Obama: Closer to Douglas than Lincoln?
Today in the Belleville News Democrat Barak Obama tries to parallel President Lincoln’s life to his own. He adds that the nation’s 16th president might not have envisioned a black man occupying the seat he now holds.
Obama continues in the upcoming Time tribute to the rookie Senator from Illinois:
“In Lincoln’s rise from poverty, his ultimate mastery of language and law, his capacity to overcome personal loss and remain determined in the face of repeated defeat – in all this, he reminded me not just of my own struggles. He also reminded me of a larger, fundamental element of American life – the enduring belief that we can constantly remake ourselves to fit our larger dreams,” Obama wrote in a package dubbed ‘Uncovering the Real Abe Lincoln,’ on newsstands Monday.
But in looking at the two lives lined up side by side, Barak Obama’s life more closely resembles the life of Steven Douglas, Lincoln’s chief nemisis, than the life of Lincoln.
Let’s look more closely at Lincoln, Douglas and Obama for a moment:
1.) Lincoln was a Republican.
Barak Obama and Steven Douglas are Democrats.
2.) Lincoln grew up on dirt floors, dirt poor, in the famous log cabin. Lincoln was raised by his poor father and step mother.
Obama grew up middle class raised mostly by his white grandparents. He did not have his natural father in his life. His black Kenyan father left him and his white mother while he was a toddler to attend sclool at Harvard. Barak never saw him but one other time when he was around 10 years of age. His mother remarried and moved to Indonesia. When she decided to stay there Obama was sent back to Hawaii to live with his white grandparents. Last time I checked there are no log cabins in Hawaii. (You wouldn’t know these things about his life from his speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention)
More similar to Obama, Steven Douglas was born in April, 1813. He also grew up without his natural father. His father, a physician, died in July 1813, and the boy was under the care of a bachelor uncle until he was fourteen.
3.) Lincoln attended one room school houses on the frontier and taught himself law.
Barak Obama attended Punahou School, Hawaii’s top prep academy and later Columbia University and Harvard Law School. Likewise, his father also attended Harvard and then left the states to go back to Kenya.
Douglas was educated in schools at Brandon and at Canandaigua, New York.
4.) Lincoln was 6′ 4″ gangly, unattractive to most but would win people over with his exceptional personality. Abe left politics after a defeat and worked a private law practice for many years. He chopped wood.
Barak is good looking and charismatic. Does not chop wood but has been in politics most of his adult life.
Douglas was short in stature with broad shoulders and was in politics most of his adult life. No historic references on him chopping wood.
5.) Lincoln stood up against slavery calling it ‘a monstrous injustice’ that he hated. He was instrumental in setting up the Republican party in Illinois. The Republican’s defining commitment was to the opposition of the extension of slavery.
The Democrats of Lincoln’s era led by Stephen Douglas supported the Kansas – Nebraska Act which allowed slavery to be recognized in these new territories. The Southern slave states were all Democrat. This was against what they originally proposed. Douglas openly pushed for the expansion of slavery.
Democrats from Obama’s party today are openly against the Iraq War which has freed 25 million Iraqis from the murderous Hussein Regime. Today the democrats openly call the Iraq War a quagmire. This is not to mention the democratic social and economic systems that keep many looking to the government as problem solver.
6.) The fact remains that the Republican Party of 1860 was an abolitionist party at heart. It takes a man who sees that “all men are created equal” to do what Abraham Lincoln did. Lincoln gave the gift of freedom to blacks. You truly must be able to see the equality in others to give such a wonderful gift.
The Democrat’s of Lincoln’s time used the race card, with Douglas as their mouth piece, making relentless attacks on all Republicans calling them terrible names and stating that the Negro was the lesser race. They frequently would do this at rallies to get the crowds riled up against Lincoln or others of his ilk. Rather than argue they called Republicans names for standing up against slavery.
Obama belongs to the Democratic Party of today, the great dividers who continually use the race card (example Howard Dean) to promote themselves while ignoring Republican contributions to minority progress. As J. C. Watts said, ” Democrats choose to falsely claim that African Americans have not benefited from President Bush’s policies. “Nothing could be further from the truth.” Democrats are still good at name calling.
Barak Obama has also enjoyed a meterioric rise to fame. He posed for his first cover story in Newsweek in November and his first Time cover story is due out next week.
8.) Lincoln was known as a man of integrity,… never known to drink, smoke or swear.
No word on Douglas.
9.) Lincoln was a humble man. He did not compare himself after six months in office to great men from history.
Douglas (unclear at this point)
Barak, with less than a year as Illinois Senator, is already comparing himself to Lincoln.
10.) Unlike what Obama opines above, Abe Lincoln remained true to his core beliefs throughout his life. He was not one to “remake himself”. But he rather was called back into politics from a personal belief to fight the expansion of slavery.
Douglas was a leader in the pro-slavery movement but later to his credit, he remade himself to rally the masses for Lincoln after the start of the Civil War.
Many democrats in today’s political world are remaking themselves as well(a dramatic example is, of course, Robert Byrd).
Finally, Barak himself pushes a strange leftist myth on Lincoln, that “maybe history gives Lincoln too much credit”?
“I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator,” Obama said. “As a law professor and ci
vil rights lawyer and as an African-American, I am fully aware of his limited views on race. Anyone who actually reads the Emancipation Proclamation knows it was more a military document than a clarion call for justice.”
Senator Obama ought to read more about Lincoln’s life before he makes such an absurd allegation.
Surely, Barak must have heard about Lincoln’s debate with Stevens where the crowd was in such a frenzy by the race-bating of his democratic opponent that Abe was unable to speak. I am sure that Barak heard about the men from that period who stood up against slavery and ended up lynched by angry mobs.
Before Obama takes anything away from Lincoln and the huge, courageous step he took for this country and the world, it would be nice if he had a better understanding of the day and age of Lincoln and not just poo-poo his accomplishments.
Maybe Time will correct him in their upcoming issue?
Update: Polipundit is also talking about this strange exchange of Obama’s first comparing himself to Lincoln and then slamming him. He has linked here.