time because that's where the opening was for him to run. And he changed the second time because he could not win the Republican primary. But, he could not win the election, either. So he and Obama may have spoiled it for Sestak. Whatever may have been the case early in his career, I don't people today feel comfortable with a party switcher.

Much as Lieberman changed to Indie because he could not win either primary. However, Lieberman, one of very few founding members of the DLC who was not a Southern male, showed his true color when he campaigned for McCain. And Democrats still let him chair Homeland Security! He could not survive as an Indie for more than one election, though. Now he works in a conservative think tank.

Even Sanders changed to Indie rather than try to run openly statewide as a Democratic Socialist. (or maybe his views actually changed. I have no clue. I shampooed my mind reading kit and can't do a thing with it.)
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-09-13 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I had vaguely heard of the Mugwumps, It's TR's flip flop on "bolting" parties that was new to me.
On some show about The Mamas and the Papas--maybe MTV?--I even heard that the original name of their group was the Mugwumps.

Maybe John Philips started as a Republican?
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-09-13 03:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Now you've done it.
I was off into reading about the Mamas and the Papas, watching them on Youtube and all sorts of stuff.
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