This Is How Obama Got It All Wrong

English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth Presid...

To misinterpret a thing is to lie to yourself, albeit unintentionally.

From The New Yorker:

The movie is inspired by Doris Kearns Goodwin’s much and justly praised “Team Of Rivals.” But good books often cast strange shadows, and Goodwin’s account of Lincoln’s enormous instinctive shrewdness in managing his stroppy cabinet of prima donnas has been confused with the idea that Lincoln’s genius was for conciliation and compromise. This leads, in turn, to the notion that Lincoln was a kind of schmoozemeister, reaching out across the aisle, a sort of Tip O’Neill on the Atkins diet. It can’t be said too often, or too clearly, that the whole point of Lincoln is that he—and the Republican Party he then represented—marked the end of the policy of conciliation and compromise and cosseting that had been the general approach of Northern Presidents to the Southern slavery problem throughout the decades before. When the South seceded, Lincoln chose war—an all-out, brutal, bitter war of a kind that had never been fought until then. “Let the erring sisters go in peace!” the editor Horace Greeley recommended, and Lincoln said, “Lock the doors and make them stay.”

The implication here is that Obama, far from being a modern day Lincoln, is, in earnest, the anti-Lincoln. At best, a lukewarm president who sits around waiting for some sort of consensus to emerge.

Obama doesn’t relish making the tough calls, whereas Lincoln knew he had no other choice. That is the job of presidents, especially  those who preside over crises, as did Lincoln – as does Obama.

In any case, just as Obama misunderstood Lincoln, we are misunderstanding Obama. He is not some transformative president, as he himself claims, but a meek leader, driven only by pragmatism and pressure. Obama doesn’t lead from behind, as his staffers claim. He leads from the front, and, like a stubborn mule, only moves when prodded.

Lincoln’s fate was to die at the hands of an assassin. Obama will do anything to avoid such a fate, and therein lies the crux of the divide.

It doesn’t matter what Obama tells you. He’s only taking the hard road if pushed. So the only question left to be asked is, how hard are you willing to push to get this mule to work?

 

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3 comments
noloveforignorance
noloveforignorance

Can I get some of what you're smoking? You seem, like some others (mainly conservative white republicans) like to make blanket statements about what Obama isn't doing. What, pray tell, specifically would you do as president? Think before you answer. It's easy from the sidelines to criticize, but what's really practical? And, anyway, what right do you have to criticize? Have you won a position in public office? What sweeping changes have you implemented?

Yvette Carnell
Yvette Carnell moderator

 @noloveforignorance No your posts haven't been deleted. You've been officially blocked. When you come onto my blog and ask what I'm smoking, call me a hater, and post 20 comments all in the span of two days, it's obvious to me that you're not a serious thinker. Furthermore, you didn't come here for a serious conversation. Go play elsewhere. I don't have time to entertain your tantrums. 

darrylcox
darrylcox

"This leads, in turn, to the notion that Lincoln was a kind of schmoozemeister, reaching out across the aisle, a sort of Tip O’Neill on the Atkins diet." Yes."Lincoln’s fate was to die at the hands of an assassin. Obama will do anything to avoid such a fate, and therein lies the crux of the divide."Indeed.