Friday, June 13, 2008

Sure, An' Ya Know

We haven't seen any bumper stickers like this around town, as of yet, but a few wags assure us that they are out there. Some say it's been a tradition since JFK's election for politicians to shake their family tree (especially around the middle of March), hoping an Irishman or two will sift out. Even Dick Nixon claimed to have roots in th' Old Sod, and named his dog (an Irish setter, don't ya know) after the place where they were from.

So, with a McCain runnin', and as close as this election just might be, it may be only a matter of time before we see the above.

Our research shows, however, that taking advantage of ties to th' other side is not a new thing among politicians. It's as old as the potato blight of the 1840's and the mass emigration that followed it.

Charles Graham Halpine, a rogue Irish journalist who wrote under the pen name Miles O'Reilly
during the American Civil War, won an election for the position of Registrar of New York City on a Democratic and Republican coalition ticket. He described his success among the newly-enfranchised immigrant voters to the fact that:

"Von Halpine trinkt zwei lager Bier,
And O'Reilly wears th' Green."
As illustrious and as popular as he was, Halpine's final exit, although dramatic, was ignominious. He was found dead in a New York hotel room, having overdosed himself with chloroform, some say in an unsuccessful attempt to wean himself from th' demon rum. Sic transit gloria mundi.

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