Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Friday, February 13, 2009

Like Lincoln, Obama takes humor where he finds it

And yesterday, President Obama managed to find a bit of humor in Judd Gregg's sudden withdrawal from his commerce nomination:

Obama was speaking during a dinner honoring the 16th president on the 200th anniversary of his birth.

"In 1854, Lincoln was simply a Springfield lawyer who'd served just a single term in Congress," Obama began as he tried to imagine Lincoln writing famous words about national unity.

"Possibly in his law office, his feet on a cluttered desk, his sons playing around him, his clothes a bit too small to fit his uncommon frame, maybe wondering if somebody might call him up and ask him to be commerce secretary ..." Obama said, trailing off and sparking applause and laughter.

Oh I'm sure some poor, languishing politician will want the job; seeing as Mr. Gregg is too good for the position in President Obama's cabinet at this time of great national need.

Hmm... speaking of Lincoln...

Some Republicans came to the White House to ask Lincoln to appoint their political cohort as port collector of Philadelphia.

"Mr. President," said their spokesman, "we have come here today to present our fellow Philadelphian to your favorable consideration. He is eminently qualified for the position -- not only for his administrative ability, but also for his unswerving loyalty to the Republican party. No honors, sir," continued the head of the Philadelphia delegation, "could be showered on him that could elevate him higher in the estimation of his fellow-men."

"Gentlemen," said Lincoln with a smile, "it gives me much gratification to hear the praise bestowed. Such a man needs no office -- it can confer on him no additional advantage, or add prestige to his well-earned fame!"

"Indeed you are right Mr. Chairman," summed up Lincoln, "that no honors could be showered on him that would elevate him higher in the estimation of his fellow-man. So to appoint to good and excellent a gentlemen to a paltry position like this would be an act of injustice to him. I shall reserve the office for some poor politician who needs it."

-- The Wit & Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln, James C. Humes

So. Are there any Republicans out there willing to put nation ahead of party? Anyone?

If not, perhaps it is time for President Obama to stop worrying about bipartisanship (when dealing with a party that only comprehends partisanship,) and simply nominate the best person for the job.

This is a very large country and there are many brilliant and qualified people running around out here (some of them are undoubtedly now looking for work.) If Republicans can't be bothered to take this job, I'm sure someone will be willing to grab the opportunity and run with it.

Let the Republicans sit in the corner and sulk because they are no longer in power. If that's the best they have to offer their country in our time of need -- we don't need them. They certainly aren't winning any brownie points from the people with this kind of behavior.

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Anonymous Megan Branch said...

Dear Maire,

I am the blog intern at Oxford University Press, and I recently discovered your blog. I especially enjoyed all of your "On This Day" posts and found your post on Lincoln's opinion on today's issues to be very interesting and informative.

I wanted to let you know about a series of posts that the OUPblog is featuring in celebration of the Lincoln Bicentennial. We have a bonanza of celebratory posts:
• An excerpt from James McPherson’s ABRAHAM LINCOLN: http://blog.oup.com/2009/02/lincoln-mcpherson/
• A series of FAQ’s with Allen Guelzo author of LINCOLN: A Very Short Introduction: http://blog.oup.com/2009/02/lincoln_questions/ and http://blog.oup.com/2009/02/abraham-lincoln-faq-part-one/ and http://blog.oup.com/2009/02/lincoln_faq/
• A look at how Lincoln almost failed by Jennifer Weber author of COPPERHEADS: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln’s Opponents in the North: http://blog.oup.com/2009/02/lincoln_fail/
• A post by Lincoln Prize Winner Craig L. Symonds comparing Lincoln and Obama: http://blog.oup.com/2009/02/lincoln_obama/

I hope you will take a look and consider encouraging your readers to check some of the posts out. We were also hoping that you would provide us with your contact information so that we can add you to our database.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about the blog. Thank you for your time, and keep up the good work.

Megan Branch
OUP Blog Intern
198 Madison Avenue

2:45 PM  
Blogger Maire said...

Thanks for the heads up about your blog!

If you don't mind, I will link to you. This blog is in great need of an overhaul (there are many out-dated links along the sidebar, and I'd like to replace them with more Lincoln/historical contacts.)

4:16 PM  

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