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About This Blog

Rum, Romanism and Rebellion has been termed “cheeky,” “snarky” and at times “irritating.” It aims to chronicle politics from a left-of-center perspective. It also aims for what one Phoenix band once called “Blatant Localism,” concentrating on the politics of Southern Arizona (what we Tucsonenses refer to as Baja Arizona or more obscurely, Pimeria Alta). Not that it doesn’t ever venture further afield, mind you.

What is with the title?

The phrase “Rum, Romanism and Rebellion” was an attack against Grover Cleveland in the 1884 presidential race. In that race, New York was going to be crucial and close. The state was up until then reliably Republican, but Cleveland was governor of the state. Rev. Dr. Samuel Burchard, a Protestant preacher, spoke at an event attended by Cleveland’s opponent, James Blaine, and intended to condemn reformer Republicans (“mugwumps”) who were jumping the fence to support Cleveland. Burchard intended to tie the mugwumps and Democrats to intemperance, Catholicism (then considered a dangerous foreign ideology) and southerners, three things that were not supposed to be popular among staid Northern Protestants. He said:

We are Republicans, and don’t propose to leave our party and identify ourselves with the party whose antecedents have been rum, Romanism, and rebellion.

The statement backfired when Democrats made sure that the statement, and Blaine’s apparent approval of it, was circulated among the Irish population in the Northeast. Blaine narrowly lost New York (as well as Connecticut) and thus the election.

About Your Host

Not Leonardo SquadroneYour host, “Tedski,” is a long time southern Arizona Democratic activist. He’s worked on the campaigns of Jim McNulty, Richard Kimball, Steve Leal, Raúl Grijalva, Truman Spangrud, Bob Kerrey, Bill Bradley, Marsha Arzberger and Wesley Clark. He also served a four-year stint as a Vice Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party, and two years as an officer of the Young Democrats of America.

He resides in Tucson in the People’s Republic of Baja Arizona.

Aside from politics, Tedski is a music enthusiast who owns a Vihuela, Melodica and a Danelectro six-string and has been known to play them much to the chagrin of people nearby. He is a fan of Johnny Cash, King Crimson, Link Wray and Sleater-Kinney. He considers the zenith of his rock fandom the day that Fall lead singer Mark E. Smith threw a mike stand at him.

Tedski is also a soccer fan and occasional player. He supports the New England Revolution, and points out that he was doing this before they were winning games. He worked for the Tucson Amigos, a now defunct minor league soccer team, and warmed the bench for one game against the San Fernando Valley Heroes in 1999.

His musings on other topics can be found on Ted’s Polish-Mexican Page.