Including myself first and foremost, may I suggest that we don't understand the antebellum political landscape in Alabama. Without that foundation we are ill-suited to make judgements on wartime political opinion, based as it was on what had passed before. Most of us recognize political posturing and campaign rhetoric easily in our own time. When we hear that Republicans are the party of the rich and want to poison the water and starve the elderly, folks who have heard these claims for years recognize them as standard boiler-plate material for Democratic speech writers.
Politicians in antebellum times employed similar hyperbole. However, like the folks who will swear that wrestling events aren't staged, we tend to read politically based statements from 150 years ago and swallow them hook, line and sinker. IMHO Mr. Thompson's statement is based on claims made long ago originally designed to inspire party support. It must have been effective. Alabama hill country districts were called "Avalanche" counties because they always returned heavy majorities for Democratic candidates.
J. Mills Thornton III Politics and Power in a Slave Society: Alabama, 1800-1860 describes party evolution and political leaders in Alabama from statehood to secession. During that period the two main parties were the Whigs and the Democrats, Democrats usually being in control. After the Mexican War a third faction arose led by William Lowndes Yancey, the Southern Rights men. Neither Democrat nor Whig, they gained little traction in Alabama before Harpers Ferry. Just prior to that in the election for governor in 1859, A. B. Moore, a conservative Democrat, defeated the Southern Rights candidate by 4 to 1 margin.
All this changed almost overnight.
On Nov. 6, 1861 Joshua P. Coman of Limestone County wrote his colleague, George S. Houston,
"Mr. Yancey . . . advised the secessionists to act inside of the Democratic Party, watching for a time to disrupt, to fire the Southern heart and the precitate into a revolution. This is now I believe the only and best course for Conservatives."
An anti-Yancey candidate for office in Alabama "would not merely be beaten, but would have 'his posteriors so ricked and mauled that he is bound to pass bloody urine for six months thereafter.'"
We are taught that the election of Abraham Lincoln and secession of the Southern states were the last two events in a sequence which led to Civil War. In fact, men who spoke in favor of secession prior to 1860 were having their political posteriors "ricked and mauled". How revolution took place within a matter of eighteen months should be no small wonder.