What Would Honest Abe Say?

The estimable Gerard restyled Abraham Lincoln’s “A House Divided” speech, delivered on 16 June, 1858 at The Statehouse in Springfield, Illinois, into words that resonate today.

Then Erik Svane, my CPAC pal, weighed in the comments. You see Erik is an expert in all things Lincoln, and has a book (graphic novel, really), co-authored with Dan Greenberg that is going to be released soon. Imagine the horror President Lincoln would feel at how far our country has fallen. Erik reminds us that Republicans were smeared just as badly in Lincoln’s time as today, with these words from the famous Cooper’s Union speech (delivered 27 February 1860, in New York City):

…ask yourself how much things have really changed in a century and a half…

…when you speak of us Republicans, you do so only to denounce us as reptiles, or, at the best, as no better than outlaws. You will grant a hearing to pirates or murderers, but nothing like it to [Republicans]. In all your contentions with one another, each of you deems an unconditional condemnation of [Republicanism] as the first thing to be attended to. Indeed, such condemnation of us seems to be an indispensable prerequisite — license, so to speak — among you to be admitted or permitted to speak at all. Now, can you, or not, be prevailed upon to pause and to consider whether this is quite just to us, or even to yourselves? Bring forward your charges and specifications, and then be patient long enough to hear us deny or justify.

Do you think that President James Buchanan’s administration met every morning to formulate talking points against the “opposition,” engaging in what could only be dubbed the original antbellum conference call?

Ben Smith, writing in the Politico, tells us Barack Obama’s allies meet every morning by conference call at 8:45 a.m. to build their talking points. The calls operate as a left-wing character assassination squad run by John Podesta of the Center for American Progress (“CAP”). Podesta was also Co-Chairman of the Obama-Biden Transition Project. In addition, CAP’s political wing runs a website called Think Progress, which coordinates online messaging among leftwing bloggers.

We see this happening yet again here. Obama’s coordinated character assassination campaign against anyone who disagrees with him strikes of Soviet style politics. Saul Allinsky would be proud.

For perspective, the Koch brothers have been funding right-of-center and largely libertarian causes since the 1970’s. David Koch was the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee in 1980. That’s right — against Reagan. This is nothing new for the Koch family. Through Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush the Koch’s have been politically engaged, sometimes even against Republican Presidents.

But Barack Obama is so used to demagoguing and is the first Democratic President to really believe the rich are evil, and not just preach it for the base, he needs an enemy. The Koch family will be that enemy.

The politics of personal destruction never change.

November is coming.

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