Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Historical meme of the month: learning from "Lincoln"

Tax cuts for billionaires -- that'll bind up the nation's wounds
It seems to be everywhere: earnest advice not just to see Stephen Spielberg's film drama "Lincoln,"  but to learn from it, to go forth and DO LIKEWISE, be like Lincoln.

But every commentator sees being like Lincoln pretty much as doing what the commentator himself would do.

The latest is Preston Manning in Maclean's, who advises President Obama to be like Lincoln mostly by caving in to the Republican fiscal and economic agenda in the name of reconciliation.

Manning gives the impression that the congressional Republicans today are like the congressional Democrats and radical Republicans Lincoln sought to win over in 1865- they just need a little outreach from the president  He does not suggest that a better analogy for Boehner, Ryan, et al might be with the Confederates -- with whom Lincoln was not so conciliatory.