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Had the Republican National Committee tweeters read some history, they might have thought twice about their weird St. Patrick’s Day dig at Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke.

drunken beto

The tweet resurrected the drunken Irishman stereotype.

A similar slur helped cost the GOP the 1884 presidential election—more on that in a minute.

O’Rourke, 46, was arrested for drunk driving when he was 26. He's admitted that his DWI bust was “a serious mistake for which there is no excuse,” the Washington Postreported.

Nonetheless, the RNC, Trump-like, cut loose with xenophobia, tweeting, “On this St. Paddy's Day, a special message from noted Irishman Robert Francis O'Rourke. Please drink responsibly.”

The tweet was illustrated with his hangdog police mugshot and O'Rourke wearing a a garishly green leprechaun-style hat, with a shamrock stuck in the band. 

The tweet was like donning orange on St. Pat's Day and waving the Union Jack while crooning "The Battle of the Boyne." Hence, you'd almost expect it was a Democratic dirty trick. But the tweet was genuine GOP.

Never mind that that a lot of Catholics of Irish ancestry are Republicans. Forget the tweet's timing on the day when everybody is supposed to be at least a spiritual son or daughter of Erin.

The tweet was like donning orange on St. Pat's Day and waving the Union Jack while crooning "The Battle of the Boyne." Hence, you'd almost expect it was a Democratic dirty trick. But the tweet was genuine GOP.

Enter the Rev. Samuel D. Burchard.

The country was set to go to the polls on Nov. 4, 1884. On Oct. 29, Burchard gave a speech to an assemblage of Protestant Republican clergy in New York City.

The Presbyterian parson and Centre College grad dissed the Democrats as the party of “rum, Romanism and rebellion.” Republicans, he added, "are loyal to our flag."

James G. Blaine, the GOP presidential candidate, was on the platform. Either he didn’t hear the remark, or, not wishing to rile the faithful, he ignored it.

Nonetheless, everybody got the message. “Rum” and “Romanism” was vintage Catholic and Irish-baiting reminiscent of the pre-Civil War, nativist Know-Nothing Party. Officially the American Party, the Know-Nothings ranted against Catholics and foreigners.

Drunken Beto

In Burchard's day, many, if not most, Irish were devout Democrats.

(“Rebellion” referred to the white South, then the Democratic stronghold. Most leading secessionists were white supremacist Democrats who claimed disunion was the only way to save slavery from Abraham Lincoln and his abolitionist "Black Republican Party." The current Republican and Democratic parties are decidedly different from their 19th-century antecedents.)

The Democrats got busy printing up fliers that quoted Burchard. They circulated the handbills widely in Irish Catholic neighborhoods in the Big Apple and elsewhere, according to Presidential Campaigns by Paul F. Boller Jr.

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“…By the time Blaine got around to disavowing the clergyman it was too late,” the historian added.

Democrat Grover Cleveland won the Empire State by a mere 1,149 votes out of more than a million cast. Consequently, Blaine lost the election, Boller also wrote.

“As the Lord sent upon us an Ass in the shape of a Preacher and a rain storm, to lessen our vote in New York, I am disposed to feel resigned to the dispensation of defeat, which flowed directly from both agencies," Blaine lamented in a private letter.

Of course, Democrats have ripped the RNC tweet. But some Republicans are already distancing themselves from it, The Post also reported. (Not surprisingly, it's been radio silence about the tweet from the White House.)

'Do better, @GOP. Be better,” admonishedRep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.).

“If you think you’re funny or clever by stereotyping and making fun of any race or nationality to score political points, you’re an idiot, and you should probably not tweet,"chided Doug Stafford, a chief aide to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

John Weaver, a GOP strategist who worked on Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s 2016 presidential campaign, blasted the tweet as “vile” and “indicative of the bottom feeding” of the party led by Trump and Ronna McDaniel, the GOP chairwoman and niece of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).

“With Irish family members, as an American and a world citizen, this is an attack on all races,” Weaver also said.

(Despite such scattered protestations, 90 percent of Republicans support Trump, according to the latest Gallup poll.)

Not coincidentally, the GOP is also the party of union-busting. (Lincoln was sympathetic to labor, but pro-union Republicans are an endangered species just about everywhere.)

"The labor-hater and labor-baiter is virtually always a twin-headed creature spewing anti-Negro epithets from one mouth and anti-labor propaganda from the other mouth," Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said.

The anti-union Trump panders, 24-7, to racism, sexism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, religious intolerance and phony patriotism. The GOP of "Lincoln and Liberty" is long gone.

The Kentucky-born Lincoln despised Know-Nothingism. "I am not a Know-Nothing," he wrote in an 1855 letter to his Louisville friend Joshua Fry Speed. "That is certain. How could I be?"

"How can any one who abhors the oppression of [N]egroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that 'all men are created equal.' We now practically read it 'all men are created equal, except [N]egroes.'

[dc]'W[/dc]hen the Know-Nothings get control, it will read 'all men are created equal, except [N]egroes, and foreigners, and [C]atholics.' When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty-to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy."

Berry Craig

The Great Emancipator must be spinning in his grave at the nearly all-white Trump Republican Party of bigotry, bias and bile.

Berry Craig