Exclusive: Should the GOP Steal Jefferson from Dems? [With Comment by John on Jackson]

One of my fellow cruisers on the Baltic Sea last week was Seth Lipsky of the New York Sun, who wrote a terrific column about 10 days ago for the New York Post arguing that since Democrats are giving up on Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson (because, at bottom, Democrats dislike and/or are ashamed of America’s history), Republicans ought to steal Jefferson away from them. Of course, Lincoln already did this in 1858 and 1860, but the GOP has forgotten how to sustain this argument, alas.

Anyway, Seth sat down with me to talk about this and other things, and here’s a seven-minute excerpt exclusive to Power Line:

JOHN adds: Stealing Jefferson is a no-brainer. By all means, let’s do it. And let’s steal Andrew Jackson, too. Jackson was the real founder of the Democratic Party and, in some ways, the founder of American democracy. The Jacksonian influence on the Democratic Party was strong through Roosevelt, Kennedy and Johnson, not to mention Scoop Jackson and many others, but the McGovern wing of the party–now triumphant–was devoted to expunging Old Hickory’s influence. That project is complete. Barack Obama is about as far removed from Andrew Jackson as it is possible for a human being to be.

Putting aside the bank issues, which no doubt were important but on which I have no strong opinion, Jackson was, in today’s terms, a Republican. It is written that when Jackson was a boy of 13, during the Revolutionary War, he was a courier for the Patriots. He was captured by the British, and a British officer ordered him to shine the officer’s boots. Jackson told the officer to f*** himself, or words to that effect, and the officer slashed the boy across the face with his saber.

That was Jackson–he gave no quarter, and asked none. When he was an old man, a lunatic tried to assassinate him, but his gun misfired. Jackson beat him nearly to death with his cane. Jackson had his faults–no doubt about that!–but he was no Pajama Boy, like a modern Democrat. He was as tough an American as ever lived; maybe Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain could challenge him for that title. If Jackson were resurrected today, he wouldn’t recognize the Democratic Party, and would rapidly find a home in the conservative wing of the GOP. We could burnish a few rough edges and adopt him as our own. Andrew Jackson–let’s steal him!