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For what I recently read of the early US history, partisanship and party stability were amusing right from the 1790s. Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans were better organized on all levels, somewhat contrary to their local political philosophy. Their blanket support for the French Revolution turned embarrassing, yet the Federalists showed more talent for self-destruction with the Alien and Sedition Acts, friction between Adams and Hamilton. The fatal Burr-Hamilton duel, then Hartford Convention gradually pushed the Federalists into oblivion - except in the highest courts, where they redefined the judiciary as the arbitrator of contracts.

The tragicomedy of Whigs was largely in their refusal to nominate "looser" Henry Clay in their most promising years, 1840 and 1848. Clay sabotaged himself by impulsively declaring "I had rather be right than president" in 1839. The Whigs ran with "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" in 1840, that is, a war hero Harrison and (for the Vice-President) Tyler. Harrison died after just a month in the office, and Tyler turned out to be very obstructionist towards Congress Whigs. In 1848, another war hero Zachary Taylor was nominated - and he suddenly passed away in the office as well. The ascended president Fillmore was not effective in preventing deepening divisions between the North and the South, and within the Whigs.

During the Bill Clinton presidency, I found the Republicans ridiculous with their impeachment. But then Gore, Kerry were effectively careful not to win. If Hilary Clinton will turn out to be a fraud candidate, the Democratic Party might indeed dust away in the next years.

by das monde on Sat Jun 4th, 2016 at 01:46:41 AM EST
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