Saturday, January 07, 2006

Happy 8th of January!

The Eighth of January was the date of the Battle of New Orleans. The battle was an unexpected victory for an American army composed of motley militia, including free blacks and Amerindians, against what was probably the finest army ever assembled up to that time, British veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, fresh from fighting in Europe. Of course there had been a treaty signed ending the war shortly before the battle was fought, but neither army knew that at the time, and I don't doubt but that the treaty would have been torn up had the British actually been able to take New Orleans.

The battle propelled the victorious General Jackson into politics and eventually the White House, only the second Major General to become a US president. Today's Democratic Party really began as a sort of Jackson fan club, organized by his friends and supporters to push his candidacy and his principles. The anniversary of the battle became an occasion for parades and political oratory and was heavily associated with the Democratic Party.

After the Civil War the holiday went into decline, but I'd like to celebrate it today. It's time that another former general's Democratic Party candidacy was remembered and supported. He won't be running again for a few more years, but of course I'm referring to Wesley Clark.

Happy Eighth of January, fellow Democrats, and especially Democratic veterans, and Fighting Dems candidates. It's time the Democratic Party took back the national security issue and made it ours again.

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