The History Lesson
The beloved symbol of the Democratic party… was created by a fierce Republican.
His name was Thomas Nast, and he was the most powerful political cartoonist ever. Abraham Lincoln said Nast’s cartoons helped him win re-election. Lincoln, of course, was a Republican. Nast wouldn’t help Democrats win anything.
Why? Well, among other things, Nast supported Lincoln’s Civil War — but lots of Democrats opposed it. In fact, when Lincoln’s war secretary Edwin Stanton died, some Dem-owned newspapers disrespected him in their obituaries.
Outraged, Nast fired off his most infamous cartoon. It portrayed Stanton as a proud, dead lion, and the anti-war Democrats as a crazed jackass, kicking the corpse. Dems weren’t super-pleased with the insult. But Nast — and then others — kept trotting out the Dem donkey in cartoons. And over the years, the party embraced it as their symbol.
Meanwhile, in 1874, the donkey got a companion. When Nast first portrayed the Republican party as an elephant. He drew it fleeing from a jackass… straight off the edge of a cliff.
The Jackass Neck
Drawn up by Alex Bookless, bar manager of The Passenger in Washington DC.
- ¾ ounce Grande Classico
- 1 ½ ounce Old Weller 107 bourbon (or any high-proof — for a donkey kick)
- Equal parts Ginger ale and soda water
- Orange Peel
Peel the orange in a long spiral (this is the “neck” — a variant of the lemon peel from the classic “Horse’s Neck” drink). Line the inside of a Tom Collins glass with the peel, and add ice. Pour in the remaining ingredients. Share with friends across the aisle — er, bar — and place liquoring over bickering.