In the age of fighting sail it was not uncommon for captains of rival navies to know or befriend each other as Captain Issac Hull of the USS Constitution and Captain James Dacres of the HMS Guerriere did.

Before the war of 1812 Hull had Dacres on the Constitution as a guest. Dacres, who had; served in the Royal Navy since he was 8 years old, came from naval family and would eventually retire an Admiral had little respect for the American Ship and its odd design. He considered it no match for his own Guerriere based on his years of experience.

Strangely enough his attitude didn’t change after August 19th 1812 when Hull and Constitution battered his ship so badly that it had to be blown up. At his court marshal (required when a ship was defeated) the court acquitted him noting that his ship was French built and that the loss of Guerriere’s masts..

was occasioned more by their defective state than the fire of the enemy.

I thought of this today when I saw this clip from Morning Joe concerning the Florida Straw poll:

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Joe Scarborough: Well lets look at the number really quick and a couple of things to bring out of here. One is that Herman Cain will never be elected or nominated or win a primary but it was a very big win for him…

Considering his total was higher than Perry & Romney combined I’d say that was a big win. After discounting said “big win” Joe says the following about 4th place finisher Rick Santorum:

…but if you look at Rick Santorum at 10.9% I think you’re seeing a guy who is having more of a presence of late and a guy who is creeping into the top-tier of Iowa.

Now I like Rick Santorum but after Florida Cain also finished 3rd in Michigan. Santorum was near the bottom.

Robert Stacy McCain notes that a lot of the political class seems to be unable to process events in front of them. He has a much longer memory than the folks on the panel

Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it? T-Paw was “the only candidate . . . with any real chance,” and Ben Smith didn’t even bother to name the other candidates in the Greeneville, S.C., debate. But the other four are all still running, while Tim Pawlenty quit the race six weeks ago.

One of those candidates with no “real chance” was Herman Cain, who stomped Pawlenty like Godzilla stomped Tokyo that May night in South Carolina. And it was Cain’s victory that was the first hint that maybe T-Paw didn’t have “any real chance” after all.

Nobody at that time expected that Pawlenty was on his way to presidential oblivion

Certainly not the Morning Joe cast who had T-Paw as a regular guest and only today acknowledged that Jon Huntsman is going nowhere.

It would take many more embarrassing defeats for the reality of the situation to cause the Royal Navy to forbid their frigate captains to take on their American counterparts one on one. It remains to be seen how many times Herman Cain has to confound expectations for the MSM to take him seriously.

Exit question: Rather than simply asserting that Herman Cain can not win the nomination or a single primary, is it too much to ask the keepers of conventional wisdom to explain why not?

My reviews of Stephen Budiansky’s soon to be released volume Perilous Fight America’s Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas 1812-1815 are now available both at Lunch.com here and at Amazon.com via the Amazon vine program here.

If you are looking for a book that is a play by play of the cannon balls of the fleet such as Preble’s boys you will likely be disappointed but Budiansky does cover a lot of aspects of the War that have been given short shift by other historians.

Oh and I suspect the William Bainbridge fan club will take Budiansky off their Christmas list.

In June of 1812 the United States of America declared War on Great Briton over a variety of causes not the least of which was the impressment of sailors from American merchant ships into the British Navy (which was at the time involved in a life and death struggle with Napoleon and France). Four months before war was officially declared President Madison decided that the 16 American warships’ that composed the US navy best use were as shore batteries defending harbors. Being that England had 600 ships this was seemingly a rational and logical decision.

On Election Day 2008, Barack H. Obama won the presidency winning states such as North Carolina and Virginia which Democrats had not taken in years and retaining democratic strongholds such as Massachusetts and New Jersey; while in congress Democrats made solid gains winning a large congressional majority in the house and a super-majority in the Senate.

On every major network Pundits proclaimed it the start of a new democratic Era. Books poured out about the president, T-Shirts were selling briskly, a massive crowd turned up for the inauguration, and off in England Russell T. Davies was writing a script for the final episode of David Tennant’s run as the 10th Doctor Who’s with the climatic event of the first part was to take place as the world awaited a plan by President Obama to solve the world wide economic crisis. Pundits a plenty reasoned that the era of Reagan was over. Republicans such as Chris Buckley and David Brooks talked about the power of Obama and David Frum began his Frum Forum determined to take the Republican Party away from what they considered the conservative extreme and back to the middle where it could one day triumph.

In February 1812 two American Captains in Washington on separate errands heard of the decision of the President and naval department; Captain William Bainbridge and Captain Charles Stewart went in before Naval Secretary Hamilton and made their case, they were so persuasive that he arranged a meeting with President James Madison.

Shortly after the election Rush Limbaugh, unapologetic defender of conservatism and the single most popular person on Radio declared that it was not the time to stop fighting. He maintained that the election was not a mandate against conservatism, indeed it was only the inclusion of Conservative Republican Sarah Palin that gave the campaign any energy and accounted for the only brief lead in the polls the campaign enjoyed. As Governor Sarah Palin returned to Alaska where Democrats, mindful of the energy she brought to the Republican side; unleashed a string of frivolous ethics complaints determined to neutralize her once and for all, Rush declared publicly on his radio show about President Obama: “I hope he fails”. In February he was scheduled to be the keynote and final speaker at CPAC where he would face a crowd of conservative activists at their lowest ebb of their political lives.…

Continue reading “4 Americans Two Campaigns Bainbridge Stewart Limbaugh Palin”