Dick Lincoln shoulda studied history


Abraham Lincoln. Here’s a guy who didn’t believe in slavery, but his first priority was keeping the union. I’ve got a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation in my office, and if you read through it, most of the document is those states and areas where emancipation doesn’t apply because those folks are allied with the union so they can keep their slaves.

Here’s a wartime President making a compromise around the greatest moral issue that the country ever faced, because he understood that his job was to win the war and maintain the union. Can you imagine how the Huffington Post would have reported on that? It would have been blistering. “Lincoln Sells Out Slaves.” There would be protests, and we’re going to run a third party guy.

Little Dick has been comparing himself to Honest Abe since he first started running for POTUS. Actually, since he emerged on the scene he’s been comparing himself to Lincoln, Reagan, FDR, MLK, Malcolm X, Jesus, and/or LeBron every other day. But a surprisingly lucid Joan Walsh sets the record straight:

The New York Tribune’s Horace Greeley repeatedly criticized Lincoln for tarrying on emancipation, most famously with an 1862 open letter in his paper, “The Prayer of Twenty Millions,” in which he told Lincoln that he was “sorely disappointed and deeply pained by the policy you seem to be pursuing with regard to the slaves of rebels.” When Lincoln finally issued his Emancipation Proclamation, Greeley praised it. But the editor then began to sour on the bloody war itself, as well as the way Lincoln was fighting it it, and he undermined the president by publicly seeking ways to end it.

So news and opinion journals of Lincoln’s day that shared Lincoln’s larger goal of emancipation for all slaves did indeed criticize the president’s sometimes halting moves on slavery. I also have a problem with the notion that the Huffington Post represents liberals, progressives, or their interest groups. The Huffington Post is a business, and Arianna Huffington, who’s been an entrepreneur of ideas, and of herself, since Obama was a college student, shouldn’t be used as a stand-in for the left.

Three points:

1) Advocates for issues should never tie themselves to candidates or parties. Therein lies corruption and co-option.

2) Advocates for issues should never be satisfied with anything less than total victory. The First Rule of Loaves does not apply.

3) Arianna Huffington started out on the right and, seeing that the political winds were changing, abandoned her conservative positions and became a progressive. She speaks only for herself.

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34 Responses to Dick Lincoln shoulda studied history

  1. Rocky Hussein Squirrel says:
  2. yttik says:

    I think the part that Obama missed somewhere along the way is that our great leaders, the ones we honor, usually don’t earn our respect until several decades after they’ve passed away. While they’re in office, we draw insulting cartoons about them, ridicule them in editorials, try to impeach them, scream press questions at them.

    I really believe Obama took the job as Prez because he wanted adoring crowds and constant praise. It doesn’t work that way, far better men than him didn’t get it. This is America, no matter how important you think you are, we practice irreverence as a matter of national pride.

    The presidency isn’t a prize Obama, we tried to tell you that. Nobody’s going to pat you on the back and give you a gold star for showing up.

    • myiq2xu says:

      FDR and Kennedy died in office, which immediately ended all criticism and elevated them to sainthood.

      Until they died they took their lumps like the rest.

      • WMCB says:

        True. FDR did a lot of good things, but also badly abused and overreached executive power, to the point of getting a bit scary. Kennedy dragged his feet on civil rights (Bobby was much more committed on that) and was muddled on foreign policy.

        I admire this or that about political leaders, past or present, but I don’t idolize any of them.

        • DeniseVB says:

          FDR is why we have two term limits. Now I’m wondering if a one term limit would be better?

        • WMCB says:

          Yeah, FDR would have gladly become a dictator if they had let him. He had some good ideas, and did some great things, but he was indeed one power-hungry man. That’s why we need rule of law – because even well-intentioned people who are impatient and frustrated and want to do good can become tyrants in the end if we allow it.

        • Dario says:

          FDR would have gladly become a dictator if they had let him. He had some good ideas, and did some great things, but he was indeed one power-hungry man.

          I believe that most of those who seek power want it and don’t want to relinquish. A few that have served as presidents did not seek a second term because of their unpopularity, like LBJ, and fewer yet are those who are popular but decline to run for a second term. George Washington could have been president for more than two terms, but understood the importance of setting a precedent.

          I don’t have a problem with a president serving more than two terms if they are popular. FDR was that kind of president. Democracy, as it operates in most nations, it’s not that great, imo.

    • WMCB says:

      LOL! I have to kind of agree here. Attacking him personally AFTER he left the room is a coward’s move.

      Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional ,and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!

      • Rocky Hussein Squirrel says:

        I’ve found it’s usually safer to talk shit about someone while they’re not there.

      • WMCB says:

        I must admit that while I do not always agree with Rep. West, I find him refreshing. In the era of carefully crafted political non-answers, he just puts what he thinks out there and stands by it. That’s fun.

        It’s one of the reasons I often liked having Kuchinich pop off at reporters or other politicians as well. Despite his faults, (and they are many) he stirred the pot and said things others wouldn’t say.

      • yttik says:

        Waiting to attack him until after he left was pretty crappy. I can see why he’s ticked off. His letter made me laugh. He really does speak plainly.

        Now we’re going to have to hear about how vile and sexist Republicans are. He said…gasp…. Debbie wasn’t a lady!

        I’m being snarky of course, but after all the horrendous things I’ve heard said about women lately, accusing one of not being a lady sounds so polite and old fashioned.

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        I read it and I thought he did fine until he made the lady comment. That crossed a line.

        • WMCB says:

          I think he may have been reaching for the equivalent of what he would say to a man: “You, sir, are no gentleman!” But “lady” doesn’t quite ring the same way, or have the same connotations.

          I honestly think that was more a failure of available language than intent, but that part sounded a bit cheesy. Still, he made me laugh.

        • angienc says:

          Wasserman-Schultz isn’t a “lady” and West isn’t a “gentleman.” Those are antiquated terms denoting a person’s social status (ie, being of noble birth). No one in the USA can be considered either because we do not have nobility in this country.

          Furthermore, while I understand calling a woman a “lady” is supposed to be some kind of compliment (and West saying Wasserman-Schultz isn’t one is some kind of insult), in fact, the term “lady” connotes a Victorian “Angel in the House” female who doesn’t have any value in society other than ornamentation in the domestic sphere. Wasserman-Schultz should be proud of the fact that she is *not* a lady. I know I am.

      • JeanLouise says:

        Wasserman-Schultz did not attack West personally. She attacked his position which is what we expect our elected officials to do. West responded in the most childish way imaginable – sort of like Obama flipping Hillary the bird.

  3. Lola-at-Large says:

    And again the most apt comparison never comes up. He compares himself to Lincoln. Other compare him to Jimmy Carter. But really this president is most like George H. W. Bush, another terminally right wing, self-interested, CIA-supported one-termer.

  4. DeniseVB says:

    While I agree Presidents and their families need their vacay breaks, I agree more with Hot Air on this one:


    • ralphb says:

      No kidding. I like the term naycation as well!

    • votermom says:

      This might be my favorite comment over there.

      Saw there at the article that the tastefully appointed home, rented out at a measly $50,000 (hell I have that much in my wallet right now), comes complete with a putting green and basketball court.


      Bad optics? This is an entire factory of poorly-made Chinese toy binoculars.

    • ralphb says:

      All I can say is Bravo to the writer!

      Let’s call it a Barack-acation.

      Meanwhile jittery Americans will enjoy their “staycations” this summer, rearranging shelves in the basement and fighting with the electric company over air-conditioning bills. The “naycation” set — that’s the elderly, veterans and the disabled — will sweat it out just getting a government check August 3. The unemployed, meanwhile, can just keep enjoying their unwanted days off.

      Michelle and the girls would be crushed, no doubt, to pass up two weeks in Chilmark [farm location on MV]. But there are millions of other kids who are feeling pretty miserable this summer, too, and their daddies had nothing to do with this mess.

    • JeanLouise says:

      NOTHING gets in the way of Obama’s time off. He shares that characteristic with GWB.

  5. ralphb says:

    The ball now moves to the Senate…

    “Breaking: GOP passes Cut, Cap, & Balance Act”


    I wasn’t sure they could pass it out of the House.

    • WMCB says:

      Yup. And it has the debt ceiling raise in it. So I wonder if the Senate and Obama are going to irresponsibly risk default with a stubborn refusal to be reasonable adults sign on to it?

      And by the way, this is now TWO pieces of actual, written down, there-for-all-to-see legislation regarding the debt that the House has come up with and passed. The first was their budget. Like it or hate it, they did their job.

      Meanwhile, the Democrats in the Senate, and Obama, have yet to put a single damn thing down on paper, including their legally required budget. They are more interested in yapping to the press in completely vague and undefined terms, hiding in the weeds, and demagoguing. Maybe they have a better plan, maybe they don’t, but since no one has seen it, then they are, as of this moment, offering absolutely bupkus in the way of solutions.

      • 1539days says:

        But if you write down a wish, it won’t come true.

      • Mary says:

        Even Reid and Pelosi are admitting that the “new-and-improved” Gang of 6 plan, which Obama supports, is not even in legislative language yet—it’s just a list of things (2-5 pages) in broad, general statements.

        It has to be written into legislative language, and then it has to be scored by CBO. Has to BEGIN in the House, given that it deals with taxes and $$, and then has to be passed by the Senate, too.

        Can’t get it done by August 2, and they all know that.

        Does that mean we default, and it’s their fault?

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