Monday, April 4, 2011

Lincoln and Obama; a brief comparison

Our 16th President wasn’t a big personal hero in my family.  The only branch of the family tree growing in the United States in 1861 produced my Great, Great Grandfather and his five brothers who all fought for the Confederacy.  However President Lincoln does provide an interesting study in how a man grows into the most important job in America.  Though I haven’t read Eric Foner’s book “The Fiery Trial; Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery” a review by Gordon Berg in “Civil War Times” lists Foner’s rationale for why Lincoln was a great President.  Foner lists three core concepts that made Lincoln successful.  It is instructive to view President Obama through those three core concepts:

1.  Lincoln had a sharp legal mind and had a firm grasp of the Constitution.  Mr. Obama might have a sharp legal mind, no one really knows as we haven’t read any legal briefs or opinions that he has written.  His legal experience seems to have been confined to supporting the decidedly Anti-American group ACORN.  Though some refer to Mr. Obama as a “Constitutional Lawyer” he really is an “Anti-Constitutionalist” in that he bridles at the limits on Federal authority that is the central purpose of that splendid document.  He neither respects it nor does he understand the centrality of that document in the success of the American story. 

2.  Lincoln was a master of the political possibility and was sensitive to the ebb and flow of public opinion.  Mr. Obama certainly proved to be a superb opportunist in virtually all of his campaigns up to and including his run for the Presidency.  His path to the Presidency is littered with foes of both parties who were destroyed using a variety of tricks and maneuvers.  He also benefitted from a field of Republican candidates for President that was winnowed down to the least capable candidate of the bunch – lucky.  However Mr. Obama seems incapable of understanding that the country has turned decidedly against him, his policies, and his party.  Nearly every contest since his inauguration has proven that American opinion has flipped once candidate Obama became President Obama.  By completely ignoring the number one problem in the country (Jobs) while expending his popularity on a budget-busting and anti-freedom agenda (Obamacare) he has proven that he has little regard for American opinion. 

3.  Lincoln possessed an innate ability to learn and grow.   While I never had any allusions that Mr. Obama would be good for America, I did think that once in office he would be confronted by certain political realities that would mold him into a more pragmatic leader.  Pundits most often point to Bill Clinton as the example of a President who could pivot and support a good program even though he might have been ideologically opposed to such a program before.  We have seen no evidence that President Obama is able to pivot off an absurdly left-wing agenda.  Indeed his actions are so contrary to the reality of the situation and common sense that it has lead many pundits on the right to conclude that he is actively attempting to destroy the country. 

I am reminded of the political analyst who pointed out that it is entirely possible to love America while being a very bad American.  Mr. Obama appears to validate that point.    

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery 


  1. I would find it hard to accept the fact that Obama loves America.

  2. Amigo,

    Good post. I however agree with Patriot. Zero has not proven to me that he loves this country. He claims that he does but provides no action whatsoever.

    Lincoln and Obama do indeed have ONE thing in common:

    * Lincoln was a skinny lawyer
    * Zero is a skinny lawyer

  3. Thank you all - determining whether or not Obama loves America is outside my capabilities - it probably requires a psychologist or psychiatrist. You probably also would have to define America for him.