If You Think Political Rhetoric is Tough Now . . .

Consider the close of Thaddeus Stevens’ speech on the articles of impeachment against Andrew Johnson:

“Unfortunate man, thus surrounded, hampered, tangled in the meshes of his own wickedness–unfortunate, unhappy man, behold your doom.”

Sounds to me like a great tagline for a negative campaign ad.

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3 Responses

  1. Steven Lubet says:

    Thaddeus Stevens was a great abolitionist and a great lawyer. Among many other things, he successfully represented the defendants in the “Christiana Slave Riot” trial and he sponsored the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act.

    Although the photograph above is pretty dour, he was actually known for his sharp wit. The speech against Johnson was probably delivered sardonically, which makes it all the better.

  2. Ross Hetrick says:

    Thaddeus Stevens was the funniest and most outspoken politician in American history. He has also had the longest lasting influence on our country through the 14th Amendment, his greatest gift to the United States. If you would like to learn more about Thaddeus Stevens and help promote his legacy, visit our website at thaddeusstevenssociety.com.

  3. Bruce Boyden says:

    “I’m Thad Stevens, and I approve this message.”