Abraham Lincoln: Long enough to reach the ground


Much significance will be attached to the length of Obama’s speech. It’s worthwhile remembering that this is a dependent variable: it depends on what he has to say. Lincoln’s second inaugural will be mentioned, because it was short. But Lincoln himself found room in it to explain why the first was longer. And when he had a really complex argument to make, Lincoln didn’t skimp. Shorter is always better — as long as you say what needs saying. Deciding whether you have is a matter of judgement, which is one thing electorates look for when selecting a leader.

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Abraham Lincoln: Long enough to reach the ground

  1. Obama ≠ Lincoln. Not by a long shot, and not yet, in any event.

    So…why would the length of Lincoln’s inaugural addresses matter at all? It’s as silly as if the last throne speech had been obsessively compared to one delivered by Borden’s government.

    • Very true. But to be fair, if you had to fill six hours of airtime on Tuesday, you’d find yourself mentioning Lincoln a few times too.

      As for the last throne speech, I’m not sure anyone will ever think to compare it to anything ever again.

      • Tuesday will be an historic day so it’s not surprising that there will be many comparisons to other similar historic days.

      • It’s good to see folks trying to walk back from the edge of the “Obama will be the greatest president since Lincoln” cliff, that many of his supporters were waltzing around.

        Why with Obama now talking about
        – maintaining Bush’s tax cuts,
        – keeping Guantanamo open into the forseeable future,
        – putting veritable hawks in foreign policy positions,
        – vowing to not use torture (……except in exceptional cases to imminently protect Americans, that is – precisely the policy with the grand total of three instances of waterboarding under Bush)

        to name just a few of many policies that are making him increasingly difficult to distinquish from the Bush administration,

        that cliff is looking even more perilous than it did at the outset of Obama hyper-euphoria.

        As for taking the time to denigrate Harper as compared to Obama, again, you may want to wait until he governs before continuing on that line. I realize that you consider Canada to be Somalia-lite, under Harper, but quite a few disaggree and think he’s fairing pretty well in difficult times and with three opposition parties clamouring for the reigns of power.

      • Luckily, we’ll soon have a new one to forget completely by the end of the week.

  2. I particlarly likedthis part. “This country…belongs to the people…Whenever…they grow weary…of govt, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.”
    Any one who wonders why Canada chose a slightly different ethos need look no further. No doubt our founding fathers took one look at this speech and to a man responded: ” he’s seriously nuts, we can’t have that going on here. Good lord where will it all lead? People thinking they have the final say, they’ll be letting women vote next.”
    They immediately set out to protect us from the contagion that aflicts our southern kin. How to achieve this? Not violence or the gulag, just swath ourselves in multiple layers of cotten batting now known as bureaucracy through which nothing can get in or out. yeah! That outa do it. It’s a choice we made i guess and who knows, it may prove to be the wiser one.
    Still whenever i read Lincoln i want to immediately run off and join the union. But then i remember, Lincoln’s dead and Bush hasn’t left yet and the FMM is still going and the drive way needs shovelling,dogs need walking, distractions, nothing but distractions. Who has time for constitutions or revolutions and such.

  3. More “hope and change” from US news, on Obama’s “green” committment:

    “Using data from the EPA, environmentalist organizations, and various news accounts, the [Institute for Liberty] estimates more than 500 million pounds of CO2 will be released during the four-day inaugural festivities. Among the offenders:
    – The 600 private jets expected to fly visitors to and from the event will produce 25,320,000 pounds of CO2.
    – Personal vehicles could account for 262,483,200 pounds of CO2.
    – The horses in the parade will produce more than 400 pounds of CO2.

    And if you don’t have an idea what a pound of CO2 really means, consider this: The average household would take 57,598 years to produce as much CO2 as Obama’s inauguration”

    Now, back to talking about more important subjects…..like the length of his speech………