Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Brief Political Aside

News items:

"President-elect Barack Obama made an unannounced visit Saturday night with his family to see the Lincoln Memorial, paying tribute to a former president he frequently invokes as an inspiration. . . . After touring the memorial for about 20 minutes, including the lower part of the memorial that houses some exhibits, the Obamas walked out, facing the reflecting pool and Washington Monument. They waved to some onlookers standing around the memorial's lower steps. Obama frequently invokes the memory of Lincoln. He announced he was running for president in Springfield, Ill., at the steps of the Old Capitol, where Lincoln was a legislator."
-Washington Post

"President-elect Barack Obama will take the oath of office using the same Bible upon which President Lincoln was sworn in at his first inauguration."

"President-elect Barack Obama will welcome Americans to his inauguration at the memorial to his political hero, Abraham Lincoln."
-Associated Press

"Obama's jampacked Abe-apalooza moved into high gear with an announcement from the Congressional Inaugural Committee that it will hold a luncheon next Tuesday following the swearing-in ceremony that's modeled after foods Lincoln enjoyed. . . .Part of the meal will even be served on replicas of the china picked out by First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln at the beginning of her husband's first term in office in 1861. . . .

"The painting, which will hang behind Obama, is a landscape of Yosemite Valley at dawn - representing Lincoln's signing of the 1864 Yosemite Grant that set aside the land as a public reserve. . . .

"[T]he Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which handles much of the inaugural planning, has deemed that "A New Birth of Freedom" will be the official inaugural theme.

"The phrase, from the Gettysburg Address, expresses Lincoln's hope that the sacrifice of those who died to preserve the nation would lead to "a new birth of freedom" for our nation."
-New York Post

Yes, we fucking get the point.


Anonymous said...

I, for one, eagerly await the tortured posts from Andrew Sullivan, calling for a politics of doubt, proclaiming the need for modesty and humility in politics, decrying the preening arrogance of a man who deliberately casts himself in the mold of the savior of the nation, and bemoaning the troubling tendency among certain self-proclaimed conservatives to impute messianic qualities to mere politicians.

But then I remembered that he wrote that book over a year ago, so it can't possibly still be relevant.

Anonymous said...

This goes without saying but I just read "Tried By War" so I'll say it:

Will any President, ever, face the magnitude of the crisis Lincoln did?

Anonymous said...

Do you think it would have taken Lincoln this long to pick a friggin' dog?

James said...

John, this is a historic occasion. You see, Obama is the first black president, and Lincoln freed the slaves, so this is the culmination of the promise that is America. Coronations are normally part of pomp and circumstance, but this is a special one, and Obama's speech may be remembered for a century to come, it's import is so central.

I wonder if someone, passing, couldn't read the acid I wrote that with. It's so easy for hacks to write shi'ite like that that the sneering parody looks just like the real thing.

You see John, this is historic. An Obama presidency hearkens to Lincoln himself.