On They Also Ran…
Gerald Lunderville Says August 12th, 2012 at 2:42 pm
I agree. He hates Henry Clay with a passion, but I have to agree with his assessment of William J. Bryan, who would have been as bad a President as any right wing Republican conservative today who wants everyone to be a staunch Bible-thumping Christian.

William Jennings Bryan.  Moved the Democratic Party to the Liberal pole for economics and would only return to the Clevelandite standard-bearer with Alton Parker in 1904.  But here he was too  chasing after shams — Silver!  Bimetallism! — quickly shown to have no bearing on anything, and which the Populists accuse of somewhat narrow-casting their program and policy.  The endgame is that the part of his political legacy that should be the positive against some fierce negatives in “social policy” is strained and tainted.

His supporters at the 1896 convention include a rogue’s gallery such as the Terrorist Benjamin Tillman (only recently had his statue removed in North Carolina), who gave the earlier speech on Silver and was perfectly demagogic —

And if you go by the “company you keep” rule — well, there is this.  Comes when your last party convention you make a valiant fight to keep the organization from being categorically condemned, and culturally you make yourself a rube by standing firmly against Science, Education, and Evolution.

On Henry Clay
The tongue of Henry Clay had no equal in Washington. He could spill a flow of words into any subject and the next day spill an equal number into the opposite stand. He believed himself to be forthright and sincere on every swing of the cycle.

Hm.   A long career, full of compromises, and consistency is the hobgoblin of simple minds.  And Irving Stone pretty much considers Henry Clay William Jennings Bryan’s doppleganger.

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