The Democratic Party has turned into the Church of Perpetual Repentance. The occasion is the annual Jefferson-Jackson dinners, long held by Democrats in each state to raise money and fire up the troops. The name honors Thomas Jefferson, who founded the party, and Andrew Jackson, who redefined it by wresting control from the hands of the East Coast oligarchy that had come to dominate it. But these credentials are evidently not strong enough to retain their names at the party events in Missouri, Connecticut, Georgia and others sure to follow. Jefferson, as all schoolchildren know, was a slaveholder, and Jackson was a Native American slaughtering apologist for the enslavement of African Americans. This action follows hard on the heels of the demotion of the Confederate battle flag to justifiable exile in dusty museums. But Jefferson and Jackson are not the rebel flag, a symbol of treason as well as slavery. True, neither Jefferson nor Jackson could rise above prejudices of their day, but they are too important as historical figures and central to the evolution of the Democratic Party to be banished and, by implication, disgraced.
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