Subjective Objectivity – The Blog of The Reasonable Man

November 20, 2010

This made me chuckle

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikeshotgun @ 1:15 am

Loving as I do a bit of the ol’ Obama/Lincoln comparisons, I was trying to figure out who Sarah Palin’s 1860s equivalent would be in terms of idiocy and general obnoxiousness. I eventually landed on the Ohio Democrat* and “wily agitator” Clement Vallandigham, an outspoken Copperhead** who imposed himself upon history as a martyr of the Lincoln administration. 

What sealed the deal was the almost comedic circumstances of his death. Per Wikipedia:

Vallandigham died in 1871 in Lebanon, Ohio, at the age of 50, after accidentally shooting himself with a pistol. He was representing a defendant in a murder case for killing a man in a barroom brawl.

Done deal! But then I read on…

Vallandigham wished to prove the victim had in fact killed himself while trying to draw his pistol from a pocket while rising from a kneeling position. As Vallandigham conferred with fellow defense attorneys in his hotel room, he decided to show them how he would demonstrate this to the jury. Grabbing a pistol he believed to be unloaded, he put it in his pocket and enacted the events as he imagined them to have happened, shooting himself in the process. Vallandigham proved his point, since the defendant, Thomas McGehan, was subsequently acquitted and released from custody.

Fantastic!*** There is nothing in this world so rich as an ironic death. 

*The Democrats were the “bad guys” back then. Not all of them, but the vast, vast majority.

**A Copperhead was a Democrat who not only supported peace with the so-called Confederate States of America, but advocated treason against the government of the United States.

***I don’t celebrate the death of my political enemies, and do not wish Sarah Palin a similar fate, but Vallandigham was a man who essentially agitated for compromise with a belligerent force of treason who fought ultimately for the right for one class of men to hold property in the lives of another class of men. But when you’ve spent as much time studying a war that claimed the lives of over 600,000 men as I have, one dickhead’s idiot fate ain’t really a big stake in things.

Cross-posted at Something Quotable

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