Maryland Blogger Alliance

Alliance FAQs

Latest MBA Posts

February 17, 2008

Soccer Dad: Still the (first) one

Posted by Soccer Dad

Don Surber observes that the Clinton and Obama campaigns are buying votes and concludes:

Funny how liberals screamed about money corrupting politics. Now they have the dough and nary a word is said by the good government people in protest.

He's not bothered by the fact that they are buying support but at the way the practice is accepted by those who would presume to be above such sort of "corruption."

Of course, vote buying is a time honored tradition of the American political system. And this President's day weekend, it's fitting to recall that the practice goes back to ... our very first President, George Washington.

As Pogue told Knight Ridder reporter Matt Stearns in a 2002 interview, Washington viewed the liquor business from both a business and political perspective. It made him money and got him votes, Pogue explained, since it was customary at the time for politicians to treat voters to liquor at Virginia’s polling places.

Washington once lost a campaign when he failed to do so, Pogue said. “From then on, he always treated. And he always won.”

But then, I suspect that the Father of our Country's (other) views on alcohol wouldn't be so accepted nowadays.

Although it’s not known if Washington drank his own whiskey — he was a light drinker who favored rum and fortified wines — he was convinced of the salutary effects of alcohol on his troops as they were battling the British. As he wrote to a congressional leader in 1777, “The benefits from moderate use of liquor have been experienced in all armies and are not to be disputed.”

Or, as he instructed the commissary general of purchases for the Continental Army in 1777, “There should always be a sufficient quantity of spirits with the army, to furnish moderate supplies to the troops … such as when they are marching in hot or cold weather, in camp in wet, on fatigue or in working parties, it is so essential that it is not to be dispensed with.”

I suspect that a soldier nowadays imbibing so much as a bit of extra Nyquil might find himself on the way out of the army very quickly, whether or not the beneficial effects of alcohol are disputed.