There’s nothing new under the sun

Heres an excerpt from a fascinating speech by Republican Senator Charles Sumner in 1872, deriding President Ulysses S Grant for being “first in war, first in nepotism” during his first term. Grant of course won re-election anyway, with a pro-Grant newspaper accusing Sumner of crawling “bedaubed and bedraggled in the slime of our curbstone politics,” demonstrating once again that there’s nothing new under the sun, and that among the more notable changes over the last 150 years is the impoverishment of the vocabulary used by American politicians and propaganda.

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