Thursday, December 27, 2012

Stop misnaming Republican Lincoln Day dinners

While viewing Steven Spielberg's compelling film, "Lincoln",  I couldn't avoid  thinking of the wide gulf between the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln's age and the impostors that have kidnapped the GOP of today. In the 1860s, Republicans were the good guys who supported their president's efforts to preserve the Union and free the slaves.  Lincoln had little hope that he would be reelected.   The Democrats were the bad guys clinging to slavery while engaged in a war of secession.

But in a dramatic reversal of roles,  the capture of the Republican Party by the Tea Partyers and their wealthy enablers has openly abused the Lincoln of wisdom, courage and patriotism (so sensitively  revealed by Daniel Day-Lewis).  There is still silly talk of secession within wacko groups.
And few will deny that racism kept Barack Obama's victory closer than it might have been.  For confirmation, simply check the figures of white-guy voters.

In February, or a little later,  Republicans will stage their traditional Lincoln Day Dinners, often showing preference for right-wing GOP speakers.   The trend by the Summit County GOP, for example,  has featured   such conservative icons  as Mike Huckabee (whom, it says in the invitation, is a "leading favorite to top"  the 2012 presidential ticket;  Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the party's very very conservative Study Committee;  and Rick Santorum, who needs no further introduction.  I have occasionally referred to these misnamed "Lincoln" events as identity  thefts.

 Although I don't expect happier results, may I suggest that now that they have lost the election, the  sponsors of these political stage shows find a new name for the dinners .  The  Norquist Day Dinner?  The LaPierre Day Dinner?  At least this would be a more honest approach and not slander Lincoln in his grave.


Dave Hess said...

As a "founding father" of the 19th Century's Republican Party, Lincoln -- a match for LBJ as a wheeler-dealer in getting things done by the government -- would be appalled by the party's current transmogrification. Instead of promoting unity and coherence in public policy, the party has been hijacked by separatists and "small government" advocates whose credo is based on the premise that a growing and diverse populace can do quite well, thank you, with the vanishing presence of a central governing system. That's their strategic objective. They intend to achieve it by such tactics as stripping the government of revenue, privatizing health care and income-security programs, slashing or ending federal law enforcement agencies and relying instead on local sheriffs and police to uphold the law, eliminating or diluting environmental and financial industry regulations, and leaving it up to states and localities to build, maintain and finance transportation needs and public transit systems -- to name a few of their aims. At the same time, as they reduced or minimized federal authority over such programs, they would devote the vast bulk of any remaining revenue to defense. Thus, the United States that Lincoln and his allies so devotedly preserved would devolve into a hodge-podge of loosely confederated governments free to pursue any conflicting economic and cultural interests among them while presenting to the rest of the world a fragmented image of disunity and common purpose. In effect, we would become the "Untied (sic) States of America."

Marv said...

"Drowning it in the bathtub" somehow comes to mind again. Where is Mitch McConnell when they need him? Appealing to Joe Biden. Has he had a change of heart?

JLM said...

Mr. Hess's vision of the current GOP's goals for the country are too scary to comprehend.