Comparing Obama to Lincoln

I’ve always been of the (rather uninformed, I’m ashamed to admit) opinion that Lincoln really wasn’t a great President, that he was, in essence, a tyrant. Walter Williams, as he is wont to do, provides perhaps the most cogent reasons why in: President Obama’s Inauguration:

President Obama was sworn into office placing his hand on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible. That is the last Bible I would use to be sworn into office. You say, “Why? Didn’t Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation free your ancestors?” It all depends where they were living. Let’s examine the document’s text to see why.

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, which reads, “That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free …” The key phrase is “in rebellion against the United States” because slaves remained slaves in states not in rebellion.

Read the whole thing. This conclusion is striking, and makes me want to catch up on my reading:

President Obama can be forgiven for celebrating the hypocrisy of Abraham Lincoln because the victors of wars write their history and glorify the winners. The recognition that slavery is a despicable institution does not require hero worship of a president who made the largest contribution to the unraveling of our Constitution. After all when it is settled by brute force that states cannot secede, as they thought they had the right to in 1787, then the federal government can ride roughshod over states and their people’s right — in a word make meaningless the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

As the economy continues to tumble, and the federal government continues to spend everyone’s money, there are a few relatively responsible states that might take real issue with their rights being trampled. And if so, then Lincoln probably is as much to blame as anyone, and it therefore comes as no surprise that Obama is likely to follow in his footsteps.

There’s a real irony there, if you think about it.

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