1984 Fritz n Tits San Francisco Democratic Convention T-Shirt

Liberty Maniacs

What the hell is this? Other than a pretty great gag gift, it's taken from actual shirts printed after Democrats held a rowdy convention in San Francisco at the Moscone Center in mid-July 1984 before getting a major walloping in November. 

History was made when Geraldine Ferraro was chosen as the first woman to be on a major political party’s presidential ticket. But pockets of dissatisfaction had sprung up among Democrats then, especially at the top of the ticket. And the sexist jokes were ubiquitous on both sides. 

While former Vice President Walter Mondale appeared to have the necessary number of delegates to win the nomination, his victory hinged on the superdelegate count. In the hunt were Colorado Sen. Gary Hart, who had won more state primaries and caucuses but fewer popular votes. He was second in the delegate count with 1,164 to Mondale’s 1,606. Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson was also a major player at the convention, having finished third in the delegate count with 358 and receiving 18 percent of the popular vote.

Hart and Jackson had only slim chances of ripping the nomination from Mondale, but they intended to influence the platform, much in the way Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders did in 2016 and 2020.

At a meeting with the California delegation on the first day of the convention, Hart told the delegates that he planned to win the presidential nomination, with Ferraro as his running mate. He said in an aggressive speech to the delegation: “A woman has become a consensus candidate of this convention even as it convenes, I am pleased to join that consensus.”

In reality, though, Hart struck an accommodating tone that afternoon at a conference with Mondale and Jackson, saying the three would have to work together. Two days later, Mondale won on the first ballot. New Jersey’s delegates put him over the top, and Hart went to the podium and moved to approve Mondale’s nomination by acclamation. Jackson would also take to the podium in an effort to sooth his delegates and call the San Francisco convention “the playoffs,” declaring, “We leave here Friday going all the way to the Super Bowl and the White House.”

The Republican nominating convention followed the Democratic one, and vendors at the GOP event in Dallas were ready with campaign buttons about the Democratic ticket. Mondale’s nickname was Fritz, and buttons mocked the Democrats with variants of "Fritz and Tits." Another showed Mondale on all fours, like a dog, with Ferraro holding his leash and saying, "Hurry up, Fritz!"

There were others, too: one button reading "Keep Wally and the Beaver Out of the White House" [and a variant, which might have been Republican irony or some misguided Democrat’s idea of humor, "Vote for Wally and the Beaver in ’84"].

The Democrats would not come close to toppling incumbent President Ronald Reagan, of course. Mondale won only one state: his home state of Minnesota.  What's considered stupefyingly bald sexism today was only a chuckle-garnering crack in 1984.

• 100% ring-spun cotton
• Sport Grey is 90% ring-spun cotton, 10% polyester
• Dark Heather is 65% polyester, 35% cotton
• 4.5 oz/y² (153 g/m²)
• Pre-shrunk
• Shoulder-to-shoulder taping
• Quarter-turned to avoid crease down the center




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