I’ve been pondering this blog topic for a while now, and the deal was sealed when I saw Sean Hannity’s interview with President Bush the other night. Apparently, there is a wall in the Oval Office on which the sitting president can hang the portrait of the president he deems most influential. President Bush has Abraham Lincoln on that wall. Which is good news for the Obama team, because they can put all their attention into the Presidential Basketball Court and not worry about replacing that portrait.
Obama just loves Abraham Lincoln. He talks about him all the time, held watershed campaign moments at Lincoln sites, and is having a “themed” Inauguration heavily featuring Lincolnesque touches and historical artifacts. There’s a big brouhaha about the historic dresses being donned for the event; reminds the NAACP of slavery. Obama is going to swear the oath of the Office on Lincoln’s Bible. The Inauguration luncheon will feature Lincoln’s favorite foods, served on replicas of Mary Todd’s White House china pattern (Todd, btw, was Lincoln’s wife). The whole thing sounds very fangirly to me.
And it sounds like the reports that it will be the most expensive Inauguration in history are correct: $150 million could bail out quite a few unemployed persons in this nation; save many persons’ homes; go toward saving the environment; go towards supplies and armor for our troops; go toward our first responders, teachers, and health care providers, and on.
Now, Abraham Lincoln very famously freed slaves in an effort to end the Civil War and he was a lawyer from Illinois, and a great orator. But apart from these things, Lincoln is a more befitting influence to our current President, I would think.
Lincoln was, of course, a Republican (the abolitionist party). When he practiced law, he fought for corporations and big business (railroads, for instance). Lincoln did not compromise his principles in the name of popularity; instead, he stood firm and unwavering in his convictions in the face of a large number of states seeking to secede from the Union, he did not back down in the face of popular opinion that held that slavery was a-ok, he was staunch believer in God, he supported the rights to freedom for all human beings, he unblinkingly used force when and where he deemed it necessary to preserve the union, he consistently vetoed any bills put before him that limited his war powers, and he was dead determined to win the Civil War.
Sounds to me more like President Bush than President-Elect Obama. Maybe the latter secretly has a backbone, a set of principles he’s not willing to compromise, and a vision for our winning the war on terror; we’ll find out soon enough.