Obama’s No Lincoln

by Ryan on January 17, 2009

in Culture,Election 2008,Media Bias,Politics,Pop Culture,The Iraq Front

Of course Abraham Lincoln would be very proud that 144 years after his death, a biracial man is to be inaugurated as our 44th President.  Cool.  We get it — Obama has a permanent place in history just by showing up this Tuesday. 

But just because Obama’s a tall and lanky orator doesn’t automatically mean he’s Lincoln.  The comparisons between the Empty Suit and our great Presidents have not ceased since November 4th and I wish they would. 

Look at it this way, one could compare anyone to anyone if they tried hard enough: even Dubya to Lincoln: 

George W. Bush faced tough odds when a war that was at first popular became dragged out and unpopular.  In the midst of that, Bush focused less on the original reason for the invasion (WMDs) and made it a moral democratic endeavor to free historically oppressed people by spreading democracy in the Mideast.  Nonetheless, the war remained unpopular even when Bush replaced his inept commanders with David Petraeus, who not only assured eventually victory, but put more troops in harms way temporarily to do it — casualties went up, but we turned the tide.

Abraham Lincoln’s election produced the initial secession of 7 states, with four to follow by May of his first year in office.  Missouri, Kentucky and Kansas had violent guerilla wars until 1865, continued by the KKK long afterwards across the South.  The Civil War was initially fought for the preservation of the Union until Lincoln needed a moral reason to continue the unpopular war by supporting the freedom of slaves in rebellious states only, until total victory could be assured.  To assure that victory, Lincoln reshuffled his inept generals and replaced them with Ulysses Grant, who increased casualties substantially, but led us to victory.

So then, is Bush Lincoln?  No he’s not — the scale is all off and the historical context of the American Civil War and the Iraq War are very different.  But at least there’s something substantive to contrast the two beyond geography!  Obama has been the ultimate blank slate — look at him and project whatever you want, like a national Rorschach test to those who have drank from his fountain of Kool-Aid.

UPDATE:  Some actually disagree that Lincoln would be cheering on Inauguration Day based on some of Lincoln’s beliefs about blacks at the time.

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