Tag Archives: Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln Project firing on all cylinders

It’s called the Lincoln Project.

It is a political organization comprising former and even some current Republican politicians and political operatives. They all have one important trait in common.

They want to defeat Donald John Trump in this year’s presidential election. Why is that so unusual? Well, let’s see: Oh, yeah … Trump calls himself a Republican.

But … is he really created in the same mold as the man after whom the Lincoln Project is named? Hardly.

Abraham Lincoln was the nation’s first Republican president. He is arguably the greatest man ever to hold the office. He fought to preserve the Union that had been torn apart by Civil War. The Union won the war, but that victory cost Lincoln his life at Ford’s Theater.

The party that Donald Trump now controls bears no resemblance to the party that Lincoln helped create. The Lincoln Project has taken an astonishingly high profile in this campaign. No only is the Lincoln Project working overtime to defeat Trump, it is working equally hard to elect a Democrat, Joseph Biden Jr., to succeed Trump.

As this election continues to take shape, I am struck by the number of GOP operatives — if not active-duty GOP politicians — who have spoken of their utter disgust with Donald Trump. GOP members of Congress remain essentially silent as Trump continues to bungle the national response to the COVID-19 crisis. Trump also appears feckless as the nation reels from incidents of brutality against African-Americans, not to mention his shameful silence over reports that Russian government officials placed bounties on the heads of American service personnel killed in battle in Afghanistan.

Thus, the Lincoln Project is looking for a suitable alternative to the man masquerading as president. At this moment, the only possible alternative happens to be Democrat, Joe Biden.

And so the Lincoln Project, which carries the name of arguably the nation’s greatest president, is seeking to remove the individual who to my way of thinking has carved out his own niche as the nation’s worst president.

Trump alienating his own party

The Lincoln Project has risen to speak out.

So has a coalition of staffers who once worked for Republican President George W. Bush.

Ditto for any number of conservative thinkers/pundits/commentators.

There might even be some hidden Republican members of the U.S. House and Senate ready to bolt.

What do they have in common? They are speaking collectively against a man who calls himself a Republican, but who has no affiliation, understanding or appreciation of what used to be considered basic Republican Party principles.

Donald J. Trump’s re-election appears to be in trouble … at this moment! Yes, that could change. I mean, this guy has managed to survive some of the more hideous faux paus in recent memory. He has held on to that base of support. He told us he could “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue” and not lose any votes; many of us cringed when he said that, but there is a distressing belief that he might have been correct.

The Lincoln Project, of course, is named after President Lincoln, one of the nation’s great Republican presidents. They used to call the GOP the Party of Lincoln. It has become the Cult of Trump.

The party that once was the champion of civil rights for all Americans, whose senators enabled a Democratic president, Lyndon Johnson, to push landmark civil rights legislation through Congress, has become unrecognizable to President Lincoln. It has coalesced behind an individual with no discernible moral compass, no philosophical guidepost.

Thus, tried-and-true real Republicans are locking arms in the hope of defeating this GOP imposter. Whether they belong to an actual organization such as the Lincoln Project, or are a loosely held gang of former GOP presidential aides, they seem to stand for a single cause: defeating Donald Trump.

What’s more — and this is truly astonishing — they are standing publicly and loudly in favor of a Democratic candidate, Joseph R. Biden Jr. One finds occasionally during every election cycle a notable partisan or two who might abandon the candidate of his or her party, but who cannot endorse anyone on the other side. That’s not happening these days.

My biggest concern at this point — given my own often-stated loathing of Donald Trump — is whether any of this will translate to tangible support when the election rolls around.

I merely want to caution everyone that Donald Trump was losing badly to Hillary Clinton at this point of the 2016 campaign. Then the wheels flew off the Clinton campaign. If there’s a lesson for the Biden team to glean from that effort it is that the 2020 Democratic nominee needs to avoid repeating the goofs that doomed an effort that fooled every political pundit in the land.

President spoke eloquently on this battlefield

We’re going to honor our nation’s fallen warriors on Monday. We set aside Memorial Day to remember and salute the supreme sacrifice they gave to those of us who remain.

I want to share a brief statement that a president of the United States delivered on a battlefield in the midst of a war that took more young Americans’ lives than any other conflict in which this nation became involved.

The president was a man of few words. But those words he spoke that day will ring for eternity.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

How stirring, Mr. POTUS

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook, so I thought I would share it here.

This message comes to us from the 45th president of the United States, Donald John Trump. They just make you want to stand up and cheer … don’t they? Well, no!

  • President Abraham Lincoln stirred us in 1865 at his second presidential inaugural when he declared “with malice toward none and charity for all” he would seek to heal the wounds inflicted by the Civil War.
  • President Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president and in 1933 told us during the Great Depression that “the only thing we have to fear is … fear itself.”
  • President John F. Kennedy stood before the nation in 1961 and implored us to serve our country, that we should “ask not what our country can do for us but what we can do for our country.”
  • President Ronald Reagan stood at the Berlin Wall in 1987 and demanded that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, if he intended to work toward creating a better world, to “tear down this wall.”

This president has reduced such soaring rhetoric to utter nonsense such as what he said this week about whether testing for the COVID-19 virus was helpful in stemming the rate of infection by the worldwide pandemic.

Yep, this is what we got when we elected this clown.

I am shaking my head in disgust.

Kitchen is getting too hot for Trump

It’s a cliché, but it’s worth noting: If you can’t stand the heat, then get the hell out of the kitchen.

Donald John “Wartime President” Trump says he’s being treated worse by the media than any president in history. That includes Abraham Lincoln, a real wartime president who fought like the dickens to preserve the Union.

He succeeded. The fight cost him his life when a gunman killed him at Ford Theater in Washington, D.C.

Now, though, for Donald Trump to suggest the media treat him worse than what the press did to President Lincoln simply is beyond the pale.

Trump doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand the media’s role in protecting us against government that is capable at times of reaching too far and, yes, of making egregious mistakes.

Do you think Trump has made any such mistakes during his three years as president? I most assuredly believe that’s the case.

Trump spoke at a Fox News town hall. A woman asked him why he doesn’t answer reporters’ direct questions on the coronavirus pandemic. According to The Hill: “I am greeted with a hostile press, the likes of which no president has ever seen,” Trump said, sitting in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. “The closest would be that gentleman right up there. They said Lincoln, nobody got treated worse than Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse.” 

Cry me a bleeping river, Mr. President.

The media are doing what the Constitution allows them to do. No amount of bullying, intimidation, coercion or threats from the president or his lackeys should throw them off their mission.

Every presidential predecessor — all of whom had to endure negative coverage — has understood that it all goes with the job to which they were elected.

Until this clown.

Cult of personality has captured the GOP

Donald Trump’s delusion is boundless.

He has embraced a new public opinion that suggests that today’s Republicans rate him a greater president than — get ready for it — Abraham Lincoln.

Sigh …

No, Mr. President, you aren’t. No matter what GOP faithful voters say today, Donald Trump in no way, shape or fashion can be compared favorably to President Lincoln, the man held up as the gold standard for Republican Party policy.

They called it the Party of Lincoln for good reason. He fought to preserve the Union against forces that sought to tear the country apart over slavery. Yes, that battle cost him his life when John Wilkes Booth shot him to death at the end of the Civil War. His fight was the most noble cause imaginable, given the context of the time.

What will the Party of Trump stand for when all is said about it? Let’s try, oh, insult, innuendo, chaos, confusion, betrayal of international allies, cozying up to dictators and, oh yes, impeachment.

That’s all I’ve got on this bit of fantasy.

Except this: I would be willing to wager real American money that they won’t build a memorial on the Washington, D.C. Mall in Donald Trump’s honor.

What have they done to your party, Mr. President?

Dear President Lincoln,

Wherever you are, I want to wish you a happy 210th birthday. Man, we have gone a long way in this country you once led in the years since you came into this world. I’m glad you were here, although you preceded me by, well, many years.

Mr. President, I am writing you this note while wondering once again what in name of emancipation has become of the party that used to carry your name.

Not long after you left us, Mr. President, Republicans began referring to themselves as belonging to the Party of Lincoln. They were proud of the legacy you left, the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves, your fight to preserve the Union, the leadership you showed while the nation fought to save itself against the insurrection mounted by the Confederate States of America.

They took that pride well into the next century, Mr. President. Republicans joined hands with a Democratic president, Lyndon Baines Johnson of Texas, and helped enact the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and 1965, laws that bestowed full citizenship rights to all Americans, especially toward those African-American descendants of the slaves you freed.

But your party has morphed into something quite different, Mr. President. It’s now the party of Trump, as in Donald John Trump. It has become the party of nativism, of fear, of jingoism. To be sure, your party began marching down that road many years prior to that. Donald Trump was elected president and he has grabbed your party by the throat and sought to create a political entity that bears no resemblance to the party you once led.

Please understand, Mr. President, that you remain a hero to many of us who came along much later. We studied your presidency and understood how troubled you were for the entire time you served as our commander in chief.

I am one who wishes we still celebrated your birthday separate from the other presidents. Your time in office stands alone. The federal government, though, decided not too many years to meld your birthday into something called Presidents Day; it falls usually between your birthday and Feb. 22, which is when President/General Washington was born in Virginia. However, we now honor all the men who have held the office.

Granted, some of them deserve to be honored in such a manner. Not all of them, though. You might already know how I feel about the current president, so I’ll just leave that statement unsaid.

Happy birthday, sir. I wish your once-great party could find its way out of the darkness.

‘No president has worked harder’

This isn’t a huge leap, so I feel comfortable in presuming that Donald Trump is angry over the revelations about all that “executive time” he takes in the White House.

That has to explain the Twitter messages he fired off declaring how “no president has worked harder than me” at making America great again and all the myriad tasks associated with being president of the United States.

He bellowed something about the “mess” he inherited in January 2017. How he has restored the military, repaired the Veterans Administration, dealt with “endless wars,” stopped the North Korean nuclear threat . . . and on and on.

No president has worked harder than this guy?

Hmm. Let’s see about that.

I wonder if his work ethic exceeds that of, say, Abraham Lincoln, who served while the country was killing itself during the Civil War; or when Franklin Roosevelt was trying to win World War II after the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; or when John F. Kennedy had to face down the Soviet Union’s missile threat in Cuba; or when George W. Bush had to respond to the 9/11 terror attacks.

Donald Trump would have us believe he has worked “harder” than those previous presidents? And what about the results of all those issues Trump has tackled? North Korea is still developing nukes; we’re still at war in Afghanistan and Iraq; the VA work remains undone; the military was just as strong when Trump took office as it is now.

It is typical Trumpian hyperbole, exaggeration and — dare I say it — outright lying.

Beto seeking to channel Honest Abe?

I already have declared my belief that Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke shouldn’t run for president of the United States in 2020. My belief is that he doesn’t yet have the seasoning or the experience to take on such a monstrous responsibility.

But then . . .

A thought occurs to me.

Another American politician lost a bitter campaign to the U.S. Senate and two years later he, too, was elected president.

Abraham Lincoln, anyone?

Lincoln ran for the Senate from Illinois, but lost to Stephen A. Douglas in 1858. The failed Senate candidate already had served in the U.S. House, but decided to push for higher office.

Having lost that bid, Lincoln licked his wounds — and then decided to go for an even bigger prize in 1860. That year he was elected president, but after he was nominated by the Republican National Convention on the third ballot. It was a struggle to win the party nomination. Lincoln’s presidency would prove to be the ultimate trial by fire, with the nation ripped apart by the Civil War.

OK, let’s hit the fast-forward button for a moment.

Does this sound like a scenario that Beto O’Rourke might follow were he to declare his own presidential candidacy? Democratic party activists and big-money donors say they want him to consider it. They like the young man’s energy and the passion he infuses into his supporters. He damn near beat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in heavily Republican Texas earlier this month and that has Democrats all agog over his future.

The Washington Post reports that O’Rourke’s near-success in Texas has turned the Democratic primary outlook into a chaotic mess.

O’Rourke, who’s finishing his term as a congressman from El Paso, will enter private life and just might consider whether to make the plunge yet again, only reaching for the very top rung on the ladder.

Or . . . he might decide to take on Texas’s senior U.S. senator, John Cornyn, in 2020.

I remain a bit dubious about O’Rourke’s presidential timbre.

However, I am somewhat heartened to realize that there’s precedent for what the young man might decide to do. If he hears the voice calling him to run for the Big Job, he might do well to look back on Honest Abe’s effort two-plus centuries ago. It might give him the strength to plunge ahead.

What has become of the GOP?

What would Honest Abe, Teddy Roosevelt and Ike think of what’s become of the Republican Party? If only we could ask ’em.

Above is a tweet I posted two years ago wondering about the state of today’s GOP and how it was abducted by a form of “populism” that has no real resemblance to the movement that I had grown to understand.

Donald J. Trump got elected president on a pledge to do certain things, all of which he said at the time would be “easy.”

Build a wall along our southern border? Piece of cake.

Make Mexico pay for it? No sweat.

Negotiate the “best trade deals” in U.S. history? Done deal.

Craft a new health care program? Got it.

Cut taxes for everyone? Perfecto.

And so it went. How has he done? Not too well, by my way of looking at it.

As for the “populist” angle he pursued while running for office, the president hasn’t fulfilled that promise either. He continues to hobnob at his extravagant resorts. I haven’t seen him visiting housing projects, or tour squalid neighborhoods in Appalachia.

Indeed, Housing Secretary Ben Carson recently announced a desire to triple the rent paid by low-income residents of government housing. Dr. Carson then said his idea would “incentivize” residents to improve their lot in life and get them out of housing projects.

Man, that’s just so damn populist of him. Don’t you think?

Back to my Twitter message of two years ago. What, precisely, does the Republican Party stand for these days? Does it go along merely with what the president desires, even though this president had no history of political activism — let alone political experience of any kind — before he ran for the highest office in the land?

The party of Abe, TR and Ike is now the party of Trump.

President Lincoln stood for unifying the nation; President Theodore Roosevelt was an environmental champion; President Eisenhower sought to return the nation to a peace footing after so many years of open warfare in Europe, the Pacific and in Korea.

What does Trump believe? He touts his hatred of the media, he stiffs the opposing party at every turn, he is ravaged by an endless series of controversies — and a scandal or three — and he promises to “make America great again” by bullying our allies.

I’ll give him props for one potentially huge achievement, if he can pull it off: getting North Korea to back off its nuclear program.

However, a success there doesn’t erase the rest of the nastiness that has pervaded this man’s presidency.

Abe, TR and Ike are spinning in their graves.