The Battle of New Orleans The Hollywood Way

Monday, May 9, 2011 \AM\.\Mon\.

American history tends to be ignored by Hollywood and therefore it is unusual for a battle to receive treatment in a Hollywood feature film.  It is doubly unusual for a battle to be treated in two Hollywood feature films, but that is the case for the battle of New Orleans.  The 1938 film was directed by the legendary Cecil B. Demille and had Frederic March, an actor largely forgotten today but a major star in his time, as Jean Lafitte.  Two future stars have bit parts in the film:  Anthony Quinn and Walter Brennan.  Hugh Sothern who portrayed Andrew Jackson would also portray Jackson in 1939 in the film Old Hickory. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andrew Jackson: Hero, Heel or Both?

Thursday, May 5, 2011 \AM\.\Thu\.

Andrew Jackson has always been controversial.  He is the only man in American history to spawn two political movements:  the Democrat Party which he founded, and the Whig Party, and after it the Republican Party, founded in opposition to Jackson and his policies.  In his lifetime he was celebrated as the brilliant general who won the battle of New Orleans, and condemned as a frontier duelist and near murderer;  he lived one of the great love stories of American history, and was condemned as an adulterer;  condemned as a pitiless persecutor of Indians, he is the only American president to adopt an Indian child;  a champion of freedom for the common man, he was a slaver-holder who never said a word against the Peculiar Institution.  Jackson and his legacy will be debated as long as there is a United States of America. Read the rest of this entry »


60-40: The Party of Jackson Creates A Jacksonian Moment

Monday, December 21, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

By a vote of 60-40 early this morning in the Senate, the Democrats, with not a Republican vote, voted to cede power to the Republicans in 2010.  The Democrats thought they were voting to invoke cloture on the ObamaCare bill, but the consequences of the passage of this bill, assuming that it passes the House, will likely be to transform a bad year for the Democrats next year into an epoch shaping defeat.  As Jay Cost brilliantly notes here at RealClearPolitics:

“Make no mistake. This bill is so unpopular because it has all the characteristics that most Americans find so noxious about Washington.

It stinks of politics. Why is there such a rush to pass this bill now? It’s because the President of the United States recognizes that it is hurting his numbers, and he wants it off the agenda. It might not be ready to be passed. In fact, it’s obviously not ready! Yet that doesn’t matter. The President wants this out of the way by his State of the Union Address. This is nakedly self-interested political calculation by the President – nothing more and nothing less.

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The Devil and Andrew Jackson

Monday, February 16, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

the-devilold-hickory

I have never liked President’s Day.  Why celebrate loser presidents like Jimmy Carter and James Buchanan, non-entities like Millard Fillmore, bad presidents, like Grant, with great presidents like Washington and Lincoln?  We have had other great presidents, and one of them, although Republican as I am I bridle on bestowing the title upon him, was Andrew Jackson.  No one was ever neutral about Old Hickory.  He is described as the father of the Democrat party.  Actually, both major parties owe their existence to him.   The Whig party, the main ancestor of the modern Republican party, was founded in opposition to Jackson’s policies.

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