Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Bloody Shirt? or Hair Shirt?

Why do the Republicans use Cheney so much in the campaign? His negatives are much higher, and his positives a little lower, than ever before.

If most people have decided, why parade this guy around? He will not convert anyone.

I think Cheney is a living, breathing bloody shirt. (As in "wave the bloody shirt"*see note below*, from the election of 1872). Waving the bloody shirt is an ancient Republican Tradition. Cheney has been beaten on so much by Michael Moore and the Dems that just seeing him walk around and smile makes the Republican partisans feel strong. "Look at this guy; he has a bad heart, he's bald as a m**********r, and he gets whacked on every talk show and news program by smug lefties! And he is unwavering in his support of the President! How can we falter, when we see such courage!" So why NOT parade him around? Since everyone has decided, he is not going to alienate anybody. Wave the bloody shirt, get "our" people out on election day! That's the only way I can understand what they are doing.

*NOTE on "wave the bloody shirt"*:
There was discussion through several years after 1876 on the origin of the red shirt as the uniform of the Democrats that year. The first red shirt shown, I believe, was that night in Charleston and on a Fifth Ward transparency. United States Senator Oliver P. Morton had delivered in the Senate a frantic and virulent denunciation of the treatment of the colored people by the Southern whites and dramatically produced and held up a crimsoned shirt which he said was from the body of a negro killed or cruelly whipped in Louisana. Democrats contended that the shirt was a fake and made much fun of it. "Waving the bloody shirt" was political slang for attempts to arouse sectional prejudice. Just before the Charleston parade Democrats somehow had intercepted a confidential letter from Judson Kilpatrick (Kill Cavalry) to Hayes, nominee for president, saying that nothing but "money and the bloody shirt" could carry Indiana Republican. It was in derision of this that the red shirt was flaunted in Charleston and later adopted as uniform. (Source)

I have seen other sources that say the election was 1872. But in all cases it was supposed to be the shirt of a black man, freed by the Civil War, but whipped to death in the reconstruction South.


Anonymous said...

Waving the bloody shirt is an ancient Republican Tradition.Do you need to insert little gems like this to avoid being pelted with arugula at the faculty club?

robert richards said...

re thebloody shirt-ive always understood that it came into use referring to a civil war battle, antietam , i think