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A History Of American Political Mascots

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bill-swift - June 30, 2012

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare was constitutional. Now, we are staying the hell away from that firestorm. We are lovers, not fighters here at Egotastic! Still, no matter what your beliefs we can all agree how politically divided we are in this country. It's become a lot like a sports rivalry. Your team sucks, your city sucks, and you and your mom suck too, etc. Sports franchises and political parties both have corporate sponsors and members that get caught banging strippers. Another thing that sports teams and political parties have in common is mascots. So, here is a glimpse at political party mascots in the United "Bad Ass" States of America.

The Republican Elephant

No, it's not because GOP'ers like Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich are fat. The Republican elephant actually started as a slam against the party. In 1874, old beardy U.S. Grant was thinking of running for a third term as president. Only, his two previous administrations had been more corrupt than an Atlantic City cock fight. Political cartoonist Thomas Nast was not a fan of the former general and decided to have a little fun with him. The week he did his cartoon some animals escaped from the NY zoo and ran amok in the city. So, Nast portrayed the Republicans as fat sluggish elephants getting stuck in the tar pits of inflation and repudiation. The Republicans co-opted the elephant as an F-U to Nast and all of their opponents. It's like gay people taking the derogatory term "queer" and making it theirs, only the gays have better fashion sense.

The Democratic Donkey

One might wonder why any political party would want a jackass as their mascot. That's just leaving yourself open to jokes. The donkey similarly began as an insult. Andrew Jackson, in addition to being a genocidal sociopath, was the most iconic Democrat of the 19th century. He was famous for being stubborn, strong-willed, and immovable. His opponents called him a jackass, so Jackson took that mantle on with pride. After he left office, the Democrats felt that they were carrying on his legacy so they kept the donkey, a symbol of Jackson himself, as their logo. If they really wanted to represent Jackson they should have gone with a picture of him shooting an Indian in the face.

The Progressive Party Bull Moose

There never was nor will there ever be a president more bad ass than Teddy Roosevelt. This guy wrestled foreign dignitaries in the White House, was a cowboy, and a rough riding warrior. He was also sort of a reverse Noah, killing two of every kind of beast. In 1910, Teddy retired after two terms as president. His successor was fatty POTUS William Howard Taft. Teddy thought that Taft had screwed up so bad in his term as president that he decided to run against him. The problem was that the Republicans were backing Taft as the incumbent candidate. Teddy said to hell with it and created his own party, the Progressives. One day during a speech, someone shot Roosevelt in the chest. A normal man would have fallen to the floor bleeding, but not TR. Not only did he not seek immediate medical care, he friggin' finished the speech! When he was asked how he felt he said, "Why, I feel as strong as a bull moose!". The bull moose became a symbol of the Progressive party until it dissolved in 1916.

The Libertarian Penguin

Why a penguin? Especially since libertarians are supposedly such individualists. Didn't they see the herd mentality of these birds in March of the Penguins? Still, everyone loves penguins. The Liberty Penguin, or LP for short, has never officially been endorsed by the national Libertarian party. However, the Libertarians in Tennessee, North Carolina, Utah, Hawaii, Delaware and Iowa have all made this fish eating Antarctic hater of big government their official mascot. LP is often depicted wearing the crown and carrying the torch of the Statue of Liberty. I guess Libertarians don't like mannish looking French chicks.

The Tea Party Hamburger Helper Glove

I keep seeing what looks like the talking Hamburger Helper glove at Tea Party rallies. If you looked at the coverage of the Supreme Court Obamacare protests you probably saw him. I'm not sure what a talking oven mitt that sells prepackaged stuff to mix in with your ground beef has to do with the aims of the Tea Party movement. If they were going to adopt any food related corporate logo it should have been a bottle of Sam Adams Boston Lager. After all, Adams was the guy who actually led the Boston Tea Party on their drunken late night raid on Limey tea.

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