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Dirty Campaign? Puh-leeeze


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Power Line

Steven Hayward
March 2, 2016

Once again, our media betters were filling dead air on TV last night about how “dirty” the GOP campaign is getting—why it’s the wurst in history! Okay, so Rubio made a joke about Trump that might get him banned from Power Line’s comments, but seriously?

Historian Tom DiBacco reminds us today in the Wall Street Journal that campaigns of the 19th century were just as nasty, of not more so, that today’s. He looks in particular at the 1828 election—the one where Andrew Jackson got his revenge against John Quincy Adams for the supposedly “stolen” election of 1824:


Jackson supporters accused Adams of having premarital relations with his wife and Jacksonian newspapers called him “The Pimp,” procuring young girls for Czar Alexander I when he was minister to Russia. Adams’s stewards contended that Jackson’s mother was “a common prostitute, brought to this country by the British soldiers.” . . .

Adams’s supporters lashed out at Jackson as a drunkard, duelist and cockfighter—and a man who couldn’t even spell “Europe” (he spelled it “Urope”). Jackson’s wife, Rachel, was called variously a “whore” and an “adulteress,” because she married Jackson before her divorce was final.

When people say Trump is the return of Jackson, they have a point.

But for perspective, let’s roll the tape back a few years, to when our friends at Reason TV took note of the actual insults of the election of 1800:




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