Tammany Hall, now a metaphor for Democrat corruption, began as a real place. It was a building, in fact, the headquarters of the New York Democratic Party. During the 19th century and early 20th centuries, Tammany Hall was the foremost center of power and financing in the Democratic Party nationwide.
The origins of Tammany Hall date back to the 1790s as a fraternal organization, The Society of St. Tammany. No, there was never a real Saint Tammany. Anyway, along came one of the archvillians of American history, Aaron Burr. Senator Burr took over the society and made it a political organization, which evolved over time into a pillar of the Democratic Party.
In the late 19th century, Tammany Hall, aka the New York City Democratic Party, stole staggering amounts of taxpayer funds – billions of dollars in today’s money.
The head honcho of Tammany Hall was William “Boss” Tweed, a former Democrat congressman. In addition to larceny, Boss Tweed’s Democrat gangsters also excelled in vote fraud.
Tammany Hall faded in the 1930s as it lost its reason for existence. With the New Deal, why should the Democrat leadership have a stand-alone organization devoted to shifting money from the government to their own coffers when the federal government could do it for them? It was at this point that the Democratic Party became the Party of Government.
Now, seven decades later, the Democrat leadership, indeed all Democrats in Congress who vote for the stimulus package and socialized medicine and all the payoffs of Obama’s agenda do so knowing full well they are shovelling billions of dollars from taxpayers to their own coffers. They’re all Boss Tweed now.
By the way, Boss Tweed died in prison.
Michael Zak is a popular speaker to Republican organizations around the nation, showing office-holders and candidates and activists how they would benefit tremendously from appreciating the heritage of our Grand Old Party. Back to Basics for the Republican Party is his acclaimed history of the GOP cited by Clarence Thomas in a Supreme Court decision. His Grand Old Partisan blog celebrates more than fifteen decades of Republican heroes and heroics. See www.RepublicanBasics.com for more information.